Finding a Work-Life Balance in Real Estate

Too many people start a real estate career thinking being your own boss means doing whatever you want to do.  While that is partially true, to be successful you need to put in some hard work.  You don’t just set your own schedule and then rake in the dollars.  Real estate is a 24/7 business if you hope to be successful, especially in the beginning when you are building your business.  It’s important to realize you aren’t your own boss when it comes to your schedule.  Your clients will dictate the hours you work.

Even the most successful agents find it difficult to find a good work-life balance.  You may be making six figures, but is your personal life being neglected?    Read on for some easy tips to help you a achieve a proper work-life balance, even with a hectic real estate schedule.

Don’t Let Tasks Pile Up

There is always something to do every day, but every day does not have to be hectic.  Some stress can be self-inflicted.  For example, not responding to emails or filing away paperwork, can lead to an overload of work by the end of the week.  Staying on top of daily tasks will help to eliminate work buildup and make your life easier.  Determine a set block of time every day to handle these tasks.  Other tasks to include in your scheduling are:

  • answering voicemails
  • filing documents
  • updating your calendar
  • cultivating leads (i.e. updating email database, blogging, sending newsletters, etc.)

If you tackle these tasks every day you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run.  Blocking out time, either at the beginning or end of the day, will help you to stay organized and allow you to function in a more efficient manner.

Time Management       

Managing your time in real estate is a two-part process: personal time and work boundaries.  Most real estate agents have a type “A” personality.  As your own boss, taking time off is not a priority when you are trying to build your business.

The problem is, if you don’t take proper time for your personal life, you will end up burning out and your business will eventually suffer.  It is vital to set aside personal time, with no exceptions.  If it is important to you to attend your son’s football games on Saturday morning, communicate your schedule to your clients up front.

Managing your time also requires fitting things easily into your schedule.  There will be times when your workload is overwhelming.  That is just the nature of the real estate business.  You will be able to manage those times more easily if you learn early on how to arrange your schedule so you don’t overload your days.

  • Allow wiggle room in your schedule, don’t book every minute of your day
  • Make sure to give yourself enough time to get to and from appointments so you aren’t rushed
  • Try not to schedule back-to-back appointments
  • Put your personal time on your work schedule as a fixed appointment

Set Boundaries on Your Time

It is important to set up boundaries for when you are available.  While it’s true the best agents will give their clients 24/7 attention, in reality, no one has 24 hours out of every day to give.  Be sure to convey your office hours directly as well as on your business cards and web presence.  For your actual clients and business contacts, you can have a separate 24/7 personal number available.  It should be something exclusive that you offer only to select clients.  This allows you to deliver responsive service to all of your clients, but your select clients know you will go above and beyond for them.

Get Help

Most people have a difficult time asking for help and try to do everything themselves.  This can waste a lot of time and even make things more difficult for yourself.

In order to successfully build up your real estate business, it is important to maximize your time.  this will allow you to provide exceptional service to your clients.  What about getting some help?

If you enjoy operating independently, you can hire an administrative assistant.  If you cannot afford to hire an actual person right away, then a virtual assistant is a great option. (  An assistant could perform many of the daily tasks that take up valuable time you could spend focusing on getting more leads or closing a sale.  Such tasks could include:

  • Making small changes to your website
  • Submitting paperwork
  • Handling filing and data entry
  • Updating and uploading your listings
  • Managing your contact database
  • Creating reports and presentations
  • And more…

Freeing up the time it would normally take you to do these activities will enable you to devote more time to provide your clients the best experience possible.

Set Realistic Expectations

When figuring out a good work-life balance you need to set realistic expectations.  Until you have made a few sales and have a steady source of new leads, understanding that your days will be consumed with work will help you create a better work-life balance.

Learn to prioritize, juggle and let go. This will make the work you do more productive so you don’t have to work harder.

Give yourself some regular time off every week.  Pick your lighter days and schedule one full day and one part-time day off.  Turn off your phone and computer during those times so you are not tempted to do some work.  If taking a full day off early in your career makes you nervous, schedule at least a 20-30 minute break every day.  Go for a walk, chat with a friend, grab a coffee.  Take a minute to regroup.  Slowly build more “me” time into your schedule until you are comfortable taking a full day off.

All of these tips to make your work-life balance better can be started right now.   By having a healthy work-life balance you will be happier in your career and you will be able to give your clients your best efforts every day.

If you have been successful creating a work-life balance we’d love to hear from you.  Share how you did it

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