Maybe you struggle to get to sleep because you’re thinking about tomorrow morning’s viewing. Or perhaps you get to sleep fine but wake up from a nightmare about losing all the keys to the houses you’re showing. Perhaps pandemic-related disruption in real estate has left you feeling anxious and worried about your job.
Let’s face it, being a realtor can be pretty stressful. Maybe you’re buried in paperwork, you’re dealing with yet another demanding phone call at an unreasonable hour, or you’re working long hours and weekends to fit everything in.
Here are some of the reasons why real estate is so stressful:
- There Are a Lot of Moving Pieces
Each real estate transaction requires the completion of lots of different tasks. Forgetting one small but crucial task could have serious legal consequences. Understandably, a lot of realtors find themselves worrying about staying on top of everything.
One of the best ways to avoid missing a single real estate transaction is to use an electronic checklist. You (and the rest of your team) can update this on the go, letting you see at a glance what next actions are needed. Your checklist is also a great way to keep an eye on transactions that need urgent action to meet deadlines.
- You Have No Plan for Your Day
As a realtor, you might think it’s pointless (or impossible) to plan your day. Maybe your day consists of lots of calls from clients, marketing your properties, dealing with lots of urgent things that crop up, and doing as much prospecting as you can fit in.
Without a plan, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. You might end up handling tasks that you really should delegate to someone else in the office – or you might find yourself forgetting about that phone call you promised to make.
At the start of each day, plan three things you want to accomplish. They don’t have to be big, time-consuming tasks – but they should be significant ones that move the needle in some way. Schedule time during the day when you’ll work on these tasks. During that time, let calls go to voicemail if possible.
- You Don’t Have Any Boundaries Around Work
Many realtors end up working in the evenings and at weekends. You might well think it’s necessary to work long hours in order to stay ahead in a highly competitive industry. But the truth is, after about 55 hours per week, you’re actually becoming less productive, not more.
You need boundaries around work. Stop work for the day at a consistent time, so you can have the chance to relax in the evening. (You’ll likely find you sleep better.) Take at least one full day off work, completely, every week. This may mean carefully planning house showings to ensure you get some time off.
Instead of letting work spill over into every aspect of your life, create firm boundaries to hold work in place. Most people find that “work expands to fill the time available” – and by limiting the time available, you’ll push yourself to work more efficiently.
- You Don’t Have Good Systems in Place
Perhaps you go through a “feast or famine” cycle at work, where sometimes you’ve got more clients than you can handle, and sometimes you’re desperately prospecting for work. Without good systems in place, it’s tough to even things out.
You need to be continually bringing in new clients, with a reliable pipeline. That could mean something as simple as always contacting clients a couple of weeks after their home is sold, to ask them if they can refer you to a friend or two. It could also mean creating useful content for your website, to help bring in more clients from search engines – or posting regularly on social media groups in your local area.
- You Only Get Paid When You Sell a Property
Probably the most stressful thing, for many realtors, is that you may only get paid when you actually sell a property. While this can be good news if you’re on a strong run of sales, it can also be very stressful if you’re expecting sales to go ahead then fall through.
The best way to mitigate this type of stress is to ensure that you keep careful control of your personal finances. Make sure you build up an emergency fund to help you through any unexpected lean times. Try to arrange things so that you always have at least 3 months of living expenses in the bank. This is a lot less stressful than constantly having to hustle for the next sale in order to pay your mortgage.
While a small amount of stress can be good for us – helping us to stay focused and productive – constant, large amounts of stress aren’t helpful. If you’re struggling to sleep well, feeling low or irritable, or having relationship issues, then look at making some changes.