When Stress Comes to Call

Real Estate Agent with RE/Max Associates DE#RA-0003085 PA#RS347136

If you're a REALTOR, you know stress. You are intimately involved with it. But what do you do when it grabs you in its talons and threatens to fly up, up, and away with you?


The past few days have been stressful due to a few problematic transactions. What makes them stressful is things not being completed over which I have no control. Details that seemingly should have been completed weeks ago remain undone and closings are now in jeopardy. I'm a detail girl. I like to do the heavy lifting at the beginning of a transaction so the final days leading up to the closing are smooth. 

Granted, I've added to my own "to-do" list by taking on a few additional requests for clients, helping them with adjunct things, but that's all doable when the rest of my business life moves along smoothly. And I truly am blessed that I have many transactions in the pipeline, so natually a few will scream out for more attention than the others.

Yet at the end of the business day today, learning that a settlement that must occur tomorrow will not, I felt... overwhelmed. My clients are amazingly great people who deserve to have this go smoothly and despite my every effort, it's not. 


And... what did I decide to do last night that only enhanced the wonders of today?  I followed the heedings of the repeated messages on my computer and upgraded to Windows 10. I downloaded it and then left it to install itself while I drifted off to sleep. Awakening today, I saw that it had finished, closed up the laptop and headed off into my day. Home inspection, meetings with clients, and finally back at the office at the end of the day, I opened the laptop and... couldn't get online. Not to be outdone, I pirated an ethernet line from a desktop and tried to print one of many documents I needed and... couldn't communicate with the printer. Talk about adding to the stress! I'm pretty smart and got to a few of what appeared to be the right settings but in the course of it, I think I changed a few passwords, too. (More stress) Chrome, which I love, was now usurped by esomething. Google wiped out by Bing. (Good grief. Does stress have an end game?) 


And then two things happened. I remembered that my tech guy was available to command my computer remotely online (which I now am, too, without the ethernet line, thanks to him) and my daughter called.


"Hey, Mom. What's up?"  

As I downloaded the day's events, the stress just faded away. 

"Come home, Mom. I'll make you some dinner." 

She's part of what's truly important to me. Doing my job well, taking care of my clients... that's all part of it. The things I cannot control are just that: things I cannot control.

So tonight, I'll remember the things that matter. I'll be grateful for the things done well and I'll be grateful for the people I love.


My daughter just texted me.

"I'm defrosting shrimps."

"And they won't be served at your office."  


Yep, I'm headed home.






Comments (40)

Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Nutella usually is my stress-reliever of choice!  

Jul 30, 2016 04:32 AM
Monica Hill

Oh, nutella has a reserved spot on our shelf, too!

Jul 30, 2016 05:24 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Interesting thing, I just went to a talk with the SEAL who killed Bin Laden.  He discussed stress and how it's a part of SEAL training and life.  He said "Stress is like a load of bricks.  You can carry it around with you all day or you can let it go."  Very eye opening moment.  Stress is just how we react to a situation.  Really helps with transactions!

Jul 30, 2016 04:48 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA

Thank you!  It's one I'm trying to incorporate more and more.  I used to have a big load of bricks for each transaction, acting as the central point of contact.  In January I started doing something else that helped a LOT.  I sent out an introductory email to the buyer's agent, escrow and title making sure that everyone knew everyone else and had their contact info.  In it I say "If you have any questions/issues, reach out to the person directly and escalate to me only if initial attempts fail or it could kill the deal."  Really reduced my call volume and took away all the minor crap I was dealing with.  Funny thing too, escrow, title and the buyer's agent LOVE IT!!

Jul 30, 2016 05:40 AM
Monica Hill

Wow! Great perspective on it, Ryan!

Jul 30, 2016 05:25 AM
Monica Hill

I have a transaction sheet that I use that does the same thing. I set it up in word (though you could set it us as a writeable pdf) and I put all the who's who and dates, etc. for the transaction there. I can see, as can everyone else, all the important contact information and dates for the sale. Great organizational tool for me. 

Jul 31, 2016 07:11 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Talking yourself out of stressing over uncontrollable circumstances is difficult but necessary.   Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA comment helps put things in perspective.  Perspective is a wonderful thing!

Jul 30, 2016 05:12 AM
Monica Hill

Absolutely necessary. You have to learn to let go.

Jul 30, 2016 05:26 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Glad that your daughter was there to get you through this stressful day.

Jul 30, 2016 01:27 PM
Monica Hill

Me, too, Joan. Me, too!

Jul 31, 2016 06:40 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Some great advice here; don't stress unless it becomes of a vehicle to alleviate stress. You know what' I mean?

Jul 30, 2016 04:01 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I've decided to give you follow because I don't know that much about the area of Delaware you cover.

Jul 30, 2016 04:01 PM
Monica Hill

Thanks, Laura. If you ever need info, I'd be happy to help. And seeing that you know Feng Shui, which I do not, I'll follow you, too!

Jul 31, 2016 06:40 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I suffer from anxiety and stress and am all too familiar. Over the years I have learned some coping mechanisms but it still has the ability to take over now and then.

Thank God for daughters! I have two and they are there for me like your daughter is. 

I managed to avoid the Windows 10 automatic update and chose not to do it by the 29th before it was no longer free. I'm hoping to  avoid it as long as possible and hope I don't regret missing the opportunity to get it for free.


Jul 30, 2016 09:17 PM
Sharon Miller

"Never kick a sleeping tiger".......Windows 10.

Jul 31, 2016 12:21 AM
Monica Hill

I JUST got finished uninstalling it. I might have to blog about that experience. lol   Safe to say, I'm now experiencing great connectivity once more!

Jul 31, 2016 06:39 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

If you have installed Window 10 just as install the Edge. Edge and IE does not work together.   I was tired of turning off laptop to go to an appointment finding out it wanted to update IE or Window 10 update so I go to something needing less patch. five-ways-edge-trumps-internet-explorer

Jul 30, 2016 11:45 PM
Monica Hill

I don't use IE, so Edge isn't a preference either. I love Chrome. I ended up reverting to Windows 8.1. Ahhh... connectivity!

Jul 31, 2016 06:37 AM
Ron Barnes
Associate Broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties - Jasper, GA
"Most agents claim they're #1 - I THINK YOU'RE #1!

Business stress, financial stress, personal stress, and even everyone else's stress can work you down. Most of the things we worry about never even happen, but they are still stressful.

Jul 31, 2016 12:05 AM
Monica Hill

Very true, Ron. It's like we're riding a rollercoaster with all of our clients at the same time, living through all the highs and lows simultaneously. 

Jul 31, 2016 06:36 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I have had such a busy/stressful last 2 wks, I need a vacation!

Jul 31, 2016 12:17 AM
Monica Hill

Kristin, I think a lot of us can relate!

Jul 31, 2016 06:35 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Monica!  Your post is on this morning's list - Last Week's Favorites on ActiveRain: July 24th - 30th.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jul 31, 2016 01:18 AM
Monica Hill

Thanks, Patricia! Hope you do, too!


Jul 31, 2016 06:35 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hey Monica... I can commiserate. We've all been there in that stress machine at one time or another. Sometimes, that's what it takes... stepping away for a little while and clearing one's head and having a nice meal.

Jul 31, 2016 08:14 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Monica

I haven't dealt with the upgrade to 10 and don't plan to right now, but I sure get what you are saying about stress that can pop up sometimes when we least expect it. Stepping away, especially with family, can make all the difference and put it all into perspective.


Aug 01, 2016 12:08 AM
Monica Hill

I reverted to 8.1, Jeff. Dropped the stress level a LOT!

Aug 01, 2016 01:07 AM
Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County

Yes stress is part of the job. It's all about how you handle it that makes all the difference!

Aug 01, 2016 07:30 AM
Monica Hill

Very true! You either learn how to handle it, or it handles you.

Aug 01, 2016 08:59 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Many years ago, I had to get physically examined for a life insurance policy. My blood pressure was extremely high so the doctor recommended I get examined by an internist. So, after my examination by an internist, he said that the cause of my high blood pressure was due to stress. He warned me that stress kills or could cripple me and I should change my lifestyle and behavior.

So, I heeded his advice, no more stress regardless of the circumstances. Don't worry, be happy and enjoy life's Blessings.

Aug 01, 2016 08:56 AM
Monica Hill

Good advice, though sometimes more easily said than done. 

Aug 01, 2016 09:00 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this post!  Great story and a reminder that life is short.  While we are working away, we still have family and they might be waiting.  When in doubt, call someone else to fix it!  This happened to me, too.  I had downloaded 10 to my laptop, went to teach a class about 40 minutes away and could not figure out how to show my powerpoint slide show to the audience, argh!  Nevertheless, the students were patient, I apologized, and figured they did not pay to see me at this location!

Aug 01, 2016 02:01 PM
Monica Hill

Thanks, Jan. It seems the 10 stories have some common threads!

Aug 01, 2016 03:10 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Always good to know what allows you to "decompress" !  Shrimp sounds like  good recipe !

Aug 01, 2016 09:35 PM
Monica Hill

True! And the recipe was good enough she made it again last night!

Aug 02, 2016 01:21 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

What a nice ending to what could've been a "tear-your-hair-out" day. Well done on raising a great daughter.

Aug 02, 2016 12:31 AM
Monica Hill

Thanks, Olga. She and her sister keep me focused on what truly matters.

Aug 02, 2016 01:21 AM
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Love how your daughter saved your day! You are right, when stress rears its head, it is easy to let it control us. I have buyers who just closed on the house of their dreams, after 3 closimg extensions and a total of a 5 week delay. One of the buyers sent me a text during the frustrating delay, stating "I don't like not being in control, and I can't control this process". That message really got my attention, because I tend to be the same way. We all just need to remember that when things are out of our control, there's nothing we can do anyway, so we might as well try not to stress so much. Stressed spelled backwards is "desserts". Hope you had a great dessert following your meal.

Aug 02, 2016 06:11 AM
Monica Hill

And I love that you listened to your client, Melissa. Thanks for stopping by!

Aug 02, 2016 06:49 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

I often find myself repeating, "All is well that ends well,"  in spite of unexpected detours along the way.  The best reward at the end of a day is family, especially an understanding daughter!

Aug 02, 2016 01:37 PM
Monica Hill

Agreed, Sharon!


Aug 02, 2016 02:28 PM