Job Posting: No Day Off, No Vacation, Apply Within (part 2)

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Job Posting:

Days Off Possible, Vacations Mandatory, Apply Within (part 2)


PSSST...You read Part One, yes? If not here you go:

Job Posting: No Day Off, No Vacations, Apply Within (part 1)


I’ll preface this with I’m fully aware that when you are new in real estate, or you relocate and start over in a new city or when extraordinary markets occur, (as we who went through the Great Depreciation of 2006-2011 can attest to...) you need to do what it takes to get your business to a place where this advice makes sense. But I also know, the longer you delay it, the harder it is to implement it and make it a habit.


My Advice: a set of guidelines, not an all or nothing.

I recognize my lifestyle and how I run my business is different than yours, therefore consider my advice, but customize it to what works for you. My son is 19 and lives at college, my bride and I live busy lives and have the interests & goals that work for us. You have your home & family life, goals & dreams to follow. I don’t judge your ways nor your business. I don’t have all the answers and I’m still developing this system myself, after the last 10/17 years of living it in my career. So, as my mentor Jim Rohn always said, “Be a student not a follower.” and create your own boundaries.



Paid To Rest

Professional athletes make rest & recovery part of their routine. Therefore it can be said, they are paid to rest as much as they are paid to perform. Athletes' muscles grow in the rest & recovery, not in the workout. It’s the repairing of the muscle through taking a day off, getting good sleep and proper eating habits that forge their physique, not being 24/7 in the gym. We’re no different as Realtors. Our clients need us to be emotionally intelligent, sharp and focused. How can we be so if we’re running on lack of sleep, poor health and stress related complications at home?


You may not be able to vacation in the beginning, but you can take a day off per week.

Choose your day off. It can be the same one every week, for me its Sunday, because the least amount of people want me to work Sundays out of every other day of the week, so it’s easier to defend. It’s also easier to tell every client, I'm closed the same day each week, so they get trained faster. But, you may choose a different day each week, but decide it and block it every Sunday, before your week starts or you’ll never take it that week. I already know your argument for this so here are some tips:

Tip 1: if you have an assistant, have them work on your day off so your phones and e-mails still get handled. It's not a day off if you are still interacting with the office.

Tip 2: If you have a trusted office mate or an actual business partner, coordinate days off opposite each other and handle each others incoming calls, emails and immediate need in person business those days. You can simply form an alliance with an associate in your office in the beginning.

Tip 3: See, if you introduce every new client to "this is how we do it here", they accept it as the way it is. If they are going to resist it, better to know and make arrangements to refer them away on day one. Better to make a referral fee than compromise your one day off. 

Once you've chosen your regular day or floating day off each week, here's the RULE: do not check in!!! No quick texts, no “just one return call” no scanning emails. All it takes is one screwy email, text or call and your day off is gone.





Plan You Vacations, Set up your Team for Success

Block the time off as early in the year as schedules allow. This way you can plan around it and I would also make travel & hotel reservations early, this way it is less expensive and a committed week or more off that you kind of have to honor now.


ASK For Help!

Begin planning with your partner, your team, your assistant, your transaction coordinator or if you work alone, ask your sales manager or broker to recommend a good fit in the office to cover you. Any good broker will not only help you setup your time off with recommending a good agent to cover, but they themselves will be able to step in to help if needed, while you are away. My broker did for that last 10 years at Coldwell Banker. She said if anything went haywire, she'd help my covering agents sort it out. (Knowing this I didn't need to check in).

I've been to Italy for 2 weeks with no checking in. I've been to Ireland for 10 days, yep, no checking in. I've been on many road trip CA vacations for 1 -2 weeks; no checking in.

I make arrangements to do the same for those that help me. I compensate my friends that cover for me with buyer's tours with a flat fee per tour they do. Or I just cut them in on anything they put into escrow while I'm away. I do similar for my listings coverage, while my TC & assistants handle the rest with their normal hourly or flat fees. You have to be willing to share the wealth, so you can get away. If you are greedy for the $ or a micro-manager; it won't work.



Let each of your clients know who's covering them for you, arrange email or phone introductions so they are comfortable. They will appreciate this! Prepare your team with client profiles, MLS access, typical offer techniques you use, etc and have a meeting with your vacation team before you leave and I swear if you picked the right people, you return 1-2 weeks later and all is well, in fact as good or better...we is a reward in itself that you can step away from a business, not a job. Call me for more details if you are unsure how to begin, I have done this very successfully the last 10 major vacations I've been on, it works!




Image courtesy of [fantasista] at

Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (6)

Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Many agents do not have people to cover them to enjoy vacaations. All work and no play is not good.

Sep 25, 2016 12:30 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Alliances in this business are mandatory if you want time off. If you make the effort, there's always someone willing to help, but you first must ask for the help. My broker helped me in the beginning.

Sep 25, 2016 12:32 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Good Sunday morning Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor-

I've only taken 3 days off since last Christmas.  Good for myself or my marriage?  No.  My fault? Yes!  Debbie and I want to retire at a reasonable age and work while the work is here.  See another excuse.  

Sep 25, 2016 12:35 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

I guess I see it as I want to enjoy the journey and retire later than if I just worked all the way through to retirement, as tomorrow is promised to no one. I see so many retire and then are too old to travel & enjoy. I wish you well on your journey my friend, no judgment, just best wishes!

Sep 25, 2016 01:08 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Great post Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor and oh by the way, Happy Birthday.  Make it a great day!

Sep 25, 2016 01:11 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you sir, it was a great day!

Sep 25, 2016 11:44 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I agree...great post...I need to take days off! Hey, I see Will says it is your bday..happy day!

Sep 25, 2016 01:22 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, you!  Happy Birthday!  That's a generally recognized excuse to take some time off for a date night or whatever!

Sep 25, 2016 08:41 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

I took the whole weekend Patricia Kennedy , thanks you!

Sep 25, 2016 11:43 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Happy Birthday.  I hope it's a great one...and you're 3 hrs behind, so even more time to enjoy.

Oh yes, finding that balance to recharge and refresh is challenging.

Sep 25, 2016 09:59 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you!

Sep 25, 2016 11:43 PM