Real Estate Agents, Here’s How to Keep Your Business Up-and-Running While You Take Vacation
When you work for yourself, taking time off can be tough. As a result, many real estate agents find themselves working through family vacations or trips.
However, with enough planning and due diligence, it doesn’t have to be that way. Read on below to learn our best tips for how to keep your business up and running — even when you’re away from the office.
5 tips for real estate agents who want to go on vacation
1. Plan ahead.
The first thing to do is to make sure you plan your time away accordingly. While you also need to plan for your flight and your hotel, in this case, we’re talking about planning to go away when your business will be slow. That way, there will be less distractions on your vacation and you’ll have less work to catch up on when you return.
For most agents, this means planning to go away between late summer and the fall slow down. However, if you live in a resort area, you may want to think about going away in your particular off-season.
2. Trade coverage with a fellow agent.
Once you set a time for your vacation, see if you can trade coverage with one of your fellow agents. Here, trading coverage means that they will take care of your current clients while you are away. In return, you will agree to do the same for them while they go on vacation.
Trading coverage is often the best way to go away without having to worry that no one is minding the store. By setting a quid pro quo relationship with another agent, you can rest assured that your clients will be taken care of. After all, your partner-in-crime will want you to do the same when it’s time for them to go away.
For best results, it’s a good idea to look for a partner who runs their real estate business similarly to your own. In particular, look for someone who has a similar amount of experience and transactions.
3. Hire help.
If you can’t find someone who is able to trade time off with you, the next step is to hire help. While it may not be ideal to have to pay someone to help you keep your business afloat, it’s better than spending all of your vacations on your computer or letting new opportunities fall by the wayside.
In this case, you may want to think about hiring a licensed assistant. Not only will a licensed assistant be able to help you with your office tasks, but they will also be able to assist you with agent-only duties such as taking buyers out on showings or writing up offers.
Ideally, if you bring a licensed assistant onto your team, it’s best to do so well in advance of when you’re planning on going away. That way, you will give your assistant time to learn how your business works, as well as what’s going on with each of your current clients. It may mean spending extra money, but it should be well worth it in the end.
4. Tell your current clients.
Then, a little while before your vacation, make sure that you start to tell your clients of your plans. Giving them time will allow them to adjust their schedules accordingly. Typically, doing so results in being extra busy before you go away, but it also often gives you the opportunity to get work done ahead of time.
If you’re worried about your clients not understanding your decision to take a break, don’t be. Generally, people are understanding about the fact that everyone needs to take time away from work. However, if they are not in that group, it may be worth letting them go anyway. Truth be told, anyone who doesn’t understand that you deserve to take a break is likely going to be a problem client.
When you leave for vacation, be sure to put your out-of-office message on your email and voicemail, as well as the contact information for the person covering for you. Doing so will give you the opportunity to inform any new clients when you will be able to get in touch with them.
5. Resist the urge to work.
Finally, once you’re on vacation, be sure to shut down. Many times, agents deal with anxiety about taking time away from their business and find it hard to put down. However, you won’t be able to really enjoy yourself if you’re always trying to return phone calls or answer emails.
With that in mind, do your best to step away. If you need to, have someone who you are traveling with hold you accountable for taking a break. They can help remind you that you’re off the clock when you slip away to try and get some business done.