The real estate industry can be an exciting and rewarding career path, but it can also be a high-stress and demanding field. With the drastic fluctuations we experienced in 2022 many agents and brokers are still recovering from stress and battling subsequent burnout.
Whether it’s the long hours, client demands, or the pressure to close deals, the industry is perpetually at risk of a breakdown. However, there are strategies that can help real estate agents manage their stress levels and prevent unpleasant consequences.
Understand the symptoms of burnout
The first step in managing burnout is to understand its symptoms. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress.
The symptoms can include fatigue, fragmented sleep, lack of motivation, brain fog, irritability, cynicism, and a decreased sense of accomplishment.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take action to prevent burnout from becoming a long-term issue for yourself, your team and your family. It doesn’t just impact us but everyone around us as well.
1. Set realistic goals daily
One of the leading causes of burnout in the real estate industry is the pressure to achieve unrealistic goals. We all know the formula of knocking on X many doors, sending X many follow-up emails or adding new potential clients to the newsletter, calling X many previous clients to thank them for the business and ask for referrals, plus putting out social media content daily, to name a few.
While it’s important to have ambitious targets, it’s also crucial to be realistic about what you can achieve in a specific period of time. Break down your targets into daily and hourly tasks and time block your calendar to focus on each one.
Setting achievable goals will help you stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the demands of the job. This will also give you a feeling of achievement once the tasks are completed.
2. Schedule breaks
Real estate professionals often work long hours with little immediate results and don’t take enough time to rest and recharge both mentally and physically. However, taking breaks can be crucial for preventing burnout. Even a short break can help you reset and return to work feeling refreshed and energized. Schedule a lunch break in your calendar daily and disconnect, even if only for a short period.
What we do with our downtime also plays a huge role and how recharged we feel. Try to break the cycle of the real estate diet of eight cups of coffee and a bag of chips or a box of Oreos in the car. Grab a healthy snack and a bottle of water; make that the new routine. Making smart, small changes such as this gives you back a sense of control that is often lacking when dealing with everything else on your plate.
3. Outsource tasks
You do not have to be the person doing everything in your business! Read that again.
There is a smorgasbord of industry professionals who are here to help you. Whether it’s administrative tasks, marketing and social media or business development, you always have options to select from. Consider hiring a part-time or full-time assistant who can not only bring balance to your life but also help you scale your business. Not sure you’re ready for the commitment? You can get temporary support from ready-to-go admins for only your peak periods.
4. Educate yourself
Mental health has been a huge topic of conversation, particularly since the pandemic started. Individuals, as well as managers, have become hyper-focused on ensuring a stable and positive environment not just for themselves but for their team members as well.
As a result of this development, there has been an increase in mental health and stress management courses and leadership training that allows us as managers to recognize signs of prolonged fatigue in ourselves and in others as well as how to approach certain sensitive conversations using the right language of mental health.
Incredible podcasts on topics of burnout, stress management, and overall mental well-being are great alternatives to online courses while you drive from one appointment to the next.
5. Find a support system
Having a support system can be critical for managing stress and preventing burnout. Whether it’s a mentor, a coach, or a group of fellow real estate professionals, having people to talk to and share your experiences with can help you feel less isolated and more supported.
Remember, you are most certainly not alone in dealing with stress or feeling burnt out. Talking to individuals who have experienced various market fluctuations as well as personal and professional challenges can give you a fresh new perspective and even offer solutions to your problems.
You are not alone!
Remember, taking care of yourself and your mental health is essential for taking care of your clients and building a successful real estate career and life.
Kate Teves is the founder and COO of the HR Pro, a recruiter and a Human Resources Professional who focuses on the real estate industry by finding incredible people to support solopreneurs, teams and brokerages. She also helps leaders and managers build HR processes and design a culture and mindset that facilitate business growth and employee development.