Something happened to me this week that really got me thinking...

A friend of mine sells and installs custom blinds. It so happened that I needed some installed for a property and so I gave him a shout. Within a couple of days, he came by, took measurements and went through all the options.

As he was wrapping up, I asked: 'What's the time frame for this? When can I expect blinds to be up?"

He goes: "Seb, right now is a tough time. My cousin is very sick and my wife is due in a couple weeks. Usually, this would take about 3 weeks, but given the circumstances, it will be longer. I hope you understand"

I should preface this by saying that this is his family business - dad/son/uncle ...all working together so when something happens within the family, all are affected.

Now back to his answer... I didn't think twice, I completely understood. Whether blinds take 3 weeks or 6 weeks, didn't really matter to me. Besides, having been through similar circumstances myself, I have total empathy for those who are experiencing difficult times. I appreciated his honesty as a matter of fact.

However, a few hours later, this really made me think...

How can a business owner who works in any customer service industry fulfill his obligations towards his clients if he ever ran into personal/familial problems that required him to take time off?

Oh wait... I am in that situation...I do run my own business....which is exactly why I replayed the conversation in my head over again.

In fact, this is precisely why I decided, over year ago, to start working with a team, to prevent the above scenario from happening to me. Let's face it, we always hear about the 24/7 realtor, relentlessly working away while never taking a break. Is this cliché realistic?

No... life events happen more often than we think and require us to shift our focuses or momentarily redirect our priorities.

Vacations, births, deaths, weddings...the list goes on... would you be understanding if your agent said: "I am taking the next week off, so any offers will have to wait". Does your agent have a backup plan should he or she not be able to answer a call, or review an offer or show your home over an extended period of time? It is a question that needs to be answered (I wont even get into the part time agents). Seriously though, life events occur at any time and if you are trusting someone to sell or buy the biggest asset you'll ever own, you are better off asking the question.

I get it, blinds and selling a home are completely different...which is probably why it didn`t bother me one bit or maybe it was the reasons for the delay - would I have been understanding if he told me he is going on a three week vacation?

Would you care more when tens of thousands of dollars are at stake with homes and seconds, minutes and hours of unresponsiveness can cripple a transaction. Problem is, more times then not, the buyer or seller has no clue what is going on behind the scenes.

This is really the main benefit of a team environment. It`s the peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens to your main agent, you've got someone else working for you and that has just as much to gain from a successful transaction.

You are paying alot of money for an agent to represent you and your best interest... make sure there is a contingency plan if your realtor is unavailable.