Elite AgentProductivity & Best Practice

A new reality: Kate Strickland

It isn’t just the practical problems of a tougher market you need to be aware of. If you are working harder for less reward the risk of burnout increases. Kate Strickland looks at how to maintain balance.

When Jess first started her job in real estate, she loved it. She went to work every day filled with passion and purpose, excited about the prospects her new job offered. Fast forward a few years and she now wakes every morning with a feeling of unease. Her sleep is suffering, she’s putting herself last and as such her health is under strain. This is a familiar story.

The current market is presenting real estate professionals with challenging dynamics. For the past few years, real estate in Australia has been booming and it’s been very kind to agents, with buyers adopting a ‘fear of missing out’ or ‘FOMO’ mentality when it came to getting in on the action.  

With the effects of the Royal Commission still filtering down and making it more challenging for buyers to acquire finance, along with interest rate issues and concerns of a market downturn, ‘FOMO’ has been replaced with ‘FOOP’ – ‘fear of overpaying’. 

Real estate professionals are now faced with a new reality. We’re working much harder to make the same or less financial return. This correlates to a time investment but also an emotional one. Working in real estate is no longer seen as a ‘safe’ job with easy money-making prospects. 

Conversations in the hallways are ones we haven’t heard in a long time. Is my job safe? There is nervousness in the industry and it’s unsettling. I used to love creating my own destiny because the sky was the limit. Now there’s a ceiling above me. 

Most people think burnout is a result of long-term emotional and physical stress, but you can also experience burnout when your efforts at work have failed to produce the results you expected and you feel deeply disillusioned as a result. You start thinking, ‘Is this for me? Am I better to go and work in a ‘safe’ job? Should I throw in the towel?’ 

To deal with this I ensure I still make time for me. The energy you give out is more important than ever. Your clients and your team will find comfort in your optimism.  

If you’re falling apart internally you won’t be an agent of choice and buyers will sense a lack of confidence in your day-to-day approach. If you’re looking through a lens of anger, frustration and fear, both buyers and sellers will eat you alive. It’s vital for my on-field and off-field focus to combine, to create structure for my clients and team. 

I’m working hard to keep up the good vibes with my team because it’s important that my team feels valued. My attention is always on the processes and outputs, not solely focused on the outcomes as the only scoreboard measure. 

Lastly, be kind to yourself. Throughout the year, commit to taking breaks so you can perform at your best with maximum focus and energy. Spend time doing things you enjoy, with people you love. Whether that’s lying by the pool or working on the tan, laugh and be present. Change your voicemail and switch off; don’t be accessible. Make time for self-care and give yourself a big cuddle. In fact, cuddle everyone in your life that matters. Switch your focus from clients to family and friends, then take some time to envision a better way forward. 

Real estate is high risk, but it’s also high reward – and I just know 2019 is going to be the best year yet.

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Kate Strickland

A director of Marshall White Brighton, Kate is an accomplished real estate professional and is widely regarded as an industry thought leader. Kate is passionate about driving change to promote positive wellbeing and strives to ensure her approach to business and life parallels with this principle.