The hardest part of vacationing as a freelance real estate agent is finding the “right” time to travel, while still serving the clientele that currently runs your business as well as those that come to you through referrals. There are many benefits to taking a vacation – stress relief, time to recharge, times to connect with family and friends – but where is the balance between serving customers and taking time to enjoy life? ? Are working holidays an acceptable solution?
A working holiday: the time when a person brings their office with them on a trip, attending to only the most important business and allowing everything else to be answered with a cordial response when absent from the office. Many real estate agents are used to working holidays, trying to close deals from their cellphones while sitting on a beach, but the benefits of handling things while they’re away are huge.
First, a working holiday allows you to bond with other people in your office. Instead of being completely self-contained, this is a great opportunity to ask, “Would you cover a date for me while I’m away?” I’d be happy to treat you to lunch when I get back. Many agents are happy to do it for another, knowing that one day they might need a favor in return. In the meantime, you, the agent, will benefit from not losing business and you will have a great opportunity to chat one-on-one with your colleague over lunch to share knowledge about building wealth. Why not collaborate with your colleagues instead of competing with them? This strategy enables interconnectivity in the office, while simultaneously shaping a stronger, more connected office culture.
Second, you can manage everything from your phone. Technology is more efficient, flexible and easier to use than ever. For example, many agents can execute contract documents from their phones. Business can be easily managed from a mobile phone, which means that it is no longer necessary to go to the office to write, scan or print contracts. Instead, you could sit on the beach and write a contract while soaking up the sun. Many agents have mastered the art of email signatures to include typical explanations. Personally, my email signatures include a line-by-line summary of what a person signs on a contract. I can send this email following an emailed contract, and within moments of editing, my client can know what they are signing without in-person consultation. Email systems may even notify the creator that “all signatures have been collected; here is the final copy of your document. Then you can easily send it to the necessary parties.
Third, your customers want a human, not just an agent. It’s best to connect with your customers over stories and similarities. Every homeowner or homebuyer deserves a great relationship with their agent, and by taking a vacation, you can actually improve that relationship. As you travel, clients will likely be willing to work with you. Everyone also wants work-life balance – not someone who burns out and can’t do their job well.
To reap the benefits of a working holiday, it’s wise to hire an assistant. Many agents worry that their company will suddenly change and they may not be able to hold a salaried position. What these agents often don’t realize is how much an assistant can revolutionize your business. When countless hours of the week are open due to paperwork handled by someone else, appointments scheduled by a professional scheduler, or office-related tasks done without your presence, more business can be achieved. Your assistant is able to cover you during your vacation, so take advantage of it.
Take a vacation during the time you want to travel; don’t wait for off-season, unusual or dark times just to benefit others. The summer season is always one of the most stressful and hectic for agents. Why not take advantage of a few days off to recharge your batteries and maintain your activity, because your mental health is in better shape after your absence? The benefits of vacation are worth it, and businesses can travel 24/7 from anywhere in the world, so take advantage of it.