Is Life Balance Possible in Real Estate?


There are no emergencies in real estate. There, I said it.

Being married to a physician, I realize that although real estate has timelines and sometimes stressed-out people, there are no real life-or-death emergencies. So why do we think we need to be available 24/7 like a doctor saving lives in an emergency room? We all want stability, security and balance in our lives, and I believe you can have that while working reasonable hours.

A long time ago, I realized I was much more productive and able to serve my clients at a higher level if I had down time and days off each week. I remember reading a quote on a diner wall while traveling as a young man that said, “Don’t work so hard making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Years ago, I Googled deathbed regrets and the majority of them were things like, “I wish I had spent more time with family and friends, and traveling, and working on my marriage, and being a better father, and not spending so much time at the office.”

So, can we do that in real estate? I believe we can, and I’ve proven it. The solution is to educate, communicate and manage expectations with your clients so that they understand that you’re an expert and that you also have a life. Let’s not train society to abuse our life balance by not setting boundaries.

There are two ways you can do this. The first involves letting all of your clients know upfront what your hours are and what days you take off. Explain that your phone is turned off after a certain hour (yes, this can actually be done) or on certain days for family time and personal time, but assure them that you will always give them a call back when you return to work. You’ll be surprised by how understanding your clients are.

While it’s scary to say at first, I’ve found that people appreciate a balanced, rested expert guiding them through one of the biggest transactions of their life, rather than a harried, stressed out, overworked mess.

The second way is to build a team or be part of a team that will cover serving your clients more days and more hours. A team might consist of just an assistant to keep you more productive in the field and more face-to-face with clients, or it might consist of several people, including buyer partners, seller partners, client care coordinators, etc. I love the team concept because it allows us to serve our clients at a much higher level.

If you’re struggling with life balance and would like a copy of the communication we use to educate and manage expectations, please email me at

Make sure you’re not working so hard making a living that you forget to make a life.

Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler

Senior Coach
Senior Coach Paul Wheeler started Accent REALTORS® as a licensed agent and broker in 1992. Leading the Accent Team with energy, experience and a vision for the future, as well as a better business model in the real estate industry, Wheeler and his team strive to continually improve their processes with a focus on learning and staying on top of market trends. His passion for real estate is only surpassed by his commitment to community service and his family.