Many agents get into the real estate business because they believe that having the ability to make their own schedule means that they will not have to work as much as they would at a regular 9-5 job. Of course, anyone who has been in the business for any amount of time knows that nothing could be further from the truth!
Being a quality real estate agent is a highly demanding profession. You might get to make your schedule in theory, but you are also always on the clock, and you have to be willing to respond to potential clients at a moments notice to keep them from moving on to the next available agent. This can lead to situations where agents spend literally all of their waking hours working and end up neglecting their personal lives.
In order to help you establish a bit of work-life balance in your daily routine, we have put together seven simple tips that should help you keep things in perspective.
1. Increase Your Productivity
One of the easiest ways to uncover more personal time is to be more efficient with the time you spend at work. Increasing your productivity by working with a to-do list app or David Allen's famous Getting Things Done system will allow you to move through your work at a much faster pace and reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the office.
2. Screen Your Leads
Another way to limit the amount of time you spend at work is to stop wasting it on dead-end leads. Take a few minutes to filter any leads that you generate, and you will be confident that everyone you meet with is serious about whatever property they are interested in buying or selling. It is also a good idea to make sure that any buyers you meet with have already been pre-approved.
3. Plan Your Day
Wasting time driving around between listings is always frustrating, but spending extra time because you didn't plan the best order of the stops you have to make is even more frustrating. Make sure that you are limiting the amount of time you spend in the car by maximizing the route you have to travel depending on where you need to be throughout the day.
4. Set Boundaries
You are inevitably going to have to spend some time working on nights and weekends where your friends and family will be getting together for various activities. This is always disappointing, but it will be less difficult for them if you can explain to them ahead of time that your availability is going to be different than if you were to work a regular 9-5 job. Set some boundaries, and ask them to be sure to let you know of any upcoming functions well in advance so that you don't schedule an open house on the day of someone's birthday party.
5. Schedule Screen-Free Time
The best real estate agents always respond to incoming leads as quickly as possible, but monitoring your phone, tablet, or computer for those leads 24/7 is going to drive you insane and likely send your significant other packing. You can prevent both of those by scheduling some screen-free time each week where everyone agrees to leave their devices somewhere else for a few hours.
6. Hire an Assistant
If business is good and you are finding yourself forced to stay late at the office working on paperwork each and every night, perhaps it's time for you to consider bringing on an assistant. Take an inventory of everything you do throughout the day and highlight the things that could probably be done just as well by someone else. Then get to work finding that someone else and let them take a load off of your mind.
7. Take a Vacation
Working long hours on nights and weekend will take its toll on even the strongest agents. That is why it is important to regularly take some time to recharge your batteries. Whether you prefer the beach or the mountains, getting away with your friends and family every once in a while can dramatically increase the quality of your personal life, so don't forget to take some time off!
For most real estate agents, work-life balance is a beautiful dream that just doesn't seem attainable. But by implementing just a few simple strategies, you can make some serious improvements that limit the amount of time you spend in the office and maximize the quality of the time you spend out of it.