4 TIPS TO CREATE WORK AND LIFE BALANCE AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT
The life of a Real Estate agent entails a copious amount of work and not a whole lot of play. For those of us who have thriving careers – carving out quality time for our family, our friends, and even ourselves proves to be quite tricky. It is even harder to find and maintain work and life balance for those who are Real Estate agents. Not only do they put in their 9-5 work hours filing paperwork, responding to work emails, and tending to whatever other office tasks need completing – they are also expected to be available 24/7 for their client. These long hours include Open Houses on the weekends and last-minute unplanned showings.
We all know how important achieving a healthy work life balance really is. The phrase is currently trending throughout the American workforce. Even though taking time away from work is encouraged (by most,) it is difficult to put our electronic devices away at the end of the day and just disconnect. On top of that, there’s something inside of us that almost feels guilty when we aren’t working. Unfortunately these feelings tend to be amplified for those in the real estate industry.
Studies have shown that neglecting your personal life to conquer your professional obligations will cause burnout, extreme stress, and an overall decline in your physical and mental health. This can lead to your work performance taking a serious dive over time. Because we know this is true, the trick is to get ahead of it. Start putting yourself first and carve out some personal time. If you are a real estate agent, these tips and tricks are guaranteed help you establish the work and life balance you’ve been dreaming of.
Learn to Manage Your Time
We all have to work on our time management skills every now and again, and when we think about time management, we usually associate that skill with work. Try to apply your skills to both your personal and your professional life.
Let’s start with your morning routine. What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Raise your hand if your answer is “check my phone.” No judgement! We all do it, but it is a bad habit that should be broken. Take some time for yourself in the morning before you connect with the rest of the world. Wake up early, stretch, meditate, read a few pages of a good book, sip on a yummy cup of coffee, spend time with your family, or do whatever it is that you know will start your day off right.
The way you start off your morning truly has the power to make or break your day and a solid, mindful routine will set a positive tone. Plus, you’ll avoid those frantic mornings when you barely have enough time to shower and your gulping your coffee down as you run out the door with your shirt on backwards.
Okay, next – make a list of everything you need to accomplish and order your list starting with the most strenuous and/or urgent tasks of the day. Then, work your way down the list and check things off from there. As a real estate agent, sometimes you will find yourself at the mercy of other people’s schedules and ad-hoc tasks will occasionally pop up, but knocking out those time consuming office tasks will make you feel accomplished and the rest of your day will seem easy peasy. Plus, your mind is in tip-top shape at the beginning of the day so you might as well take advantage of that brain power.
*Pro tip #1: Use a planner. Planners are life-savers! And use the same one for your personal and professional life so you avoid overlapping your events and obligations. Also, if you are ever hopping from one event to another on the same day, make sure to schedule yourself plenty of time to travel between the two. For those tech-savvy folks – there are multiple online tools with mobile apps to assist you: Asana, Trello, and Monday.com have free versions available.
Establish Office Hours
And stick to them! No one should have to make themselves available to others 24/7. The key to setting up office hours is to communicate. Make sure that your clients are very aware of when you can be reached. Display your available hours on your office door, in your email signature, on your website, on your business cards, tell your clients verbally, etc. so they cannot miss it. That way, if you are not answering your phone or responding to an email right away, they won’t think that you are ignoring them and you will not feel guilty about setting your phone down for a while (or heck, turn it all the way off, go wild.) Try setting up automatic responses for your off-time so clients get a response and know when to expect contact.
*Pro tip #2: Create calendar blocks. Whatever email and calendar service you use, you have the ability to schedule your time. Try blocking off time each day for time consuming tasks – this will keep you focused to get the “big rocks” done. Make sure to stay flexible if your client’s need you, but stick to your blocked time as much as possible.
*Pro tip #3: Use a meeting scheduling app. Schedule appointments on your time! Offer your clients a variety of times that you have available first. You can always schedule outside of this if it is not convenient for them. There are many free options out there – Meetingbird, Calendly, Simplybook.me.
Book Time Off
It is so easy for a Real Estate agent to get wrapped up in the daily to-do’s. You can be chugging along and – boom! A year has gone by and you have not taken any vacation time!
A vacation does not necessarily mean that you have to actually go somewhere. If you don’t want to break the bank, schedule yourself some time off for a little stay-cation. Take a couple of days to relax at home. Have a movie marathon, pamper yourself with a spa day, splurge on that lawn furniture you’ve been eyeing and hang out in your yard, or kick up your feet and have a beer at noon (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?), the world is your oyster!
It is important to note, when you do decide to take time off, you should tell clients in advance. Again, communication is key. And treat your time off like you would your business time. Mark it in your planner that we discussed, turn on your ‘out of office’ notification, and turn off all of your electronic devices. Do not let anything or anyone hijack your vacay. Time off is absolutely necessary to give yourself the opportunity to unplug, reset, and get re-energized and re-inspired. It will do wonders for your work performance long term.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
While being a real estate agent is incredibly rewarding, the position does not come without its challenges. Take a look back on your last few months. Have you cancelled on dinner with your spouse or with friends for a last-minute showing? Have you been distracted on your phone while spending time with your loved ones? Are you feeling healthy and rested?
Like I said earlier, we do not give you all enough credit. You are constantly giving to your clients mentally, physically, and emotionally and sometimes it is okay to just say ‘no’; you can’t please everyone and it will not do you any good to waste your energy trying.
It may take some time to discover the work-life balance that is reasonable for you. But once your new healthy lifestyle becomes a habit, you’ll be guaranteed to succeed personally and professionally.
With a fire-hot market upon us, Camargo wants to take a task or two off of your plate. Let us help you check one more item off of your to-do list. We can get your homeowners quotes quickly and work with lenders so you don’t lose that sale. Have your client’s give us a call today for a quote!