Working Around Your Buyer’s Unusual Schedule

By Phillip MacArthur

This year, while attending the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Summit Conference in Palm Springs, CA, I heard a reoccurring theme from my colleagues: How do you work with a buyer whose hours aren’t the typical 9-5?

In my experience, these buyers tend to be entrepreneurs, police officers, financiers, small business owners and healthcare professionals, whose jobs mandate they work early in the morning or late into the night. As their trusted real estate agents, we must adjust. But how?

Here are a few tips that have helped me manage these atypical clients. My advice:

  1. Communicate clearly. Let your client know exactly when you are available and open for business. Whenever possible, preschedule early morning or late evening meetings or phone calls so there is time for both parties to prepare.
  1. Have a long and trusted list of recommended suppliers. Be ready with a lengthy list of attorneys, mortgage brokers, inspectors, movers who have previously serviced your clients and received outstanding reviews and recommendations. This way, you won’t have to waste time figuring out which professional to call for what … and neither will your clients.
  1. Manage your buyer’s expectations throughout the financing process. I highly recommend strong lenders who have closed deals for your clients in the past. This ensures the greatest level of success and ease of transaction. You should also inform buyers that many lenders such as Residential Mortgage Services and Guaranteed Rate have online applications that buyers can complete quickly—in between meetings, appointments or even while sitting at an airport terminal, waiting for their next flight.
  1. Be an efficient agent. Use your time wisely to preview properties for your busy buyers ahead of time by checking out broker open houses and launch parties for new-construction development projects. As long as you have a good feel for what your client wants in a home, you can visit properties yourself and save the best houses for when you have your client with you. You can also set your client up with online searches through MLS or Real Scout that can deliver results right to their inbox, which they can scroll through in their own free time.

Even if your clients do work the typical 9-5 job and have more flexibility within their schedules, this blog post comes at an ideal time: the holidays! Everyone—and yes, I mean YOU—will be busier and busier as the holidays draw near, so give these four tips a try and see how they can help your business today!

PHILLIP MACARTHUR is an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential in Boston and a member of the national REthink council. You can reach him at

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