As a real estate agent, you are the CEO of your own business. You’re responsible for sourcing your own leads, nurturing relationships, and closing deals. There’s freedom in how you manage your operations and determine what your day-to-day responsibilities look like (the flexible hours are only a bonus!). As a real estate agent, it can be easy to dedicate all of your time to growing your business, but it’s important to remember that maintaining a work-life balance will be in your best interest.
When you are your own boss, it’s easy to spread yourself thin. You set your own expectations and goals - you’ll find that you tend to put more pressure on yourself than you would if you were assigning tasks and responsibilities to an employee. It takes a lot of work to manage and grow a business, you’d be surprised to find that you’re neglecting yourself and impeding your own professional development.
Why do you need to maintain a work-life balance?
- Being present in your engagements. You’re not going to get anything done if your thoughts are cluttered and unfocused. It’s important to leave yourself time to focus on your mental health and your personal life so that you can focus on providing meaningful interactions with your clients. How will you provide any value for your clients if you are constantly thinking about other aspects of your life?
- Increase productivity and creativity. It can be difficult to know when to shift gears and focus on your personal life, but your brain needs space for creative thinking. If you are constantly stressing out over your work, you’re not allowing yourself to free up the space and energy needed to think creatively.
- Decrease the risk of burnout and feel more fulfilled by your career. Burnout can take a toll on your mental health. You’re doing yourself a disservice by denying yourself breaks and moments to destress. How can you be excited to go to work if you never stop working? Taking time to focus on your hobbies and your personal life will allow you to go to work recharged and ready to face the day. Employees who are engaged and excited to work are productive employees.
For people who struggle with maintaining a work-life balance, it may be overwhelming to stop and take a break, or delegate responsibilities so that you can allocate more time to your mental health and personal life.
How do you establish a balanced lifestyle?
- Set realistic expectations. You are your worst critic, and that is only magnified when you are your own boss. You can have goals and aspirations, but you must manage your expectations. When you set unattainable goals, you end up overworking and setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Create a routine and stick to a work schedule. The nature of being an entrepreneur, and especially in the real estate industry, means that it is nearly impossible to have a schedule. For agents, this is especially true -- you’re expected to dedicate your time to nurturing relationships and this may mean responding whenever a client calls, regardless of the time of day. The first step to a balanced lifestyle is establishing strong boundaries and managing your expectations. Be sure to communicate your working hours and stick to it; your time can be overrun by clients if you aren’t firm with your boundaries. Make sure you give yourself off days - this doesn’t necessarily have to be on the weekends. Instead, pick two of your lightest days and dedicate those to taking care of your personal responsibilities.
- Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty when saying “no”. Strong boundaries are key to establishing a balanced lifestyle, whether it be setting dedicated working hours, limiting the additional responsibilities you accept, or being selective with your clients. When you set strong boundaries, that means you are saying “no” to people -- it’s important to remember that you are within your right to set limits for yourself and expect others to respect that. Give yourself space to enjoy your personal life so that you are fully present and engaged when you are at work.
Entrepreneurs start their own businesses because they’re passionate about their work-- that’s a good thing, but it can result in an unbalanced, unhealthy lifestyle. You may not realize how much time you are putting into your business if your career doesn’t feel like “work.”