• Almost anything will work better if you unplug it -- even you.
  • Virtually all real estate issues can wait until the next morning when you are back at work.
  • When your body starts telling you that you are doing too much, pay attention!

Are you running with your business seven days a week, missing family events to handle client business and constantly feeling stressed out?

If so, you might be on the road to having a “splat” moment that can have serious consequences for both your health and your business.

I recently spoke for the Maryland Association of Realtors on “Winning the Mindset Game.” During that session, I outlined a three-step model that alerts you when you need to make a major course change.

The ‘feather, bat, splat‘ warning model

The first warning sign in this powerful model is the “feather.” The feather is that little voice inside that says, “You’re working too much, you’re not eating right, and you really do need to take some time off.”

You might also be making little mistakes that you normally don’t make — you miss an appointment, you forget to pay a bill or you leave your phone at a restaurant.

The second step is the “baseball bat.” This occurs when you come down with a bad case of the flu, you have an abscessed tooth that requires a root canal, or your hard drive crashes and your data is wiped out along with it.

Your business might be plagued with difficult clients, problem transactions and computer issues.

If you ignore these warning signs, you might go “splat” by having a car accident, a major illness or some other problem that keeps you from working weeks or even months.

A very public ‘splat’ moment

As I watched the video of Hillary Clinton’s so-called “wobble,” it struck me that the events leading up to this event followed the model above. Clinton has struggled with persistent allergies and a cough for months (the feather).

Clinton’s physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, revealed that in January, Clinton was suffering from sinusitis and an ear infection that required antibiotics, steroids and a myringotomy tube to be placed in her ear to drain the fluid (the baseball bat).

As Clinton’s cough worsened, she saw Bardack on September 9, 2016. Bardack informed Clinton that she had pneumonia and advised Clinton to amend her campaign schedule.

Clinton refused. Instead, she attended the 9-11 event in New York City. The result was a very public “splat” moment that dominated the headlines.

How to avoid going ‘splat’

Sadly, many real estate agents end up working seven days a week, grabbing fast food on the run and giving up precious family time to work on doing another deal.

I know because I did it for two decades. It’s taken years of coaching and work to break the habit.

Moreover, I don’t even remember those people’s names or what was so important that I was willing to sacrifice two decades of memories.

What I do remember is the time spent with family, the special events with friends and the memories made having fun outside of work.

Take time to refuel

When you push seven days a week or work long hours, it’s the same as running your car 12 to 14 hours per day. Sooner or later, you need to replenish your fuel. The only proven way to do this is to take time off.

As Ann Lamont observed, “Almost anything will work better if you unplug it — even you!”

What I’ve found is that after I take a day off, I get twice as much accomplished as I did on the day before my day off.

You don’t have to be available 24-7 to succeed

Regular contact doesn’t mean 24-7. Instead, if you regularly update your clients with the latest activity on their listing, any new competing properties that have come on the market or use a transaction management platform that notifies your clients of each step being taken in the transaction, there’s little reason for them to contact you.

Unless something unusual is happening, there’s no reason for you to give up your evenings and special times with loved ones. Virtually all real estate issues can wait until the next morning when you are back at work.

Identify what you do well and delegate the rest

How much do you make an hour? To answer this question, divide your net income from your Schedule C, LLC or corporate tax return by 2,000 (that’s 50 weeks at 40 hours per week.)

For example, if you made $50,000, then your net hourly rate is $25 per hour.

What this means is that if you are doing $8-an-hour work such as putting out signs, picking up lockboxes or going to the post office, each of those activities costs your business $17 per hour.

Hire someone else to do these simple chores so that you can generate the extra one or two listings per year to cover the cost.

Furthermore, if you hate doing paperwork, a transaction coordinator will get the job done faster and more accurately. This frees up your time to do more lead generation as well as makes it easier for you to take time off.

When you get the feather, pay attention to it

When your body starts telling you that you are doing too much, pay attention! You can’t help your clients if you home sick with the flu or if something else goes seriously wrong.

Instead, schedule a full day off, take time to enjoy your loved ones, and make a point to catch up on your sleep.

Also, be proactive about preventing problems by having regular physicals, visiting the dentist every six months and having your eyes checked annually.

It might be a challenge to do these things, but it certainly beats the “splat” alternative.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and www.RealEstateCoach.com/newagent

Email Bernice Ross

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