Buying June 12, 2012

Friday Night at 9pm: Bad Time to Request a Saturday Showing

This past Friday evening, I was having my usual crazy start to the weekend, at my desk, nursing a Diet Coke, and figuring out the median price of homes in Chappaqua for the month of May, when the email came in.

We would like to see the house you have listed at XX Rd Saturday as close to noon as possible. 

I counted backwards from 10, and then the text came, because all email inquiries on our listings have an accompanying text alert so we don’t miss anyone. 2 minutes later, another email came from the same people. And the text. Sometimes that happens- maybe they clicked twice.

10 minutes later, another email to my inbox.

We still haven’t heard from anyone. Should we contact another agency? 

I checked my watch. Friday, 8:53 pm.

There is a temptation to scream into the pillow or fire off an email in response that says something to the effect of

News flash! Did you know agents work weekends and might already have our appointments set? Should we  throw the folks we already have appointments with to the curb just for you?

However, tact is the better way to do business. There are two kinds of people who make inquiries like this: Sincere people who don’t know all the nuances of our industry, and unreasonable types who go to a Yankee-Red Sox game in late September and complain about the crowds. Better to err on the side of the former until you know otherwise.

Real estate licensees do have our busy time on weekends, and we are often done filling our schedules for Saturday and Sunday by the end of the prior Thursday. While there is a small “on call” side to the business, we really do more by appointment, especially in a busy spring season on a weekend. Earlier in the week is better if you can only look on a weekend.

I explained this is a tactful way via email, and then after a brief a phone call, the folks understood graciously and we are all set for next Saturday. If we never sell them a house, we have educated the consumer.

Now if all of us in the industry could do that…