We’ve all been in that position of feeling burnt out—feelings of not wanting to go to work, higher stress levels, no motivation, unhappy at home, no work-life balance, easily irritable and the list goes on. How do we get here and how do we overcome feelings of burnout?
Real estate agents work with many people in a demanding industry, so it’s common that we take on the stresses of our clients, family, and friends. Because of our profession, we often become “fixers.” We take on too many projects, too many clients, or too many tasks all in an effort to find solutions for others. We are uniquely motivated by helping others because it’s our job, and sometimes it is at a detriment to our wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
So, what should we do when we recognize that we are experiencing burnout?
- Work toward establishing work-life balance. This means setting boundaries between work and home. Do not bring work home. Set your work hours and stick to them. Once the time comes for your workday to end, give yourself permission to be done with work. You don’t have to pick the phone up if you get a work-related call or check your email. There are no real emergencies in real estate, so whatever it is, it can wait until your next workday. You must give yourself time to decompress outside of work so that when you are working, you can be fully available to your duties and the people around you.
- Set expectations about your work schedule and communicate them to clients. This is a part of honoring your boundaries. You may know your own boundaries and what you expect from yourself, but it’s important to be able to express these boundaries to others if necessary. We’ve all answered the phone, email, or text at midnight, but if you do, you’re setting up the expectations that you are available 24 hours a day.
- Practice self-care. It’s easy to ignore your own needs and desires when you’re busy. But it’s up to you to take time to take care of yourself, physically and mentally. Read a book, meditate, take a walk or work out (endorphins are a great stress reliever), join a social club, or get a massage. Whatever you do, do it for yourself and don’t feel guilty. Think about it: you ask yourself to work hard in your career daily, so self-care is like making sure you get what you need in return.
- Work smarter, not harder. Real estate agents need to learn to be less controlling and let go of the idea that “no one can do it better than I can.” Successful people often fear the idea of delegation. But if we can learn to work with others and delegate tasks to our teams, we would be able to get more done with less stress. You may find that there is someone else who can accomplish certain tasks better and faster than you can, but you will need to release some of your control to reduce your workload and your stress.
- Finally, learn to say “no.” Do not volunteer for a project if it interferes with your schedule. Do not take on that additional client if you do not have time to serve their needs properly. Saying “no” is not always an indication of the inability to do something but can be used for self-preservation when being pressured into taking on more than you can and should handle. Remember your boundaries and say “no” to the things that don’t honor them.
Lisa Bender is a certified real estate coach with Workman Success Systems and an associate broker and team leader of the Bender Team based in Clarkston, Michigan. She strives to provide exceptional service to all her clients, and with her background in marketing and finance, Lisa can give her clients an advantage in the home buying and selling process.