How New Agents Can Manage Stress and Anxiety
Table of Contents
Common Fears in Real Estate
There are a handful of common fears that new real estate agents are likely to encounter. Everyone won't experience them the same way, but it is possible to use these tips to make each one more manageable. That way, agents can anticipate problems and create potential solutions.
Talking to New People
Some people love to chat with others in a crowd, while others may find the mere prospect terrifying. When meeting potential clients or calling people to offer services, new agents often feel stressed because of the high-pressure nature of the situation. After all, selling a service to a stranger isn't the same as small talk while waiting in line. Agents can minimize this problem by creating a script of a few simple statements and practicing it regularly. Testing out conversations with friends or family can help build comfort that will make it easier to do the same with an unfamiliar audience.
Rejection and Criticism
Rejection can be very difficult for new agents to accept, but it is a very common part of the job. Agents may be able to reduce their stress level over rejection by talking with a mentor about how they handle it. There are times when customers aren't interested in a particular agent's services, and there isn't anything that the agent could do to change that. At other times, a customer declines when they really mean that they don't need the service right now. Agents might try graciously accepting a customer's refusal and asking to follow up later.
Ultimately, rejection and criticism can be applied as learning tools to improve an agent's skills. Criticism is also difficult to take, but it may be necessary for agents to increase their workload and overall success rate. Agents may want to practice accepting criticism in private, so they can do it in public without reacting too strongly.
Empty Open Houses
An open house with no attendees can feel like a nightmare, but agents have many tools that they can use to manage it. Open houses drum up interest in a property and possibly secure a potential buyer. If no one shows up, agents should remember that an open house is only one part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. To have a better experience with an open house, agents may want to try the following:
- Use signs to attract people in the neighborhood
- Offer complimentary food and beverages
- Place a sign outside the property notifying people about the open house
These steps may prevent the problem from coming up at all.
Being Unable to Find Clients
Struggling to maintain a reliable pool of new clients is a genuine concern for real estate agents. The possible number of new clients in any given area depends on the real estate market, the population, and the number of active agents. Most agents combat this problem by casting as wide of a net as possible. There may be times when agents will struggle to find enough clients. It's wise to accept that from the beginning. That acceptance prompts agents to continue to work to bring in possible leads as a way of keeping the stream flowing in their favor.
Since being a real estate agent is so dependent on a person's ability to sell their services successfully, it's not surprising that many agents worry about job security. There are very few guarantees in real estate, but agents can work to create their own sense of job security. They may be able to do this by:
- Choosing a brokerage carefully, aiming for one with a reputation for reliability
- Saving income during busy seasons to provide for slower ones
- Continuing to improve skills to entice new customers
Although not everyone will succeed in a career as a real estate agent, these steps make long-term viability much more realistic.
Strategies for Managing Anxiety
Minor anxiety can be a normal part of life for new real estate agents. However, agents don't have to suffer from great levels of stress without assistance. By using these coping strategies, agents can reduce their overall stress and develop effective ways of managing anxiety in the future.
Anxiety affects the way people breathe, and the way that they breathe can make anxiety worse. Simply put, an anxious response can trigger people to start taking short, shallow breaths. Over time, this minimizes oxygen to the brain, which can increase stress levels. For many new agents, breathing exercises may be an effective tool that they can use at any time. Popular breathing exercises include:
- Extending the exhale for several seconds
- Breathing deeply, focusing on expanding the abdominal area
- Closing eyes and focusing exclusively on breathing technique
- Breathing in and out for equal counts
Each breathing exercise could be more or less appropriate, depending on the person. Agents may want to try them when they are not particularly stressed to practice the technique and determine which ones feel best.
Yoga and Stretches
When people are suffering from anxiety, their muscles may tense up and freeze into position. If someone holds that position for too long, they may eventually feel strain, exhaustion, or pain. Yoga and other stretches relieve stress because they circumvent that natural inclination to tense the muscles. Agents who are not experienced with yoga may want to start with simple exercises that do not require a high degree of balance, such as:
- Hero pose
- Tree pose
- Child's pose
- Standing forward bend
People who have trouble maintaining balance might simply need to participate in stretching exercises to help lower their stress. Decreasing tension in the head and neck, which is common with anxiety, starts with dropping the shoulders and loosening the jaw. Agents can practice these stretches at home so that they feel natural to do in other environments.
Journaling is a popular way of releasing stress, reminding people of their accomplishments, and challenging problematic thought patterns. Agents have many different options that they can use for journaling, from buying a nice book and pen to typing it out on a computer. They may want to test out different styles:
- Freewriting: Writing anything for a set period of time as a way of identifying subconscious thoughts
- Writing to a Prompt: Coming up with or researching a list of questions to answer
- Problem/Solution: Writing down a list of problems to come up with possible solutions
- Stress Release: Documenting everything stressful that happened throughout the day to make relaxation and sleep easier
- Positivity Training: Emphasizing successes and other positive aspects of work to balance against the stresses of the day
Agents should plan to use journaling every day for at least a few weeks. That way, they will build a habit that will be easier to follow.
Many agents find that they can make their stress dissipate by the use of meditation. Meditation is a conscious action that people use to de-center troubling thoughts or stress in favor of positive words, images, or actions. Meditation can happen almost anywhere, and agents can use any approach that works. There are a few common ones, such as:
- Guided Meditation: Listening to a recording with a guide giving instructions for people to follow throughout the meditation time
- Mantra Meditation: Choosing a particular word or phrase to repeat over and over as a way of silencing negative thoughts and replacing them with something positive
- Mindfulness: Focusing on the state of the body as a way of overcoming the mind's tendency to fixate on negative topics
Meditation can be very useful, but it depends on the circumstance. Agents with legitimate problems may need to work on solving them and changing the way they think about them.
Consult Your Doctor
In some cases, new agents may realize that their anxiety is much more complicated than the regular stresses of a job in real estate. Clinical anxiety is an extremely common condition, affecting as many as 40 million American adults. Anxiety can come up at any time, and people shouldn't feel bad for seeking help. The best way to address it is to consult a doctor and request a referral to a qualified therapist or psychiatrist. There are many different approaches to manage anxiety, some of which are easy to do at home and others that require a prescription.
A career as a real estate agent can be fast-paced and exciting, but that high level of activity can produce anxiety on occasion. New agents are more likely to feel the sting of stress, especially as they start building knowledge and experience occasional problems like rejection or unsuccessful open houses. Fortunately, agents can do plenty of things to set themselves on stable ground, no matter what is happening around them. By following these strategies, agents will understand what they can expect and have a host of tools at their disposal to move past it.