The Part-Time Real Estate Agent's Guide to Avoiding Burnout

How to reduce mental, physical, and emotional stress as a real estate agent

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas


Burnout is a real possibility when you work in real estate. It sneaks up on you after the newness of getting licensed wears off and your initial excitement to sell property wanes.

While a career in real estate is always interesting— you’ll never have the same day twice— it requires constant hustle, and that can get tiring pretty quickly. Making matters worse, if you work full time and sell real estate part time, you’re at a higher risk of burnout.

But burnout doesn’t have to happen to you.

In this guide, we’ll share tips and strategies to avoid the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion that comes from workplace stress.

What Causes Burnout?

Here are the behaviors that most commonly lead to burnout:

Logging too many hours a week - When you’re first starting your real estate business, it’s almost impossible to avoid working a lot of hours. You’ve got to build your brand from the ground up. Plus, if you’re like many real estate agents, you’ll also need to support yourself with your full-time job while trying to grow your own real estate business. At the very least, you’ll be logging more than 40 hours a week.

Working too many hours a day - We’ve all become accustomed to the eight-hour day. However, when you work for yourself, you can end up devoting every free hour to building your brand. Minus the hours you sleep, you can easily spend 16 hours a day just working.

Not making enough money - There’s nothing more disheartening than working more hours but not making any more money. In fact, it can seem like the money that you do make has decreased. There’s a reason for that. Many real estate agents need to invest a chunk of their paychecks into the necessities of operating their businesses. From buying ad space to keeping your gas tank full as you go back and forth, your dollar must stretch more than ever before. And that can take a toll on your mental health as you’re trying to cover all of your bills and grow your business.

Not knowing what to do - It’s easy to get burnt out when you don’t know what to do. You can waste a lot of time trying to figure out processes on your own.

Not having the right tools - Similarly, if you’re stuck with tools that don’t help you meet your goals, you’re a good candidate for burnout. It can be frustrating to use sub-par tools that you don’t understand or aren’t made for the purpose that you need.

What are the Signs of Burnout?

Now that we’ve covered the behaviors that often lead to burnout, let’s talk about how to recognize burnout in case it’s already set in.

You’re Always Tired

Even after a good night's rest, you feel physically, emotionally, or mentally exhausted (or all three).

You’re Constantly Stressed Out

Do you always feel like you’re under pressure to accomplish a task? Are you worried that you’ll miss a deadline? You’re operating under low level stress, which inevitably leads to burnout.

You’re Stuck in a Perpetual Bad Mood

Do you find yourself more sarcastic or pessimistic than usual? This is usually a telltale sign of burnout.

You're Always Sick

pexels-photo-1415554

Mental stress often leads to physical ailments. If you’re constantly catching a cold (on average, adults have two colds a year), you’re likely stressed out and burnt out.

You're Not Excited About Work

Do you dread going to work every day? If you’re dissatisfied with your full-time job, it can dampen your enthusiasm for your real estate business.

You Lack Passion

Do you find yourself drifting through your days without emotion? You’re not in a good mood, you’re not in a bad mood, you’re just uninterested. This can indicate burnout.

You Make Simple Mistakes

Are you making more mistakes than you normally would? Perhaps you’re making careless mistakes because you have too much on your plate.

9 Ways to Avoid Burnout

When left unchecked, burnout can cause you to give up on your dreams of becoming a successful real estate agent. Here’s how to avoid that from happening or stop it before it becomes worse:

1. Stick to a Schedule

pexels-photo-768472

It’s crucial that you come up with a daily schedule and stick to it. Not only will a schedule help you become more productive, but it will also safeguard against working too much. On your schedule, be sure to set office hours and resist the temptation to work past those hours.

2. Find the Right Tools

In addition to creating a schedule, also focus on developing processes that reduce redundancy and increase productivity. Embrace automation. Check out this list of the best apps for real estate agents.

3. Take Time Off (No Excuses)

Instead of working yourself to the ground, remember to take time off regularly. As a new real estate agent, you may think that you don’t have the time to spare, but taking time off allows you to hit the reset button. Even if you take one weekend off every few months, it can be enough to refresh you.

4. Delegate Your Workload

Consider sharing your workload with others. If you work with a supportive real estate team, you may be able to get assistance from your colleagues. Otherwise, you can hire a virtual assistant to handle some of your tasks (like answering emails).

5. Get a Mentor

One of the most important things you can do is find a mentor. A mentor can help you navigate the real estate business, especially during your first year. Having a guide to show you what’s normal will give you a huge advantage as a newbie. Also, there’s the added benefit of being able to share your fears and disappointments with someone who can empathize and commemorate.

6. Pace Yourself

Don’t start fast and end poorly. Remember that your real estate career is a marathon and not a sprint. You should go in with a realistic plan for what you wish to accomplish in your first year and every year after that. Embrace specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based goals. Learn more about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for your real estate business in this post.

7. Find the Right Broker

Hitch your wagon to the right broker. Don’t just go with a big name broker who may not provide the type of support you’ll need as a new real estate agent. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to go with a smaller broker who’s committed to ongoing training and mentorship. Research brokers in your area before you commit.

8. Exercise, Diet, and Sleep

What you eat can affect your ability to focus on the task at hand. Don’t neglect your physical health while you’re investing in your real estate business. Carve out time every day to exercise, even if you can only spare 15 minutes. Every little bit counts. Exercise and eating right can ward off sickness and can reduce your physical stress. Also, be sure to get as much sleep as you personally need each night. For some, that may be six hours, and for others, closer to 10.

9. Reduce Your To Do List

Some of us thrive off of having a tight schedule, but if your mind or body is telling you to slow down, then limit your obligations. Instead of pushing yourself to accomplish certain goals in six months, readjust the deadline and give yourself more time.

Additional Resources

Before you go, check out these related posts:

How to Score Your Very First Listing Client 8 Common Challenges to Selling Real Estate in Your 1st Year How to Become a More Productive Real Estate Agent

Interested in getting your real estate license?


Start your real estate classes today!