How to Avoid Burnout as a Real Estate Broker

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Most burnouts have to do with experiencing an enormous amount of stress that leads to exhaustion, a lack of motivation, and a decline in job performance. Many times, people who experience burnout are in a position where expectations get the better of them, and their inability to deal with the numerous amount of stressors causes them to struggle. Research shows working long hours backfires for most people, a characteristic in the work of a real estate broker that often leads to them experiencing burnout.

Real estate is filled with long hours, lots of weekends, and being tethered to electronic devices. Because of the lack of a set schedule, brokers and agents are often pulled in many directions, and the stress can take its toll on them. They work all day, travelling to meetings, viewings, and move-ins, sometimes struggling to take a brief pause. This could potentially lead to an early burnout in the career of a real estate professional, as the errands that need to be squeezed into a day’s 24 hours could appear too overwhelming. Additionally, working until late often leads to a lack of sleep, which reduces productivity the next day. It’s a vicious cycle, and without a definite strategy for dealing with the stresses of work, burnouts will undoubtedly be experienced.

Typical warning signs of a burnout are a lack of motivation, difficulty with relationships, and a short temper.  Left unchecked, however, burnout can not only affect one’s efficiency in work, but also affect personal health. It can also cause mental stress that forbids a person from functioning in his best EQ.

The cure for burnout usually comes down to living a more balanced life; one more in tune with a person’s capacity to withstand stress. It varies from person to person, as some have a far higher tolerance than others. However, everyone needs to recognize their limitations, ensuring that they don’t work beyond their mental, physical, and emotional capacity. Completely eliminating the factors that could be contributing to the development of a burnout may not always be possible, but one can handle them wisely through these four strategies.

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Set clear goals

Setting goals gives a clear idea of what needs to be done at a definite period of time. By setting clear goals and ironing out definite action steps to achieve them, priorities become easier to identify. When goals are set, it gives a sense of clarity amid the seemingly endless ocean of work. Do what needs to be done and move onto the next step, one step at a time.

Establish schedule boundaries

Saying yes to everything and filling up one’s calendar is a slippery slope towards experiencing burnout. It’s important to set aside a set number of hours in a day for meetings and viewings. Many brokers spread themselves too thin by compressing too many things in a day that they fail to do their other responsibilities. The quality of their work also takes a noticeable dip.

Aside from the out-of-office work that they do, real estate brokers also need to handle their work digitally in the form of e-mails. With an inbox filled daily, brokers need to squeeze in responding to each client into their schedule as well. One way to effectively avoid burnout is to be stricter with one’s schedule and set time boundaries, especially in this aspect. Set specific ‘office hours’ for answering e-mails and inquiries; by doing so, a fixed response time will also help manage client expectations.

Interact with people outside of work

Interacting with people face-to-face and not on the phone is a known way of avoiding burnout. Look for coaches or mentors – preferably those who revolve in the same field but not in the same company or organization – who can provide positive relationships that reap newfound motivation and encouragement to combat the cynicism born out of burnout.

Being with like-minded people, like loved ones or old friends, can also help clear one’s mind when slipping into a state of burnout. Reaching out to an old friend and rekindling the feeling of connection proves beneficial in the long run as a few hours away from any semblance of work is necessary. If work unnecessarily clouds one’s mind, it’s an obvious sign to change perspectives.

Get back into a personal routine

Burnout isn’t just a sudden increase in stress. More than simply being exhausted or short-fused, this stress can also begin to make people feel like their work doesn’t matter. Those who are on the course to experience burnout typically have skewed perceptions of themselves and others.

By bringing back some sense of routine or habits like avoiding looking at e-mails for the first hour upon waking up and resolving to have a hearty breakfast before the start of the work day, a person can get back into a daily regimen that focuses on making sure they are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to start their work. Exercise is also a proven stress-buster, and many can attest to having a better disposition after exercising in the morning.

By time blocking diligently, people often discover that they have enough time in their schedule to do other things. This paves the way for them to invest in a hobby as well, if that’s what it would take to disconnect for a while and clear their mind.

Burnout is a serious issue, thus it’s important to start taking steps to prevent it in the future. For real estate brokers whose work revolves around trying to meet the needs of others, it’s common to neglect their own needs, which can cause serious issues in their overall wellness. It’s important to take a few steps back once in a while to find the right motivation once again to keep going. By simply evaluating if they are taking on too many responsibilities, one can establish if they’re on course to falling into burnout.

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