Most agents in today’s crazy market feel like they are going about 150 mph. Top that with increased competition, tough offer negotiations and extraordinary client expectations, and it can be exhausting and overwhelming.
It’s time to press the brakes, get off the roller coaster, sit on the sidelines and work on strategies to reduce the stress in your workday.
Google “classic signs of burnout” and you’ll see …
- Sense of failure and self-doubt
- Feeling helpless, trapped and defeated
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world
- Loss of motivation
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
- Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.
Does any of that sound familiar? Before you jump on the burnout bus, let’s look at a few powerful ways to help keep those feelings at bay to reenergize and empower yourself to achieve more with less stress.
You can’t do it all, and frankly, you shouldn’t try. Write out your to-do list every day, but pull the top three things you must accomplish and make them non-negotiable. They should be high-priority activities such as prospecting.
Once they are done, start moving to the rest. You’ll have a better sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you do. Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog!
It’s all about doing the “ugly” thing, such as the things that cause fear or distraction first. You get it out of the way by doing this, and it does not weigh on you all day. For many agents, it’s prospecting or picking up the phone. Get it out of the way early in the day!
2. Change your focus from selling to serving
Speaking of doing what you dread, one of the reasons many agents get super stressed is that they fear the phone. Primarily, that is rooted in rejection. Here’s the trick — don’t call “to get an appointment” or to “take a listing” — call to help. Just call to ask how people are and see if they have any questions about how this crazy market might affect them, their investment and their buying and selling power.
We’re way less stressed when we are serving than when we’re “selling.” Selling feels inauthentic, pushy, aggressive and not fun. Serving? That’s a whole new ball game. It allows every conversation to be a win-win because there is no loss if you don’t get the appointment. Try it for a week and see if it feels different to you. If it does, change your ways – and your focus.
3. Work by objective, not by crisis
Working by crisis looks like the bank account is low, and you need a closing now, or you’re in trouble. Conversely, working by objective looks like you are crystal clear in your vision and goals and are working on a plan designed to get you to your next level. The concept is to manage your actions consciously.
Think about a holiday where you were so excited to have people over. The things you would accomplish in record time, right? The food, the cleaning, the décor, the execution. It’s amazing what you can do when driven by a vision of what you wanted that meal, or time, to look and feel like. Everything kind of flows, doesn’t it?
That’s because you were working by objective with your commitment and goal in mind. Now, take that same concept and apply it to your career. Use your dedication and vision to help fuel the energy you need to make every day count. You’ll have less crisis and more joy.
4. Live a little more in balance
There are 168 hours in a week. According to Alan Lakin, who wrote How to Manage Your Time and Life, a good work week consists of two 12-hour days, three nine-hour days, and one four-hour day. That’s a total of 55 hours per week, which leaves 73 hours for personal time (including sleep) and 40 for family and relationships. How will you spend yours wisely?
There’s no such thing as total work-life balance, but there are powerful tools out there to help you time-block so that you don’t fall into that “all work and no play” cycle that will cause anyone to burn out.
The 2021 National Association of Realtors Member Profile tells us the average agent worked a 35-hour week. A Placester survey shared that nearly half of the agents they polled, (49 percent), work a 40-hour week, with 62 percent of those agents spending at least an hour per day on marketing, advertising and self-promotion, and 60 percent saying they spend several hours per day prospecting.
Those are good numbers to know as you strategically look at how you map out your days. The first thing to do, believe it or not, is to schedule you time. Top agents usually begin and end their days getting centered. Then plug in any family events or obligations you know are coming up.
Next, plug in your prospecting time, then the rest of your tasks. Give yourself some wiggle room a few times per week so that you’re not stressed about navigating the unexpected.
5. Find and learn a CRM
Trying to keep tabs on all there is to do in this business is way too much for a spreadsheet and a calendar. You need a system or systems that will help you consistently stay in touch, prospect, and manage your marketing and communication.
Without it, things will undoubtedly fall through the cracks, and that will create tremendous stress that doesn’t have to be there. Work the systems and let the systems work for you.
Our whole goal at my organization is to help agents design lives and careers worth smiling about. That means helping them incorporate the tools, skills and strategies that increase productivity and profitability while decreasing stress.
Increase fun and joy and decrease drudgery and fear. A lot of that comes down to perspective, practice, and putting good habits and systems in place.
Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars. He currently hosts weekly free webinars to help agents navigate market change and design careers worth smiling about. Learn more at his website or connect with him on Facebook or YouTube.