Author Topic: Agent Response Times  (Read 264 times)

Offline ASchumacher23

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Agent Response Times
« on: January 13, 2020, 01:53:32 PM »
Hello, all!

I'm new to this forum, though I found my agent last year by using the killer features on the main Query Tracker site. My agent is great, is passionate about my work, and I have felt from our first conversation that he "gets" what I do. The only issue I have is he can lag in responses to emails. To be fair, I have a tendency to be a tad obsessive and check my inbox far more often than anyone rightfully should. So in order to set a reasonable expectation I have a question for the other represented writers: How long does it typically take for your agent to respond to an email?

This doesn't include requests to review a new MS, outline, or other materials as I am aware that takes some time. I simply mean a check-in email or quick question. Understandably, this varies from agent to agent. I'm just looking for some peace of mind.

Thanks in advance!

- Alex
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 01:59:53 PM by ASchumacher23 »

Offline 217mom

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Re: Agent Response Times
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 03:52:07 PM »
Both my first and my now-agent were/are prompt responders to current clients. I know it varies, but the common agreement on business relations etiquette is to respond within forty-eight hours, (often much sooner) unless it is known either of you is out of internet reach for some reason.
If you feel your agent is way out of this range when it comes to pertinent questions you ask that require a response, talk to them about it. Don't let it fester, as some have and then finally became exasperated.

Offline ASchumacher23

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Re: Agent Response Times
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 04:41:20 PM »
48 hours, not counting weekends or holidays, is kind of the timeframe I had in my mind. I wasn't sure if that was being reasonable. I suppose it's also fair to point out that this is a boutique agency and he has been the Director of Operations in addition to managing his client list. Regardless, I'll probably need to have that conversation with my agent.

Thanks so much for the response, 217mom!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 04:45:10 PM by ASchumacher23 »

Offline 217mom

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Re: Agent Response Times
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 05:05:51 PM »
I should have added just as you did-- "not counting weekends and holidays." No, you're not unreasonable.  :yes:

I noted many in this business accept much longer response times. If this is clear and agreed upon (and adhered to) then longer turn around is fine, of course.  :up:

Important to add this only pertains to contracted clients. It bears no relation to unsolicited mail of any kind. You asked about YOUR agent. You're already in a business relationship.
Make sure you don't just check-in with nary a thing to say and expect a fast reply, although some writer/agent do have set check-in routines. Many don't, and some agents don't seem to respond to a "so is there anything new?" sort of email, though both of mine would, had I sent such. (No, I didn't/don't )

Offline ASchumacher23

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Re: Agent Response Times
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 06:14:24 PM »
All good points. You are correct in that I am only asking about contracted clients. I don't tend to email my agent unless there's a pressing issue and/or I haven't heard anything in several months (as we're actively on submission). He's a good guy and agent, so I don't want to assume anything or make any impulsive decisions about our business arrangement just yet... But I suppose we'll see  :shrug:

I appreciate all of the input!

Offline tartrhubarb

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Re: Agent Response Times
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 10:13:33 AM »
My agent can take up to a week if it's not something time-sensitive, but responds to urgent emails within a day or even hour. I think it's reasonable to expect variation in how long it takes agents to reply based off the urgency of the email, how many other clients they have, time of year, etc.

Offline Tabris

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Re: Agent Response Times
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2020, 08:58:37 AM »
When I had an agent, I tended to preface things with, "No response necessary," "Not urgent at all--take your time" and "I'd like to hear back soonish please." And then not over-use the "soonish" bits.

Interestingly, when I would do the "Not urgent," she frequently responded faster. I have no idea why. But I figured since we were both theoretically in the communications field, we should communicate our expectations. (Also, an agent who can't negotiate a compromise with his or her own client is probably not going to be a good negotiator when it comes to contracts either, so it's better to know how they respond to reasonable requests about timeframes.) :-D