How REALTORS® Can Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
We’ve said it before. We’ll say it again.
Real estate agents are entrepreneurs.
You set your hours. You are your product. You’re responsible for finding clients and growing your business. And if you don’t do either? No paycheque.
It’s a lot of work. A lot of pressure. And a lot of stress.
Which is why, at some point or another, most real estate agents find themselves feeling completely overwhelmed.
Can you relate? This post is for you.
Here are five ways that REALTORS® can stop feeling overwhelmed.
1. Write Everything Down
You know how it goes. You start thinking about what you need to get done and suddenly your heart is racing and the back of your neck starts to tingle anxiously. You can’t imagine how you’ll finish it all. You panic.
There is an antidote: get that long list of tasks out of your head and onto paper.
When you start mentally running through your to-do list, press pause and grab a notepad. Write it all down — every item you need to get done.
Don’t think too hard about priority or how you’re formatting your list. Just write.
Most people find that the simple act of transferring their mental to-do list to paper is enough to relieve that sensation of panic and overwhelm.
It’s as though you’ve cleared some room in your head that was previously taken up by having to keep track of every action item.
2. Assess and Streamline
In an effort to improve their businesses and make things more efficient, entrepreneurs sometimes add too many tools to their arsenal. It ends up having the opposite effect; it leaves them feeling overwhelmed.
Real estate agents fall trap to this all the time, signing up for programs and accounts and services they think they need. Such as social media accounts they can barely keep up with and paid apps they never use.
If that’s you, it’s time to streamline. Assess things like:
- Social media accounts. Maybe you have accounts on five different platforms, with a half-hearted presence on all of them. Choose two to focus on, and delete the rest. Psst: here’s how to choose the best social media platform for your real estate business.
- Smartphone apps. Is your phone filled with photo, video, scheduling, and project management apps you downloaded with dreams of becoming hyper efficient on the go? Get rid of them. Well, most of them. Narrow them to the bare necessities and commit to using those select few. These are the five essential smartphone apps we recommend for real estate agents.
- Subscriptions. Between trials that expire and automatic credit card payments, it’s easy to sign up for a paid subscription and forget about it. Popular subscriptions and memberships for agents include social media schedulers, email marketing platforms, and online ad creation and testing tools.Do you have these? Are you actually using them? Be honest with yourself; cancel whatever you know you’ll likely never use.
3. Schedule Rest
When you’re overwhelmed with things to get done, taking a break seems like a luxury you can’t afford to take.
But resting is actually a necessity you can’t afford to skip if you want to stay productive, focused and as stress-free as possible. So pencil it in.
Seriously. Schedule breaks like you would meetings, open houses, listing appointments, and social events. Once those items are in your calendar, you schedule other events around them. You should treat rest the same way.
To stop feeling overwhelmed, work a variety of “rest appointments” into your calendar in advance.
- Block off a 15-minute window after a scheduled meeting, so you know you’ll have time to get fresh air or decompress before the next one
- Schedule a 30-minute lunch break, so you guarantee yourself time to eat something that’s healthier than a large double-double and a muffin on the run
- Add a “meeting” that starts at 5 p.m. at least once per week, so you know your workday will end at a reasonable hour
4. Say No More Often
In the name of getting new business, real estate agents often say yes to everything they’re invited to.
Fundraisers. Board of trade events. Networking evenings.
They also double-stack their calendar, squeezing in too many listing appointments and client meetings in one day, because they’re trying to be productive.
It’s too much. It’s overwhelming.
Instead, start applying the principle of quality over quantity. Instead of attending four networking events this month, pick the one that seems the most likely to yield good connections. Rather than rush multiple clients through same-day meetings, politely schedule one for the following day.
If you’re not used to it, regularly saying no can feel detrimental to your business. Trust that it’s not, so long as you’re saying yes to the things that really matter and giving them your undivided attention.
5. Find Focus
When we feel overwhelmed, we often try to compensate by multi-tasking. Makes sense, right?
I have so many things to do. I’ll try to do three of them at once.
Except that research shows that there’s actually a cost to multitasking: precious time. Trying to do multiple tasks at once takes us longer, because we’re actually being less productive. And when we’re accomplishing less, our feeling of being overwhelmed skyrockets.
Staying completely focused on only one item at a time helps counter those feelings of overwhelm. Finding focus is easier said than done, but it can be done. With discipline.
- Identify your distractions and remove them. If you find that you get derailed by friendly chats with colleagues, sequester yourself in your office (or at home) when you really need to get through your to-do list. Is social media your downfall? Block sites and apps with a tool like FocusMe.
- Stop when your productivity is waning. If you find that your pace and motivation has slowed to a trickle compared to when you started, take it as a sign to stop. Trying to grind along will only frustrate you. Instead, take a break or tackle a smaller, easier task before returning to the one on pause.
- Focus on the process. Being goal-oriented is good, but staying too focused on an outcome can be prohibitive to actually completing the task at hand. For example, you know that rewriting your website copy could help bring in new web traffic. But when you start the actual work and realize that it will be a while before you achieve your outcome, you might feel overwhelmed and undermotivated.Instead, focus on the process. Divide it into chunks. Think of it as an experiment, one without a deadline. Pour yourself into the hands-on work, without thinking about what you need to achieve.
Let us know: how do you take time to rest during jam-packed days?