By Lynn Minnick
I’ve just come back from an amazing summer in Europe with my young family. The time had come again to get off the continent for vacation, because we all know that if you’re somewhere reachable, it’s going to happen that clients and other agents will find you. In the past 10 years or so, doesn’t it seem like everyone feels they can still contact you when you’re clearly not at work? I blame technology.
For the first week I admit I didn’t think about work for even a nanosecond. By week two, a few stray thoughts crossed my mind (mostly about buying a little castle and staying forever), and I was drunk on British architecture. I had my business well-covered by partner agents, so there was little to worry about. I started taking photos of “estate offices” in Great Britain — “The Guild of Professional Estate Agents” struck me as particularly nice. We strolled through Notting Hill and Kensington in London and picked out several apartments that would suit our family.
In France I started to pick up my favorite glossy real estate magazines. French real estate ads read like poetry and their romantic descriptions made me fall in love with several properties sight unseen. I took more photos of charming houses. I sought out offices and delighted in finding those with specializations like in the Champagne region, where one exclusively handled vineyards (and I imagined how glamorous that must be!). I watched the French version of “House Hunters,” which I loved because it portrays a more honest reality, where sometimes the buyers don’t actually find a house or apartment they like, and their agents pout and shrug and admit it would take a miracle to find them something in their budgets. The French buyers bring their friends along for approval and offers are scribbled on a piece of paper or made verbally and the notaries handle the rest of the transaction. Everyone drinks champagne. Continue reading »
By Alex Milshteyn
I am writing this 30,000 feet in the air as I fly to St. Louis, Mo., where I’ll be participating in a “30 Under 30” panel discussion during the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®’ YPN second anniversary celebration. As I’m writing this, I feel very little stress, which is a giant contrast from just a few years ago when I’d travel out of town.
During the early years of my real estate practice, I hated leaving town. Just the thought of leaving town would put me in a foul mood. The reason was I couldn’t stop working or stressing about my business even though I’d be somewhere else. I lost count of how many times I returned from a vacation several days early because my business was just too overwhelming. If you’d like to know how to take a vacation to Thailand in three business days, ask me.
At this point, you may be wondering what’s wrong with me. Well, let’s face it, I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. The thought of someone else taking control of my business was impossible – no one could do it better than I could. I shied away from all vacations, all day trips, and a lot of family time because I didn’t know how to handle the stress of being away and continuing to provide the same level of service as I do when I am in town.
Eventually it got to a point where I began to feel like a slave to my practice. I realized that I couldn’t make it much longer unless I got help. I needed someone who I could trust and train. The only way I was going to take a vacation and ease my workload was to hire an assistant. Continue reading »
By Laura Rubinchuk
The real estate market is cyclical, we all know that. Busy in spring and fall, quiet during the winter and summer. At least that’s what my market usually looks like. This summer I found myself with a long list of “to-do’s” for those rainy days where I had some extra time. They range from things like checklists, exploring CRM software, possible blog redesign, to working on finding new clients to fill the long cold winter (I guess that should be No. 1, huh?).
But what about when business is slow and you already have your systems/processes in place? What if all of your ducks are aligned and ready to go the next time your phone rings? You’ve done your prospecting for the day, follow up for the month, and client/transaction management…do you ever allow yourself to take a day off?
The life of a REALTOR® is 24/7; always connected, always on the go. Sometimes I think it can get overwhelming, so this summer I actually gave myself a few days off, when I thought I could sneak away for a day or two. I was still accessible through phone/email, but I wasn’t worried every minute of those days about business. It gave me a chance to clear my head, reenergize and reengage. I found myself coming back with more energy and enthusiasm to give my clients. Continue reading »
If the first step is admitting I have a problem then I have a problem. Now what?
I’m on vacation this week; you know what vacation is, right? It’s that cultural ritual that says thou shall not work, giving your mind that required time off so it can relax into a zen like state and give you the necessary recharge so we can again work like the obsessed maniacs we have all become.
The problem is I have yet to stop returning e-mails let alone turn off my iPhone, and as you can see now, this blog is being written on my MacBook.
I have issues!
It would seem I am incapable of getting unplugged. So, I ask you, my YPN family, no I plead: Help ME! I need an intervention and I need it now.
I await your response.
Darrin Friedman is the branch vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chevy Chase, Md. and a member of the 2009 YPN-national Advisory Board.