Vacation. That’s a funny word, isn’t it?
If you’re like me, you hear your friends say they are going on a vacation and suddenly your brain is on a white-snow station.
“A vacation?” you ask. “You mean, a movie at the theater? Or, are you sleeping in on Saturday?”
That’s when your friend looks at you funny. They are going a-w-a-y. Like, to Hawaii. Or Brazil. Or the Arctic.
“But what will you do about work?” you ask, in all seriousness.
Because as you know, vacations do not exist in the world of real estate. The whole concept is completely foreign to the average broker.
Let’s just say you decide to tempt the fates of new business and closings, and take the kind of vacation other people take — the going-away kind.
Then, you’re faced with a really big problem: What do you do about work in queue?
There are three options.
Option number one is to fudge on the rules of a “vacation” and take your laptop and smartphone along for the ride. Then you are never truly out of the loop. With today’s technology, you can prop a beach towel behind your head and browse new listings all day long.
God forbid you want to take a dip in the pool, though. That’s what always puts the brakes on my poolside plans. I mean, where do you put the phone? Hide it under your towel? Stick it in your sandal? Hold it up over your head while you carefully wade in the shallow end? A laptop or tablet is even harder to hide. I don’t even think my mom could stash one of those in her bikini top.
Option number two is a lot easier: Tell everybody you are leaving and put a trusted Realtor friend in charge of emergencies. Or, if there’s even more to do, pay them to take on a few of your projects until you return (this is the best choice).
Option number three is new to me. I didn’t even know it existed until two weeks ago, when I said goodbye to my dad at the airport. He was going on a long-deserved vacation.
“Check your email!” were his parting words.
I expected that he had left me a nice note — what else?
How about a 13-sentence job protocol and a cryptic phone tree? Seems good ol’ dad was going on vacation for two weeks and had left his entire slate of jobs on my desk. This, I suppose, is a complement in some cultures.
Two days into this exciting adventure, I am keenly aware as to why he left me no information or notice. There’s just too much. It’s mind boggling.
So, I count the days until he returns (12). And, between frantic phone calls from subcontractors and architects, I have begun to plan my own little getaway.
But let me be very clear: I will not be taking any technology along. I may not even take my own children!
And for sure, I’m not telling anybody. Option number three seems to have worked out pretty well for dad.
Alisha Alway Braatz is a buyer’s broker for Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties in Eugene, Ore., and a real estate humorist.