How to Avoid Agent Burnout- Guest Post by Andrew Helling of REthority
As a real estate agent, you might have received these kinds of comments about your job – “It must feel great to work from home,” or “Wow, you make your own hours; that’s amazing!” Such comments usually come from people who have no idea about the inner workings of a real estate business.
Receiving these kinds of remarks from people can be frustrating, especially when life as a real estate agent can be really hard. Real estate agents work hard and for long hours throughout the day. In order to be a successful agent, you have to be passionate, organized, and motivated. Not only that, but if you are part of the 46 percent Americans who believe that their job interferes with their personal lives, you might be experiencing agent burnout.
Agent burnout is a very serious problem and some of its symptoms include chronic fatigue, lack of concentration, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia. These are serious issues you can’t afford to overlook. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek help from a professional. After all, starting your career was a time-consuming process.
At the same time, you should look for ways to avoid burning out in your own real estate career. In this article will highlight our favorite tips to help combat one of the biggest problems facing real estate agents today.
Set Boundaries Up Front
The best way to avoid burning out is to set expectations with your clients during your initial consultation. Explain your work hours, the best way to contact you, and the time it will take for you to respond to their requests. Don’t be afraid to have this conversation early on, because the clients who are actually interested in working with you will respect it.
If someone sends you a text at 8 p.m., the issue that needs addressing is probably not pressing and can probably wait. You won’t have to reply to a client at such a time if you have already explained your work hours to them. Consider putting your mobile on “do not disturb” mode or turn it off after work hours. This way, you won’t allow work to interfere with your personal life.
Avoid Toxic Clients
Clients who are toxic to your health, both physical and mental, are actually bad for your real-estate business. If you have been in the real estate business, you are able to recognize these clients. Such people are unsatisfied no matter what you do for them. For some reason, you can’t establish a good relationship with certain clients. While you may find it hard to end a relationship with an existing client, it is necessary to break ties with them for your own sake.
Cutting ties with clients that are toxic to your health can actually be beneficial to your business. By doing so, you won’t feel stressed out and will be able to focus more on maintaining relationships with good clients. Instead of wasting time and effort on a client who isn’t happy with you, you can dedicate more time to clients who value your expertise as an agent.
These clients will not only work well with you but may also recommend you to their family members and friends. This translates into more clients for you which ultimately leads to more business. Moreover, eliminating the stress of working with bad clients will make you happier and you’ll enjoy working with good clients.
Don’t Be a Rigid Realtor
Clients prefer working with a real estate agent who is personable. You should be personable, not only for your clients, but also for your own sake. If you loosen up a bit, your existing clients will find you more approachable and will find it easier to communicate with you.
Moreover, you will be able to remove the stress of strict professionalism from your list of things to worry about. Of course, you still need to maintain a certain level of professionalism in your work but don’t always need to act formal. Make jokes, talk about sports, and ask about their favorite movies. This will make it easier for clients to work with you and also make your days more enjoyable.
Think of Yourself as an Unemployed Agent
Do you remember how happy you were when you were first employed by a real estate firm? The job was new and exciting back then and you gave your 100 percent to every task. But after a while, the excitement wore off and you started answering phone calls and signing contracts like a robot. The perceived monotony of everyday tasks made it harder for you to give your all to the job at hand. In order to avoid burning out, you must erase this mindset.
Remember that as an agent, you make a living off of commission for successful property and home sales. Even if you are signed to an agency, your clients are your primary source of income, not the agency. They deserve your attention and your best work. The repetition of everyday tasks gets old no matter what the job is. However, the real estate field is different. Even though there are some similarities in the tasks, no one day is like the previous one.
You get to interact with new people, deal with new properties, and visit different locations all the time. However, in order to avoid burnout and keep earning, you must treat it as new. Your new clients deserve the same attention and effort from you as all your previous clients received in the early days of your real estate venture. If you treat every new client as your first, and every day as your first day as a real estate agent, you will be more excited to work and it will be easier for you to concentrate and put in the maximum effort.
My Personal Experience
My own experience with burnout came when I was in my fourth year as a property manager. Often considered a thankless job, I was talked down to all day, every day by tenants. Although my bosses and coworkers kept the office light-hearted, I started going into work downtrodden and wondering who was going to be angry that day.
To fix this, I did a few things. While is sounds trivial, I bought myself a yellow happy face mug. Any time I made my coffee, I saw a smiling face looking back at me. Additionally, I changed my mindset going into work. Instead of thinking, “who is going to be upset with me today,” I thought “who’s problem can I solve?” These two simple fixes helped me get back on track and remember why I choose my career in the first place. I urge you to do the same. You chose this career over anything else, so remember what attracted you to the business in the first place.
Try to look at your job situation with younger eyes, when things were exciting and fun. Going one step further, picture yourself sitting at a desk in a cube with hundreds of other employees toiling away on meaningless tasks. Then compare their day to yours. I bet you’ll find at least one reason to be thankful of your career choice, and it may change your entire perspective.
The most important thing you need to remember to avoid burnout as a real estate agent is to enjoy the journey. Think of every day as your first day on the job. Moreover, don’t let work interfere with your personal life. Set boundaries and let your clients know of them so that they don’t come in the way of your happiness. Finally, cut your ties with clients who are toxic to your health so that you can enjoy working with clients who actually value your expertise and service. All of this should get you back on the right track, and enjoy the job you chose.
Bio: Andrew Helling is the founder and editor of REthority.com, an online resource for real estate professionals and their clients. His experience as a real estate investor and property manager brings a unique insight to his writing. You can follow him on LinkedIn.