Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs. Really?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Real Estate BRE# 01411020

I just read an interesting article on RealtorMag, (by Melissa Dittmann Tracey), about stressful jobs, and I must say that I was surprised to see the job of a "real estate agent" was considered to be one of the most stressful jobs you can have.

Realtor freeway

This was according to CareerCast's 2010 Jobs Rated report, which analyzed the stress level of 200 professions.

While I agree that stress certainly comes with the "job", to be ranked the number 10 most stressful profession made me stop and think.

Do Realtors deal with more stress than say, a Wall Street broker on the Trading Floor, or a Second Grade teacher taking care of 20 little "angels"?

Sure, as the article says, competition among real estate agents did rise when the economy softened, and this was reportedly a major factor in landing agents in the top 10 of the most stressful jobs report.

In working out the stress rankings, CareerCast accounted for such factors as work environment, competitiveness, and job risk.

I agree with the part of the report that noted: "Real estate agents and brokers work long, erratic hours, spending much of their time showing properties to clients. They must be extremely independent, and able to handle sales quotas and deadline pressures."

I minimize the number of hours that I spend showing properties to buyers by:
(1) Conducting a buyer interview to guage among other things, the buyer's motivation,
(2) Only taking out buyers who have been pre-approved by a lender, and
(3) Researching homes and asking questions to the listing agent before showing the home.

What agent can honestly say there isn't stress involved with a lot of closings? Sure there is, but a good Transaction Coordinator is worth her weight in gold, (mine is worth her weight in diamonds!), and deadlines passing are very seldom an issue for me.

Do I lead a stress-free life? Certainly not, but a lot of my stress is eliminated by planning my work, and working the plan! It's a help if the other people involved in a transaction are well-organized and on top of their game, but when they're not, stress often follows.

I'm thankful that Realtors aren't listed in the first 9 positions in the Stressful Jobs report - that would be stressful!

John D. Mayfield wrote a good "5 Ways to Handle Stress" article. Check it out.


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Tim Stephens
Omaha's Elite Real Estate Group - Omaha, NE
Omaha Real Estate

It is only stressful if you allow it to become stressful.

It is a choice just like any other.

Great Post!



Oct 02, 2010 08:02 AM #1
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

It blows me away that real estate is more stressful than lending.  However, I will say that you need to be sooooooooooo much more patient as a realtor than as a lender.  I couldn't hang in a car with clients for than 1 hour, much less an entire weekend.

Oct 02, 2010 08:07 AM #2
Tina D Saporito, Your Dedicated Palm Desert, CA Realtor Since 2005
Ronald Christopher & Associates. Proudly serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Rancho Mirage, & Palm Springs. - Palm Desert, CA
Call (760)799-8460.

Very interesting post Debbie. Every profession has its pros and cons but if you don't love what you are doing, why are you doing? I try to eliminate stressing over things I have no control over.

Oct 02, 2010 08:07 AM #3
Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties - San Diego, CA

I think it has the potential to be extremely stressful but as Tim pointed out that's if you let it. Client management is probably the most important element to reducing the amount of stress you expose yourself to. One great thing about this industry is we can choose who to work with and who not to>

Oct 02, 2010 08:08 AM #4
Bruce Wiskirchen
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ

Much of the stress we experience is self imposed and a result of us not anticipating and addressing expectations up front with our clients.  I just learned this lesson again with a good friend who was interested in purchasing bank-owned property in the Phoenix area.  He felt I was not aggressive enough when he asked for my opinion on what he should offer during our showing. 

A simple market study prior to showing him properties reflecting the list to sale price ratios of bank-owned properties in the previous three months would have completely changed his expectations of what he thought might be possible.  The buyer having this upfront would have saved him the discomfort of being wrong - an experience this buyer really dislikes.



Oct 02, 2010 08:16 AM #6
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

'Uncertainty of income' contributes a lot to our stress levels. Right now I have two escrows closing in October, but until I have check in hand, anything can happen.

Oct 02, 2010 08:20 AM #7
Teresa DeLuca Merelman
Pall Spera Company Realtors - Stowe, VT

I agree with John - comment 7.  If we were paid for all the time we put in, it would not be nearly as stressful. 

Oct 02, 2010 08:33 AM #8
Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

Welcome to my world! Im so stressdful with my business its contageous. I do take more time off to go out and relax when things get tough in the market.

Oct 02, 2010 08:36 AM #9
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Excellent are impressively business motivated, and that leads to success, always.  

Oct 02, 2010 08:56 AM #10
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Debbie Sagorin

Marketing Irvine to the Highest Level
Find out how much I could sell your Irvine home for!
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