The demands of a real estate career can leave new agents wondering how they can perform to the best of their ability. It’s stressful to meet deadlines, develop one’s skills, and handle sticky situations.
That’s why you must respect yourself and learn how to prioritize your well-being.
So you might be wondering, What should I do to prioritize myself, and how do I do it well?
Self-care is about protecting your mind and body from complete exhaustion. It involves being actively engaged in caring for yourself and making it a priority. It’s about saying “no” at times and being content with your decisions. It’s easy to take care of other people first and put your priorities on the back burner, but it only delays the inevitable: you deserve happiness, too!
Set Clear Boundaries
What boundaries make sense for real estate agents?
- Physical. You need to be able to set limits on what you need in order to stay energized. For example, you can research on your laptop for a designated time and then get up to clear your mind. Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine will give you the stamina you need to walk through multiple house showings in a day. Also, try to eat meals at regular intervals to refuel during the day.
- Time. Specifically, it’s how you spend your time. This includes what you can and cannot do for other people or whether you choose to take part in activities that include work and leisure. You can’t be in two places at once, so don’t fight it. When you schedule multiple meetings in a day, allow yourself buffer time between each one.
Here are some examples of what physical and time boundaries can look like:
- “No, I can’t do a private showing this Saturday because it’s my daughter’s birthday party.”
- “I need to take a 20-minute break and then I will get back to my report.”
- “I’m going bicycling this morning. Would you like to join me?”
- Prioritize reading and responding to personal messages after work hours
As a new agent and independent contractor, you’ll have the freedom to set your working hours and let people know what those are. You might choose to work full-time but have non-traditional hours. This might mean working Tuesday through Saturday so that you can help out with open houses or attend real estate conferences but take Sundays and Mondays off to spend with your family. You need to decide what works best for you. To set communication expectations, set up a voicemail message to say when you will be able to call or text someone back, and when you can be expected to check your email and phone messages each day. You can also include it in your email signature.
Burnout can occur when you are exhausted mentally and physically from your job. You might feel unmotivated to work even if you previously enjoyed it. It could mean stretching yourself too thin and making careless mistakes in your work because you’re tired. Fortunately, there are healthy ways to get back to feeling like yourself. Your clients will still be there in the morning!
Self-Care Rituals to Try
Do you feel like a hamster when you run on a treadmill? Maybe it’s time to go outside! Make sure the exercise you choose is enjoyable and feeds the reward system in your brain. For example, you can walk your dog on your lunch break or a client call. If you had exercise commitment issues in the past, snag an accountability partner.
Assess Your Mental Health
Your mental health is extremely important. Different stages of life can trigger stressful events, regardless of how successful your career is or seems to be. Take a few quiet minutes to check in with yourself each day. There is no shame in seeking counseling if you suffer from anxiety or depression.
Stimulate Your Mind
An active mind is more creative, and creativity is an essential strength for agents. Read books, listen to podcasts, and take online courses to learn new skills. Sign up for newsletters from your favorite creators to find content that you enjoy consuming.
Engage in Hobbies and Passions
Have interests that have nothing to do with your work. Join clubs or projects in your community and volunteer with groups that connect to a higher purpose. Reserve a night for yourself to enjoy a hobby or do something out of the ordinary.
When Sick, Rest!
No one wants to hear from you when your nose is stuffy and you’re coughing. While it’s tempting to sneak in a little bit of work while sitting up in bed, communicate the situation to those who are in close contact with you and allow yourself a full recovery.
Appreciation can go a long way towards maintaining relationships and giving others a positive impression of you personally and professionally. First off, you can try journaling about your real estate journey at the close of the day and reflect on how far you’ve come.
Second, the art of the thank you is far from dead. You can tell people who are important to you that you appreciate them for their acts of service, kindness, and gifts that they give you. You can say thank you in person, digitally, or in the written form. The Emily Post Institute provides a helpful FAQ on thank you etiquette that can make expressing your thanks a pleasure.
The Bottom Line
While your work as a real estate agent may not ever feel “done”, practicing self-care can help you stay motivated and excited throughout your career. When you can strike a balance between your professional duties and health, you’ll become a more effective agent.