Real estate agents work on a schedule that is different from much of the rest of the working world. When others go home after a long day at work, real estate agents often contend with emails and phone calls well into the night. Although one of the benefits of working as a real estate agent is the ability to set a personalized schedule, it may become apparent that clients have their own ideas about office hours. This guide will help you find ways to unplug without losing clients and leads.
The Need to Unplug
Real estate agents often need to work more than full-time in order to maximize income. Setting up open houses, responding to emails from leads, and creating a plan of action for sellers can be draining and eat up hours throughout the day. There is no doubt that real estate is a busy career field.
At the same time, you cannot discount the benefit of relaxation for your physical and emotional health. Running yourself ragged every day could actually set you back in the long run. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, regular vacations and days off keep you going. They refresh your mind and your body, allowing you to approach work with a new outlook when you return.
All too many people find themselves checking emails each day, even on days off and while on vacation. Does this count as unplugging? Certainly not. When you are “off work,” take this seriously by truly letting yourself go off the grid. This will allow you to truly reap the benefits.
Does Going Off the Grid Lose Leads?
Obviously, disappearing without warning for days on end is likely to result in losing clients quickly. If a lead does not hear back from you in a professionally fast manner, he or she is likely to turn elsewhere. Nobody wants to work with somebody they believe could easily disappear off the face of the planet at the drop of a hat, right? This is how leads will be influenced by your unplugging.
There are a few things you can do to avoid losing leads. If you have leads waiting to hear back from you, warn them about your vacation as early as possible. You can easily do this by sliding a quick comment into your email or text message. A simple, “I also just wanted to let you know that I will be traveling next week. I will be back in the office on (date) to answer any questions,” will suffice.
One of the best ways to avoid losing leads is to vacation when the market is slow, typically during the cold months. Of course, everybody is tempted to go on vacation in the summer when the weather is typically most desirable, but this is also the time when people want to move. Clients want to get into their new homes before the holidays and the school year, after all.
As you can see, there is no need to lose clients and leads if you handle your upcoming vacation ahead of time. Planning ahead is important.
Tips for Balancing Unplugging and Business
One thing to remember is that social media can go far, even if you can’t. Facebook and Instagram with schedule posts can prevent potential clients from believing you have gone off the grid completely. Apps like Buffer can help you schedule content while you are away from your phone or computer. This means that people reading your social media will never even realize that you are out of town and not at work.
There is also benefit to working with other real estate agents and brokers. Splitting a commission may not seem enticing at first, but when you realize that you will be able to take a vacation every once in a while, you might be intrigued. When you are not the only person bearing the workload, it can seem much simpler to handle everything.
Of course, working with a broker or real estate partner is not for everybody. In some cases, a personal assistant is the most helpful solution. You can even find virtual assistants online to help you unplug even for just an hour or so each day. This will allow you to have some time to unwind with the family. If you want to have eyes and ears on your business while you are at home or perhaps even overnight, a personal assistant may be key.
Establishing rules and settings for forwarding is helpful too. To start, you can establish your own ground rules about when to respond to people. For example, you might want to set a rule that you only check your emails twice each day. Additionally, you can select quiet hours during which you can tell your phone not to ring.
Automatic replies will provide information for potential leads. If you do not want to scare away new leads who might email or call you while you are on vacation or a long weekend, you can utilize automatic replies that will address them immediately. Leads will appreciate the information about when you will get back in touch.
Finally, don’t be afraid to set boundaries on a daily basis. You have the right to an unplugged personal life just like each of your clients do. It is acceptable to address clients during reasonable hours during which you do business.
Getting away, even in short doses, is essential to your real estate career. When you come back from a session of going off the grid, you will feel motivated and ambitious. You will feel ready to come back to your clients and reach out to leads in potentially unexpected ways.
When you feel the need to unplug, don’t forget about those required continuing education courses. They can actually help you learn a lot about working in the real estate industry more efficiently, allowing you to save time where it really matters. Contact us for more information about real estate continuing education courses.