In real estate, you have amazing flexibility and control over your schedule, but one thing you might be missing out on is work-life balance, which is notoriously difficult to achieve as a real estate agent. Clients may need you to spend your evenings and weekends touring houses, but even the busiest agent can find time for family and recreation. Follow these tips to maximize the “life” part of your work-life balance.
Get onto a regular routine
The first step in achieving work-life balance as a real estate agent is to get on a regular schedule. With meetings and home visits happening at irregular times, that can be tough, but setting at least a basic outline for your routine is important for your health and success.
Try to go to bed every night at the same time and wake up every morning around the same time. Wake up, follow a productive morning routine, and start your workday at the same time every day. Even if your work day looks different every day, your mornings and evenings can be consistent.
Be flexible for clients, but respect your family
To succeed and give your clients the best service level possible, you need to be flexible and available at times that your clients are not at work. This means those evenings and weekends involve some juggling between your personal time and work time.
The best way to handle this is to either set aside a block of time for clients on weekend days and evenings and keep the rest for family and personal time, or rearrange your schedule so your “weekends” are mid-week. With young kids and a stay-at-home spouse, it doesn’t matter which days you take off for your weekend. With a working spouse and kids in school, be more conscious of how you allocate your work time and off time.
Make time for exercise and personal health
In your busy days of home visits, meetings, research, and paperwork, it may feel impossible to break away for even an hour to take care of yourself. However, this is the wrong attitude. There are proven links between exercise and better health, immunity, and productivity. That’s right, taking an hour off to exercise every day, or at least three times every week, can improve your productivity by more than the hour you take off to exercise.
Many successful business leaders wake up extra early and start their day with exercise, but others prefer to find time to work out in the afternoon or evening. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, as that can make it harder to fall asleep.
Make room for days off and time off midweek
This is a very important concept for real estate agents, so even though we’ve already touched on it, this is an important topic to emphasize. Most jobs require going into an office or business Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm or 6:00pm. In real estate, your hours are when your client needs you. That typically means you work the opposite of a regular eight to five schedule.
Because you have to work when everyone else is off, make sure to take time off when everyone else is working. Midweek time off can be both fun and productive. You can take care of doctor appointments, haircuts, and other personal errands much easier when other businesses are open, plus it feels dangerous like you are playing hooky if you take time off for a midweek date with your special someone.
Studies show that most workers do not take all of the vacation time they earn. This is bad for the workers, bad for the employers, and bad for the economy. If you work for a firm that gives you any form of vacation or paid time off, take it if you can afford to. There is no benefit in playing Superman and skipping your vacation. In fact, taking vacation brings you back to work feeling recharged and energized, which can lead to a boost in productivity and output.
You work hard 50 weeks every year for your clients. It is okay to take a couple of weeks for yourself. Go camping, touring big cities in Europe, exploring ancient sites in Southeast Asia or Central America, or just take a few days off to lie around at the pool and catch up on sleep. You’ve earned it!
Enjoy the flexibility of your schedule as an agent
Every agent has a unique story and reason for getting into the industry. For some, it is taking over a family business. For others, it is a love of the game, negotiating, and making a deal. But for many more, it is all about the schedule, flexibility, and lifestyle.
You can’t count on a paycheck every two weeks, but your paychecks are much bigger when they arrive. You can’t count on a regular 8-5 schedule, but you can build a schedule that works for you. The real estate agent lifestyle gives you tons of flexibility. Even with a busy schedule, make sure to take time for yourself and your family. That is the path to the best success at work and at home, and that’s what work-life balance is all about.