The height of the summer selling season is upon us. We are experiencing the hottest marketplace in years. Inventories are low, prices are up, and, here in Houston at least, we just can’t keep up with the growth. Every time I ask an agent how they are doing, the answer is inevitably, “I am so swamped” or something to that effect. As we experience the busiest time we’ve seen in about 8 years, it is pivotal that we make time to take a step back from business, even if just for a few hours.
Today I was at a luncheon presented by the NextGen Realtor Group and one of the speakers, Clint Nabors of the Ellis-Nabors Team, was telling his story. He talked about how, at one point in his real estate career, he got so miserable that he quit. He went back to work in the corporate world. Seven day work weeks, constant stress, and never seeing his family had taken their toll and he was done. The key statement he made, in my opinion, was that he was so miserable he couldn’t properly serve his clients. He was doing a disservice to the people who had trusted him to care for their housing needs, his family, and, ultimately, himself.
For me, there are three major reasons why you need a break.
First and foremost, your health, both physical and mental, require it. I don’t think that I need to go on too much on this. Lack of sleep and exercise, constant levels of elevated stress, and an unhealthy diet resulting from an increased workload will deteriorate your health over time. Too much worry, lack of focus, and frustration will hurt your mental state faster than a Big Mac will clog your arteries. A sick agent is not a productive agent. Make sure you get time to exercise and clear your mind.
Second, your business needs you to take a break. Like Clint said, the work nearly killed his career. Two things happen to your business when you don’t step back from time to time. The level of consistency of service suffers and your systems stagnate. Every good business owner must, at times, re-evaluate their approach to their business. Think of Starbucks as an example. What would happen if every cup of coffee came out differently? How would you feel if the person before you in line was enjoying their coffee while you sat there with a cold drink in your hand? Taking some time off to evaluate your business, adjust your systems and service so they grow with you, and to make sure that every cup of figurative coffee you produce is consistent is pivotal to your continued success. The other option is stagnation. Like days old coffee, no one wants that.
Finally, your clients need you to take a break. You can’t fake happiness or excitement. You can’t just wake up and put on a happy face and go about your business as though it was business as usual because it isn’t. Being overwhelmed, stressed out, and unhappy, no matter how much you act otherwise, always shines through. Your client can tell. If your goal is to build a business based on referrals, you need happy clients. To get happy clients, you need a happy you.
My final thought is this, if you can’t find time to take for yourself, you have to make a change. You are costing yourself time, health, happiness, and money, probably lots of money. Get better at time management, hire an assistant, bring on a team member, or employ software and systems that make your job easier. You can’t afford not to.