Real Estate 101: Fighting Agent Burnout
Real estate is a round-the-clock job. From being active in the field and negotiating costly deals, to helping soothe buyer and seller anxiety—the life of an agent requires emotional savvy, sales expertise, and a bottomless reserve of energy. It’s no wonder by agent burnout is a real danger for today’s professionals. Especially in a business that operates on a commission-basis, the constant drive to find and close your next sale can keep you in a constant state of anxiety and anticipation. What’s an agent to do?
Recognizing the signs of agent burnout
For starters, it’s important to recognize the signs of burnout so that you can break the cycle. If you’ve been an agent long enough, some of these symptoms or behaviors may seem like second nature, but in fact that they are often the signs of exhaustion. What’s more, exhaustion isn’t just something to be endured—it can really derail your morale, longevity, and ability to perform your job well. Insomnia, increased negativity, emotional fatigue, and an inability to complete standard tasks are all signs of agent burnout. Other signs include: frequent tiredness, emotional detachment from your duties or clients, uncharacteristic irritability, and increased anxiety. While many of these behaviors are common to experience at one time or another, displaying a few of these at once and over time can indicate mounting burnout. If you know the signs to look out for, it’s far easier to address burnout in the early stages rather than waiting for mistakes to arise as a result, requiring the added burden of clean-up.
How to resolve agent burnout and recharge
In real estate, it’s nearly unimaginable to not be on call 24/7, but a healthy work-life balance—even in a commission-based field—is essential for longevity. But how can you accomplish this without sacrificing your earnings, professional relationships, and client base?
First, set appropriate expectations and boundaries up front. If you allow clients to dictate how business is done from the beginning, then you’ll be setting an implicit expectation to which you’ll be tethered. Instead, outline your hours and working style with clients from the outset. Communication about after business hours time with family, along with an emergency number, can help clients understand your commitments outside the office, while giving them a resource in the event of a catastrophe. Even if you only apply this strategy with ultra-demanding clients or during certain extra-busy times of the year when burnout is most likely, it can go a long way to preserve your recharge time.
Second, find ways to disconnect and refresh. From meditation and healthy eating habits, to the occasional weekend trip or intramural sports league—find an outlet for your stress and energy and treat your body and mind with care. If you’re in such a rush that you’re living off fast food, or you never take time for yourself and your interests, your performance and morale will suffer as a result.
Lastly, it’s important to understand the ever-present role that technology plays in the life of an agent. Maybe you think that scrolling through social media is a nice way to disconnect or turn off your brain, but you’d be better off breaking the habit of checking in on social media as often as you might. In fact, the average person checks their social media feeds 80 times a day! Set boundaries and disconnect after a certain time of day or night, and try not to bring your phone into the bedroom if you can help it. Create times and spaces where phones and social media aren’t your main source of entertainment or stress relief.
If agent burnout is starting to take its toll, arm yourself with information and solutions that can help you unplug, refresh, and take on the day with renewed spirits.
Brandon Doyle – RETI Contributor