Real estate can be a demanding career. The more clients you have, the busier you become. Since some of your clients are only available to look at properties in the evenings or on the weekends, it can feel as if you work around the clock.
You might love your job, but if you never get a minute to catch your breath, you can lose steam and enthusiasm for the business.
Real estate doesn't have to control your life, the trick if finding a healthy work/life balance.
1. Set realistic expectations
Finding a work/life balance in real estate starts with you and the expectations you set for yourself. There's nothing wrong with hard work and setting the bar high, but you have to be realistic. If you aim to be the top real estate agent in your city, county or state, this will require much of your time and energy, and you’ll sacrifice personal time and time with your family.
You might hit your goal and benefit financially, but at what cost? If you rarely see your kids or if you’re on the brink of exhaustion, you have to consider what’s more important. A healthy work/life balance doesn’t happen on its own—you have to make it happen. Take a look at your expenses to see if you can survive on less income, and then take on fewer clients and relax your expectations.
2. Take at least two days off a week
Being a real estate agent can keep you busy, and if you're not careful, you could end up working seven days a week. Even if you're not working a full eight hours all seven days, thinking and dealing with work stuff every day of your life can still tire you out.
To strike a healthy work/life balance, resolve to take off at least two days a week—no matter what. You deserve a mental health break just like any other professional. Your time off doesn’t have to be a Saturday or a Sunday. If Saturdays are an active, busy day for real estate, plan days off for Sunday and Monday, or two other days of your choice. And when you take days off, make sure you enjoy this time. In other words, don't work from home and only return phone calls when absolutely necessary.
3. Take breaks during the day
To maintain your sanity as a real estate agent, schedule breaks throughout the day to blow off steam and give your mind a break. If your phone constantly rings and you're constantly responding to emails and text messages in between paperwork or on your lunch break, your day will feel longer than it actually is.
One perk of being a real estate agent is the freedom to set your own schedule. It’s okay to step away from your desk for 10 or 15 minutes and enjoy a “real” lunch break. If you can take your mind off work for 30 minutes or an hour, you’ll be energized to get through the rest of the day.
4. Stop your workday at a specific time every day
A healthier work/life balance involves taking control of your time. Some real estate agents allow their clients to control their schedule. But if you never set boundaries, some clients will call at all times of the day and night. You have a life outside of work, so you deserve to end your day at a reasonable time.
When you initially meet with clients, let them know that unless it's an emergency you typically don't respond to emails or phone calls after a certain time, maybe 5 or 6 p.m. Also, promise to return calls within 24 hours. It's okay if a client goes to voicemail. Most of your clients are understandable and don't expect to be at your beck and call. As long as you return phone calls, text messages and emails in a reasonable time frame, they're satisfied.
5. Get a hobby outside of real estate
If you love real estate and helping people, buying and selling could become your life—to the point where you breathe, eat and sleep real estate. There’s nothing wrong with passion for your career, but it’s also healthy to have interests outside of work.
Finding a hobby that has nothing to do with your occupation is another way to unwind and take your mind off work. If you always have real estate on the brain, it can feel as if you're always in work mode.
Finding work/life balance is crucial and will ultimately help you preform better.