with Stress and Avoiding the risk of Personal Burnout
To be successful in real estate you have to be busy. We all know that,
but busy at what, and what affect is that having on us and our relationships
and health whilst we are doing it?
It could be that the problem is because it's called a Business Plan.
Let's not forget that the plan needs you in "prime" mode
to achieve your goals and be in a state to enjoy the results. What's
the point in working so hard to achieve the goal of a holiday in Fiji
only to have a heart attack whilst there? So perhaps there is a need
to plan not only for your business life, but also for your real life!
How do you look after you and what state do you want to be in after
working to achieve your business goals?
Real Estate as a career or business provides awesome opportunities
for personal and income growth. But it comes with a catch:
It can be 7 days a week, there are performance budgets to meet, colleagues
to appease, clients who won't listen, not enough hours in a day, open
homes to run between, endless phone calls intruding in home life,
children that have sports functions, bills to pay, advertising deadlines
to meet, boring sales meetings, auction deadlines, and the list goes
Then you see people who are failing to perform to reasonable targets
using "blaming" of others as the cause of their demise.
The "Superstar' is just lucky, the market is tough, "I tried
that once and it didn't work', "the boss isn't fair", "
the advertising is too small". All too commonly these are the
phrases used by people who are failing to face reality.
What they are doing and how they are doing it, isn't working!
And all too often we see people join this industry with a great future
ahead of them, work so hard for 3 years to establish their business
and then let it all go through stress or simple frustration. So what
are some strategies that you could use to help manage your stress
and to maintain some balance in your life, whilst continuing to be
successful in your real estate career?
So let's look at this predicament from 3 perspectives:
* The "You" mode.
* "Work Mode"
* "Home Mode"
The "You" Mode.
I believe that the first part of controlling stress and avoiding burnout
is to look after you.
Be certain that you take time to look after you and to prepare yourself
for the rigours, pace and demands of successful selling and consider
the following issues.
What are you doing this for?
A good Business and Life Plan means you have a clear grip on the outcomes
you want from this profession and some clear strategies on how you
are going to achieve it. There are few things more stressful than
working really hard without having some checkpoints so you recognise
and celebrate the successes you achieve on the way. That is just as
important as noting that your results aren't right and being wise
enough to change the behaviours that are causing it.
Check your Coping Strategies
Stress rears its head in many ways and often it is seen in how we
react when the pressure goes on. Often in a moment of extreme pressure
the valves reach boiling point and people can release pressure, and
scar their reputation.
"Remember it's best that we remember the point you were making,
rather than the exhibition."
Dietary habits and the use of common stimulants such as caffeine (Now
in so many forms) and alcohol, both so socially acceptable, as means
to hide other issues is a sure sign that all is not right. If you
have an intolerance or allergy to any common food ingredients, they
can obviously cause a reaction that amplifies itself when the pressure
is on. I don't suggest you abstain totally but as in all things there
is a balance. So if you feel the pressure is there, something you
are eating or drinking which could be contributing to your reactions.
And what about overuse of such items? Dr John Tickell has been on
the speaking circuit for some years and talks of executive stress
and the impact of foods etc. He recommends no more than 3 coffees
a day and at least 3 alcohol free days a week. Anything more than
this, could indicate a dependency problem. Rather sweeping you say,
but not a bad reference point.
The correct diet has a huge impact on our ability to cope, so if you
are "working on the edge" too often diet could be an issue.
Check what you are eating during the day so that your energy levels
stay up during the afternoon. Make sure you maintain an adequate protein
intake and that you don't substitute quality for food on the run,
containing too much carbohydrate. Remember the saying, "A moment
on my lips is forever on my hips!"
Balance between work and not-at-work time is crucial. Nothing is more
destructive to you than being guilty because you are at work and then
guilty when you are at work because you are not home with your partner
and or family. And let's not forget the wider family and personal
friends. It's hardly a successful strategy when you've made all the
money only to find you live alone and your friends have moved on.
Nothing is more destructive to your relationship than ignoring it,
so where is the time set aside to "date" your partner?
Nothing is more destructive to your work productivity than not turning
So the need to plan balanced week or month is crucial to your long-term
success. A quick look through your diary will soon show where your
focus has been.
Consider the changes you need, before either your boss or your partner
says, "Enough is enough!"
Fitness. There is nothing like a good bit of physical exercise to
clear stress, oxygenate the blood and to release you from all the
real estate thoughts spiralling around in your head. Whether it is
walking, running, golf or a gym workout etc there is a need to make
sure you get the chance to exercise regularly. Recent research indicates
that his is even more important than weight. Now that's great news
for a few!
Yoga and meditation are both strategies commonly used by successful
salespeople to allow them to cope. A round of golf, a day off with
your partner or a day's fishing are typical examples of coping strategies.
What's yours and how regular is it?
So check your diary for the weeks and months ahead and see if there
are any days off to enjoy the basics in life and to spend with those
you care about? If there aren't any there, then maybe it's time to
make some adjustments. Nothing like getting rid of a bit of guilt,
to ease the stress levels.
Check your Personal Values aren't in conflict with the role you have
Stress comes in many forms and often it's from a lack of financial
performance, which comes from a lack of ACTIVITY. And the activity
avoided most is Prospecting. Yes asking for business seems to be the
most challenging task for many in sales. And if they can't get over
this then they are possibly in the wrong job. I see this in many sales
people who won't make calls to contacts in the evening because they
don't like their own nights disturbed this way. Setting them a task
to make Prospecting calls in the evening will simply result in no
calls and more stress. Breaking through beliefs like this can be monumental
for future success.
"The biggest ingredient in success is simply turning up"
There is some truth in that but the real secret is what you do with
the time you are at work.
The distractions of a typical real estate office are numerous and
can get in the way of a really productive day.
The best question to ask yourself is: "Am I at work today, or
The biggest creator of stress in real estate people is the crowding
of their time and the draining of their energy with NIL RESULTS. All
too often this is caused by a low performer, seeking company for a
coffee or a gossip. Don't let these avoiders of useful work destroy
One of the issues, especially for new people and the frazzled, is
that they spend 80% of their time with sellers that don't have to
sell and buyers who aren't in a position to buy. But by gosh they
Quite clearly there is a need to take control and avoid the negative
Over priced listings
Stale open homes
Poor systems and resources
Work is just that and when in a commission sales environment it is
very easy to be distracted by the agendas of others. Some of the most
successful people now spend very little time in the office, fitting
in with the "avoidance" habits of the lower performers.
They spend their time talking with people who are selling or buying,
or who might know someone who is selling or buying.
So what should your ideal work mode include?
Time to attend to administrative details
Prospecting time -database time - letters and phone calls
Time to visits advocates
Reviewing Vendors marketing and pricing positions
After Sales Service.
And most important of all; TRANSACTIONAL TIME!
So how often and how well?
There is a great deal of satisfaction in dong a job well and knowing
that having spent the time you will get a result. Now compare that
with a week or two spent running around with buyers and sellers for
no result. So yes, skill is important. So how much time have you allocated
to the development of your skills?
Doing it once is not enough. Accept that not everyone you deal with
is going to mean a successful transaction. Not every person you talk
to is going to list with you or buy off you. So when the opportunity
comes along for a training session, invest in your future business
Manage your time by planning your time well ahead and then having
the self-discipline to stick to it.
One of the best tips is to take a few minutes on Sunday evening and
empty the diary and the brief case. Review all the names in your diary
that need to be followed up and then look at all the tasks required
to keep your plan working and allocate these through the week. Then
stick to it - unless a transaction comes along.
The real champions don't work all the time. That's just an excuse
for justifying our own lack of performance.
Don't try to do it all, all the time.
Families and relationships are important, not only in the support
of our business endeavours, but in our role as partners, parents and
friends etc. So we need to make time by
Taking every 6th weekend off and for 3 or 4 days
Dating our partner
An early afternoon or two a week
A late start after taking the kids to breakfast somewhere before school
Getting a house keeper
Have the lawns mown by a contractor
Get groceries on the Internet
Have someone clean the car
All things that mean when you are at home you are not busy doing other
things, but actually free to spend time with people that are important
Make at least 1 night a week an at home and NO CALLS night. Yes have
a night a week where only a transaction can get in the way. Turn the
mobile off, put the answer phone on and do what normal people do.
Read to your kids, go to a movie, read a book or go out with friends.
It's okay, so long as the "At work" time has been useful!
You might have a plan to make 20 (at least) calls a night. Why not
change that to 100 a week and do them on 3 days/nights and have 2
nights free and keep your weekends for buyer/open home follow up and
Home mode means just that. What you don't want is the reverse of the
line above: "Are you at home tonight or just visiting?"
So surviving in this business is not just about how much money you
make. It's about making enough money, with a life in balance so it's
all worth the effort. The person in control of that is you.