As a Real Estate Coach, one of the biggest, most important issues my agents bring to me is problems in their marriage/romantic relationship. Real Estate, as an industry, has one of the highest rates of divorce. So, knowing that, what do you think are the major causes of divorce in a Real Estate marriage?
Agents are constantly on the go. Often, they don't set boundaries with clients and so have no problem with answering the phone or dropping everything to meet a client, no matter what else they are in the middle of- a romantic dinner out, a memorable family event, their kid's big game, even sex. The agent sees every phone ring as a potential paycheck and yet the partner (and children, friends, etc.) see this as a blatant disregard for everything and everyone who should be more important to the agent than that stranger on the phone. Ironically, it's often the agents who don't set boundaries that are also the ones with inconsistent income and struggle to bring home the money they need. This brings us to another very important trigger...
For agents working in this biz, money can truly be a roller coaster (if they're not as successful as they'd like to be). If they don't have a nest egg to use as backup, it leaves the other partner solely responsible for the day-to-day expenses. Part of those expenses are the bills the agent racks up as a matter of doing business. When the 9-5 working partner sees the agent busy "doing" all the time and not making any immediate income for it, they can become frustrated. Remember, this person likes the safety and security of a 9-5 and an automatic payroll deposit. Risk, often makes that person extremely nervous and highly stressed. Which leads to...
When stressed, relationships go wonky. All of a sudden, everything becomes an argument, especially money. The couple attacks each other back and forth, they stop doing the normal everyday considerate and loving things couples do, and this creates more stress as they realize things are not like they once were. They stop having sex as they become more and more distant towards each other and with the underlying arguments, self-esteem in the relationship can go downhill, and jealous suspicions can arise. If those suspicions are voiced (though unfounded), this can lead in the accused partner feeling even worse.
So what can an agent do to avoid these issues and keep their partner and themselves happy in their relationship? It starts with understanding the needs and perspective of the person they loved and trusted enough to commit their life to.
A. Set boundaries with clients. It makes you look and sound like a professional in demand. When you give yourself the respect you and your family deserve, your clients will happily oblige and in fact, respect and value you more for it.
B. Create structured and consistent time for the loved ones in your life. That means put it on your calendar regularly as a non-moveable item and honor that time. Bring the sexy back into your relationship and make an effort to date your life partner. Put the phone on silent, don't answer calls, respond to texts or emails, or check your social media. Be present. Check out my "Time Management Solved" video series here (designed for moms in real estate but works for every agent).
A. Really look at your expenses and track what's working for you. Don't throw money (and your spouse's sanity) away on something that you don't use or isn't working for you. Be much more careful with your expenditures and think about money as a team- what would your spouse think about this purchase? Would they say yes easily to this or would they give you a red flag? Understandably, your spouse is not always going to see eye-to-eye on your business expenses as they are not in your business and don't understand those needs the way you do. Be considerate though... don't just jump, in the risk-heavy way you normally would, were you single.
B. Focus on business efforts that are truly productive. Be conscious of your time spent and money earned. Don't just go, go, go because it makes you feel busy. A true professional, and most successful ones, work less than agents who are barely making ends meet. This is simply because they're efficient and know what works for them. They do what they know they need to and don't "shotgun" their marketing efforts. You can download my lead generation idea list here.
A. Doing the above can greatly reduce the stress in your household and in your relationship but you can still take extra measures to ensure a low stress environment. Self care is a big part of that. Taking the time to focus on yourself every day, creating calm, journaling gratitudes, and curating a positive mindset are all things that fall into the self care category and can seriously reverse stress levels.
B. When arguments do arise, handle them like adults. Don't name call, don't accuse. Put thought into what you say to this person you love so much. Remember, even in the stressful moments, that you trust your life partner and don't make unfounded accusations. If your self-esteem is feeling low, express that to your spouse and look for the external reasons you may be feeling that way.
As you're making changes, remember to be realistic. If you've been locked in the bad habits for awhile... it may take some time for your family to trust your new behaviors and it can also take some time for your money to become consistent. Having an honest and direct conversation with your spouse about the changes you want to make and why is a good start so they see that you're looking at your life together from their perspective too, not just yours. For more information on how to work on this issue and others that create blocks in your life and real estate business, check out what integrative real estate coaching is all about.
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