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    Between the ongoing pandemic and flu season just around the corner, everyone needs to have a contingency plan in case they get sick. As real estate agents, taking time off is not as easy as using a paid sick day, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

    How to keep your business running if you’re feeling under the weather

    If there’s one secret to keeping business up and running while you’re sick, it’s that you don’t want to wait until you get sick to come up with a plan. Instead, it’s important to be proactive and come up with a plan for how you intend to handle unanticipated days off before they occur.

    1. Build a team

    One of the most effective strategies is to build a team. With a team of your own, you’ll likely get a percentage of every deal that your team members close, which is a source of passive income. However, additionally, you’ll also have people to cover for you if you need to take a few days off.

    That said, keep in mind that building a team is a lot of responsibility. Those best suited to take this route will likely have a fair amount of experience in the business and a decent amount of leads coming in the door.

    2. Use the buddy system

    If you’re not quite ready to build a team of your own, you could consider partnering up with another agent in your office. It doesn’t have to involve any type of formal contract. You can simply agree to cover for one another when you need some time out of the office.

    The caveat, here, is that you need to be willing to reciprocate. When your buddy needs time away, you need to be willing to field their calls and take care of their clients.

    It’s extra work, but it might be worth having the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered if something happens.

    3. Hire an assistant

    In addition to partnering up with another agent, you may want to think about hiring an assistant. A good real estate assistant can handle your marketing, lead generation, and paperwork while you’re out of the office. They’ll also be able to keep tabs on what’s happening in your inbox.

    While a licensed assistant is ideal for this task because they will also be able to assist with appointments, it’s not absolutely necessary. You could also hire someone who simply does your back-end administrative tasks. You could also consider hiring a virtual assistant, who handles your tasks remotely.

    4. Push out your calendar

    If you can’t find anyone to cover for you, another option is to push out your calendar. By that, we mean scheduling events further out in your calendar than you normally might.

    For example, you could tell your clients that you’re booked for the next few days and would like to schedule appointments with them next week. Alternatively, there’s also no harm in telling the truth.

    While this isn’t necessarily a long-term solution, it will give you a few days to recoup when you’re feeling under the weather. Remember, work can often wait.

    Your health has to come first.

    5. Lean into referrals

    If you’re dealing with a chronic illness or other long-term health issue, you may want to lean into referrals. In real estate, giving another agent a referral involves connecting a client with another agent in exchange for a percentage of the transaction.

    There are companies out there that will facilitate referral connections between agents, but odds are that you may not need them. Most real estate offices have them, especially those under the umbrella of bigger-name brands.

    Ask your broker if you are unsure.

    6. Work remotely

    Finally, your other option is to work remotely. While it may not be the most glamorous sick day solution, it is what many agents do. Plus, as a silver lining of the pandemic, many agents and their clients have started to embrace technology more than they have in the past.

    If you’re feeling under the weather, make it a point to work from home for a few days. Make sure your laptop is connected to all your systems. Hold your client meetings over the phone or over zoom.

    The bottom line

    When you’re a real estate agent, there’s no such thing as paid time off — which means it’s absolutely crucial for agents to have a plan in place for when they get sick. Follow the tips above for how to keep your business running if you’re feeling under the weather.

    Armed with a contingency plan, you should be able to have the peace of mind that your business will be fine if you step away for a few days.

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