Top 10 Ways To Stay Motivated and Avoid Burnout for Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents are one of the primary drivers of our economy. They’re dedicated, determined, knowledgeable, and resourceful professionals. And with all the skills and qualities that are demanded of them, the best still manage to do their job with compassion and genuine care for their clients. Sound like a lot? Even though it’s a highly rewarding career, it can also be challenging at times to stay motivated. Maybe that feels familiar to you! If that’s the case, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways that you can stay motivated even when you’re just not feeling it.
1. Set Clear Goals
We’ve heard it a hundred times before, but why would we want to set clear intentions? And why write it down? Because of science! Neuropsychologists have identified what is called the “generation effect.” Basically, when you generate your own original content (like personal goals) your more likely to remember it. Writing it down allows you to use that effect twice- first when you think about the idea and then again when you reprocess it to write it down. Plus, studies show writing it down helps us to retain more of what is important and less of what isn’t. All of this adds up and can help with focus and clarity when needed most.
2. Know Your Why
One thing is clear- successful leaders know their why. Understanding the “why” behind your actions gives you purpose, and purpose is good at igniting passion and motivation. Perhaps you’ve gotten hazy on why you wanted to invest your time and resources into the real estate industry, or maybe you’ve forgotten altogether. Do you remember the day you first received your real estate license? Was it exciting? Were you driven? What were you most eager to accomplish? What dreams have you maybe left behind in the daily grind? Maybe the journey looks different than anticipated, but whether you’re new to the industry or have been around a while, getting really clear on what pulled you in this direction to begin with can greatly improve your motivation now. A vision board is a fantastic visual tool to help you get started. It can help us reflect on, reprioritize, and imagine all of the things that we find most important.
3. Set Healthy Boundaries
Real estate agents are the go-to person for everyone involved in a home transaction, so it’s easy to see why agents sometimes feel overwhelmed. Everyone’s idea of healthy boundaries will look a little different, but finding a balance that works for you is important to avoid burnout and to maintain your love of people. Whatever you determine your boundaries to be, it’s crucial to explicitly state them on the front end so that clients understand when their demands overstep. Being flexible and working with your client to determine boundaries that works for all parties can go a long way into developing trust with them and keeping your schedule manageable.
4. Take Control of Your Calendar
Speaking of a manageable schedule, a real estate agent’s calendar can be their most powerful tool. The key to an efficient calendar it to work smarter, not harder, and to be consistent. Starting the day right with a morning routine can really boost our positivity throughout the day. Learning other time management skills such as time blocking and habit stacking can help you prioritize what is most valuable, increase your productivity, and decrease everyday stress. Even dedicating one or two scheduled hours a week for important tasks that are easy to push off, like marketing and thank you cards, can keep them from piling up.
5. Find Little Ways to Decompress Every Day
We often have the misconception that carving out time to de-stress means finding a 3-hour slot for a bubble bath or the time and money for a new makeover, but this simply isn’t true. Whether you feel too busy to find the time, or you feel too stressed to even begin to relax, it may be best to reconsider how you define relaxation time. Even finding a few moments to breathe can be incredibly beneficial to our overall mental and physical health. It’s not all pseudoscience, either- scientists have been learning more and more about the benefits of breathing. Research suggests that it can calm your brain, lower your blood pressure, help us regulate emotions, affect our memory, and boost our immune system. That’s a lot of positivity packed into a short amount of time, but it’s not the only thing you can do. Whether you listen to your favorite music in between client appointments, take a quick stretch break, or have a small treat, find options that are customized to your schedule and interests.
6. Talk to People
This might seem a little counterintuitive at first glance if you’re already talking to people all day, but seeking perspective can really help push you along your journey. It can be easy to find ourselves closed off in our own stress bubble where we lose the bigger picture, but community is a vital part of our wellbeing. Community helps us to feel belonging, find support, and remember our purpose. If you’re new to the real estate industry, talking to someone who has more experience than you can not only give you tips for success, but can inspire you to keep going in slow or stressful times. If you’re a seasoned professional, getting around the newest real estate agent who is eager and ambitious can be contagious and help you to remember why you started in the industry. Of course, being a positive influence and surrounding yourself with positive people drastically improves the outcome of this tip!
7. Positive Self-Talk
We’ve all been there- talking ourselves into a spiral of self-doubt, catastrophizing a situation, or negatively comparing our journey to someone else’s. We also know that this isn’t helping us to achieve our goals or to be happier, but why? Negative self-talk “steals your attention from the present, your happiness, your relationships, your hopes, and your opportunity for better things.” Alternatively, positive self-talk helps us with endurance, increases vitality, gives us greater life satisfaction, improves our immune function, reduces pain, lowers stress, and more! So what now? Step one is to identify your negative thinking habits. Recognizing them helps you to flip the script when they come up again. With plenty of patience, practice, and the receptivity to learn new habits, positive self-talk can become your normal.
8. Budget, Budget, Budget!
Why is creating a budget motivating? Because it makes the valleys more manageable and the peaks more exciting! The fact of the matter is that the real estate industry fluctuates, and preparing for the changes proactively instead of reactively will help you feel more secure and less stressed. Sticking to a budget even builds your confidence when you prove that you have the follow-through to commit. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to on the up-swing! That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to blow all your money when times are prosperous, but if you’re fortunate enough to have a little extra after budgeting, maybe you consider using it to treat yourself. Of course, budgeting with a financial professional who can help you make smart decisions based on your specific circumstances is always the way to go!
9. Physical Health & Wellness
This may seem like the most obvious tip, but when you’re busy or just not feeling up to it, this can be the easiest thing to miss. You matter, and that means your health matters! A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean obsessing over the number on the scale or being over-the-top positive all the time- it’s about the small, positive steps in your daily life that can help build a better present and future. One of the fastest ways to quit a new habit is to overwhelm yourself with all the shoulds and coulds and the plethora of internet resources. That’s why it’s such a good idea to pick one thing at a time that is important to you and to start small. Start with an acheivable, daily habit- maybe add one glass of water, add one vegetable to a meal, get to bed a half an hour earlier, or meditate for five minutes. Over time this can grow, but focus on step one before you run into just another big project. A little goes a long way!
10. Reward Yourself
‘ “When high performing [people] are in a state of calm, they actually don’t like it,” executive coach and psychologist Perpetua Neo told INSIDER. “Like if nothing is being done then the whole world is going to collapse.” ‘
Sound a little too close to home? At the end of the day, if you’re doing the things you need to in order to move your life forward, reward yourself no matter what the outcome is! There are so many external factors that affect the real estate industry, so even when you’re putting in the work, you can’t always control the results. According to Perpetua, “if we give ourselves enough time to recharge, we can gain some of that control back.” Rewards done the right way can be “a great motivation tool.” Maybe during a slow season, it looks less like a brand new car and more like a cup of hot tea with your favorite person. And when you know you’ve done your best and you intentionally choose to take a well-deserved reward, don’t waste it by feeling guilty. Stop beating yourself up and congratulate yourself for the little wins along the way. Taking care of yourself now means the future you is better prepared for all of the amazing things you can accomplish!