How to Find a Work-Life Balance in Real Estate
Real estate is a fast-paced, exciting lifestyle. This is why so many people get into real estate as a career. But unless you are careful, it can become a 24-hour job. The fact is that as a real estate agent you are your own boss. Meaning, you have the flexibility to work your own hours. But it also means you are under pressure to make your own salary.
Here are some tips to help you get ahead in real estate, but also to leave it behind when you go home for the day.
Establish Work Hours
It’s 9:15 p.m. and your phone buzzes with a new client email. What do you do? You may think, “Well, I’ll just answer it this once.” But once you establish you are available at this time, it’s almost certain to become permanent whether you are aware of it or not.
Having a work life balance means having time when you are not working at all. To achieve this you should establish strict working hours. If a client calls in the evening, the world is not going to end if you call back in the morning. If you regularly need to meet clients on the weekend, block off weekend working hours and do not extend them.
You should respect your clients, obviously. But also be sure to respect yourself.
Don’t Let Small Tasks Stack Up
If you dedicate 30 minutes to the little tasks each day, you can clear them before they become a burden. Answering voicemails, paying bills, sending emails, filing paperwork—all of these take little time to do, but they need to be done regularly.
If you let them go for a few days, they build up, and suddenly you need to work on the weekend. Everyday will have new challenges and stresses, but these tasks will always be there. Make them the first thing you do when you start work in the morning (or the last thing you do before you leave) and you’ll keep your small tasks in check.
Your Family is Your Best Client
Those struggling for a work-life balance often feel that they have to make a tradeoff between work and family (i.e. time at work takes away from family and time with family takes away from work). This isn’t the case, however, if you consider your family your number one client.
If your husband or wife needs you to be somewhere, simply reschedule your other clients. If you child has an afternoon event, you’re not leaving work early, you’re seeing to a VIP.
Really, the only people who might not understand are those without a family. And they really aren’t in a position to be telling you how to treat yours.
Compartmentalize Social Media
As a modern real estate agent, managing social media is part of your job. It’s a fact of life. But you need to compartmentalize it so that it doesn’t become a crutch.
How many times a day do you finish a task and immediately type Faceb… into your browser? This is a problem. While social media can help you market and attract new leads, the return to the amount of time you put into it is rather small.
We suggest a social media calendar. This will allow you to plan your tweets and posts in advanced, publish them, respond to messages, then leave social media and concentrate on other things.
Get an Alarm Clock
The psychological effects of having a phone near your bed are well documented.
Even with strict working hours, sometimes the temptation to check email in bed is too great. So why test it? Get an alarm clock and leave your phone in another room while you sleep.
Trust me, the difference in your productivity from getting a good night’s sleep will outweigh any emails that had to wait until morning.
Ask for Help
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Too often real estate agents slog it alone. They are, after all, their own bosses. But this only adds to the pressure and life imbalances.
If there is something you are struggling to accomplish, ask a friend or another agent to lend a hand. Compensate them if necessary, and put it behind you.
For more from Realtyna, check out How to Be More Productive in Real Estate and The Top 8 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents.