5 Ways to Avoid Burnout in Your Real Estate Team

Burnout is pervasive in the real estate industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. There are plenty of simple practices that you can do with your team to prevent burnout while maintaining — or perhaps increasing — your team’s production.


Too many real estate agents view burnout as simply an occupational hazard, the way a beekeeper might view bee stings. They seem to accept that the risk of burning out can’t be mitigated, at least without leaving the field entirely. They still subscribe to the idea of the “Energizer Bunny Agent” who keeps going and going, seemingly never able to rest so long as they're in production. They still believe that they can’t be successful without being that agent, and force themselves to do more than is healthy in pursuit of wealth. But at this pace, some are never able to achieve stable or consistent income, let alone growth or profitability. 

As a real estate team leader, you want your team members to be successful and you want them to be happy and motivated, for their own sake and for the wellbeing of the team. Here are five ways to get out in front of burnout as a team.



1. Do regular, fun team-building.

It can sometimes feel difficult to justify team building activities — halting your organization’s work for an hour or two can be a significant expense. But it pales in comparison to the lost productivity resulting from high stress and burnout. Taking time to regularly come together as a team in an enjoyable way helps relieve pressure and encourages camaraderie between team members. It can also help erode hierarchies that sometimes form in teams and get in the way of collaboration and true teamwork. These activities don’t have to be major costly excursions, but they should focus on bringing your team together as individuals.


5 Things You Need for An Effective Team Building-Activity


2. Celebrate achievements. 

Related to team-building is the celebration of achieved goals. Acknowledging and celebrating the hard work that went into a group accomplishment helps team members feel valued, and gives everyone an opportunity to see the work done by others. Celebrations are most effective when the activities and the milestones they are tied to are determined by the team, rather than just by the team leader — the greater the buy-in, the greater the pay-off. 



3. Encourage exercise. 

One of the best ways to prevent and ameliorate symptoms of burnout is exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise. You could consider making fitness an active part of your team’s culture (pun intended). This could take several different forms, from providing gym memberships to allowing employees an hour or so for exercise during the day. 

Many companies do fitness challenges, especially at the new year, but you should focus these efforts as a means of maintaining a healthy lifestyle year round rather than just a one-time event. This is about culture more than just results — you want to be a team that supports and facilitates people’s healthy choices.

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4. Facilitate wellness. 

Feelings of burnout can be exacerbated by tension in the body resulting from stress. To fight this, many employers are seeking out the services of chiropractors and massage therapists for the team’s benefit. Some will invite these professionals into the office for an afternoon every few weeks, while others simply provide vouchers or gift certificates team members can redeem at their leisure. Whatever you do, make sure your team actually has the time to take advantage of these services.



5. Don’t stigmatize time off. 

While you probably have some kind of protocol for your team members to take time off, how many of them actually take advantage of it? Employees don’t use their available time off for many reasons, including enjoying being at work. But often, employees feel that if they take time off, they will be viewed in a poor light by their leaders and peers. 

Part of your team culture should involve de-stigmatizing time off. Taking time away prevents burnout and facilitates better work-life balance. Like you, your team members are working for a reason, and that reason probably has to do with providing an enjoyable life for themselves and/or their families. If no one on your team has taken a vacation in a while, ask yourself why that might be and make any appropriate changes.

While all of these activities and strategies are effective ways to combat and prevent burnout on your team, the best way is to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place is by not overloading your team. If you are experiencing a consistent and lasting pattern of burnout on your team, it’s probably time to make a change. You might think about bringing on more support staff, expanding or restructuring your team, or adopting new tools and systems that improve work-life balance and productivity at the same time. 


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