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Realtor Hacks: How to Master the Art of Work-Life Balance in 2019

I know every realtor’s been there… that moment when we’ve felt our calendars were wittingly out to get us and we simply didn’t know how to proceed.


Many realtors protest that their jobs consume their lives, making them feel they have no time for their families and personal endeavors. But the reality is that YOU make your priorities and YOU allocate your own time, for better or for worse.

So the perennial question remains: How do insanely busy realtors attain a healthy work-life balance?

Keep reading to discover the most impactful ways you can start mastering your work-life balance today.

1. Disable your phone before it disables you.

If you’re a busy realtor, your phone is quite literally an extension of your arm, and every ding could mean a potential sale. But bear in mind that phone addictions are real, and it’s not just because you’re weak- it’s because they are designed that way.

Tristan Harris, former Design Ethicist at Google, confirmed our suspicions last year when he told us how the attention economy dictates how engineers create software with dopamine-inducing rewards that increase your dwell time. In other words, be aware of where your attention is going, and don’t let it take away from doing more meaningful things with your loved ones.

You can help control your digital intake by doing the following:

  • Set your screen to grayscale to dramatically reduce the temptation to engage in social media (for iOS, Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters).
  • Moment- Reduce Screen Time is an app that monitors not only your screen time but your whole family’s screen time. Create a culture of accountability in your family and challenge everyone to a max screen time per day. Give positive rewards (pizza night anyone?) for accomplishing goals.
  • Go into your Instagram settings and give yourself a daily limit. The app will notify you when you’ve reached it.
  • Use Instapaper to save articles in a newspaper style format to read later so you don’t spend hours staring at your screen. You can also save articles for later on Facebook.
  • Put all phones in the middle of the table for family dinners to avoid interruptions, or if it’s game night, keep them there all night.
  • Leave your phone charging in the kitchen at night. Out of sight, out of mind.

2. Set crystal clear time boundaries up-front with clients.

It’s not realistic for a client to think they can contact you 24/7. However, if you don’t set those boundaries up-front, they might feel inclined to try a late night inquiry here and there, which quickly evolves into a bad habit. And if you haven’t yet learned the hard way, I’ll let you in on a little secret- bad habits lead to burnout.

Here are some helpful tips to limit burnout while still pleasing clients:

  • When closing with a new client, be up-front about your personal boundaries. Tell them if you have a “no phones after 7 pm” rule in your house, or if Sunday is strictly family game day. 9/10 you will gain their respect for having healthy boundaries and family values.
  • You can get a chat software on your website to answer basic inquiries or a live phone answering service.  
  • You can hire a full-time assistant or a freelancer to help answer calls for you after hours.

3. Substitute your words and positively change your life.

Words are more powerful than you think. Tony Robbins, a true advocate of the idea that changing our words can change our lives, tells us that the average person has a daily vocabulary of 200-300 words. And many of those words are a matter of habit.

It’s important that those words be positive in order to avoid feeling victimized by life. For example, drearily saying “I have to call my mother” instead of saying “I get to call my mother.” Can you feel the difference? Your body can, and it responds biochemically to the words you use.

Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to a 21-day “No Negative Talk” challenge, where you are not allowed to any negative self-talk (i.e. “I’m so stupid/lazy/unorganized…”) and no negative “What if’s?” (i.e. “What if it fails?” to “What if it’s a raging success?”)

Try substituting some of these words in your vocabulary:

  • In demand instead of overwhelmed
  •  Situation instead of problem
  • Peeved instead of furious
  • Ecstatic instead of pleased
  • Get to instead of have to
  • Challenged instead of stressed

Don’t know how to get started? Check out our 21 Days No-Negative-Talk Challenge Trello Board to find a step-by-step breakdown of the challenge, plus fun activities to keep you on track throughout the process!

Kind words do not cost much, but they accomplish much.” -Blaise Pascal

4. Put personal goals and vacations in your calendar or they will disappear.

These days, I’m sure we can all agree that if it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist. Make sure to put weekend get-aways, time with the family, or piano lessons in your calendar before they sleep into the abyss.

Here are some tricks to help you keep track of your personal goals:

  • Gather your family together and create an activity raffle. Have everyone write ideas on 12 note cards of fun activities they’d like to do as a family (i.e. hiking, camping, bowling). At the beginning of every month, bring the family together again and pick one out at random. It’s a super interactive way to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and that you are logging time for family.
  • You can use apps like Goalmuse, a personal development platform that provides tools to help you manage your personal success.
  • If you’re an old soul and crave the soothing sound of pen on paper, Passion Planner is “your paper life coach™”, with thousands of vetted success stories to help you achieve your personal goals.

5. Plan strategic windows to call those you care about.

Many a time when little ole grandma or that auntie on the other side of the country have crossed your mind, you thought about giving them a call, but then immediately dismissed that benevolent thought when you considered the potential time commitment it would be. Gracefully maneuvering out of extensive phone calls with relatives is requires a certain artistry.

The most justifiable segues out of long phones calls are those that require your immediate attention i.e. entering into a business meeting, a school play, or a plane ready for takeoff. Use idle time before these events to connect to relatives with whom you haven’t spoken in a while. You will feel more connected and more rooted in your personal life.

The Answer?

Life is about relationships. You and your job, you and your speech, you and your spouse, you and your kids, you and your spirituality. These relationships require self-discipline and sacrifice, which unfortunately are not sexy buzzwords, but they are a part of growing up personally and professionally.

Congratulations on taking the first step to mastering your most balanced life- seeking guidance! If you incorporate the tips above, you’ll make a huge stride towards success.

See how else we can help you grow personally and professionally at our blog, and let us know in the comments below if there are any other resources that have helped you achieve work-life balance as a realtor.

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Max Bergstrom
Marketing Director at New Venture Escrow

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