Step Away from the Office Without Worry

Prepare your office to run smoothly while you're at the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

September 17, 2012

 

Everyone needs the chance to recharge away from the office for a few days now and again. But it can be hard to leave for a conference—or a vacation—knowing that the demands on your business keep moving forward. Here’s a guide for planning your time away from your clients without worrying what’s going on back home.

 

  1. Ask a colleague in your office to handle property viewings. Agree ahead of time on a set commission percentage if your stand-in handles a negotiation or sale for you. Make sure the person you ask “is willing to do things the way you would do them,” says Mary Lou Convy, a practitioner with Laura McCarthy Real Estate in St. Louis. For Convy, that means being prepared to answer questions about a listing, available in a timely fashion for showings, and willing to make an extra effort for the client. “You have to be able to trust that person to take care of your clients the same way you would,” she says.
  2. For broker-owners and managers, delegate a trusted agent or employee to address basic questions that arise at the office. The Small Business Administration recommends to small-business owners that they notify their team of an upcoming absence to make sure everyone knows whom to consult and how much authority that person has.
  3. Also, alert clients that you’ll be away, giving them the exact dates. “I always tell clients that they can call my cell phone,” says Trish Flynn, a sales associate with Boston Connect Real Estate Services in Pembroke, Mass., “but for things that need immediate attention, here’s the name and number of someone who will help them.”

If you plan to keep working while out of town…

Keep in touch by checking your e-mail at least once a day and leaving your mobile phone turned on, though make use of the vibrate function during conference sessions.

“A cell phone and computer free you to get away,” Convy says. “I can stay connected no matter where I am. Clients don’t have to feel like they’re on their own, even if I’m out of town.”

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