Prioritizing Your Mental Health as a Real Estate Professional

Real estate provides the freedom to shape your own career, with limitless potential if you’re committed to putting in the effort. However, maintaining good mental health is crucial for a sustainable and fulfilling career in the long run. Mental health challenges are common among Americans, affecting about 1 in 5 adults in 2021. Real estate agents may be particularly susceptible, with the industry having the second-highest rate of clinically diagnosed depression. Fortunately, there are steps you can follow to build a thriving real estate business while safeguarding your mental well-being.

Challenges Faced by Real Estate Professionals

According to Baylor University, there are 2 general categories of challenges that agents see: industry and transaction stressors.

Industry Challenges

The real estate cycle involves fluctuations in the market, attracting new agents during booms and leading to increased competition. In downturns, agents face heightened competition, requiring them to work harder to attract clients.

Market regulations, such as the need for independent appraisals, have given rise to appraisal service companies, potentially unfamiliar with local market nuances. Proposed federal regulations may allow computer algorithms to appraise homes up to $400,000 without human evaluation, posing reliability concerns and potential threats to transactions.

Infrastructure changes, driven by technology-oriented brokerages and online platforms like Zillow and Trulia, offer alternatives to traditional real estate models. While these platforms provide free access to home information, there’s a risk of outdated or inaccurate data misleading clients.

The industry’s reputation is another challenge, with only less than a quarter of consumers giving real estate agents high marks for honesty and ethics. This places pressure on ethical agents who may be working against negative perceptions from clients.

Transaction Challenges

Managing the various aspects of a real estate transaction can be stressful for agents, especially those working alone. Issues like difficulty scheduling showings and encountering paperwork obstacles add to the pressure.

Dealing with clients can also be challenging, involving personality clashes, differing expectations about updates, and clients with unrealistic property value hopes.

When showing properties, agents rely on sellers to prepare their homes, and unexpected messiness can deter potential buyers. Some agents also have concerns about personal safety during showings or open houses.

Negotiating and closing require strong skills, with agents needing to craft appealing agreements. Closings depend on other parties completing their tasks on time, necessitating strong relationships with lenders, appraisers, inspectors, and repair services to prevent issues and address problems as they arise.

Working in a commission-based job brings unique stressors. The real estate market’s volatility, influenced by economic, political, and demographic factors, contributes to high stress and anxiety levels. Relying on others’ stability for income makes this industry particularly demanding.

The absence of a consistent paycheck can lead to anxiety, compounded by the pressures of being a small-business owner. Real estate agents often juggle multiple roles like lead generator, marketer, salesperson, planner, and event coordinator.

While mental health struggles for real estate agents may not solely be job-related, various external factors can impact their well-being. Despite the inherent stress, the article expresses confidence that building a successful real estate career is achievable while prioritizing mental health.

Real estate Market

Getting Help

Taking care of your mental health is important for everyone, whether or not you’ve faced mental illness. You can find relief through various strategies tailored to your individual needs. These may include medication, maintaining a balanced diet, distinguishing between work and personal time, learning to relax, and prioritizing daily self-care. Alternatively, others might benefit from increased naps, taking vacations, working outdoors in the sunshine, engaging in regular exercise, seeking therapy, or connecting more frequently with loved ones.

When stressors affect you, try to:

  • Boost your self-confidence.
  • Enhance your self-worth.
  • Increase your self-compassion.

Take proactive steps to prioritize your mental health during the week, even if you don’t currently feel stressed or anxious. Consider the following:

  • Have you stepped away from the computer in the last hour?
  • Have you had a proper meal and enough water today?
  • Are you allowing enough time to respond to clients, or do you find yourself frantically catching up?
  • Are you seeking help from others when needed, or are you attempting to manage everything on your own?
  • Have you taken a 20-minute break to focus on something unrelated to work?

Incorporate daily affirmations and a calming wind-down routine, including activities like limiting screen time, jotting down thoughts, and meditation, to foster a positive and creative mindset. Practice these techniques for effective stress management.

  • Prioritize sleep, exercise, and nutrition in your routine to enhance energy and focus during the day, promoting a healthy sleep schedule vital for overall well-being.
  • Include mindfulness and meditation for moments of quiet reflection, accompanied by soft music if desired, and utilize affirmations for mental clarity throughout the week.
  • During challenging times, lean on your support system for help. If additional support or better coping techniques are needed, consider exploring therapy.

While the strategies mentioned here represent just a starting point, they provide valuable foundations for stress reduction. Prioritizing your mental health as you navigate the challenges of building and sustaining your real estate business not only enhances your well-being but also contributes to your long-term success in the industry and in life. Remember, a proactive approach to self-care can be a powerful ally on your journey.