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REINSW and RISE motivated for greater mental health awareness

05 December 2019 Lyall Russell
Stressed girl

Agencies, their leaders and all agents are meant to stand by each other to promote better wellbeing, REINSW president Leanne Pilkington said.

Recent research from REINZ found that a majority of branch managers were affected by stress and nearly the same level of those in property management.

“It’s inevitable that the real estate profession is prone to pressure by its very nature,” REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

Ms Norwell’s counterpart at REINSW, Ms Pilkington, was not surprised by the results.

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“I believe if you don’t believe there’s a problem, you actually don’t know what’s going on around you,” she said.

“There are brands within the real estate industry that have their own employee assistance programs, and I’ve been shocked at the number of people who have availed themselves of those services.”

When it comes to wellness in the workplace, the onus falls on the agencies, their leaders and all agents to support each other, to promote better wellbeing.

“We need to be aware of the issues and ensure people have a focus on looking after themselves, whatever that looks like for them,” Ms Pilkington said.

“Some people need to exercise, some people need to read, some people need to go for a walk on their own. No matter what it is, we need to be mindful that people are taking the time to regenerate and recharge.”

The spotlight of mental health in the real estate industry will be on full display next year as part of RISE 2020.

The not-for-profit conference brings together top agents and well-known personalities to speak on the issue of mental wellbeing.

“We knew mental health is an issue because it pervades, it’s in all of our workplaces and in all of our private lives, it’s everywhere,” founder Chris Hanley said.

The conference intends to draw attention to mental wellness and letting people tell their stories from inside the real estate industry.

“You go to some conferences, and the stories you hear are about success, but sometimes they talk about success without the hard bits, without the mistakes, without the bruises and setbacks. So, we would like to tell the story a different way,” he said.

The conference will be a chance for collaboration across all brands to do something as a profession that is good, Mr Hanley said.

“RISE is putting the spotlight squarely on the issue of wellbeing in the industry,” Ms Pilkington said. 

“We’re going to have speakers and people from within real estate being open and honest about the issues they’ve faced. 

“This is so important because, currently, we look at these high-performing agents and only see the GCI — or the numbers that they’re earning. 

“By these people being open about the issues they face, we will be able to break down barriers, make progress and move forward.”

REINSW and RISE motivated for greater mental health awareness
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