Did you know that a good vacation can reduce stress, lift moods, and even increase your heart health? As a busy mortgage loan originator during the recent boom in home financing, you may have started thinking about taking a break and booking your next getaway. And we don’t blame you — we are all about work/life balance around here!
Before taking off, though, you’ll want to make sure that your communication with clients is clear, consistent, and thorough. Try these three methods to set yourself up for success, enjoy a great vacation, and ease back into your role at home when you return.
Give as Much Notice as Possible
As soon as your travel plans are finalized and you’ve narrowed down which clients will be impacted by your absence, open up the conversation. You’ll want to note the specific dates and times that you’ll be out of the office, as well as expectations for communication between the two of you while you’re away.
Some professionals are fine with the occasional email (in fact, approximately 30% of full-time employees report working on their time off) while others have a strict no-work policy. Or, perhaps you’d only like an email in the strictest of emergencies. Whatever your preference, be clear and consistent when it comes to your level of connectivity for the duration of your trip.
You may want to take even more care with particularly forgetful or busy clients. Block off time in your work calendar to prevent them from requesting new meetings or schedule regular reminders leading up to your departure. Both can help ensure that no one will be caught off guard if your phone goes straight to voicemail.
Provide a Point of Contact
If a colleague is covering for you, be sure to provide contact information to each client. Send an email with a descriptive subject line, warm greeting, and thorough introduction of both parties. Add any relevant credentials to contextualize your colleague’s work, and clearly note their phone number and email address. You can also suggest next steps before signing off. For example, you could ask your colleague to call the client in the coming days to touch base or answer any questions.
If you don’t have a backup, clarify this fact with the client. Emphasize that the vacation is temporary, and consider providing a current progress report to ease any worries. You can also use this opportunity to reiterate the expectations for communication while you’re away, as well as explain any protocol that they should follow in case of emergency.
Also, don’t forget to set up an automatic out-of-office email response with who the person should contact if they need to speak with someone during your absence.
Emphasize When You’ll Return
Finally, let clients know when they can expect you back in the office. While a concrete date and time is ideal, travel isn’t always certain. Providing a window of time to reconnect can provide some cushion and help prevent an influx of calls on your first morning back.
In the days or weeks before you leave, you can also offer to schedule a catch-up meeting upon your return. Again, you’ll want to be cautious with timing. Before committing to something hard-and-fast, be sure to factor in time to catch up on emails, return missed calls, and address any high-priority incidents that might await you.
At the end of the day, busy mortgage loan originators more than deserve a break! Clear communication with clients ahead of time can help ensure that your vacation goes off without a hitch, and seriously ease your return to the office. So, once you’ve checked each of these off of your to-do list, set an out-of-office message and unplug for a bit!