The real estate industry sure has a way of keeping us on our toes. We all know how tough it can be to handle the ups and downs without straining our mental and physical well-being and businesses. Being a real estate agent is stressful. But there are ways we can combat some of the most common stressors we face as real estate professionals. I’ve walked the tightrope of burnout and ultimately fell, so I get it. That’s why I want to share some of my best tips for keeping stress in check while working in real estate.

Key takeaways:

  • Establish clear boundaries.  
  • Be financially prepared. 
  • Ensure to give yourself adequate personal time. 
  • Ask for help when you need it. 
  • Practice good time management. 

1. Inconsistent Income 

Money is the most cited factor negatively impacting US adults’ mental health, so it’s no wonder that working a commission-based job can often lead to financial stress. Commission income in real estate is stressful if you don’t properly manage it. The inconsistent and unpredictable nature of income, heavily influenced by deal flow and market conditions, proves challenging for many real estate agents. 

Before getting my license, I knew I would need at least six months’ worth of income saved to cover my expenses if I didn’t close a deal. I made sure to have that saved, plus a little extra, with the bonus of having a couple of clients lined up and ready to go when I got my license. Even then, I realized that I had not saved for marketing expenses. Without proper guidance, learning all the financial aspects of building a real estate business can take some devoted time and energy to ensure you’re covered. 

☀️The bright side: Being a real estate agent does not cap your income potential, meaning that if you stay consistent, you can reap the rewards of a high real estate agent salary.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Before starting a career as a real estate agent, try to save a year’s income with money set aside for marketing so that you can begin to invest consistently in your business. 
  • Create a financial plan as part of your business plan. This will help you forecast your needs and save for tax season and slower market times. 
  • Don’t be afraid of gig work if you need the extra cash. Having an additional source of income, like a side hustle, can help you continue building your business. 
  • If you have the opportunity, join a team that offers compensation. Some teams will pay for help with admin or marketing work. 
  • If you work in an area where rentals are popular, working with landlords and tenants is a great way to make extra money between bigger deals. 

2. Lack of Clients 

There’s a common saying among real estate agents that we wake up unemployed every day. Not only do we need to know how to source leads, but we also need to know how to convert them. This fact can be overwhelming for some agents, preventing productivity. 

Ruler Analytics found that the average lead conversion rate in the real estate industry is 2.4%. Without knowing our lead conversion numbers and the strategies to keep a full pipeline, it’s easy to find ourselves in a cycle of working with clients and starting from square one after our deals close. 

☀️The bright side: You may find yourself more immersed in networking and your community. This creates a sense of social engagement that is actually healthy for work-life balance.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Success in this field requires proactive planning. Always work ahead of yourself, even when working with clients. Think at least 45 days ahead.
  • Schedule networking events with industry professionals, such as lenders and attorneys, or with a social group or organization you enjoy.
  • Create brand ambassadors by staying in touch with your sphere and past clients. 
  • Invest in lead generation platforms to help take some of the burden off your prospecting efforts. 
  • If you don’t have any listings, make yourself available to host open houses for agents with listings. This is an effective way to reach potential buyers.
an image of a person behind graphics showing a lead generation web.

Market Leader is an all-in-one platform with a customizable internet data exchange (IDX)-enabled website, paid lead generation service, and customer relationship manager (CRM) to manage your contacts and workflows. A lead generation platform like this is a great way to automate your outreach, nurture your leads, and boost your pipeline.

3. Market Conditions

I’m sure you’ve often been asked, “Is being a realtor stressful?” and “How is the market?” And, of course, we know the answer is yes because the ebbs and flows of the real estate market can strain real estate agents’ businesses. 

When the market is thriving, business is good. However, agents must compete more fiercely during slow periods, which can become discouraging. Real estate is stressful in slow markets. Overcoming a sluggish market requires not only effective business systems and strategies but also considerable mental resilience.

☀️The bright side: Busy markets can be lucrative, and slower markets allow extra, focused time with loved ones.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Incorporate market research into your daily life. When you understand what is happening in the market, you can see a possible downturn and prepare beforehand. 
  • Have the mindset of a business owner, not a salesperson. 
  • Always have money set aside for a slower market. 
  • If the market is too unstable for you, consider another job in the industry
  • Lean on and learn from your fellow real estate agents. 

4. Schedule & Time Management 

A lot of people become real estate agents with the idea of being able to make their own schedule, only to find out that they are working more than they used to. Real estate is a stressful job, even if you work part-time. If you don’t manage your time well and take control of your schedule, you’ll eventually burn out. 

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. I became more productive and efficient once I started using time blocking in my schedule and mastered this strategy. If you let your business control you instead of the other way around, it can feel like being stuck on a hamster wheel with no way to get off.

☀️The bright side: You are your own boss! So you can set up your schedule and business to fit into your life.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Have solid systems for your follow-up, marketing, prospecting, and other business-building tasks.   
  • Learn how to time block your schedule and include breaks throughout the day. 
  • Always leave time for your personal life. You need to recharge on your own, with loved ones, or do something you love to be your best self in your business. 
  • Work with another agent to cover each other when you need time away from work. 
  • Batch and automate any work that you can. For example, set up your emails or social posts in advance. 

5. Lack of Boundaries 

It’s completely understandable to feel overwhelmed by your clients’ demands, especially when they expect you to be available at all hours. Constant calls and emails can be exhausting, which is why it’s important to establish boundaries. 

Without setting limits, we can feel tied to our phones, which can distract us from other important aspects of our lives. I once had a client call me at 1 a.m., which woke me up. From then on, I always informed my clients of my working hours and how I handled calls, emails, and texts.

☀️The bright side: Creating hours of business operation gives you back control of your time. Setting boundaries will give you more freedom than restrictions.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Establish clear boundaries with your clients right away. This will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. 
  • Work with another agent to provide a backup when you are unavailable.
  • Honor the time you have set aside for yourself.
  • Consider limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from setting boundaries. Write down and work through your limiting beliefs. This will help you understand why you think you need to be available 24/7. 
  • Set up automatic responses outside of business hours, reassuring your clients of your response time.

6. Workload 

Being a real estate agent is stressful, and managing the many moving parts of a real estate business can feel daunting. Especially when working with clients, it’s easy to get sidetracked by current deals and ignore important tasks like marketing and lead gen. 

Without proper systems, it can feel like you’re constantly scrambling to keep everything organized. I noticed that I was less productive when I allowed disruptions to interfere with my focus on the task at hand.

☀️The bright side: Learning highly efficient strategies to tackle your work allows you to have more present moments outside of work.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Bringing an assistant on board might be helpful. Training them may take extra effort, but in the end, it’ll give you more time to focus on growing your business.
  • Just like hiring an assistant, building a team allows you to delegate tasks. You might want to consider bringing in a buyer’s agent with some experience so they can hit the ground running and start helping out right away.
  • Become comfortable passing on some business if you are spread too thin. Referrals can be a great way to still get paid without having to burden yourself with extra work, which is definitely a pro of being a real estate agent
  • Time-block your schedule for more efficiency, and don’t forget to take breaks throughout the day. 
  • It is crucial to have the right resources to run your business. Each brokerage offers different tools, such as CRMs and transaction management software, so be sure to choose one that offers everything you need
Client contact information in a CRM with outreach options.
A sample of client contact information in a CRM (Source: Wise Agent)

Using a CRM like Wise Agent helps agents manage their clients from start to finish. You can manage your transactions and listings, create customizable landing pages, and set up drip campaigns.

7. Varying Client & Transaction Types  

As a real estate agent, you’ll meet all kinds of clients and handle various transactions. The needs of first-time homebuyers are different from those of seasoned sellers, and dealing with a straightforward sale is quite different from managing a short sale. 

It’s normal to juggle all of these simultaneously, and it can be exhausting. I remember going from a tough showing to meeting excited buyers. I realized that if I didn’t reset my energy, I would bring negative vibes to the next showing with clients who deserved my full attention and excitement.

☀️The bright side: Part of the thrill of working as a real estate agent is that no two days—or deals—are the same. You get to meet many people, some of whom could become good friends.

How to Manage This Stressor 

  • Recognize your own style as a real estate agent. It’s okay to work with clients who vibe with your personality and to refer others to a different agent who might be a better match for them.
  • Email your clients, outlining your work process and availability. This will help avoid surprises and give you both a point of reference when needed.
  • Have regular check-ins with your clients throughout the time you’re working together. 
  • Don’t be afraid to bring in another agent or your managing broker to help with challenging deals. 
  • Good business partners are stress relievers! Rely on your lenders, attorneys, or home inspectors to help clients navigate the transaction details.

Self-Care Strategies to Incorporate Daily   

It’s essential to do things that are not work-related to keep stress at bay. I learned this the hard way when I experienced burnout. I wasn’t putting enough effort into my self-care, leaving me feeling totally drained. It’s much easier to prevent burnout by incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine than it is to recover from it. 

Choose at least one healthy habit to focus on for the next 30 days and see its positive impact on you and your business.

  • Take brain breaks throughout the day; step away from work for 5–10 minutes.  
  • Take a workout class, stretch, or walk outside.  
  • Write down what you’re grateful for at the end of each day. 
  • Start a new book. 
  • Get enough sleep, fuel your body with good food and water, and stay active.
  • Practice breathing exercises as needed during your day. 


Bringing It All Together

Being a real estate agent is stressful, but there’s nothing better than being armed with information to help you lessen the effects. Our well-being is just as crucial as our success, so spend the time to evaluate your schedule, habits, and business strategies to see what you can improve. Let us know what self-care strategy you picked to incorporate into your day! 

Want More Leads? Download Our Free E-book
61 proven lead gen ideas from coaches & top-producing agents to help you close more deals.
This email address is invalid.
Want even more free resources?
Tell us about you so we know what to send.
By downloading, you’ll automatically subscribe to our weekly newsletter
Want More Leads? Download Our Free E-book
61 proven lead gen ideas from coaches & top-producing agents.
By downloading, you’ll automatically subscribe to our weekly newsletter
Want even more free resources? Tell us about you so we know what to send.