By Jef Conn
Shout out to the agents who are working long hours, evenings, and weekends, without taking a personal day so you can keep up with business or better serve your clients. I’ve been there. Most of us can look around our offices and see fellow agents working hard and not taking time off. We want to serve our clients and be there to make sure everything goes smoothly. We also want to see these deals to the end so we can get paid for our hard work.
But, let’s rethink the overworked, under-rested hamster wheel you’re on. It’s simple: You need to take a day off (or more than one).
Four things that happen when you take a day off:
1. Keep your sanity. Stepping away from your office can help you keep your sanity. It allows you to think about other things, run errands, and take a break from clients who only call at 9 p.m. and demand you answer every time they call. This allows you to see your business in a whole new light.
2. Become a better person. No really—people who are overworked experience more stress and greater mood swings. The smallest thing can bring out a flood of emotions and let’s face it, that’s not good. So be a better person and take care of your mental health by taking a day off.
3. Get more business done. It’s weird—or maybe even magic—but nothing stirs up new business or helps current business get done quite like scheduling a day off. When you are leaving the office at 5 p.m. on Wednesday for a Thursday through Sunday vacation, the real estate world opens up and suddenly everyone wants to talk to you. New deals happen and you get really good at finishing your to-do list or scheduling meetings for after your return. It forces you to focus, stop “prospecting” on Facebook, and get actual work done.
4. Enjoy family time. It matters. Don’t let this career path negatively impact your family. Yes, we have to work hard and sometimes weird hours as agents, but nothing is more important than your family. Respect and honor them by dedicating time with them each week—time when you’re not sitting at dinner answering emails. Put down the phone. Just spend time with them. Repeat: Put down the phone and have dinner with your family. Your clients can wait.
Four ideas for scheduling time out of the office:
1. Schedule a day out of the office in the next 30 days. Find a day or weekend and schedule yourself out now. Then, when scheduling appointments, simply say, “I’m unavailable on that day, but I can meet the following Monday, would that work for you?”
2. Don’t apologize or make excuses. Yep, you read that right. You don’t have to tell your clients why you’re unavailable. You don’t have to apologize for taking care of yourself and your family. Be bold and take ownership that you’re going to be out of the office and don’t ever let anyone talk down to you for taking time off. The bible says “on the seventh day God rested,” and if he can do it, I can do it, and you can do it, too.
3. Book a weekend getaway. After you schedule your day out of the office, level-up and book a weekend trip away. If you can, take one weekend off every month. I find the cheapest flight to somewhere new or drive to a state park and explore with your family or close friends. I put it on the calendar in BOLD and I schedule everything around my weekends away.
4. Under no circumstances do you cancel. Make your personal time a priority. Your business will grow when you’re more focused at work by allowing yourself the opportunity to relax outside of work.
Rest. It’s part of the process. You, your family, and your clients will thank you for it.
Jef Conn, CCIM, SIOR, is a commercial agent specializing in industrial, office, and investment properties with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Lubbock, Texas. Jef served as the 2017 president of his local association and currently serves as Region 1 vice president and executive board member for Texas REALTORS®. Connect with Jef on LinkedIn or via email: JConn@CBCWorldwide.com.