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Most luxury agents like to work hard, work fast, and do wonders for their clients. And to that end, a healthy, manageable amount of stress is a normal — and even motivating — part of work. However, these normal stressors were greatly exacerbated by three disruptive market conditions.
1. Fear of missing out
With the pace of the market today, it can feel like everyone is more anxious and more demanding. With extremely short deadlines to make decisions, buyers get into multiple offer situations – and when the dust settles and they actually have time to think, I’ve seen many cases where buyers or sellers change their minds, and a number of deals fall from escrow because of it.
2. Lack of inventory
Competition for listings has become a major source of added stress, and some agents are even cutting their commission in order to win the deal. Ultimately, this only sets a precedent that will hurt them – and the quality they can offer their customers – in the future.
3. Expectations vs reality
With ever-changing markets that alternately favor buyers and sellers, there is often a significant disconnect between the two sides of the transaction. Buyers need to be patient, sellers need to be pragmatic, and the agents representing them need to be collaborative and walk their customers through the confusion. Only then will the agreements be successful for everyone.
As luxury agents, we have always known that “therapist” was a de facto part of our job description, and we pride ourselves on our ability to speak, listen and care for our clients, being the calm in the storm when they’re feeling overwhelmed.
But when you start to feel undue stress or burnout, that ability can be compromised before you even realize something is wrong. Operating from a place of fatigue or frustration prevents you from seeing situations with clarity, and it affects everything from your negotiation skills to your ability to come up with creative solutions. So how can you proactively prevent this from happening?
5 Strategies to Minimize Your Stress
We can all develop stress reduction routines that work for us personally. For example, I am an avid runner; For over 35 years, I have walked at least three miles every morning to clear my mind and prepare for the day ahead. I also do yoga at least five times a week, which has taught me to slow down and take long, deep breaths when my work is busy. On top of that, I treat organizing like it’s an extreme sport. Keeping everything from my desk to my closet tidy is a fun challenge – and one that simplifies my life and sharpens my concentration.
These are examples of the types of systems we can design and implement for ourselves on an individual basis. But for more widely applicable methods, I suggest the following:
1. Call it what you see
Don’t deny your stress. Name the problem, face it, and acknowledge it. First and foremost, being able to recognize the signs of burnout activates the systems you have in place to mitigate it. Then you can fix the problem.
2. Write down this to-do list
We are all multitaskers and being busy is what I like the most about this job. But when we process too many things at once, the quality of our output deteriorates. At these times, it is crucial to sort out your priorities and deal with them in a systematic way. There’s no better stress reliever than witnessing your own incredible productivity.
3. You can ask for help
Many luxury real estate agencies have operations and management teams whose role and objective is to support agents in order to develop the business. I like having a management team and general counsel who can give immediate and thoughtful answers to my questions. If you have access to similar resources, make the most of them – and at the very least, you have valuable colleagues to talk to in difficult times.
4. You too can help
I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to talk, so if you see anyone struggling, get in touch. I have always believed that a rising tide lifts all boats and that by proactively helping each other, we help our community, our industry and ourselves by expanding our own professional networks.
5. Accept the positive
I mentioned that when stress is manageable, it can also be motivating – and sometimes the difference between a positive and a negative stressor is just your state of mind.
When times are stressful, I like to take a moment to look out the window, see the sun, and appreciate the privilege of knowing where I go to work, who I can work with, and the difference I can make in the lives of my clients. lives. But burnout is real, and when it strikes, it’s hard to beat it alone. If you feel left behind, remember to speak up, ask for help, and know you’re not alone.
Stress versus burnout
Excessive stress can lead to burnout, and both are harmful to your health. But they are not quite the same. If you feel tired or overwhelmed, which of these descriptions relate to you the most?
a) You are too committed to your work, and no matter how hard you try, it’s never good enough
b) You are disengaged from work and feel both physically exhausted and mentally defeated
a) Your emotions are heightened and negative experiences seem extreme and difficult to bear
b) You feel emotionally numb, apathetic and cynical, but sometimes also irritable and resentful
a) You think everything will be better as soon as you can check off all your urgent tasks
b) You are convinced that you are useless, unproductive and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel
If you relate more to the first option, chances are you’re too stressed. If you identify more with the latter, you might burn out.
Stress often involves a feeling of “too much”, while burnout is synonymous with “not enough”. Both have short- and long-term health implications, so seek help to lighten your workload, refocus your perspective on the positive things in your life, and allocate ample time for sleep, relaxation, and to exercise.
It sounds easier said than done, but you’d be surprised how quickly these problems can be solved if you lean on others.
For more resources on preventing burnout, visit the NAR site for articles on maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
As one of San Diego’s most successful luxury and coastal real estate experts for 24 years, Linda Sansone is widely respected by colleagues and clients for her integrity, deep market knowledge and leadership in industry.
With a master’s degree, CPA and CFO training, Linda is a rarity in the real estate industry. Prior to moving to Rancho Santa Fe, she honed her skills as a CPA at Deloitte, one of the nation’s most respected financial firms, and as a chief financial officer leading major industrial real estate and architectural firms. on the East coast.