RE/MAX Broker/Owner Work-Life Balance Over The Holidays
With the holidays just around the corner, everyone starts to look towards the end of the year and some well-deserved rest and relaxation. As an office owner, you’re probably wondering how you will keep your core business ticking over while you and your associates enjoy time at home.
Whether this is your first winter season as a RE/MAX Office Owner, or you’ve been running your own business for a while, this article will give some much-needed advice on how to stay productive and have time to recharge.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Define when the holidays begin
It sounds obvious, but you need to be clear with your agents, office employees, and customers when the holiday season begins for your office.
A great way to do this is to organize an ‘end of year’ get-together for associates and office staff. If you’re feeling outgoing you can turn it into a community event and invite past as well as future clients.
Reward your employees for all their hard work over the past twelve months and give everyone something to push for in the final few weeks of the business year, as everyone’s focus shifts from prospecting and calls to tinsel and turkey.
Use technology to create boundaries
In the real estate business, we are often expected to be ‘always on’. When you have a business to run this is especially true. Emails, instant messaging, and CRMs ensure we are always connected, but these same tools can also be the solution to a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.
In this day and age, we’re all familiar with out-of-office email responders and digital detoxing - the tough part is sticking to the rules you set yourself! - but there are also more elegant solutions to handle customer inquiries outside office hours.
By preparing your CRM solution for the holiday season you not only manage customer expectations but also keep them warm over winter. Being there for your customers is something we want to achieve year-round, but availability over this time of year is a concern.
A good CRM system will have what is known as ‘contact center’ automation. This means you can use technology to cover a temporary staffing shortfall with scheduled, personalized responses notifying team members, customers, and agents about important events in the customer activation process.
You can set the ‘rules’ by which your CRM identifies a high-priority issue. Automated emails can be sent out to the relevant agent or team member in case such a situation occurs.
Give yourself and your staff the gift of time
By implementing clear and effective automation solutions and being transparent about when your office holidays begin, it’s vital that you stick to what you have communicated.
You may find that with all the free time the holidays provide, you suddenly have an influx of big plans for the business in 2023. Remember, no one likes inconsistency. If the boss requests everyone relaxes and recuperates, then sends multiple excited text messages outlining projects for the new year, people get understandably confused.
Office owners need time to recharge their batteries just as agents and other staff members do. Prioritize time for yourself and your loved ones. Get yourself ready physically and mentally for the challenges the new year will inevitably bring. Enjoy the outdoors, read motivational books, and reconnect with your purpose.
Focus on the core mission of your business
Of course, there are some aspects of business that simply need to get done. The important thing is to recognize which tasks are critical and which can wait a few weeks.
Once you have a clear vision of which work needs to be done, only do that work within a predetermined time frame. Set aside one or two full days over the winter period, or a few hours a day over more days.
Don’t get caught up in the sinkhole of work. Enter work mode with a definite idea of what you want to accomplish, then leave as soon as you have done what you set out to do. We all know what it’s like logging on to check an invoice, then catching a glimpse of your email inbox, and before you know it you’re working over Christmas.
Get in. Get out. Don’t look back.
Engage with your local community
The holidays are an excellent time to be visible and helpful in your local community. There is no end of activities and causes you can lend a helping hand with. Here are a few holiday activities real RE/MAX Broker/Owners have done in recent years:
- Christmas messages: write a personal thank you note to other businesses in your area for their hard work throughout the year.
- Spread Christmas cheer: organize a carol-singing event in your local area.
- Volunteering: find a fitting and appropriate charity to support over the winter months.
Make sure your agents are ready for the holidays
If your agents and staff are ready and prepared, you will be able to relax that much more.
Be sure to keep in touch with each of your team members and make sure they have all their bases covered for the winter break. Be transparent about what you expect them to manage over the holidays whilst stressing the importance of rest and relaxation.
This may sound like a contradiction, but with some planning and taking advantage of automation tools your agents and office staff will easily be able to handle both. Take a look at our work-life balance article for agents for more hints.
The important aspects to keep in mind are transparency and making sure you, your agents, and office staff knows what is expected of them. Consistency, make sure everyone, including yourself, follows the rules set out for a relaxing winter break. Accountability, be clear about who is responsible for which task until everyone is back in the office or online full-time. And understanding, accepting that many people will want to switch off, and while this may result in a loss in productivity in the short term, it will yield a comparatively higher productivity rate in the new year.
Above all enjoy the winter downtime, recharge your batteries and come back even stronger with more energy for 2023.