The Time Between
By Datta Khalsa, Broker
Real estate agents and the people who live with us are all too familiar with the intricacies of an ongoing tug-of-war between the opportunities and obligations of your work life and your commitment to be present for the ones you spend the rest of your time with.
One of the appeals of a career in real estate is the lack of a 9 to 5 grind and the drudgery of being tied to a particular workplace for hours and days on end. Instead, you have the freedom to set your own hours. The tricky part comes with what happens when you replace a single boss with multiple clients to answer to, as you strive to equally meet the needs of your clients as well as your friends and family in a way that you don’t lose the connection with either one.
To achieve this, a good portion of an agent’s work is done during what I refer to as “the time between”, when you’re in the midst of something else and a business call comes in. As often as not, these moments occur at home or in the car where you are able to catch up on your calls, messages and projects. But in a world where you can be available anywhere you have 2 bars of service and LTE, a work situation can just as easily materialize out on the trail, on the court, in the water or up on a ski lift.
Calls and texts happen at all hours, and a healthy work-life integration can only be reached when you are able to acknowledge the incoming communication in a way that meets the need of the person reaching out while respecting the space of the people around you, be it in either a private or a public place.
While this may sound simple in theory, it can get complicated when weighing whether to take that call in the car surrounded by family members or send out a quick text to the person trying to reach you, letting them know how soon you will be able to get back to them. The most successful agents seem to be the ones who can remain accessible on short notice to their clients, while doing it in a way that respects their friends’ and loved ones’ need for them to be present for those moments in life that you often don’t get a second chance to experience.
Success has many measures, and for me the fullest measure is the level of personal connection we are able to share with the individuals we come in touch with every day. At any given moment, this can be equally important for anyone with whom we have a relationship of trust to uphold—kids and animals often being the most important of all—as we strive to balance our lives between happy families, happy friends, happy clients, personal enrichment and a productive career.