With the "official" first day of summer this weekend, this seems like a good time to kick off our summer challenges series. Today's topic is how to handle vacations and keep your business going at the same time.
We all need a vacation, am I right? It can be so hard in this industry to truly unplug. We worry that we will lose opportunities. We worry that clients we are working with will start working with someone else. We want to take excellent care of our clients at all times and worry that they won't feel or be taken care of if we are away.
My first summer in business I had a pre-planned vacation shortly after I started that was scheduled with extended family even before I knew I would be going into real estate. I was brand new, and working hard for every opportunity I could find. There was a buyer I had just started working with before I left. I was panicked that I would lose them. I spent hours while on our vacation on the phone, sending listings, addressing concerns. We left for our vacation 2 days late so I could show him more houses, and then after being gone on 3 or 4 days, came home early so I could show them more. Not fair to me, my husband or my family that we were vacationing with. I'm sure you can figure out the punch line ... they NEVER bought a house. Ever. Not from me, not from anyone. Of course there was a lesson in pre-qualifying there that I didn't understand yet as a new agent which is a great story for another day. Bottom line is I vowed not to do that to my family again.
I am a firm believer that you can (and must) take a little time away for your self and your family and that your business and clients will not suffer. In my business I have always had a trusted colleague and/or assistant cover for me while I am away. I set the expectation with my clients who will be taking care of them while I am gone, I make it clear that they can expect the same attention from that person while I am away (showings for buyers, handling contracts, showing feedback for sellers, etc). My voicemail and email out of office auto reply refers any "new" business to the person covering for me. Typically, depending on what is going on, I may check in once a day or so with the person covering for me. This has always worked beautifully for me and (knock on wood) without issue during vacations and even 3 maternity leaves. Once while on a 2 week vacation, Stacy Farrey Malloneeratified 4 contracts for me while I was away. Best. Vacation. Ever.
How do you handle vacations and time off? What works for you?