Join the exceptional and become a Sotheby's International Realty agent.
Like many luxury real estate agents, I used to think that there was no such thing as too much business. But the pace many of us had to maintain during the housing frenzy of the past few years was exhausting, and burnout was a real problem.
Balancing the personal and the professional now has a whole new level of importance. Here are my top tips for work-life optimization.
It’s important for agents to take the long view. In the past few years, the pace of sales made it harder to think beyond the day-to-day. But if you’re not creating and implementing a long-term strategy, you may find yourself stuck.
I recently implemented a three-year strategic plan that incorporates both my personal and business goals, which I review every quarter. Luxury agents are no strangers to ambitious goals, but taking steps to formalize them — and to factor in your personal well-being at the same time — can help you be more motivated and intentional.
Commit to productive habits and rituals, and don’t forget the basics. Staying aware of the little things gives me greater clarity and consistency. I’m continually evaluating my workflows and processes so I can automate, eliminate, and delegate in every aspect of my business. This allows me to focus on what I do best, and optimize my efficiencies.
I believe in the power of positive thinking. Your perspective has a tangible impact on how you conduct and present yourself — and so it influences your experience, your clients and co-workers, and the success of your business. The right mindset optimizes your mood, energy, productivity, and time.
Reading is a powerful way to stay excited and engaged with ideas. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel are two books I enjoyed recently, along with Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini for a classic business read.
You don’t have to do it alone
Early in my real estate career, I realized that if I was going to be successful, I should specialize in what I’m naturally good at and delegate the rest. So two years into my career, I hired a full-time assistant. At the time, nobody in the office understood why I would voluntarily reduce my take-home pay. But looking back, this strategy allowed me to invest in my business and myself simultaneously.
The additional help has given me the freedom to spend the majority of my time working on the areas that really grow my business. The end result is that I love what I do, and happy agents sell more real estate.
Set healthy boundaries
This is a demanding profession, and some clients expect our attention 24/7. Not knowing when they’re calling or what they’ll need can cause chaos in your personal life.
They seem to have a sixth sense about that too. An old friend drops in and you just popped the cork? Here comes the call asking to review the inspection report in minute detail. I used to write that off as part of the job until I learned a few tricks about client control.
I’ve realized the value of setting expectations up front and explaining to them when I will contact them and why. This significantly reduces random calls and texts; when they know what to expect, their anxiety level drops, they feel informed, and the odds of me getting through an episode of “House of the Dragon” uninterrupted are much higher.
Establishing healthy boundaries between work and personal time lets me be my best for my clients. That means I’m genuinely happy to hear from them, I stay focused on what’s important to them, and the overall hours spent from the initial offer to the final closing are reduced.
Be purposeful in your approach
I’ve learned over the years that most top agents are highly organized. So my piece of advice is to take whatever organizational game you have and up it.
Improving my organizational skills over the years has resulted in happier clients, more business, and just as importantly — more “me-time.”
As a native of Richmond, Virginia, Laura Peery helps her clients skillfully navigate the twists and turns of the real estate market while having some fun along the way. In addition to the Richmond area, Laura specializes in waterfront properties and country estates. Prior to becoming a realtor, Laura worked for years as a counselor helping individuals and military veterans get their lives back on track. Buying or selling a home can be stressful, and Laura is trained and experienced at relieving the stress and delivering a positive outcome. Her tenacity, strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, and genuine nature have helped hundreds of clients reach their goals, even during challenging times. Her motto is “attitude is everything, integrity is non-negotiable.”