How Real Estate Agents Can Plan Their Weekends

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed Agent12/12/2022

Happy,Real,Estate,Agent,And,Young,Couple,Shaking,Hands,AfterReal estate agents often face a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing their work-life balance. With unpredictable schedules, unplanned showings and open houses, plus late nights spent studying the market or attending networking events, it’s no wonder that many agents find it difficult to plan for their weekends.

On the other hand, careers in real estate are exceedingly popular. Why would a career with below-average weekly time off be so attractive? Well, the ability to make your own hours and the potential for great earnings are, for many, preferable to a traditional Monday to Friday, 9:00–5:00 job. 

New agents often feel as though they always need to be “on” and available, and the best way to combat that is to learn from someone who’s done it; this is why it’s so important for new agents to have a mentor. This article is designed to help real estate agents plan for their weekends so that they can enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation. With these tips and strategies, you’ll be able to make the most of your free time, while still ensuring that your business needs are taken care of.

How It Used to Be

Happy,African,American,Real,Estate,Agent,Working,On,Paperwork,WhileOne of the most predictable aspects of careers in real estate in decades past was the inability of agents to enjoy weekends. Saturday and Sunday open houses were mandatory, and while that hasn’t completely fallen by the wayside, the advent of technology has started to shift priorities away from open houses and opened up the way agents can schedule their time and plan for days off.

To put things into perspective, it’s worth considering a few of the major difficulties faced by real estate agents of yesteryear. Instead of opening up a browser and calling up listing sites, an agent in 1992 was wading through physical MLS books and MLS tear sheets. To call a client when out-of-office, an agent had to make sure they had their phone book, find the number, drive to the office, the home, or find a phone booth, and make the call. If the client was out, the agent hoped they had a working answering machine whose tape wasn’t full.

Then, the waiting game began. An agent couldn’t follow up on that call with a text message or email. Even if they were able to block out a free weekend, agents of old spent much of it stressing about whether or not their unanswered calls were returned. Oh, and it took a visit to the office or waiting until Monday to check work messages.

If you prioritize a rigid, traditional weekend, a career as a real estate agent still might not be right for you. However, if you value freedom and flexibility and can embrace fluidity in your weekly time off, it’s a career that can be fulfilling and lucrative. 

Embrace Unpredictability

A,Real,Estate,Agent,With,House,Model,Is,Talking,ToThe first step in becoming a successful real estate agent is to embrace unpredictability. One of the biggest challenges that real estate agents face is dealing with unpredictable schedules. The nature of the business often requires planning and flexibility, so it’s important to remember that there are still opportunities to make the most of your weekends even when things don’t go as planned.

And things typically don’t go exactly as planned. People’s schedules change, and agents are providing them with a service; this means that the ability to reach the agent is one of the primary things to look for when choosing a real estate agent.

For example, if you have a late showing or open house on Friday night, try to plan for a restful Saturday morning. You can use the time to sleep in or get some extra housework done so that later in the day you’ll be able to enjoy leisure activities with family and friends.

Efficient Weekdays

Female,Real,Estate,Agent,Offer,Home,Ownership,And,Life,InsuranceOne of the ways that agents are able to minimize the amount they have to work on weekends is to be as efficient as possible during the week.  This means avoiding procrastination and planning in advance for appointments, showings, and any other tasks that need to be done.

By tackling tasks throughout the week, you’ll be able to set aside your weekends for much-needed rest and relaxation. This will also give you more time to spend with family and friends, which can help you stay motivated during the work week.

Also, try to work smarter and not harder when it comes to scheduling showings and open houses. If you can get the most out of each day, then you’ll have more free time on the weekends to relax and rejuvenate. You’ll also increase your earning potential as a real estate agent!

Technology Is Your Best Friend

Couple,And,Real,Estate,Agent,Discussing,Together,At,HomeTechnology can be a real estate agent’s best friend, and there are plenty of tools available that can help you stay organized and on top of your business. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great for networking and marketing, while online calendars like Google Calendar can help you keep track of appointments and tasks. You can also use apps like Zillow and Trulia to search for properties and create comprehensive listings.

While technology has its drawbacks—namely forcing people to always be connected and tied to their phones—it also has the capacity to inject more freedom and time off into your life as a real estate agent. For example, an agent with weekend plans could plan their open houses and in-person meetings for weekdays and weekday evenings. Then, when the weekend rolls around and you’ve communicated to clients that you can be reached by phone or email but are unavailable for in-person meetings,  you can enjoy your time off without worry.

By setting up systems and utilizing technology, you’ll be better equipped to handle the unpredictable nature of the real estate industry while still being able to enjoy your weekends. Furthermore, technology has revolutionized the real estate industry, so as a real estate agent, it’s critical to stay up-to-date with and on the cutting edge of technology.

Shift Your Weekend

Real,Estate,Agent,With,Client,Or,Architect,Team,Discussing,ProjectThe unavoidable reality of careers in real estate is that agents are rarely, if ever, able to set rigid schedules. Most people work during the day from Monday to Friday, so most homebuyers are only free to meet and tour homes on nights and weekends. 

Agents who are able to shift their weekends, taking their relaxing and rejuvenating days off during the traditional work week, can get ahead of the curve. By doing so, an agent can maintain a healthy work-life balance and excel in their career.

For Example…

For new real estate agents, all of the advice in the world on how to plan their weekends might sound great, but it’s just theory until they actually do it. Being presented with a sample schedule that accounts for the demands and realities of the industry can help agents believe that regular days off are possible.

This weekly schedule, provided by Robert Dekanski at RE/MAX 1st Advantage in New Jersey, should start to instill a belief in the possibility of weekends for new agents:

  • Monday: Lead generation and client calls in the morning; lunch with team; afternoon spent touring homes with new client; pick up supplies for weekend open house on the way home
  • Tuesday: Morning house showings with a family from out-of-town; afternoon lead generation and client meetings; early evening meeting with home inspector
  • Wednesday: Morning lead generation; lunch with prospective clients; early afternoon photo shoot of a soon-to-be-listed home; late afternoon and evening showing homes
  • Thursday: Morning showing homes; lunch with the team; all afternoon spent in listing interviews
  • Friday: Day off (only full day of the week, so make it count!)
  • Saturday: Morning lead generation; lunch and early afternoon spent going over inspection reports and preparing for Sunday open house; afternoon showing homes; early end to the day
  • Sunday: Open house from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; after-open house recap meeting with client, from 12:30–1:30 p.m.; rest of day off

Professional,Real,Estate,Agent,Shows,Bright,New,Apartment,To,AWhile this is not a complete schedule that covers all of the duties and responsibilities of a real estate agent—which seem to never end—it outlines an achievable goal with plenty of time for rest and relaxation. And taking scheduling one step further, agents can roughly plan for the month (or months) ahead. By planning further ahead, the possibility of blocking out multiple days off in a row can become a reality.

Workin’ for the Weekend

The good news for real estate agents is that work schedules around the country have become more flexible and varied: people are working from home, setting their own schedules, and placing more emphasis on quality of life than in years past. For a real estate agent, maintaining a frenetic schedule and taking untraditional days off doesn’t mean their social life has to suffer. By planning ahead, utilizing technology, and staying flexible, real estate agents can plan their weekends and get the much-needed time off that they’ve earned.

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 12/12/2022

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