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    Taking a vacation is hard for any self-employed person, but for real estate agents — particularly those in today’s red-hot market, the premise seems even more impossible.

    Any hours you’re away from the job, you’re losing money. And what about all those clients who rely on you? What will they do while you’re off soaking in the rays on the beach?

    The truth is they’ll be just fine — as long as you have a plan. 

    Are you hoping to take a much-needed vacation this summer?

    Then heed these four tips to keep your career on track while you’re gone.

    1. Appoint a colleague (or several) to cover your clients.

    Get with a few colleagues and agree to a vacation coverage plan.

    They can cover one or two of your clients while you’re away, and you do the same for them. Just make sure to mark out which weeks each of you plans to be gone, so there’s no overlap.

    You can even offer some sort of referral fee or compensation split if you’d like to really ensure your clients are taken care of.

    2. Give your clients plenty of heads up.

    Don’t wait until the week before to tell your clients you’ll be out of town. Instead, let the client know as soon as they sign their contract.

    Even if your trip isn’t for two or three months, giving them an early heads up helps them set realistic expectations.

    After all, in today’s low-inventory market, you never know how long a buyer may be searching.

    3. Automate what you can.

    Put things on autopilot where possible. Get Hootsuite to post on social media while you’re gone, and go ahead and schedule out those marketing emails for the next few weeks.

    You can also set up an email autoresponder and use a chatbot to field any questions from your website.

    4. Make your plan known.

    Be absolutely clear about when you’ll be gone and how much access your clients will have to you. Post it on your email signature and social media accounts, and leave it on your voicemail message too.

    Make sure to include instructions about who people should contact in your stead — a colleague, your broker, your assistant? Include their name, phone number, email, and any other contact info your clients might need.

    Bottom Line: Take that vacation!

    The housing market has moved at breakneck speeds these last few years, so if you haven’t taken a vacation lately, it’s probably time to.

    Before you head out, make sure to stock up on these must-read summer books and download these real estate podcasts for the plane ride.

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