Troy Palmquist is an indie broker in California with more than a decade of experience. His regular column, which covers a range of helpful tips for agents and op-eds on industry happenings, publishes Thursdays on Inman.

For real estate agents, 10 days away from work seems like an eternity. But I promise you, it can be done. And even done well. I recently went on an extended vacation to spend quality time with family, let loose and had some fun.

Of course, I mixed in a little business with pleasure, but the key here is that I managed to keep my marriage intact and my business running like a well-oiled machine.

How you ask? With a handful of tips and tricks I’ve collected and tested along the way. Here’s how to survive 10 days away from the office and still run your business like a boss.

1. Make sure your clients know you’ll be OoO (out of office)

This is a courtesy that pays dividends over time, plus it shows you care. Take it a step further by offering a backup contact if something goes awry. These are simple easy ways to forge stronger relationships with your valued clientele.

On the flip side, the quickest way to lose clients is to have them be unable to reach you and not know why. Being transparent and upfront with the people who matter most will not only put your mind at ease but will also help you transition into vacation mode while still maintaining those important relationships.

2. Be clear about what licensed and unlicensed staff are allowed to do

If you are like me and have a team of people who help you in your daily operations then you must be a clear on how everyone is to proceed while you are away.

This includes being very specific about what unlicensed staff is allowed and not allowed to do. The last thing you want is an unlicensed member of your team handling contracts or important client accounts when they aren’t qualified.

Be proactive, delegate to the right people, and clearly outline your plans so you will have no worries whatsoever while you’re away.

3. Set up check-in times with your team

Following up with staff is just as important as giving them the appropriate responsibilities.

In real estate, most needs or issues can be addressed in the morning or afternoon. This could be as simple as a quick five-minute phone call, FaceTime chat or group text to ensure everyone is on the same page.

4. Only respond to real fires

Every time I leave the office or am out for a vacation, inevitably something happens. Someone needs my assistance, response, expertise, etc. There will always be fires to put out, whether you are in the office or a thousand miles away.

But not every situation requires your attention, and it can often be addressed when you return. Only get involved with issues that are absolutely necessary.

Also, take notes about your team and how they are performing and handling the business while you’re gone. Then look for ways to improve the process for future trips. 

5. Work on the plane

This one is a biggie folks, and it has helped me tremendously. Why sleep on the plane when you can work on the plane? Being forced to sit on a plane for hours on end is a great opportunity to catch up on final tasks and tie up loose ends before the fun begins.

For me, I enjoy having these pre-vacation hours to tick all the boxes on my OoO to-do list and triple check that all of my clients are well-informed and taken care of while I’m away.

6. Wake up before the family for power hour

Another little trick I have up my sleeve is my own personal power hour. If I feel the need to touch base with a client, have a meeting with my team or catch up on some work while on vacation, I simply get up before everyone else and use those precious morning hours to get things done.

It’s easy to want to sleep in, but if you get up earlier in the morning, you’ll have a clearer mind and be free to spend more time with your family during the day. 

Do you have a tip or trick you use to keep business running smoothing when you’re away? I am always looking for new ways to become more efficient and effective while out of the office, and I would love to hear yours in the comments section below.

Troy Palmquist is the founder and broker of The Address in Southern California. Follow him on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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