My wife and I recently took a four-day vacation to Napa, California. We booked the trip months ago, and were looking forward to some relaxation. Of course I had my cell phone and laptop with me, but I didn’t anticipate working unless I absolutely needed to. Unfortunately, I needed to. I had a very difficult deal that was closing and needed my attention, which resulted in me spending part of the weekend sipping beautiful wine with my laptop in front of me.
Frustrating! Why is taking any time off so difficult? Could I have better planned for a more relaxing vacation?
As a real estate agent, why is taking time off so difficult? Most obviously, agents feel that if they aren’t working they aren’t making money. Unlike a traditional employee there isn’t a generous time-off policy or vacation accrual, and agents can feel like they will be missing out on a deal/lead/opportunity if they aren’t available because they are vacationing. Also, leaving town when your anxious client would prefer you to be available 24/7 can be tricky. Finally, agents know that real estate is unpredictable. Even the best laid vacation plans can be interrupted by unseen circumstances.
Why You Should Do It Anyway
Even though it can feel almost impossible to take a break, it is in your best interest and the best interest of your business to figure it out. This Inc.com article highlights that the benefits of vacations include; reduced stress, reduced chance of heart disease, and improved productivity. Taking some time off can also reduce physical stress symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, soreness, headaches and backaches.
The good news is, you don’t have to be unplugged long to reap the benefits. In this marketleader.com article, clinical psychologist Francine Lederer is quoted, “Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.”
How To Make Your Vacation As Relaxing As Possible
Now we all agree that it is difficult to take a break but you need to do it anyway because your physical health and the health of your business depend on it. What’s the best way to plan for your absence?
- Get help from a partner- Whether you already have a partner in your real estate business or can bring one on temporarily, this is the best way for your clients to still get personalized service while you are away. Maybe there is an agent in your office who is willing to “swap favors” or be paid to be help your clients while you are away. Whatever you do, be sure that any compensation and/or agreements between you and the other agent are in writing before you leave.
- Utilize an assistant- You can hire your own assistant temporarily (for example; odesk.com) or borrow one from a colleague. Having an extra set of eyes on the business while you are away can certainly help. Be specific about what the assistant is to monitor, paperwork that is expected to arrive, tasks that are to be completed, and when/how to get in contact with you if necessary.
- Plan ahead- To avoid some of these headaches, consider planning your vacation during slower times in your business. Don’t forget to prepare your clients for your time away and be specific about who will be helping them while you are gone. Finally, if you are like me you wouldn’t consider traveling completely unplugged. So worst case scenario, set guidelines and boundaries about how much and when you are going to check work emails and return calls so you can enjoy some uninterrupted downtime.
As painful as it may be to plan, taking a vacation is a must for your health and the health of your real estate business. The good news is, you can mitigate difficulties by getting help, planning ahead, and communicating with your clients. If all else fails, pour a glass of wine before you return that call!
Preston Group is here to guide our clients through the process of completing a real estate transaction. We have over 10 years experience in the Las Vegas real estate market, and do a majority of our business through referral and return business. We also happily accept commercial real estate referrals from other local real estate agents. Call Shawn M. Preston at 702.350.2289.
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