As a real estate agent, it’s understandable that you’re swamped most of the year. Between home tours, open houses and preparing contracts and closings, it’s rare that you have a spare minute. However, it’s important for everyone to take time off, and we’ve reached that point in the year where agents should begin to think about their holiday vacation schedule.
While it’s still months away, the holiday season finds a way to sneak up on us, so it’s best to begin planning now.
We often assume we need to work harder and longer to reach our goals. However, as it turns out, vacation is great for productivity and work performance. Taking time off is correlated with lower levels of depression, stress, blood pressure and weight gain. When you allow yourself time to rest and rejuvenate, you’ll come back happier and more mentally-able to deal with your busy, often complicated work-life. As Ashton Gustafson says, “Our days need to be more and more about less and less,” otherwise we’ll burn out. While you might understandably be worried about how vacation will affect your real estate business, here are five tips that can help you take your vacation time without coming back to a disaster.
- Commit to your time
This is the most important step and is also often the hardest. In real estate, your downtime is often different from the rest of the working world. The real estate “on season” probably isn’t the best time for you to take a hiatus. While it may be different across the markets, generally the winter months aren’t as busy as Spring and Summer. Schedule time off during this time. Doing so will make it easier to commit, since you know you won’t be constantly thinking about what you’re missing in the office.
- Unplug from technology
Be honest — when you’re on vacation, are you really on vacation? Often, we still check our emails and answer phone calls to see if there’s anything that needs immediate attention. When you’re out of the office, take that time to unplug from technology and enjoy your rest. Set up an out-of-office email reply that lets senders know you’re on vacation, but that their business is still important to you. Here are some out-of-office responses that will inspire you to leave your phone alone for a few days.
- Call for backup
If you work with a team, ask one of your colleagues to keep in touch with your clients while you’re on vacation. Let them know you would be happy to do the same for them when they take a break from the office. If you don’t work with a team, think of a real estate “buddy” you may have who would be willing to help during your vacation time. If these options won’t work for you, consider hiring a temporary assistant who can field calls and work with your clients while you’re out. Don’t forget to inform your current clients when you’ll be out of town and who can help them if something comes up in your absence.
- Setup automated email campaigns
While you’re relaxing on a tropical beach or bundled up in your winter cabin, you can still keep in touch with your clients without even needing your laptop. Setup automated emails when you’re out of town and you’ll be sure your clients aren’t missing you. Simple touch campaigns like “Three Tips for Staging Your Home” or “Top Places to Visit in Chicago” are great ways to keep in touch with clients even when you’re out of the office. Add social links to the end of your emails so clients can connect with you through multiple platforms.
- Get back in the groove
When you get back to the office, it can be challenging to pick up where you left off. Before you leave, make a schedule of what you’ll need to do when you come back. Check your calendar for meetings, listing presentations or open houses, and be sure you’ll have the necessary materials before you leave. Once you get back to the office, sort through your emails and voicemails and prioritize them to figure out the most efficient way to catch up. Contact your current clients to let them know you’re in and find out if they need anything right away. If you had some help in the office, ask for a high-level list of what happened while you were away.
It can be challenging to plan vacation around your busy schedule, but remember that the rest and relaxation will pay off in the end and can help make this year your most productive ever. Want another way to be even more productive in the second half of the year? Get in front of home buyers and sellers who are ready to transact using Homes.com Local Connect Ads. Local Connect instantly brings you property inquiries from active buyers and sellers when they are ready to engage with you.
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