Industry expert and long-time agent, Lisa B, knows what it’s like to manage busy offices and spend every spare second meeting the needs and demands of buyers and sellers. She also knows taking some time out is important for health, well-being and productivity.
Lisa joins us to share what she has learned, over her years in the industry, about switching off and taking the time to really relax and unwind.
Sometimes, when we are away on holidays it can be more stressful than being at work. Who’s going to do what we do? Who’s going to look after our sellers and our buyers?
When you are at work, you are in control, you are there to handle problems. You don’t miss out on any business (if you can help it) and no one accidentally steps on the careful relationships you have worked so hard to build.
Though it might feel like skipping the holidays and staying in the office is the smarter thing to do — the course of action that will result in less stress — it can also lead to burn out.
Burn out is very common among real estate professionals and comes from something as simple as not taking a break when you need one.
So even though your scheduled holiday might seem like extra stress with a side order of sand, it is important you not only keep that reservation, but you really focus on relaxing and clearing your mind of the worries of the office.
What is the purpose of your holiday?
To help get yourself on track for a holiday that does what it is supposed to do, first you need to think about exactly that — what is it supposed to do? What is the purpose?
When I go on holiday, my aim is to regroup, to relax and to unwind.
I want to have an amazing holiday where I can feel energised and forget about work for a while. I want to spend quality time with friends or family.
Now you know why you’re doing this, how can you achieve that purpose?
Preparing for and making the most of your holiday
To get down to the business of taking a holiday properly, first we need to get our mindset away from the office. That starts with preparing, so when we are ready, we can let go!
Get rid of guilt
Firstly, some of us suffer from guilt. We feel bad about work that isn’t finished yet, calls that may not have been made, colleagues who are not on holiday, who are picking up extra so we can take time off.
We also feel guilty for not being out on the streets, pounding the pavement in search of more listings — we especially feel guilty if we know our competitors are doing just that.
We need to control and overcome the guilt.
Focus on knowing you 100% deserve to have a holiday just the same as anyone else.
Surprisingly, just prior to a holiday can be an incredibly productive time — we have a lot to do, and we have a deadline by which it needs to be completed.
Have you noticed when you’re busy, you get so much more done?
Get as much done before you go on holidays as you can. Sell as much as you can. List as much as you can. Be the busiest you have ever been, and then relax, knowing you did everything you could and now it’s time to breathe!
Dealing with losing business
As noted, one of the toughest parts of taking a holiday is knowing your competitors aren’t. It is being acutely aware of the fact that they might be scooping up listings you could have won, if only you were there instead of trekking up hills in Borneo.
Our inner dialogue can take over and we hear:
What if I miss out on business?
What if I don’t call someone back in a few minutes?
What if I lose listings during this time?
Know that it’s not life-threatening. There will be more listings. More clients. More sales.
Work will absolutely be there when you get back.
How do you enjoy time off?
To really make the most of time off, you need to feel comfortable and confident that everything you leave behind will motor along, without a hitch, until you get back.
Here are my personal tips for ensuring that occurs:
- Make sure you have systems in place (human and automated) that cover all the tasks you would cover, so you can eliminate interruptions.
- Let people know when you are going to be away. Leave a message on your phone to say when you will be returning calls. Have a roster within the office for returning calls so anything urgent is addressed in a timely manner.
- Turn your phone off and have set times where you check your messages — or better yet, don’t check them at all, and have all calls forwarded to the office. Ask the office to call you only if it’s something they can’t handle themselves.
- Reframe your thoughts. Claim your right to take a breather, to assess the last few months and to think about how the next few can be better.
- Leading up to the break, try to put some good habits in place, for example, improve your diet or exercise. Try to get adequate sleep. Practice breathing and relaxation techniques.
- Delete social media apps from your phone before you leave.
- Try to detach every day. Go for a walk. Go for a swim. Do something that says to your brain you are on holidays. Do things you don’t normally do.
- Improve your mindset. Stress comes from feeling out of control. Plan and organise your time off as much as possible and know it is in capable hands — hands that are following your instructions.
- Talk to friends who are supportive and who are positive.
- Act rather than react. Make calls instead of taking calls and only do so within set times agreed with your partner or family — this time is about you, and it’s about them!
- Think of things you love to do or would love to do and let that inspire and excite you. Rather than lie in bed each night of your holiday thinking about work, think about the activities you have planned for the next day.
- Remember, you are lucky to have a break. All over the world, people work in almost impossible conditions and they never have the opportunity to relax, or their families risk going hungry. You are so fortunate to be in this position, don’t squander the opportunity.
Above all else, don’t be hard on yourself. This is a break in routine and that is tough for anyone. Do your best to keep your mind on your holiday as much as possible and have trust in the people you work with everyday to keep the ship afloat at home.
Know that at some point, you must have time off or you WILL burn out.
Make the most of every minute you are not at work.