You have your SPF, hat, and travel toothbrush, but what about your clients? Use this checklist to make sure you have your business under control before you roll out to paradise this summer.

Agents often joke that if the business is slow, they just need to go on vacation because their departure quickly triggers a slew of tasks that need to be done as soon as their toes hit the sand. Here is a quick checklist of things to take care of before you take a break and enjoy some much-needed downtime.

You need a sub

Designate a trusted “substitute” agent to handle your immediate business while you are away. Your clients should never miss out on seeing a home or delay any important transaction details because you are on vacation.

Even if they say it is OK, they may keep their true feelings reserved to stay polite. Make sure to let them know you have them covered with a substitute, so they don’t have to miss out.

Finally, make sure to compensate your sub with gas cards, lunch, and reciprocity to do the same while they are out of town. 

Create a contact key

Organize all of your contacts and involved parties in one place. Most agents use a digital CRM, but if you do not feel comfortable giving access to yours, a simple contact list in a file folder can go a long way.

Communicate clearly with all parties

There is nothing worse than a transaction going sideways when no one is able to reach an agent for immediate assistance. Worse yet, some agents just roll out and give few details on what is actually happening on their deals, and their team is left scrambling to fill in the gaps.

Take great notes, check in with everyone and ensure that whomever you are handing your deals off to is fully aware of what is happening and what to expect.

Don’t forget your thank you and closing gifts

Schedule closing gifts and thank yous in advance. Some title companies will hold on to client gifts for you and ensure the clients get them at the closing table if they sign in person. This thoughtful touch will let clients know you did not forget about them while you were out of town.

Find a vacant property sitter

Vacant properties need to be checked regularly for property damage, especially during the summer when flooding, storm damage or mold can be an issue that crops up in less than a week. Make sure that the properties you are responsible for are looked in on as if you were there.

Reach out to leads

Before you go, use this as an opportunity to reconnect with leads. It is a great reason to call and email prospects one more time. Make sure they can reach your “sub” if they have any needs while you are out.

Block off your return

Many agents are overwhelmed when they return because they immediately jump back to business before dealing with a backlog. Do yourself a favor and take an extra vacation day to unpack, do some minor housekeeping and get caught up with your substitute agent. Start returning phone calls and emails when you fully know what is happening and have had time to consider your responses.

Make a quick note to your future self

If anything goes wrong, or if the worst happens, you will want to learn from it before your next vacation. Leave a list for your future self so you will not forget. Leaving for holidays can be hectic, especially for agents who often work shotgun in the passenger seat while their companions drive them down to their destination. A note to self will be appreciated the next time you need to head out in a hurry.

By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.

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