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We get Paid to Sell Houses; Not to Damage our Body!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Properties SW, Inc.

It's been a high-intensity day. We negotiated two contracts and worked until about 10PM on one of them. The other came in signed by the buyer after our seller elected to counter-offer, so it was fairly easy.

If someone had disclosed how familiar I'd become to rejection and arguing before I got my real estate license, I'm fairly confident that I'd have passed on the career. In light of the second transaction that I mentioned, I should amend the previous sentence to read, "...passed on the career without even a second thought!"

The second sale was "AS-IS" also. Have you ever had an inspection which raised roof issues, plumbing issues and/or septic tank issues on an "AS-IS" sale? You probably have had many such and have also had worse problems, too.

Anyway, given the fact that our seller didn't have a lot of equity, the texts, emails and phone conversations got somewhat heated although a pleasant tone was maintained throughout by all parties. After much discussion, we ended up going to bed not knowing whether our efforts were in vain. Sometimes prayer is a good thing, because we woke to a signed addendum and a meeting-of-the-minds. Since we're already through the appraisal, we're good go to closing where we get paid for our efforts on behalf of our client. (Big sigh of relief!)

Now, I'm sure that many members of the general public take a cursory glance at the real estate profession and think, "All those people do is to place a sign in the yard and collect huge paychecks." Of course, we all know better. We know our business expenses and they are very high, reducing our take-home dollars to much less than we'd like.  It's an educational experience to make that calculation!

All Realtors have to deal with people who are emotionally involved in perhaps the largest financial transaction of their lives and who feel very stressed and have no compunction about passing that stress on to us. This has the effect of increasing our personal stress. This can be very hard on our health.

If you've been in this business for any length of time, you've probably developed your own methods of reducing stress, however, before you say, "I never suffer from stress," you should know that we can become adapted to a high level of stress and not realize that we're actually not in an optimal state. I'm reminded of a friend of ours who had a fatal heart attack, giving his wife instructions on an upcoming closing during the ambulance ride to the hospital.

It's not the large stressful events that really take the toll, it's the little ankle-biters that we suffer from all of the time. Chances are we can deal fairly proficiently with the big ones, but we ignore the build-up of the little ones.

Want to know if you are stressed and don't realize it? Just take a look in the mirror. Got a roll of extra weight around your middle? Then you're probably producing far more Cortisol (aka. "the stress hormone") than you need. Our bodies can either produce the beneficial Dhea or Cortisol, but because the two have the same precursor chemicals, it's either one or the other that predominates. You do need Cortisol in moderation, but a large dose of Cortisol can take 7-10 hours to begin to dissipate in your body and during that time, your cardiovascular system suffers, your immune system suffers, your autonomic nervous system suffers, your hormonal balance suffers and your brain can't even think as clearly due to a process known as cortical inhibition.

If you've ever been in an argument and only later, after you calmed down, thought, "I should have said ...!" then you've been suffering from cortical inhibition. You can see how remaining calm in a negotiation can improve your success rate; you'll be able to maintain a higher degree mental clarity.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower your stress and they are easy to learn although most people benefit by some coaching in the methods. Drop me an email if you'd like to know more. In addition to my 22 years of real estate practice, I'm a licensed HeartMath(R) provider and I'm happy to discuss your situation and goals with you. Jointly, we can determine if HeartMath(R) coaching might be beneficial to you. It's helped many others increase their performance in sales while decreasing their stress levels.


Here's a link to my Living A Heart-Centered Life blog.

Comments (2)

Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Eric; it's definitely a regular exercise of late night negotiations, but then, don't forget; we set out own hours....Yeh, Right!  Bottom line; I work knowing my competition is most likely out enjoying social time with friends at that hour, instead of doing what we got into this business for in the first place; that undeniable feeling of self satisfaction and accomplishment that you have had a profound positive effect on someone else's life that trusts in you.

Mar 16, 2013 01:57 AM
Eric Martell
RE/MAX Properties SW, Inc. - Orlando, FL

Hi Norman, Your comment is right on target!  I completely agree with you, I've always felt happy about assisting someone with their real estate problem. Our job may not be very glamourous, but we do make a difference in people's lives! That feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment from helping someone else is one of the emotions which moves your hormonal system over onto the DHEA producing side. That's where you want to stay.

Mar 16, 2013 02:34 AM