By: Chris Heller
Did you know that 80% of real estate agents burnout in their first two years? From finding suitable properties to pricing them to market demand and listing them, working in real estate is taxing. The constant need for a fresh set of ideas and solutions can be draining.
The lack of routine and a schedule combined with a constant high-pressure state can make even the most optimistic agents feel fatigued. The business is set up so that if you don’t take intentional care of yourself, burnout is almost inevitable. The best way to avoid burnout is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your business in a way that’s sustainable and prioritizes your needs.
Real estate is a logistical business, and you need to have all the information at your fingertips, including reports, properties, and contracts. Having a sound system for tracking this information is essential to avoid the risk of forgetting to do something meaningful.
To stay organized, most agents keep all their information in a real estate CRM. Prices for this service can vary but typically start at a small monthly fee less than $50.
If you’re not ready for a CRM, try maintaining a calendar on your phone, as well as a written one. Calendar apps can also be useful on your phone to quickly input any notes or appointments while you are on the go. Use a calendar to keep track of everything—including time for you! Downtime is essential to preventing burnout, and if you have the time accounted for in your calendar, you’re less likely to overschedule yourself.
If you don’t have a system that allows you to stay organized, you may find yourself overwhelmed, overbooked and forgetting important information.
Utilize Broker Support
Having the right amount of assistance and support can make all the difference in your professional life. Many real estate agents work in brokerages that don’t properly support them. Support from a broker is essential and you want to make sure that your broker has the time, space and capability to support you as you move through your career.
Decide what you need from your broker. Is it mentorship? Accountability? Advise? Access to education? Make a list and if you’re not getting this kind of support, ask for it. If the support you seek still isn’t available to you, it might be time to consider a different brokerage.
Learn to Say “No.”
The only way to find the time to be with your family or friends is to cut back on your work hours. Unfortunately, this means saying “no” to some opportunities that come your way. This is not an easy thing to do, especially in a commission-based business where you are in charge of the money you make.
You may feel guilty for saying no to a request, but it may be necessary for you to stay sane. You have to remember that you are the only one who can take care of yourself or your family. You have to put yourself and your needs first sometimes, even if it means saying “no” to important things in your professional life.
It’s easy to let a single task or client consume you. To avoid this, set time limits for yourself throughout the day. If necessary, set a stopwatch or add a reminder in your phone to help you stay on target. For example, you may want only to work with your real estate leads for a few hours a day. Reserve space in your day for this activity. You can designate the amount of time (two hours, maybe) and the time of day (10 am – 12 pm) and set a reminder for yourself at the start and end. You’ll be amazed at how much extra time you can make for yourself just by setting small limits. This is also a way to structure a schedule that’s always changing.
And in doing so, you’ll find that you have time to take on more clients, sell more property and earn more income.
Use a Schedule
Having and following a schedule is the most efficient way to control your time and efforts. You’ll find when you put everything you need to do in your schedule and follow it, you’ll get energy from the accomplishments and feel better about not being overwhelmed.
The biggest challenge agents have with a schedule is sticking to it. If you can develop the discipline to do so, you’ll find you’ll actually have more time in your day.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Time for Yourself
One of the best ways to stay balanced is to take time off. You don’t necessarily need to take an extended break, but you should take time off regularly, even if it’s only a day or a few hours within a day.
You have to find a way to balance work with rest, and taking some time off could be highly beneficial to your mental health. When you are mentally fatigued, you are more likely to make mistakes, and you are also more likely to become frustrated and angry with others and yourself.
Moreover, taking time off will allow your body and mind to re-energize. Thus, you can return to work feeling refreshed and ready to go. Research shows that people are more productive in less hours when they are mentally and physically rested. Not only will this make a huge difference in your own life, but it will also benefit your clients, too.
Plan Meals and Activities
One of the best ways to stay balanced is to plan your meals and the activities you would like to participate in during and over the weekend. Planning meals will make your week a lot easier, and planning activities for the weekend will give you something to look forward to throughout the week.
As a side note, try to plan nutritious meals. Healthy foods help fuel your energy and cognitive abilities. So, if you want to perform at your highest level, you’ll want to make decisions that are accessible to you and that support your body when it comes to nutrition.
Seek Help When You Need It
One of the best ways to stay balanced is to seek help when needed. Whether from a professional organization, a therapist or counselor or a good friend, asking for help is an important part of preventing burnout. Many organizations offer counseling services to help professionals from all walks of life get through difficult times.
Perhaps the most vital component of working through stress is taking action. It’s crucial that you don’t bottle up negative or difficult emotions. If you’re stressed, remember that you don’t have to face it alone. There are always options, whether it’s seeking counseling services to just talking to a friend.
If you’re feeling burnt out in your work, you’re not alone. Burnout is a common issue among real estate agents. But how you respond makes all the difference in your personal and professional life.
Get organized. Set limits. Seek help. Whatever it takes. Real estate can be a challenging profession. But with the right strategies in place, you can avoid burnout.
Chris Heller is a real estate industry icon, best selling author and currently serves as the Chief Real Estate Officer at Ojo Labs. As a two-time CEO within the real estate industry, Chris is seen as a thought leader, helping to create a cohesive structure and adoption between real estate professionals and consumers. Chris also serves as an Advisor and Head of the Editorial Board for AgentAdvice.com, helping agents make crucial business decisions based on real data and reviews.