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vacation to paris the eiffel tower at night

Vacation Time. Au Revoir Mes Amis!

Here we are, in full swing of the Spring Market. Most full-time real estate folks that I know have had at least one round of several closings, and are onto the second round of the season – with individual settlements sprinkled in here and there, as well.

For me, they have always tended to come mostly in bulk packages during this time of year. A couple-few weeks ago I had four within 5 or 6 days of each other. That’s what I mean by how it moves in waves.

I am in the midst of the next bulk of transactions, probably the second of four waves, and guess what? I’m going on vacation! Yep! Right in the middle of this busy time!

vacation? now?!

Now before you say, “Oh my gosh Shannon! How can you do this to your people right in the middle of their real estate transaction!” let me just say I KNOW!!

I know it can look that way, and maybe even feel that way. You are pretty connected with your Agent or Broker during this time, and it can feel a bit concerning to have them seem to just jaunt away, leaving their cares behind. I totally get this. But let me explain.

I have had so many calls from folks who have found me on the internet, and they have asked me to show them property. Our initial chat always consists of me asking them if they are working with an agent. (Code of Ethics anyone?)

It’s not too unusual to hear this prospect say that yes, they are, and their agent is on vacation for a couple of weeks. They don’t want to miss out! To me, this is always a big Yikes.

First of all agents, we have the right to take vacations. The rest of the world is permitted this, and if they work a normal Monday through Friday job they also get 104 days off that we don’t get. Not complaining! Just doing the math, you know?

Busy real estate folks know how difficult it is to even take a half-day off, let alone a whole day. Let alone an entire WEEKEND! Just about unheard of! Burn out is really prevalent and we are people, not machines. For me, this trip has been planned for months, and all of my current clients have known about it from the moment we met to talk about working together.

you’ll still be covered

That being said, we never want to be that agent who leaves for much-deserved respite and does not inform our clients what the standard operating procedure will be while we are away. And part of planning that vacation, for us, is establishing that SOP, telling all of our clients personally with as much notice as possible, and then email them introductions and contact info for the person who will be covering for us. We do not ever want to leave without our folks getting plenty of notice, and telling them how to proceed should they have a question or a concern in our absence.

This can be tricky, but if we have been doing this gig for any amount of time and we want to live past 50, we really do need to be allowed to unplug. At least for the most part. At least once in a while! It’s reasonable, right? Of course!

So I am going on vacation! Meeting my husband Terry in Paris, where he has been since the beginning of May. He is on sabbatical from his professorship at Washington and Lee and has been abroad composing for the last month and a half. And I get to join him!

Very exciting, and I could not feel more fortunate. I don’t feel the least bit guilty, either. One life, baby.

But what about while I am gone?!?!? What if someone needs me?!?!?!

backup system

Good question! Every good business needs backup systems, and my backup is one of the best agents that I know: my son Dolan. Licensed and with a lifetime of experience under his belt. He grew up in the business and is excellent.

Our current folks will get this directly, but you can email him and his telephone is 804 247 1519.

Dolan will take wonderful care of current transactions in my absence, and for our current folks’ shopping he stands ready to write that offer should you find the perfect place while I am gone.

It will work just awesome. Really a win-win-win! A win for the clients, a win for him because he gets to assist, and win for Terry and me because we get to just be together, you know?

Dolan’s info will be in my email auto-replier, on my voicemail, and as a responder on my texts (if I can figure out how to do that!!) If something comes up where I am crucial, I can step in for a quick check-in, but for the most part, I will be taking a well-anticipated respite.

To say I am excited to explore this lovely city with my beautiful husband (who knows it like a local) is an understatement.

This is how it is done, though. This is how we stay sane in a non-stop real estate world that includes lots of super long days and relatively few weekends free to do family, personal, basic life things. We plan and communicate, and then (hopefully!) let go and just be off duty for a bit.

no backup? no bueño!

If your agent leaves and just expects you to wait for them to return with no backup? No bueño. If they tell you they are taking off, they should also tell you what to do if the home of your dreams finally pops up. And this should not include just calling some random agent on the internet.

So again, follow me on Social Media if you want to see my travels! But for real estate related stuff over the next two weeks, call Dolan at 804 247 1519, and he will take excellent care of you.

Au revoir mes amis! Avoir quelques merveilleuses semaines!

Photo by Vedant Sharma

Heavily active in and around my hometown of Charlottesville, as well as beautiful Historic Staunton/Augusta where I currently reside. I'm a huge fan of the enjoyable transaction, and aim for creating them in all aspects of my life.

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