Can You Make Real Estate a 9-to-5 Job?

Taking control of your work and personal time requires developing a routine that sets your intentions for the day.

Between family and clients, real estate professionals are pulled in a million different directions every day, and trying to please everyone can make you feel like you have no control over your time. Most agents I know start their workday super early and end it very late—but accomplish little in between. Either you control the day or the day controls you, and for many, the latter is true because of lack of focus, discipline, and intentionality.

I teach agents to start taking control of their day in baby steps. Start by creating morning and evening rituals that will reinforce the mind frame you want to have for the day. Think of your routines as the bookends of your day. Even if you can’t control what happens in between, you have an intentional and powerful start and ending. Goalsetting, visualization, gratitude, affirmations, and meditation are the main points of a good routine, which I’ll describe in more detail below. The benefit of creating mental balance with these routines is that it also contributed to work/life balance and increases productivity. You’ll become more aware of what the time wasters are in your day and be able to allocate your time more efficiently. You’ll learn not to dwell on negative experiences and to stay committed to and focused on what’s most important.

This is what I taught my client, Dippy Chhina, SFR, a sales associate with Dilbeck Real Estate in Valencia, Calif. When I began coaching her four years ago, she was working seven days a week and had no work/life balance. Today, she works Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and rarely on a Saturday. She doesn’t just work hard anymore; she has learned to work smart, too. Of course, we have made many, many changes to her business, including systemizing everything. Most importantly, she started taking control of her time by making a place for everything that is important to her—both professionally and personally—on her daily calendar. In the past four years, she has had two children, created and implemented her business systems, and has maintained balance between being a business owner, a wife, and a mom. It all started with following these five principles for creating morning and evening routines:

  1. Review your goals. Instead of checking emails, texts, and social media messages as soon as you wake up, review your long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals. Break them down by goals for the year, month, week, and most importantly, for the day. This will provide you with the focus and structure you need to make an immediate impact on your business. In addition, this will help you build discipline about how you invest your most precious asset: your time.
  2. Visualize your success. One of my favorite things to do with my clients is help them create and implement their visualization process. Start with this: In a perfect world, where would you like to see your business a year from now? Create a vision you believe is attainable. You can also use visualization for a specific event, such as a listing appointment.
  3. Feel gratitude for what you’ve accomplished. Many studies have examined the power of gratitude, and in my own experience, this is one of the best feelings you can have before walking out the door. Feeling a sense of gratitude, no matter what your current circumstances are, is a reminder that there are more things working for you than against you. Do not allow a single negative situation to rob you of everything else that is great in your life.
  4. Read a few affirmations. I encourage all my clients to have their favorite affirmations handy and to not only use them at the beginning of the day but throughout the day as well.
  5. Find a few moments to meditate or pray. We each have answers inside of us, but in order to discover them, we need to quiet the mind. Meditation can be hard for someone who hasn’t done it before. There are many different kinds of meditations; do a little research and try a new one every day until you find one you are comfortable with. Start with five minutes of meditation a day, and increase from there. When you quiet your mind, you can refocus on what’s important to you instead of obsessing about the “should haves” or “could haves.”

Everyone has a different definition of success and work/life balance. My clients tend to be people who are high achievers and want to emulate the best version of themselves, using as much of their potential as possible. For them, success includes health and happiness; celebrating life, love, home; and whatever fills their hearts—along with being strong producers at work. This is possible, but it requires first getting clear about what is important to you, then creating the focus and discipline around how you invest your time. Stay positive, stay focused, and keep moving forward.