By Nico Hohman
You’ve been in business for a few years now and everything is going well. You are hitting your numbers, achieving your goals, and you are making a mark in your local community.
As a real estate agent you are always on. Your phone is always on. You are always on your email, and you are always ready and willing to take on the next client.
But is that really the best way to run your business?
Sure, you may be hitting your numbers, achieving your goals, and making a mark in your local community, but is that all you are doing? These things are great to achieve on a micro level, but what are you missing on a macro level?
The only way to test your business to see if it’s working – to see if it’s really profitable – is to take a break from your business.
And what better way to take a break from your business than to take a vacation?
Taking a vacation offers several benefits to both your personal life and your business.
From a personal perspective, taking a vacation is an excellent way to release stress, open your brain to more creative thinking, and immerse yourself in experiences that are new and that might even make you uncomfortable. Getting yourself out of your comfort zone is an excellent way to get your life back in order or on a new track.
From a business perspective, taking a vacation offers several important benefits.
First, when you are working every day in your business it’s tough to plan two weeks into the future, let alone two years into the future. But when you stop working every single day, you can more clearly see what your future in the business will be like.
Secondly, when you take a vacation it forces you to have systems in place to operate your business when you aren’t there. Realistically, you should plan a vacation a few weeks to a few months in advance so you can prepare for an extended absence. Let your clients and vendors know that you will be unreachable for two (or hopefully more) weeks. Have your email and phone away messages set. Have a lead generation and project management system ready to go whenever a new or existing client has a pressing issue. And most definitely have someone you can rely on to help manage your business while you are out.
Finally, when you take a vacation, it helps you realize who the people are that you really want to be working with. If you get three phone calls a day from a client or vendor whom you already made aware that you will be on vacation, it can be tempting to pick up the phone and answer their calls. But the best thing to do is not answer their calls. If, like in the previous step, you have all of your systems in place before you go, you should not need to answer a single phone call or email while you are away. And perhaps when you get back to working full time, it might be best to have a conversation with your clients and vendors about expectations and limitations that they should have for you and your business.
If you think that taking a vacation seems like an impossible task, you are most likely the best candidate to test your business and take a vacation.
And once you’re on vacation, remember, taking business calls and checking your email while you’re away is not a badge of honor. It is nothing to be respected or bragged about. Honor your vacation time and it will pay you back in the long run.
Nico Hohman is a Tampa-based real estate pro with NextHome Discovery who works on renovation and rehab properties. Learn more about Nico at hohmanhomes.com or connect on Twitter: @thenicohohman.
I have been selling for 38 years and love every minute of it. When I started I worked 7 days a week because I was always thinking of a client or previewing properties and I always answered my phone. I found that every 7 or 8 weeks I started slowing down so my husband and I got away for a week or two and NEVER answered a phone or called in. I relied on my real estate partner to handle whatever came up. So, every two months we started going to the coast or flying to Hawaii for our vacations and once a year I took a month off to travel with our children. My business flourished, I always came back refreshed and ready to go. I now leave the business in the hands of my daughter/partner in real estate and still don’t take a phone or iPad. I’ve always told my staff that if I receive a call from them it better be because they need my blood. When the phone rings I answer, O positive. Travel also allows you to share stories with your clients and I have gained so many clients in my travels! It’s a WIN/WIN…trust me!!
The longer an agent has been in the business, the more critical it is for them to take regular vacations. This is a very stressful profession and agents need to have the time to take a break: at least 3 short vacations or 2 long ones a year. Ideally 1 long one and 2 short ones. This will help agents last longer and be more productive and motivated, which is a win-win for everyone, including the clients.