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Get Away This Year!As a real estate agent, we understand that you’re swamped most of the year. Between home tours, open houses and preparing contracts and closings, it’s rare that you have a spare minute to yourself. However, since it’s the beginning of the year, now is the perfect time to plan your vacation time for 2016.

We often assume we need to work harder and longer to reach our goals. However, as it turns out, vacation is actually good for your productivity and work performance. It’s shown to correlate with lower levels of depression, stress, blood pressure and weight gain. When you allow yourself to take time off, you’ll come back happier and more mentally-able to deal with your busy, often complicated worklife.

1. Commit to Your Time 
In real estate, your downtime is often different from the rest of the working world. While most people aim to take their vacation during the spring and summer, this time is usually when the real estate market is at its peak. Instead of setting time to travel when you’ll be the busiest, schedule time off during your slow season. This will make it easier to commit, since you know you won’t be constantly thinking about what you’re missing in the office.

2. Set Up Automated Emails 
Keep in touch with your clients even when you’re out of town with
automated emails. Simple touch campaigns like “Three Tips for Staging Your Home” or “Top Places to Visit in ____” are great ways to keep in touch with clients even when you’re out of the office. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly so viewers can easily read them. Also, add social links to the end of your emails so clients can connect with you through multiple platforms.  

3. Unplug from Technology 
Let’s be honest. When most of us are on vacation, we’re not really on vacation. We still take the time to check our emails and answer phone calls to see if anything has come through that needs our immediate attention. While you’re out of the office, try to take that time to unplug from technology and enjoy your rest. Set up an out-of-office email reply that lets senders know you’re on vacation, but that their business is still important to you. Here are some
out-of-office responses that will inspire you to leave your phone alone for a few days.

4. Call in Support 
If you work with a team, ask one of your colleagues to keep in touch with your clients while you’re on vacation. Be sure to offer to do the same for them when they take a break from the office. If you don’t work with a team, think of a real estate “buddy” you may have that you can pair up with when either of you are out. If these options won’t work for you, consider hiring a temporary assistant who can field calls and work with your clients while you’re out. Also, remember to inform your current clients when you’ll be out of town and who can help them if something comes up in your absence.

5. Hit the Ground Running 
When you return from vacation, it can be difficult to get back to the grind. Before you leave, make a schedule of what you know you’ll need to do when you come back. Have you scheduled any meetings? Will you have an open house the next day? Is there anything you’ll need to shop for? Once you get back to the office, sort through your emails and voicemails to figure out the most efficient way to catch up. Contact your current clients to let them know you’re in and find out if they need anything right away.

It can be challenging to plan vacation around your busy schedule, but remember that the rest and relaxation will pay off in the end and can help you make this year your most productive ever.