By Tom Davidson
Ever catch yourself feeling like you just can't get motivated enough to complete your work? You might be experiencing agent burnout. The key to persisting in your real estate career is recognizing the symptoms of burnout and taking steps to look after your mental health.
Here are the basics on burnout—how to notice it, and what to do when you feel it:
What Is Burnout?
"It's when you're exhausted and not motivated—when you find yourself in the morning really not wanting to go to work and you come up with any excuse not to work, not to perform, not to pick up the phone and call people and do the things you need to do to keep the business alive," says Jessica Rector, a burnout specialist.
Burnout can be particularly troubling for real estate agents, because if you stop performing, those commission checks could dwindle.
"When you're a real estate agent and you're commission-based, you need to be able to do those things to put food on your table," Rector says.
How to Diagnose It
There are many burnout warning signs, but these three indicators are some of the easiest to notice:
1. How do you think about your upcoming day?
Do you get to work with a positive attitude? If you're burning out, you might not be excited to start your day or meet people. You might notice resistance or reluctance to do common tasks that keep your business functioning. It could come off as having a "bad attitude," but the underlying cause might be burnout.
2. Are you drained at the end of each day?
Wanting to relax at the end of the day is one thing, but if you're feeling like you just want to sit on the couch and do nothing all the time, that could be a sign of burnout. There's a difference between needing a peaceful moment and being so unmotivated each day that you're completely wiped out.
3. Do you have difficulty staying healthy and participating in relationships?
If you have a hard time engaging with people—remembering important dates, listening in conversations or making plans to meet up—this could be an early warning sign that your motivation levels are sinking. Also, pay attention to your eating and exercising habits, especially if you start to notice any significant changes in your weight.
What to Do If You're Feeling Burned Out
"When you're in burnout, or even if you're trying to prevent burnout, it's not about doing something one time that's a fix," says Rector. "It's consistent action. Whatever you're doing, it's got to be done consistently."
Start implementing healthy habits now and access resources that can help you fight burnout. Also, feel empowered to reach out to a mental health professional if you're having trouble staying motivated on your own.
Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, the national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field.