If you want to accomplish your goals as a real estate professional, you’ll need to build balance into your daily practice. Luke Babich offers five strategies to make it easier.

Real estate agents have an opportunity to build a fast-paced and financially rewarding career. More than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021 for new opportunities, including careers in real estate. With a hot real estate market in 2021 and 2022, it’s a great time to be an agent, but competition is high. 

Working overtime to gain a competitive edge is tempting, but stressing about every detail can quickly lead to burnout. The key to staying long-term in the housing industry is striking a balance between working harder and smarter each day. Establishing a work-life balance is essential for real estate agents who want to build and sustain a steady career that will last for years. 

Here are some tips to help real estate agents achieve work-life balance.

Manage your expectations

In a hot real estate market where many consumers expect to sell their homes above asking price, you may feel the urge to set lofty career goals regarding how many clients you’ll land, how many deals you’ll close, and how much money you’ll earn. 

Although having goals is a great way to measure success over time, make sure you don’t set your goals too high. You can avoid being driven by metrics that require you to work long hours by managing your expectations. Just focus on providing the best possible service to existing clients.

For example, if you help a family find their dream home or help a client sell their home above the asking price, they’ll be more likely to recommend your services to other buyers and sellers. Quality of service will help you build a long-term career instead of burning out.

Establish a routine

As a real estate agent, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule. That can be a blessing and a curse. Rather than leave your schedule entirely flexible, establish a daily routine that balances your work and family commitments. 

Start by scheduling time to complete administrative tasks during standard business hours. Some buyers and sellers will have daytime flexibility, but most will want to meet with you earlier or later in the day — or even around lunch breaks.

Reserve time for personal commitments as well. If you’re responsible for dropping your children off at school, mark that time on your calendar and avoid scheduling anything for work during those hours.

Be organized and efficient

As you create a work schedule, look for ways to be more organized and efficient. The more organized and efficient you are during work hours, the more personal time you’re likely to have.

One way to stay organized is to create a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish in a day, then prioritize them from most to least urgent. Start with the most time-sensitive tasks, checking them off early in the day, so you don’t feel pressure to complete them by the end of business hours.

While you work, note how long it takes to complete regular tasks. As you learn more about how long tasks take to complete, you can adjust your schedule accordingly. 

Eventually, you may be able to find resources or educational tools that will help you streamline your processes, giving you more time. You may also find that you can make more money by hiring someone to help with tasks that take up too much of your time. Asking for help isn’t easy, but it’s crucial when creating a work-life balance.

Use technology to your advantage

As technology continues to grow and advance, it’s important to use it to your advantage. Smartphones make it possible to do more with fewer devices. You can take photos and videos for listings while calling, texting and emailing clients. With so many capabilities available in the palm of your hand, you can reduce the time it takes to finish your to-do list.

Technology can also help your clients buy and sell more quickly. Virtual home tours have become increasingly popular. Instead of relying on open houses and paper ads, most of today’s buyers begin their search process online.

Using virtual home tours and high-quality photos with your listings can make sellers’ homes stand out. Likewise, by posting on multiple social media channels and the Multiple Listing Service, you can cast a wider net of potential buyers.

Although smartphones make it easy to work anywhere and anytime, they can also make it more difficult to avoid working during your personal time. Consider using a “Do Not Disturb” setting when you’re off the clock to enjoy your leisure time.

Set boundaries

Buying and selling a home is a stressful process, and you naturally want to support your clients. However, it’s important to set boundaries

Once you establish a routine, be transparent about your schedule at the start of your relationship. Let buyers and sellers know when they can expect instant access and when they should leave a message. Inform them when they can expect a response. By keeping clients informed of your schedule, you can protect your time off while still giving them peace of mind.

Although it may be tempting to tell a buyer or seller they can contact you 24/7 and expect a response, it’s important to protect your rest time. Otherwise, you could burn out or make costly mistakes, which won’t help you achieve your goals.

Luke Babich is the CSO of Clever Real Estate in St. Louis. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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