“It must be so nice being able to make your own schedule!” — we’ve all heard it, and maybe once upon a time we all believed that becoming a real estate agent would automatically mean more free time, less stress and a more balanced life.
For many of us in this industry, the hardest part of running our business is striking true balance with the most important relationship we manage — the one with ourselves.
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for real estate success, but if you try these eight tips, you’ll feel more synergy in your life and start 2019 on the right foot.
1. Start with gratitude
Take a step back. Remind yourself (often) that you actually do have a pretty cool job. You get to touch many industries (design, architecture, legal, financial, marketing) and ultimately help people with one of the biggest financial and personal decisions of their lives.
Your work is meaningful and important. Take the time to be grateful for the things you have now, and you will start to find more things to be grateful for.
2. Make a plan, and keep track
Anxiety is fear about the uncertainty of the future. The most successful agents always have plan. They know how many calls they have to make, emails and direct mail to send and what they must do every day to meet their goals.
Often, you’ll hear an agent say “I don’t know what else I can do,” when they have no record of what they actually have done. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting the same result. Some of us are insane.
If you have a plan and track the work put in, you can then acknowledge what isn’t working, and quickly correct course.
3. Eat for fuel
You are what you eat. Your body replaces itself through diet in full every seven years — with parts like your skin turning over every 27 days. Think about food in terms of fuel.
Agents expend a tremendous amount of energy motivating others, running up and down flights of stairs, all while maintaining an energetic professional persona.
Natural nutrient and calorie-dense foods should be eaten early in the day to fuel steady flow of energy. Processed foods and those stripped of their natural fiber (think white breads, pastas) create unpredictable highs and unnecessary crashes.
4. Exercise for stamina
Many of us exercise for all the wrong reasons. Yes, it helps in sales to look the part — but extreme high intensity training combined with a demanding work week could leave you completely depleted.
Choose a workout with the intention to rejuvenate and energize. Low impact workouts like yoga, swimming or even walking or hiking will get your blood pumping, elevate your mood and reduce stress. Above all, listen to your body — if you are completely exhausted, a rest day can do wonders.
5. Recharge your batteries
Get some shut-eye. I know plenty of agents who are so stressed about their business that they fail to get enough rest. In fact, sleep deprivation can result in higher risk of respiratory diseases, have a negative effect on body weight, cause increased blood pressure and affect cognitive abilities like memory, attention and logic.
Aim to get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night and squeeze in a 20 minute nap mid-day if possible. Also, it’s OK to shut your phone off every once in a while. Sometimes unplugging will help you work more efficiently the next day.
Meditation has a slew of science-backed benefits. Its proponents rave it reduces stress and anxiety, promotes emotional health, enhances self-awareness and lengthens attention span. You don’t have to sell your earthly possessions and move to a monastery to enjoy the benefits of meditation.
Simply take 20 minutes a day to sit in stillness. If you don’t have time to go to a class, try an app like Headspace. Some brokerages like Compass have caught on — providing meditation or quiet rooms for agents to get centered without leaving work.
7. Give to receive
The law of reciprocity might not be as popular as the law of attraction these days — but you truly cannot receive until you learn to give. Before I lose you, remember Newton’s third law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Applied here, giving must result in receiving. I would advocate a total shift in your focus from receiving to serving others. Your value as a real estate agent is completely contingent on the quality of services you can provide your clients.
8. Schedule time for fun
This might seem silly, but after you have a killer business plan, filled your calendar with appointments and got your sleep, you should schedule in some fun. Usually, this doesn’t make it onto your list of to-do’s, but it is so important for your wellbeing.
Not everything you do has to be functional or be a means to an end. Sometimes just doing something for pure enjoyment — like a walk outside, listening to music, playing with your dog or hanging with friends — can replenish all the feel-good vibes that you need to better serve others.
Robert Esposito is a licensed real estate salesperson for Compass Real Estate in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn.