Taking a well-timed vacation can be everything you need to be a better investor. There are many reasons a vacation is useful, but in some cases it is necessary. Why? There are multiple reasons why taking a vacation can be helpful to your real estate business. Well-timed vacations are actually necessary for business success. They can be extremely powerful when it comes to succeeding.
So why are vacations so essential to your business success?
They can restore your energy
Vacations allow you to recharge. If you’ve been stressed for a long period of time, it can really take a toll on both your mental and physical health. Especially as you get older. Being stressed out has extremely ill consequences. When you’re stressed out, you tend to make worse decisions and more mistakes. Just one bad decision can have terrible consequences. If you do a vacation correctly, you’ll be more relaxed when you get home which equals better business.
They encourage you to work harder by reminding you what you have
Vacations are also very encouraging because they remind you just why you’re working so hard. They are a reward to yourself. Just like you give your children a reward when they do well, you should give yourself one. Vacations are the toys for adults. Humans want to be rewarded for good work. You’ve got to reward yourself every now and then.
They can seriously enlighten your view of possibilities
You know another reason vacations are good for business? This one you probably hadn’t thought of. When you go on a really nice, big vacation, what do you see? You see very wealthy people. You see how they’re living. You’ll see mansions, yachts, and people having nice dinners out. This inspires more hard work. You see things that you want, that you know you can have if you work as hard as them. When you see this, you start to look forward to working hard so that you can get there. It shows you what’s possible. That you can have that for yourself. Vacations really further your vision of what you can be.
They are emotionally healthy
Many people feel guilty about going on vacation. Perhaps their family or friends don’t have the financial opportunity to go on vacation the way that they do. So they feel bad, and don’t go. Lots of people don’t have the ability financially to go on big vacation. Don’t feel bad about rewarding yourself for working hard. Sure, you can give back to the community, and donate. But make sure that you reward yourself for the blessings that you’ve received. It is healthy emotionally to take a vacation.
They’re great at accelerating your efficiency
Taking a vacation will enhance your efficiency. No joke. It can seriously accelerate how you work, and your ability to be productive. Ever paid attention to the fact that just before a vacation you start to get much more done? This is because you begin to prioritize, and get things done faster so that you can go. You know you can’t leave certain things undone so you work harder and more efficiently to wrap them all up. If you’ll just treat every day like you’re about to go on vacation, you’d be really surprised what you’d accomplish.
Next time you’re about to take a vacation, think about what it is you’re doing differently the day before you leave versus every other day. Are you prioritizing? What ways are you being efficient that you aren’t on tho other days? Really pay attention to how you are doing things differently so that you can do them every day when you aren’t about to leave for a vacation!
They can be an educational experience
Vacations can be highly educational. Why? Because when you go on a vacation, suddenly you get a big opportunity. It’s usually right when you arrive to your destination. When you start taking vacations, you learn how to delegate responsibility to other people to complete tasks for you. This can help you learn so much. You must be a good delegator. This doesn’t mean you have to hire an entire staff to run your business. It just means you need to know how to give work to the closing company to do for you in a real estate deal, or assign tasks to employees. Being a great delegator is one of the most important skills you can have. You can learn a lot this way.
You’ve got to time it correctly
Now, taking a vacation can be very good for your business, as described above. However, you’ve still got to be responsible. You have to time the vacation correctly. You have to plan vacations strategically. If not, it could easily go in the other direction.
Consequences of a poorly timed vacation: Taking a vacation at the wrong time can be detrimental. You can lose not just all the money you spent on the vacation itself, but even more money to fix things that went wrong when you get back. Perhaps you don’t even have to fix anything, you just left a bunch of business in the air and didn’t finish it, and now it’s all piled up. You’re now worse off than before you left and you’ve got a huge mess to clean up and don’t know where to start. You should be able to pick up where you left off when you return from vacation…not clean up a mess or catch up.
How to time it right
One tip is to go on a vacation mid-month rather than the 1st or the 31st. Why is this? Because most closings occur at either the beginning or the end of the month. Even if you’ve trained yourself to become a terrific delegator, you’ll still want to be physically presented during closings. Go to locations during the low seasons, not the peak seasons. Why? Because you’ve got more options regarding flights, hotels, rental cars. No brainer. Too many people get caught up in going when “everyone else” is. Who cares? Who is everyone else? Honestly, it’s more fun to have the place almost to yourself.
Of course, you might not be fortunate enough to do that yet. Lots of people have children in school, and a 9-5 job and have to go during the peak seasons when everyone’s schedules allow for alignment.
Don’t go on impromptu vacations, though they can be tempting
Honestly, you know when the right time to go on vacation is and when it isn’t. Be smart about it and trust your intuition. Don’t be impulsive. It’s easy to fall into temptation when a friend suggests “Let’s go away for the weekend!” It seems so innocent. But, what’s going on that weekend regarding business? Also make sure that you can financially do it. Sometimes the smaller vacations can end up being more expensive than the longer ones. A weekend in San Francisco is easily cheaper than a week in Destin at the beach.
Also, credit cards are a wonderful way to vacation. As long as you’re responsible, and pay them all off, you can really rack up a lot of points. Points typically are better than cash back. This may surprise you, but if you get too much cash back, the credit card company will send you a 1099 for taxes because it’s income. With points, they do not. Now, the 1099 tip depends on how much money you’re spending and therefore getting back, of course. You do have to receive a specific amount of cash back to earn a nice little 1099 for April.
Skipping vacation time, however, can be damaging to both your physical and mental health. Research shows a link between a lack of vacations and increased risks for heart disease and depression. Of course, wanting a vacation and making it happen can be light years apart, especially real estate investing business owners. Here are some ideas that might make taking a break easier:
- Develop a second-in-command. Training someone to stand in your place helps you feel more confident when you go on vacation.
- Collaborate with other small-business owners. Consider reaching out to your peers who may be in the same boat. They may be willing to work out a deal so you both can get the downtime you need.
- Plan ahead. As a small-business owner, you may need to do extra preparations before you take off. It’s recommended to put procedures in place for your employees and telling them they can get in touch with you for emergencies.
- Think small. Realize that a vacation doesn’t have to be a big fancy trip to a five-star resort. It could be doing fun things with the people you love to make sure the relationships that you’ve built continue to be healthy.
- Put down your phone. Try setting boundaries on your technology. If you don’t look at your phone for a half hour, there’s probably not going to be a huge catastrophic event. Choose times when you put your phone away and focus on the people you’re with.
If need be, you can do work while on vacation
Many real estate business owners are able to take advantage of current technology and take their small businesses with them when they travel, which is a great way to get a worry-free vacation. As long as you can work remotely and are vacationing in places with adequate technological resources (reliable electricity and wireless bases, for example) you can use your smart phone/laptop/tablet to keep your business operating.
Your chances of a worry-free vacation are much improved because you’re still able to keep tabs on things and deal with problems as they crop up. Obviously, though, taking your business with you when you travel will not work for some businesses which require face-to-face interactions and/or hands on production.
But, don’t work TOO much
Working on vacation will have the opposite effect. If you have to do some work, such as checking e-mails or responding to an urgent phone call, go ahead. But other than that, in order for a vacation to do what it’s supposed to do (which is rejuvenate and refresh you) a vacation should be a period of time you experience differentness, not do more of the same.
Steps to training your employees to handle the business while you’re gone
1) First, if you are not a one-person business operator, and you’re not already doing it, you need to start practicing delegation. Admittedly, this is more about training you then about training them, but you have to be able to let go before someone else can do it.
2) Make a list of important procedures and information. What does your replacement/second in command need to know to keep your business operating while you’re gone?
3) Decide what an emergency is. Under what circumstances do you want your replacement to contact you while you’re on vacation? If a certain client calls? Only if there’s a fire or an earthquake? Be clear about your expectations.
4) Meet with the person who’s going to be running your business while you’re away, share the information and see what other concerns she or he has.
5) Have some trial runs. Before you go on vacation for a week, practice turning over the reins and taking a break from your business. Take a real mini-vacation or pretend you are and do something different such as taking the weekend off.
Having someone else be in control of things for brief periods, even if it’s just a day, will give you both the chance to see how things go and work out the details of your “away” plan – and give you personally a chance to get used to the idea of not working on your business.
Running a business while on vacation will take a bit of work in advance on your part, but it’s the best way to actually get a worry-free vacation when you do actually take one. And, once your vacation plan is in place and you have someone prepared to back you up, getting to take a vacation in the future will be a whole lot easier.
Extra tip: These suggestions may seem like they require a lot of extra work, but the planning may be worth it. Sometimes your best ideas come to you when you’re not actually trying to think of a new idea. It’s essential to allow yourself the space and time to just think and that can really impede your productivity in the long run.