Frequently Asked Questions> Real Estate Agent

Do Real Estate Agents Get Vacation Time?

Did you know that in 2018, Americans wasted 768 million paid time off days? In fact, CNBC revealed that we are taking fewer and fewer days off. The number has been dropping significantly since 2000. 

But do these receding days off affect real estate agents? Do real estate agents get vacation time? Yes, they do. Though real estate agents can never enjoy paid time off owing to the fact that they are self-employed, they do, and most certainly should, take vacation time. 

This calls for effective time management, adaptive scheduling, and a lot of communication on their part.

Whether through putting your license on hold or creating time in your schedule, the theme of this article is rest.

Below, we will discuss how to step away from the client calls and carve out vacation time. By diving into this topic, you’ll gain valuable insights that could help improve your work-life balance and overall job satisfaction. Now, let’s embark on this journey together towards achieving a more balanced lifestyle in the world of real estate. 

Why You Need Time Off

The real estate industry is relentless. It demands a consistent push and an unquenchable desire to succeed. Most real estate agents earning six figures and above work 60+ hours a week.

But this unending and continually pounding quest for success often sees agents relinquishing their rights to a day off

Have you ever been there? A book in hand, cuddled up on a couch with a bowl of grapes or a box of pocky, enjoying the breeze of a cool Autumn day, then you start subconsciously reaching for your phone. 

 I mean, it takes insane inner strength to resist feeling for your phone when you are out of the office.

However, real estate agents must and should recognize the importance of taking time off, or else burnout is on the horizon.

Reduced Stress

For one, time off significantly dials back stress. The hustle and bustle of property showings, negotiations, and paperwork can sometimes be overwhelming.

But by pressing pause on the always-on grind, you regain perspective and patience, making you better equipped to manage your client’s needs. 

An agent who has taken ample rest can better focus on serving clients. A calm demeanor fostered by relaxation will also facilitate smoother communication between agents and clients.

Tip: Anxiety and irritation are tell-tale signs that you are stressed. If you find yourself in this position, try breathing exercises. Taking conscious breaths will help you realign and reduce stress.

Increased Focus

One thing we agents forget is that humans can only focus for long. Science actually quantifies this number and suggests our focus tends to dwindle after 10 to 52 minutes of concentrated effort. 

However, when you take mini-breaks post this period, you can maintain adequate concentration levels throughout the day without feeling drained.

Tip: When you are struggling to concentrate or can feel frustration rising, take a walk. Try a few mindful steps to the break room to get a bottle of water or stroll outside your office for some fresh air

Better Health

Yes, vacation time is great for your health. Taking time off to recoup and relax has long been associated with reduced health risks. 

One study proved that people who took time to recharge were less likely to suffer from depression. 

But the health benefits of vacation time for agents don’t stop with mental ease. Professionals suggest that overworking is closely associated with heart issues. Medical News Today published a comment from a clinical social worker who affirmed that constant work stress has been linked to heart disease.

Tip: Schedule a vacation at least twice a year. It doesn’t have to be a great European excursion. Just ensure you are relaxed and having a good time.

Increased Productivity

Sustaining productivity and peak performance absolutely necessitates periodic pit stops. It might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

Regularly disconnecting from work makes you less prone to making mistakes or stalling activities due to burnout. You not only get more done, but you do so efficiently.

According to Harvard Business Review, workers who took vacation time showed an 8% productivity increase. This is how HBR cited it: An Ernst & Young study showed that for every additional 10 hours of vacation time that employees took, their year-end performance improved 8%.

If you are aiming for peak performance, balance professional commitments with personal well-being.

Tip: Incorporate periods of relaxation into your schedule. Pick something you enjoy and can squeeze into your daily planner. Backed by a few essentials from the self-care aisle, turn your bathroom into a day spa or do something more exhilarating, like a bike ride to the park.

How to Plan Time-Off

Planning your time off as a real estate agent may seem like an impossible feat, but with the right strategy in place, it’s entirely achievable. The key lies in meticulous planning and effective communication.

Jot it Down

The best way to ensure your vacation aspirations become a reality is by incorporating these mini-breaks and vacation times into your schedule. Just as you would plot out property viewings or client meetings, mark out these rest periods on your calendar well ahead of time.

Don’t make the classic agent mistake of assuming that vacationing is optional. You have to hold yourself accountable, ensuring that this time is non-negotiable.

This not only provides something to look forward to but also helps maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Communicate Early

Communication plays an integral role when preparing for time off. It’s crucial that both clients and brokers are aware of any upcoming absence from work so they can adjust their expectations accordingly

This could involve informing them about the days you won’t be available or discussing ongoing deals that need attention before you head out on vacation.

Team Up with a Virtual Assistant

The beauty of the remote culture is that it has opened up the world and connected us to a global talent pool. You can reach in there and find a teammate to keep your business running smoothly, even during your absence. 

One such resource is virtual assistants, who can manage daily tasks while you recharge your batteries away from dealings.

Most virtual assistants are independent contractors, saving you from the hectic dealings of employee benefits plus remuneration.

Get a Substitute

There are chances that situations needing agent involvement may arise while you are on leave. Consider asking another agent to fill in temporarily during your absence as a cautionary measure for such events.

Take a day or two documenting your processes so the substituting agent understands how you and your clients interact and try to mirror that. Remember to also profile clients the sub-agent will work with. 

Armed with your processes and client profiling, the agent handling your transactions will know how to best communicate with your clients and ensure customer satisfaction.

Don’t forget to inform clients about arrangements beforehand to avoid confusion. 

But if the transaction you need to hand over is with a new client with whom you just started the home-buying process, then consider referring them. You can be on vacation but still expect a tidy referral fee.

Automate Processes

Before you pack your bags and head off to a tropical destination, remember to automate processes where possible. Automation will reduce manual intervention requirements.

Whether it’s auto-reply emails notifying people about your unavailability or automated social media posts keeping engagement alive, automation technology can help you savor the pleasure of downtime without compromising professional commitments.

Think of software like Agent Legend. This automated response software allows you to personalize your client responses.

My favorite part is how you can set every response to mimic you. With this feature, it will sound like you’re in the office even when you are away.

You could also use automatic data collection software or a CRM to keep segmenting market data even when you are not in the office. This way, you get work done even while away.

Employ Discipline

Real estate agents are terrible vacationers. Our commitment to duty and service often has us glued to our screens. But to truly unplug, you will need discipline.

Know your vacation style and stick to it. 

If you are making it a no-work vacation, don’t change along the way.  Set clear boundaries and let the office know it cannot call you unless it is an absolute emergency.

But if you still want to get work done while away, which I discourage, then set a time to do so. Pick a time of the day, perhaps the morning, to engage in work-related activities. 

This could be for an hour or two, but once that time lapses, turn the laptop off and enjoy your time off.

How to Solve the Financial Issues

The main reason agents are hesitant to take vacations is a monetary problem. As self-employed business owners, agents don’t have the luxury of paid time off. So what happens to their finances while they are away?

Agents can use the above substitution trick to handle tasks while away. You will have to split the commission with the sub-agent, but this route will guarantee you an income even while you are on holiday.

The Mandatory Off-Duty Hours

Taking time off might seem like a luxury you can’t afford. But it is an essential your body cannot afford for you to miss. Time away from real estate pressures is vital for maintaining your health, reducing stress levels, and increasing productivity.

Vacation time doesn’t mean putting success on pause; instead, it allows us to return refreshed and more productive than ever before.

Next Steps
Ready to start planning your vacation? Try these steps:

1. Incorporate rest periods into your schedule: Make sure vacation time is marked out on your calendar well ahead.
2. Communicate early: Inform clients and brokers about any upcoming absence from work.
3. Team up with a virtual assistant: Consider hiring an independent contractor to manage daily tasks.
4. Get a substitute: Ensure you have a real estate agent substitute to fill in for you where necessary during your absence.
5. Automate processes wherever possible: This could involve setting up auto-reply emails or automated social media posts.

Thoughts? Share them in the comments below! We’d love to hear about what works for you or any additional tips you may have discovered! 

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