While a good deal of the stress that successful real estate brokers face occurs within their work life, SIORs agree that in order to manage that stress they must not only address work activities, but their overall life- styles as well. That's at least partly due to the fact that as individuals they don't all find the sources of their stress to be the same - even at work."The most stressful aspect is that everyone wants their information NOW, and so the difficulty is prioritizing all the requests, because at the end of the day, somebody will not be happy," says Bryce Custer, SIOR, industrial specialist Real Estate Advisor Energy Services, NAI Spring, Canton, Ohio.
Ian M. Grusd, SIOR, CCIM, principal of Green Gate Capital in Tifton Falls, N.J., agrees. "It used to be that if you returned a call within 24 hours you were providing excellent customer service. Today, a call or e-mail not returned the same day is not acceptable," he notes.
But Grusd also cites:
1. Not being able to focus on the "sales process" while bogged down with daily e-mails and non-sales related activities.
2. The reliance on third parties (i.e. co-broker, landlord, tenant) to provide timely necessary information to move a deal forward.
3. The major transportation corridors are always "under construction" in the North/Central New Jersey market, and this affects client meetings and showings and can cause last minute rescheduling.
But Dan S. Granot, SIOR, office specialist and principal of Joel & Granot Real Estate/CORFAC International in Atlanta, Ga., says "the aspect of our profession that is most stressful is that the difference between a great year and a not so great year can be out of your hands as a broker. A deal can fall through for many reasons and most of the time none of those have anything to do with you. Another stressful aspect is that every day your livelihood is based on an 'eat what you kill' mentality. What we love about the business can also be a very stressful part of the business."
"I think the most stressful part my business is cold calling or business development when you have to go out and hunt for it - knock on doors or call when nobody wants to hear from you," adds Randy Mason, SIOR, CCIM, partner in Commercial Realty Specialists, Newport Beach, Calif.
James Baker, SIOR, CCIM, of Baker Commercial Real Estate in Jeffersonville, Ind., cites "Indecisive and/or unhappy customers and clients." In addition, he mentions, "listed properties that are difficult to find buyers or tenants for at a price and/or terms that the owner requires."
DIFFERENT SOURCES, DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS
Just as the main causes of stress vary from individual to individual, so do the strategies to relieve that stress. For example, Granot says, "The best method for
mitigating my stress level is exercise. I wake up very early and work up a sweat and that seems to equip me for the rest of the day." ,
Another stress reducer, he adds, is family time. "When I can go watch a cross country meet or go to a dance recital or a tennis match that a child is playing it takes me to another world ... a more important one," he
stresses. "Then there is always date night -- if you can get one."
"I use music, prayer, reading and study, silence and solitude, and fellowship with others as healthy ways to deal with stress," says Baker. "I meet about twice a week with a couple of Christian men's groups in a confidential and open forum. Through sharing my struggles and stresses with other men I have found a healthy outlet to release my stress and to receive wise counsel. We talk about our struggles and share confidentially with each other in what we refer to as a 'safe container.' Without trust and agreeing to confidentiality this would not work. We also share a common bond through our faith in Christ."
Baker is also a musician and occasionally gets to perform with various local groups. "My degree is in music and I played professionally for a number of years
prior to working in real estate," he explains. I'm a percussionist/drummer and also play piano. Music allows me to relax and to get away from only thinking
about the current 'deals' I'm working on." Recently, he recalls, he was walking out of an SIOR event in Indianapolis and heard some drums playing along the
downtown canal next to where the event was held. "I walked over and was invited to join the group, which I did, and I had a great time beating on a drum and making music with the 'drum circle' group that meets there once a week," he shares. "That was a great stress reliever for me -- and a lot of fun."
Mason says one of his most successful methods of stress reduction has been his decision to only give out his cell number and not his office number. "I would not call the office at 10:00 at night before I went to bed because people would call saying 'I want the answer now, '" he recalls. "If they need me now they know they can call me and if not, I know nothing is pending. I also have autoreplies - so, for example, if I'm in a meeting I say 'I'm in a meeting, please leave me a detailed text. '"
Mason recently has gotten into kite boarding, which he says is "an adrenaline producer. I do not think about the office because I need to think about my next move, trick, or wave."
Mason also lives well below his means. "I don't need to worry about a deal working, or making a dollar, but just how to find the next client," he explains. "I work for letters of appreciation - that's what floats my boat and gives me an adrenaline rush." And, while Mason used to get up in the morning and rush to the office, he realized that much of that work could be done at home "sitting by my fountain and waiting for my wife and kids to get up. This way I'm able to see them before going to the office; that relieves stress too," says Mason.
Culled from Professional Report Vol. 74 No 4 Winter Edition