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How to Prioritize Your Mental Health as a Real Estate Agent

Taking Care of Your Mental Health is a Key Part of Being a Successful Real Estate Agent

Real estate is an industry that offers the freedom to be your own boss and build the career you want. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can accomplish. But to build a career that you can pursue for years to come, you have to take care of your mental health, too.

Many Americans will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives. In 2020, 21% of adults — about 52.9 million people — experienced some form of mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

And real estate agents could be more likely to experience mental health issues than other professionals, experts say. A 2014 study found that the real estate industry has the second-highest rate of clinically diagnosed depression, REALTOR® Magazine reported.

Don’t worry, though — there are steps you can take to build a successful real estate business without sacrificing your mental health.

Stressors as a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents’ sources of stress typically fall into two broad categories: industry stressors and transaction stressors, according to a report from Baylor University.

"Stress is a national epidemic that has severe consequences for physical and emotional wellbeing,” the report says. As a real estate agent, “not only do you work long hours dealing with emotional, tense clients, but you are subject to external events that, while out of your control, determine your ability to complete a transaction. Ultimately, your business depends upon your ability to manage your stress.”

Common industry stressors include the real estate cycle, market regulations, infrastructure changes, and the industry’s reputation, all of which can put pressure on agents, the report says. Transaction stressors include project management, client woes, showing properties, and negotiating and closing.

Pursuing a job that’s based entirely on commissions comes with unique stressors, REALTOR® Magazine points out.

“The real estate market can be frenzied or dead, depending on what’s driving it — economic or political forces, movement in interest rates, or demographic changes, for example,” the article says. “It’s easy to see why stress and anxiety are high in an industry where your ability to make an income largely relies on the stability of others.

“The lack of a consistent paycheck could send some spiraling into anxiety. Add to that the pressures of being a small-business owner. You are the lead generator, the marketer, the salesperson, the planner, the event coordinator, and so on and so forth.”

Of course, not all real estate agents’ mental health struggles are caused by the job — there are countless outside factors that could be affecting an agent’s mental health. And while it’s true that working as a real estate agent can be stressful, we’re confident that you can build a thriving real estate career while prioritizing your mental health.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Whether or not you’ve ever experienced mental illness, it’s always a good idea to proactively take care of your mental health.

Incorporating healthy habits into your day is one of the simplest things you can do to minimize your stress.

REALTOR® Magazine recommended asking yourself these questions throughout your workday:

  • Have I had a proper meal today? Enough water?

  • Have I taken a 20-minute break to focus on something unrelated to work?

  • Have I gotten up and walked away from the computer in the last hour?

  • Am I giving myself enough time to respond to clients, or am I frequently frantically trying to catch up?

  • Am I asking for help from others when I need it, or am I trying to do everything myself?

You should establish routines that allow for adequate amounts of sleep, exercise, and nutrition, REALTOR® Magazine said. You might also consider practicing mindfulness or meditation.

Perhaps most importantly, commit to seeking help when you need it, whether that means trying therapy or simply talking with friends and family. No matter what you’re struggling with, you’re not alone.

Resources for Further Reading

Are you looking for more advice on taking care of your mental health as a real estate agent? The CE Shop has plenty of content written specifically for real estate agents. Check these out:

Occupational burnout, or the unshakable feelings of cynicism, stress, and loss of motivation, is something that many professionals feel. Read this blog to learn how to spot the signs of burnout and stop them in their tracks.

In this episode of our podcast, Shop Talk, you’ll hear from Ben Oosterveld, the President and CEO of Agent from Within, a company focused on helping real estate agents build successful businesses without sacrificing their personal lives.


byThe CE Shop Team

May 16, 2022

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