Schedule Family Time

March 1, 2005

Problem: My spouse and kids get upset when I miss family dinners or when I have to forgo weekend plans for listings, showings, or closings. What can I do so that they’re not disappointed and I don’t lose business?

Solution: If you honestly believe you’re going to lose business by putting your family first, you lack sufficient confidence in your professional ability to be a top salesperson. When you tell potential buyers and sellers you have a conflicting appointment—dinner with family is an appointment, as are children’s recitals and soccer games—immediately offer up an alternative day and time. Most people want to do business with busy people since they consider them successful. They also understand people’s allegiance to family.

No amount of money is worth missing family activities; you’ll never recapture that lost time. To be sure you value family time as much as your business appointments, write them on your paper calendar or enter them on your handheld device. If you occasionally must cancel family dates, have a heart-to-heart talk with loved ones to explain why.

A hypothetical explanation might be, “I know I promised to take you to the baseball game (dinner, park), but I have to break our date. We’ll reschedule for next week. I appreciate your understanding. This is important to our family’s well-being and could mean a longer vacation next summer.”

Source: Nelson Zide, CRB, CRS®, broker, ERA Key Realty Services, Framingham, Mass.