Three offers on a listing the minute it hits the MLS, and you’re on top of the world.
Five minutes later, the phone rings, and your only escrow is in big trouble.
But before the day ends, a new luxury buyer falls into your lap….
Sound even slightly familiar? Welcome to the rush of real estate.
Stress is a national epidemic; what’s that mean for real estate?
While some traditional “type A” agents may thrive on the thrill, most of us wince when the phone rings or the email comes in notifying us that a transaction’s in trouble.
Stress is already a national epidemic — in real estate, where the stakes are high and you don’t eat if you don’t close, the problem has become epic, and it may be affecting not only your health, but the impression you make with prospects.
The dangers of stress are well-known. It’s estimated that up to 85 percent of all chronic conditions are caused or exacerbated by it.
That may not sound so scary in general, but we should keep in mind that even the highest top producer isn’t showing houses from a hospital bed. Stress also has an important and negative impact on your sales success.
Why does stress affect sales?
Stress is contagious, and due to our internal antennas, neuroscience tells us that people can “sense” your stress and are generally repelled by it. When cortisol and adrenaline shoot through your body, the functionally of your higher brain is seriously impaired.
This part of the brain is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. In fact, it’s where negotiation, creative resolution and answers to objections will all begin to marinate and resonate. Stress can kill commissions.
The trouble is that for most of us, stress is the result of an external event (unqualified buyer, seller backs out, and so on), that we process or react to internally. This reaction causes the release of dangerous chemicals that can actually become addictive (think thrill-seekers).
Where do you find a fix?
How does one find the calm in the chaos while navigating through the trials and triumphs of an ever-changing industry while trying to keep on top of technology, platforms and taxes?
Our fast-paced, wrap it up, eat-it-on-the-way, conference-calling society shirks silence and down time as a terrible waste of time, but thanks to something called neuroplasticity, we can begin to calm down our “monkey” minds and take greater control of the stress effect.
It starts with mindfulness: Simply paying attention to one thing at a time and being a bit more aware of our thoughts. A little mindfulness added to your day will not only improve your immune system and reduce your stress levels, but it will also bring better conversion rates by your increased awareness.
According to Dr. John B. Arden, Director of Mental Health for Kaiser Permanente Northern California and author of “Re-Wire Your Brain,” science shows us that we can indeed re-route the maps in our brains for measurable results in all of our activities, including our daily interactions, stress reduction and improved moods.
Here are a few things you can incorporate into your life immediately that can reduce the stress and help create a more mindful real estate business.
1. Count to five. As old-fashioned as it sounds, it’s still a good plan when problems arise. Remember, when your brain is firing off cortisol, thinking wisely is a challenge. Take a breather and give yourself a chance to calm down before hitting “send” on your email or speed-dialing the other agent.
2. Cultivate a meditation practice. Technology doesn’t only rock your real estate business; it helps you meditate. Brain entrainment music (search YouTube) makes it easy to take 10 minutes and enjoy not just stress relief, but also the other benefits of a regular meditation practice.
This is a result of the left and right hemispheres of the brain getting in sync, which instantly “ups” your thinking power and reduces your stress levels.
3. Pay attention to your attention. As simple is it sounds, that’s all mindfulness really boils down to. In psychology, it’s called “metacognition.”
Stop yourself throughout the day and see where your thoughts are. Most people who experience stress are either reliving past, negative experiences or worrying about upcoming ones.
When our minds are “full” of things that aren’t helping us in some way, we’re quite likely feeding our fears and releasing more cortisol than our bodies know how to handle.
Ultimately, your real estate business depends upon your ability to manage your stress so that you can maintain the high energy this industry requires. Moreover, the mindful agent is able to seek solutions more effectively when troubled transactions do arise, as well as fend off the damages that stress produces on the body and the brain.