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Vacation Prep

June 23, 2016


Today will be one of my most productive days all year! The reason? I am on vacation starting tomorrow!

Are you like that also? Super focused and productive right before you leave for a trip or vacation. It is amazing the things you can get done in a short period of time when the goal is right in front of you and the motivation is there.

Taking vacations can feel difficult in this business. I've known many agents over the years who never tell their clients that they will be away for fear of losing something. I've known agents who basically work through their whole vacation, just in a different location. Getting away can be hard, but is worth it and necessary, and your business does not need to stop in order for you to have that break.

Today I will notify all of my current clients who have active or under contract listings, buyer's who are under contract or actively looking, agents I am involved in transactions with currently, as well as potential clients that I am talking with but who have not signed yet that I will be away. I will introduce them (via email) to my business partner who is covering for me and I make the point to tell them that my partner can do everything for them that I can ... Show property, write contracts, negotiate offers on their listing with them, get a new listing started, etc. I think it is important to specifically say the words of what they can do so there is no confusion or fear to reach out to them.

I also send a summary email of what and who I have pending or is likely to pop up while I am away to my partner that is covering for me, and tonight or tomorrow morning I will change my voicemail to indicate that I am out of the office and provide her number as well as set my email out of office auto reply. 

With so many people texting these days, I also set up a keyboard shortcut (on the iPhone, it is under settings, general, keyboard, text replacement) that says that I am out of the office until 7/6 and to please contact my partner and provide her number. This way if I get a text, I only have to type in a few letters to get this message to pop up and send vs typing it all out each time and looking up my partners phone number.

While I am away, I don't communicate about work with anyone but the person covering me and only if necessary. I do check my email, usually in the morning before the rest of my family is up and sometimes in the afternoon. The only time I respond is if it is a new client/referral reaching out to me for the first time, in which case I reply and connect them with my partner and assure them that they can help in my absence until I return. Anything else that may come through that is time sensitive I will forward to my partner in case they didn't get the message.

I've been doing vacations like this 2-3 times a year throughout my career for as far back as I can remember and as far as I am aware has never cost me any business. 

My very first year in business, maybe 6 weeks into my career, we had an extended family vacation scheduled that had been scheduled for months. I had a buyer that I was working with who wasn't very respectful of my time, and I was too new and unsure and didn't have enough other prospects to manage that confidently. Not only did I start my vacation late by a day or two to accommodate him, but we came back early after only 3-4 days there. I effectively ruined not only my vacation, but my soon to be husbands as well, and impacted that of the family we were vacationing alongside. That buyer never bought anything. Ever. Not from me, or anyone else (I checked the tax records). I vowed after that experience never to let that happen again. 

What are your plans this summer? How will you handle your business while you are on vacation?

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