Did you know the profession of real estate agent consistently ranks as one of the most stressful occupations? Yet, some Realtors seemingly deal with stress as if their work is a breeze. Ever wonder what their secret is?
What is it that causes some real estate agents to ‘burn out?’ And as a homebuyer or seller, is overwhelming stress inevitable when buying or selling a home? Are there unique factors that make real estate transactions worse than other stressors? In the sometimes fast-paced world of real estate, how do well-balanced real estate agents perform their profession at a high level without burning the proverbial candle at both ends?
Clients Get Stressed, Too
It’s not only Realtors who deal with stress. Consider buyers and sellers, who don’t have the experience and knowledge that agents have developed due to professional day-to-day experience. Given that home buyers and sellers are directly involved in an up-close manner, having less experience along with a ‘high stakes’ scenario can significantly exacerbate stress during a real estate transaction.
Before taking the leap to buy or sell, are there specific actions you can take in order to select a balanced agent who will work with you and not against you, if the real estate road gets bumpy? Also, are there warning signs to avoid a ‘stressed out’ Realtor? As this article cites, emotions like stress can even be contagious! After all, buying or selling a home is already stressful enough without feeling the heat from an expert who is supposed to make the task easier, not harder.
And is there something homebuyers and homesellers can learn about defusing stress using tips from real estate professionals who work daily ‘in the trenches’ while handling potentially stress-riddled transactions?
Find out today…in this edition of the Oregon Real Estate Podcast by clicking here or on the link above!
A Question of Balance
What is balance? For some, including real estate agents, balance is a healthy response to work and other potential stresses that allows high performance in each area of life. Today we’ll go through some approaches to achieving balance. It’s also helpful to understand that knowing and identifying balance can help you both in your day to day life…and also when selecting a Realtor. That’s because most homebuyers and homesellers don’t want a ‘pressure-cooker’ atmosphere, which is sometimes the situation when either they and/or their agent don’t handle challenging real estate situations adequately.
The 10 Most Stressful Jobs
Reports like this analyze the stress level of various professions. Included are real estate agents, along with firefighters, commercial pilots, surgeons and police officers.
Real Estate Stressful?
Real estate may not be grasped as ‘high stakes’ by some, especially when compared to certain lifesaving professions like firefighting, police work or surgery. But regardless of how much stress is involved in other vocations, there is one thing the buying and selling of homes often is…and that’s ‘high stakes.’
High stakes could be described as the difference between walking on a string across your living room and walking across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. The difference between those two scenarios is downside risk. Slip up in your living room and it’s no big deal. However, a house is typically the single largest investment most people have. So slipping up a real estate transaction can involve thousands of dollars—or even considerably more.
The Many Faces of Real Estate
On top of dealing with ‘high stakes,’ a primary task of Realtors is working with homebuyers and sellers who frequently have disparate personality types. On top of that, real estate agents are often asked to operate under urgent, time-sensitive scenarios. And that’s just the ‘people part’ of the business. In addition, real estate agents must deal with a myriad of zoning laws, multiple listing guidelines, real estate agency rules and housing regulations. Then add sometimes surprising home inspection results, plus frequently unpredictable appraisals and lender guidelines. Then you can understand the multi-faceted nature of challenges Realtors must face daily.
The Challenge: Beyond Coping
Coping skills are methods useful when dealing with stressful situations. Most importantly, good coping skills make for good mental health wellness. Rather than gritting your teeth to help tolerate a home transaction, an even more favorable option is to actually enjoy life while dealing and hopefully defusing such potential stress. Some people are good at this. Perhaps they thrive on the challenge, or prefer to see obstacles as a kind of ‘game’ as a mental exercise, or in order to prove ‘what they’re made of.’ Any one of these approaches can be effective. What follows are some tactics in your strategy to better handle the potentially stressful activity that Realtors deal with daily, namely the high stakes purchase and sale of real estate.
The Empathy Factor
One of the best kinds of agents to work with could be one who has empathy. In other words find a Realtor who understands your cares, wants and needs. While closing off these thoughts is one way to soldier through a transaction, believe it or not, Realtors are not always able to read your mind!
Why Are Realtors Stressed?
Real estate agents work with the general public under what are frequently stressful conditions. Buying or selling a home, applying for a mortgage, appraisals, home inspections all add to the stress for home buyers and sellers. Yet Realtor pressures you may not have considered include constant communication (sometimes very late at night), dealing with certain clients unwilling to work within market realities (like demanding an interest rate 2 or 3 points below what’s available), along with patently unrealistic expectations, such as plans to sell a million dollar house for two million.
Signs of a Disorganized Real Estate Agent
Doesn’t return phone calls/texts/emails within a reasonable timeframe
Misses scheduled appointments
Can’t answer fundamental real estate questions
Talks more about himself/herself than your needs
Lacks key knowledge on your home’s marketing results and/or
Lacks key knowledge on market statistics, i.e., home inventory
Has little time awareness
What You Can Learn From Successful Realtors
So what are some approaches successful real estate agents use to reduce stress? There are many, but here are a few to consider.
Let’s Get Physical
‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ is a Latin phrase, usually translated as ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body.’ The phrase is widely used in sporting and educational contexts to express the theory that physical exercise is an essential part of mental and psychological well-being. This is reinforced by what we now know about the effect of endorphins, hormones secreted after a workout with an analgesic, or pain-killing effect. So in addition to the mental satisfaction of knowing you’ve completed a good work out, there is a physiological component, as well. So physical exercise is one component of stress relief. As a result, consider maintaining a regular workout regimen, even scheduling it multiple days into your weekly routine.
A Few Additional Tips
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Have a ‘big picture’ perspective, since your transaction has an endpoint.
Focus on the goal, while paying attention to the process to get there.
Don’t spread yourself thin by over-committing.
Budget your time and energy.
Understand that life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Avoid negative people, as appropriate.
Try not to take troubles home.
Find ways to recharge (mind, body, soul), including religious faith.
Loose yourself from the financial stress of debt.
Work toward healthy relationships.
Reward yourself by taking real vacations.
Exercise. You’ll feel better, sleep better and look better.
Need motivation? Find your joy and pursue it.
Replace anything negative with positive action and habits.
The Importance of Communication
As strange as it may seem, communicating better with others can significantly reduce stress. That’s due in part because improved communication helps to reduce the unknown, which sometimes can feed stress. For example, over many years, I’ve realized that even if there isn’t a great deal of new information to report, my homebuyer and homeseller clients appreciate being kept in the communications ‘loop,’ despite few changes since my last update. Otherwise some clients may rightfully assume there could otherwise be a problem they don’t yet know about.
The best-selling book ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ is considered a classic and for good reason. It contains helpful methods for dealing with people, a source of stress for some. Some insist that Dale Carnegie’s book is less about winning friends or influencing people, but more about being a better person. Sayings there include “Avoid the acute angle,” meaning don’t be needlessly disagreeable. Other suggestions include:
Admit when you’re wrong.
Start in a friendly manner.
Show respect for the opinions of others.
Try to see the other person’s point of view.
Realtor, Heal Thyself
One other solution when you’re about to buy or sell a home? Hire a Realtor with life balance to handle your transaction effectively. Few prefer to be healed by a sick physician, or receive assistance by an ‘out of kilter’ real estate agent.
Do You Have A Real Estate Question?
For answers to your real estate questions and a free consultation, reach your Oregon Real Estate Podcast host, Roy with Certified Realty using the below contact form today!