How many times have you said: “I wish I could turn off the phone after hours but just can’t risk it”?
Many property professionals find that difficult to do for fear of missing out on business. But it is possible to maintain a high-achieving sales career without nursing your phone when you are at home.
Leading Cairns real estate agent Nicole Bragg knows when to say “enough” on her working day and has a strict no-mobile policy out of hours.
Speaking to Close-Ups, a series of video interviews for real estate tech firm Rex Software, the Explore Property agent explains how she keeps clear boundaries between work and family life without detriment to her career.
“I don’t bring real estate into my home at all,” Ms Bragg said.
“For the last couple of years I have been in the top five agents in Cairns and there was a big billboard (with my face on it). My son was quite amazed, ‘Wow mum, is that you?’
“In the time that I’m at work I work. When I’m at home, I’m at home.”
She says she has kept that separation for 10 years without one comment from a client about not answering a call.
She switched off after hours at the same time she vowed to stop working seven days a week when her children were at school age.
“I decided it was time to make that family time,” Ms Bragg said.
“I started having Sundays off. It changed my mindset about what work I did during office hours. I was very disciplined in not allowing outside noise or office noise to stop what I had to get done.”
Ms Bragg still works six days a week, with one day working at home on Mondays.
“I could be in my pyjamas and tinker around my house on Mondays but I still answer my phone so I find it a relaxed day anyway,” Ms Bragg said.
“I don’t work too many extra hours. I know I work six days a week but my PAs don’t work extra hours. We have our systems in place and we stick to it and get it done.”
The first season of Close-Ups focuses on health, with Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella interviewing industry leaders about their routines to ensure wellbeing and tips to avoid burnout.
Finding the correct balance between work and home life is a common thread in the interviews.
Some property professionals maintain vigorous exercise schedules to ensure they are in top shape for the day ahead. Ms Bragg takes a more relaxed approach.
“What makes you happy? For me it’s to just go for a walk. I don’t like walking or exercising with people, purely because I think our whole business is about being on time and fitting in with everyone else’s needs. I just like getting up at 5 o’clock and walking on my own.
“Different techniques work for different people. Sometimes it can be stressful when you hear people talking about yoga or meditation and you try it and it’s not your thing.
“I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way to relax. It’s just about working out what works for you.”