The energy crisis: avoiding burnout

In this high stress industry, agents can quickly ‘burn out’. The best way to combat this is to leave it all behind, writes Josh Phegan

I recently spoke to a number of agents at the AREC13 industry event and one recurring theme emerged during the Q&A session at the end of the seminar, and again over drinks and the buffet the next morning. People from all kinds of roles and responsibility levels said to me: “I love my work, I am results-driven but I am working non-stop and I’m exhausted.”

Traditionally, real estate agents aren’t good at taking holidays. We must understand there is natural ebb and flow to being in a people-orientated business. Organisational cultures are driven by the fear of not servicing the client or missing out on today’s listing opportunities. However, this is obviously counterproductive if you want to attract and keep great people for the long run, or maintain a sustainable business.

Many people pride themselves on not taking holidays, which is simply crazy! Just because they are physically working or at the desk does not mean people are fully mentally, emotionally or financially operating to capacity.

The very best real estate organisations I work with have a human resources plan that ensures their people take breaks properly and consistently throughout the year. Put simply, it just makes good sense from a resource management viewpoint.

To ensure peak performance of your team, you’ve got to understand they have physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. Your role is to ensure their development, rest and renewal in each area so that they are really switched on. There has to be an appropriate mix between rest, stress, renewal and expenditure to ensure peak capacity, in every role in your team.

You and your employees will be more effective if you work in shorter, sharper periods of intense focus, rather than trying to run a continual marathon of peak performance – any sports nut can tell you that. So plan your time out, and in doing this, consider when it’s not a good time for listing. Traditionally, these times are from December 5 to January 5, the two weeks over Easter and for a week just before spring to be fresh for the market’s rhythms.

If you planned for a holiday to coincide with these periods and ensured your team leaders dovetailed their plans, you could all return fresh for the market’s rhythms.

The best listing agents in the business are those professionals who can connect at an energy level with other people. If you are tired, stressed, anxious or simply over it, you can hardly present well. People buy into your energy, so you’ve got to learn how to renew it yourself.

You will prospect better and more often if you’ve got a short-term goal in front of you. It is a great incentive if you know you plan to go on holiday and get away from things within a few short months because it drives you to chase results and earn that respite.

The best agents even prospect right up until they depart for their holiday and take on a co-agent for any listing opportunities that immediately need to go to the market, so they are not missing anything.

These agents will also list and time their marketing campaigns to begin upon their return, allowing for a smooth and efficient customer experience. It just takes some forward thinking to look at your yearly calendar and plot your priorities, including time to refresh and regroup and come back ready to work hard and smart.

So, think like a champion and plan your rest periods to build your strength.

Leading by example, real estate trainer Josh Phegan is taking a step back and heading off to the USA in October for nine days of Big Apple sightseeing.

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