Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
GUEST COLUMN: There’s More to Life
Repeat after me, “I am not just a real estate professional.”
That’s right! Some of us are parents, grandparents, husbands, and wives with friends and other family members we’d love to spend more time with. As much as you may be tempted to be at your clients’ every beck and call, that’s not a life. Not finding a healthy work/life balance can wreak havoc on your non-professional relationships, as well as your mental state.
Nothing can kill an agent’s productivity faster than burning out. If you keep going at an “on all day, everyday pace,” the effects can be like a pressure cooker or a bottle of soda that’s been shaken and ready to explode, and that pinned up energy is no good for anyone, especially your real estate business. Some agents never recover from burnout and find themselves choosing more structured careers that are less demanding. But, if you learn to better manage your real estate business and prioritize taking care of yourself, allowing yourself some downtime to connect with family and friends, you should be able to master keeping your lid on.
We are currently in a market with inventory so scarce that you feel as though you have to jump to see a new listing as soon as it goes live in order to ensure your buyer client gets a crack at it. If that new property comes on the market and your client misses the opportunity because you were at Dave’s little league game, that buyer may start thinking about looking for other representation. However, if you put systems and people in place to be safeguards for those occasions, your client won’t miss that new listing and you won’t miss Dave’s game.
Agents trying to create an adequate work/life balance may find themselves hiring a designated buyers’ or showing agent to assist with their buyer clients, without having to relinquish their client/agent relationship. Some agents may choose to create a team with one or more selling agents in order to avoid missing those precious moments. Advising your clients of the fill-in possibility during your initial consultation helps to prepare them and set expectations so that they are fully aware if/when a situation arises.
You want to go away to Costa Rica with the family during Easter break, but you’re working with a handful of buyer clients you don’t want to miss out on. GO ON VACATION. Talk to a few fellow agents in your office about covering for you in your absence. Be sure you have discussed reciprocation or compensation with your support system and share the arrangement with your broker to ensure that she or he is aware and approves.
With regard to your seller clients and other agents on your transactions, it can be frustrating if they don’t hear from you or can’t get in touch with you for days while in the middle of a deal. Making them all aware of any times you may not be available and setting up communication schedules to advise of any and all updates ensures that everyone is on the same page and leads to a smoother transaction and a better agent-to-agent experience.
Be sure to add the contact information of the person(s) your clients and colleagues should reach out to in your away messages on your phone and e-mail, along with a way to contact you in case of an emergency. If you are currently house hunting with a buyer, I would recommend drafting and sending an e-mail or group text with the supporting agent, and the client to connect them before you go away. The last thing you want your buyer client to do is panic and call someone else to see that new listing because they didn’t know where you were or how to get in touch with you. This simple step of connecting can protect against losing a client while making memories.
Your desires, hopes and dreams should be the Whys that fuel your real estate career. And those hopes and dreams should include living life to its fullest (whatever that means for you), spending quality time with self and connecting with the people you love. No one should have to stop living to have a successful real estate career. Living life and not just being alive leads to a happier, more fulfilled, and productive you.