In recent years the rise in technology and the competitive housing market has forced REALTORS® to work harder and longer hours. Driving from showing to showing, answering emails and phone calls at all hours of the night—it all takes a toll, and the stress can mount. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your stress that will not only improve your quality of life, but might also improve your sales as you become more efficient at your job.
The signs of stress
Do you feel chronically anxious or depressed? Are you irritable around family, friends, and coworkers? Have you lost interest in hobbies or work? Are you socially withdrawn or experiencing physical tension? Are you drinking too much? If you answered yes to any of these, you might be under excessive stress at work.
Organize your work life
Plan your day: As a REALTOR®, last-minute changes are a way of life. But whenever possible, set a roadmap for the day, and stick to it. Prepare your tasks in order of priority and stick as closely to your plan as possible. Checking items off a list can be incredibly gratifying, and will keep your momentum up throughout the day.
Let coworkers help: You don’t have to do it all. If you’re in a position to do so, delegate responsibility, and ask for help if you need it, either from another agent or from your supervisor.
Get away from your desk. Just 60 minutes in front of a computer screen is about all one person can handle at a time. Try to break up your tasks, and if you have to spend the day in front of the computer take mini-breaks (10 minutes) and take a stroll. Even better, if you can get rid of your office chair altogether, consider the benefits of standing at your desk from the Harvard Business Review.
Don’t try to control everything: You won’t sell every house, not every buyer will be a joy to work with, and not every fellow agent will be easy to get along with. Don’t worry about them; control your reaction to them and your stress level will go down.
Take care of your personal life
Eat well-balanced meals: Eating unhealthy food can make you lethargic, anxious, and irritable. If you’re showing houses during the day, avoid the easy solution of stopping for fast food, and instead pack a lunch in the morning to avoid mood swings. Giving in to cravings might be gratifying in the short run, but poor nutrition will sap you of energy and brain power.
Get a good night’s sleep: Being well-rested provides emotional balance, and it makes you better at your job, further reducing stress. Sleep is essential to put on a face for the public as you show properties, and it is also necessary for safe driving around your city.
Exercise: Get your heart pumping for maximum stress relief. 30 minutes a day of exercise—enough to get you sweating—will do wonders for your mood and energy level, and will make you better at your job thanks to the sharpened awareness exercise provides. If you don’t have time for the gym, check out Health.com’s 30-Minute Workout, No Gym Required.
Avoid alcohol and nicotine: It’s no secret that alcohol and nicotine dull the senses, and make all your efforts to sleep, exercise, and eat right all the more difficult. If you enjoy an occasional drink, do so in moderation.
Stay involved in hobbies: When you’re outside of work, be sure to keep up the activities you love, whether it’s golf, hiking, cooking, gardening—whatever helps you clear your head and enjoy “you” time. The houses will wait.
For REALTORS® out there beating the pavement day-in-and-day-out, do you have any stress-reducing tricks of the trade that you’ve learned along the way? Let us know in the comments; you might just help a fellow agent.