Do you have a vacation planned for this summer? I sure hope so. Whether it's a weekend getaway to the mountains or a 7-day stay at the beach, taking time off from work to relax, recharge, and have some fun is oh so important.
Yes, You're Allowed To Take Vacation Days!
You might feel guilty about taking time off from work, but that's just poisonous hustle culture whispering in your ear. Besides, there's research that shows taking breaks from work can actually increase productivity.
"A new and growing body of research shows that strategic renewal—including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations—boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, health."
- Dave Crumby, founder & CEO, Realvolve
Still not convinced that you deserve a vacation? Take a look at how many paid vacation days employees receive in other countries compared to the United States.
Data from Statista shows that in the United Kingdom, employers are required by law to provide 28 days of paid time off in addition to the 9 public holidays. In the U.S., PTO isn’t even a requirement; it’s up to the companies to decide how many vacation days they’ll offer (and whether or not those will be paid). If our neighbors across the pond are taking a full month of vacation days, don’t you think you deserve (at the very least) a couple of weeks of fun and relaxation?
And one final point: What's the point of working so hard to make a living that you don't actually do the "living" part?
Even if you're the busiest real estate agent in the world, you can take that beach trip. You can book that AirBnB and buy those plane tickets. You can take your kids to Disney or let yourself be whisked away on a second honeymoon. All you have to do is a little bit of prep to ensure your real estate business keeps running smoothly in your absence.
"It’s not within our biological rhythm to have sustained energy and interest (or inspiration) for long periods of time. We need alternating periods of rest, adventure, and other activities to keep our brains and bodies fueled and inspired."
- Dave Crumby, founder & CEO, Realvolve
How To Keep Your Real Estate Business Running Smoothly While You're On Vacation
All it takes is a few preparations and you'll be able to fully relax on your vacation, knowing that your clients will be cared for and your business won't fall apart without you.
1) Figure out who will cover for you.
You can't leave your clients hanging, especially those that are actively engaged in a transaction with you. If you have an assistant who already helps you manage clients, they'll be a huge help while you're gone. But it's also a good idea to have another licensed agent available for anything outside the assistant's wheelhouse.
Prior to your vacation, have a meeting with your assistant and/or covering agent to review your current deals with clients.
Be sure to work out how you'll compensate the covering agent. One real estate agent posted on Reddit, saying, "I pay an agent to be on standby for showings, inspections, emergencies when I'm out of town. Usually $100 is agreeable for them to cover 3-5 days." Even if nothing happens, they still pay the agent for covering for them.
Other options include splitting commissions and paying referral fees for leads generated in your absence.
2) Set boundaries.
Decide whether you'll be going totally off-the-grid or making it a "working vacation." For instance, you might not want to receive any work correspondence unless it is an absolute emergency—if a buyer pulls out, if a listing comes back under-appraised, etc. Or you might choose to dedicate a one-hour time block at the same time each day for responding to work-related emails, texts, and calls.
3) Communicate your plans to your clients, colleagues, and broker.
Once your boundaries are set and your plans are made, communicate those details to your assistant, covering agent, and all of your other work colleagues. You should also inform your broker of your vacation days at least two weeks in advance of your time off.
Next, put together an email to go out to your clients. It should include the following details:
- the dates you'll be out of town
- the name and contact information of the person who will be covering for you, answering your emails, communicating with your clients, etc.
- how reachable you'll be ("I'll be available every morning from 9-10am if you need to call or text.
4) Automate as much as possible.
Automation also makes it way easier to go on vacation.
With Realvolve, you can create automated workflows for all of your different processes. These workflows will notify you when a task is due (Pick up lockbox at 123 Main St.) or automatically perform a task (like send a pre-written email on a client's birthday). When you have all of your processes built out as workflows, it makes it easy for your assistant or covering agent to take over all of your tasks. They can see what needs to get done today for all of your clients, and they can see the history of your communications with each client. If they aren't exactly sure how to carry out a task, they can read the instructions you included when you built your workflow.
As you can imagine, the initial setup is a beast, but once you have everything built into workflows, it's so worth it. Imagine sitting on the beach, sipping an ice-cold drink, digging your toes in the sand—and knowing that all of your clients are entirely taken care of.
Even the busiest agents (and the biggest control freaks) can enjoy vacation when they use Realvolve.
The beach? The mountains? An urban escape? Life is for living, so make all of the preparations you need to make so you can get out of town for some fun and relaxation!