Don't Lose Sight of Your Quality of Life!

By
Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Don't Lose Sight of Your Quality of Life!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a long-held belief that the first and the most important thing in your business is creating quality of life.

As our inventory-lean markets move faster and faster, I want to encourage all of you to think about your quality of life BEFORE you reach a stage where you are burned-out.

What do I mean by, "quality of life?"  If I had to define it simply it would be happiness that is created when there is a good balance between your personal and professional lives.

Sociologists study quality of life in their quest to better understand the world in which we live. They look at things such as wealth (or the lack of it), health, political stability, job security, the safety of the community, divorce rates, equality issues (gender, race, sexuality), and even climate and geographical influences. They have many complicated indices they use to analyze quality of life.

For me, there's a much simpler way. I just listen to my gut.

I learned my lesson about quality of life the hard way - but boy am I glad that I learned it!  Back in the day when I was actively selling, I would routinely close in excess of 125 transactions per year - most of them as a listing agent. This was before we had electronic key boxes, so as a listing agent I had to open my listings up for each and every buyer's agent who wanted to show the property. Each time I wanted to show one of my listings (or someone else's) that meant I was out showing. It wasn't like today's market where you put a house on the MLS and four hours later you had seven offers.

I know, I know. You're probably all wondering how I did it. Or maybe you're doubting if it could even be done. I'm here to tell you that it can - but at a price. And it's not a price any of you should pay.

For me, my "I've had enough" moment came when I was late arriving home one Christmas Eve. Yes, Superwoman (that's how I thought of myself back then!) was out working on December 24th. By the time I arrived home I had missed dinner with my family and the services at church. As I rushed around the house trying to make things right my husband calmly said to me, "You know Denise, five years from now these clients may not even remember your name. But your family will always remember that you missed this time with them."

Wow. What a sucker-punch to the gut that was. And hearing that honesty from my husband was what it took to put me on a whole new track with regard to quality of life. It didn't take me long to restructure my business and personal lives. Here is the result:

  • Today, I set boundaries and rules for my business.
  • Today, I have times that I am available to clients, and times that I am not.
  • Today, I communicate clearly with my clients exactly what I can and cannot do for them, and when I am (and am not available).
  • Today, I approach each working day with energy, because I know what I have committed to on a daily and weekly basis.
  • Today, I don't feel guilty about saying, "I'm sorry, but I can't do that."
  • Today, I schedule a minimum of four weeks of vacation each year, as well as a smattering of three-day weekends.
  • Today, my family is my priority.

Most of you are engaged and full-steam-ahead with today's crazy housing market. If you have been operating non-stop for months and not allowing time with family and friends, think about that. Maybe you are thinking, I just can't do it right now, then plan for it. Put it on your calendar. Find someone you trust to cover for you. Stick with that plan and when you do disconnect, be present in doing something you enjoy. You won't regret it and that energy will carry you forward when you get back to work.

I encourage you to spend a little time thinking about your quality of life - what is it today, and what do you want it to be tomorrow? Sometimes all that takes is re-prioritizing. Sometimes it requires adding something to your business. And sometimes it means subtracting. Maybe it just requires a little focus and planning to put yourself first.

I hope you'll take the time to figure out how to improve your quality of life. If I can do it, anyone can!

  

By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Comments (16)

Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Denise- I love this and thank goodness your husband knew what to say to you!!!  I think that many times people feel as if they have to be incredibly busy to be or at least appear to be successful.  It's unrealistic for a buyer or a seller to expect you to be available 24/7. 

And look at what you've achieved!!!

May 21, 2021 06:54 PM
Denise Lones

Sure the money was great, but I am richer in life now. Thanks to him speaking up, I started to measure success differently. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:33 PM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

unfortunately quality of life can be an easy casualty in this day and age

May 22, 2021 05:16 PM
Denise Lones

It was then too, it's just the flavor of the excuses for not committing to quality of life that change over hte years. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:30 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

May 22, 2021 06:51 PM
Denise Lones

Always grateful, Kathy - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:29 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Denise. Seems to understand quality of life you must hit bottom first. It is a difficult journey learning to say "no"! Enjoy your day. 

May 23, 2021 04:39 AM
Denise Lones

Thank you Wayne, good to see you here again - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:28 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Great lesson to be learned here.  It's not always about the dollars especially if you can't even remember why you want to close that deal.

 

May 23, 2021 05:27 AM
Denise Lones

Closing deals was winning, proving myself to myself, valuing quality to others over quality of life. It had to change. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:28 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience and your advice.

I had to retire to get my desired quality of life.

May 23, 2021 05:55 AM
Denise Lones

On reflection, would you have done it differently? - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:26 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Denise Lones ,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post! Your husband was wise to have told you that and you were wiser to listen to him. Has right and it was a valuable lesson to learn.

May 23, 2021 06:06 AM
Denise Lones

He's a good guy! - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:26 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I totally agree with everything you said. Balance in our lives is a MUST. And no one will remember on our deathbed how many real estate deals we did. They will remember how we made them feel.

 

By the way, 125 deals in a year! WOW!

May 23, 2021 06:52 AM
Denise Lones

Kat - Yep! The old me never had a phone away from the ear. It was intense, I thrived in it, but it was not healthy for so much more of me and those around me. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:25 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Profound message from your husband. And, bravo to you for listening.  I appreciate your advice. 

May 23, 2021 07:13 AM
Denise Lones

That conversation was a key that unlocked so many more happier moments in my live. I'll never forget it. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:23 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Denise Lones I agree my personal life is very important to me as I will not allow business full steam to affect my health. Money is not everything. I pick and choose my clients. One day a client said to me honey never let people you have a personal life we don't care - I told him I didn't care to work with him and would refer him to someone else. He screamed I had to work with him. Surprise for him.  

Don't get me wrong I will work really hard for people who appreciate me and give 100% and more .

Thank you Kathy Streib for Featuring this post 

May 23, 2021 08:52 AM
Denise Lones

Hannah - I love that story. I love knowing that you stood-up for yourself and that you choose to work for people who value you for more than what you can do for them. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:22 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Denise -  I have always maintained a work life balance and I have no regrets because I have enjoyed my family and they have enjoyed me.

May 23, 2021 09:30 AM
Denise Lones

Grant - Good to see you agaain. Since I made those promises to myself all those years ago, my only regret is that I didn't make them sooner! - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:20 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There's nothing more important that you maintain your quality of life and your joy. :

May 23, 2021 09:44 PM
Denise Lones

Quality of life is a theme through-out our coaching and it is doable, but a lot of real estate agents (and people in general) have a hard time seeing their way through to it from their present situation. It's been rewarding to be a guide to so many people on that path over the years as a coach. - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:19 PM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

What sage advice, Denise. 

    I know Realtors who work 12 or more hours per day, seven days per week.  Yes, they have heaps of money in the bank, they are "successful" top producers.  But do they have family life, or church, or quiet time?  Will anyone remember them when they are gone?  What is their "Quality of Life"?

     Good for you for setting boundaries.

May 24, 2021 01:01 PM
Denise Lones

I lived that endless work cycle myself - those promises I made to myself all those years ago, that I shared above - are still important today as they ever were. Take care Fred - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:17 PM
Steve Schultz
KW Smart Lakeland - Lakeland, FL

Hi Denise, thank you for your post. This is a great reminder about the things that are truly important!

-- Steve

May 25, 2021 08:20 AM
Denise Lones

Hey Steve - You are welcome. Always good to see you - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:16 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Good for you Denise Lones so many agents burn out, get divorced or die of strokes and heart attacks because they never learn this lesson.

 

I can attribute a divorce and a TIA stroke to my lack of boundaries.

 

I stopped working Sundays 15 years ago and never caved on that for the last 13 years. (Yes I caved in the beginning). I close at 6:00PM Mon-Thurs unless I have to be with a client past 6PM. Rarely do I NEED to.

I close at 5:00PM Fridays, Saturdays I only work on pre-booked appointments and I never work Sundays. That means NO work, all family. No calls, no texts, no emails, no appointments work related Sundays and after 6:00PM

 

I don't know you (yet) but I'm proud of you for taking a stand for your personal health and happiness and your family. Great post!

May 28, 2021 08:51 AM
Denise Lones

Thomas - Sounds like rules may have saved your life. They have saved mine too. Thank you for sharing your journey and hope to see much more of you here on ActiveRain. All the best - Denise

Jun 04, 2021 05:16 PM
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

Hi Denise,
This market is definitely a recipe for burnout!  Sage advice!

Jun 08, 2021 07:25 AM