The Importance Of Mental Wellbeing
In today’s estate agency industry, mental well-being is becoming increasingly important. As agents, we often have very stressful jobs - long days, tight deadlines, and difficult clients can take their toll. It’s essential to take the time to focus on our own mental health and well-being, and to make sure we’re doing our best to stay healthy and resilient.
The rollercoaster ride that is estate agency is what makes it an exciting industry for us to work in, but it can be mentally exhausting too so it is no surprise to me that a recent survey showed that 64% of respondents reported having had a mental health issue and 89% wanted to see more mental health awareness introduced to work culture, while only 16% say they have received training or guidance on the issue.
What can we do?
There are a number of ways to promote mental well-being in the estate agency industry. One key element is developing healthy work-life balance. This means taking the time to relax and enjoy life outside of work. Estate agents often have long working hours, so making sure to take regular breaks and maintaining a steady pace can be beneficial. Setting aside time for family and friends, as well as exercise and leisure activities, can help to reduce workplace stress. Consider giving yourself set working hours, this allows you to form boundaries. Estate agency can be a 24-hour, 7 day a week job – but most of your clients will understand your need for a life away from work, a friend of mine used to share their ‘ideal week’ plan with their clients which showed how they would try to structure their week and included personal commitments, like the school run and tennis lessons. By educating his clients on when he wouldn’t be available he was able to manage their expectations and build in important time for himself
It’s also important to prioritize communication and team building. Working in an estate agency can often be isolating and as remote working and the self-employed agency model both become more and more popular this has never been more important. If you work from home then consider setting a daily or weekly team meeting, set up a customised dashboard in Rezi and talk through the reports with your colleagues, it’s a great way to make sure there is some interaction with colleagues. As part of your sales progression responsibilities, you could ask your Dezrez Legal dedicated fee earner for a weekly Teams meeting to review your cases rather than just receiving an email. These small human interactions are proven to help maintain a healthy mental wellbeing.
Spot the signs
Not everyone will immediately realise they are facing a mental health challenge, so here are a few signs to look out for in yourself and your colleagues:
Behavioural, mood or temperament changes, especially when communicating with others
Decrease in productivity and focus
Inability to make decisions and problem solve
Showing signs of tiredness or being withdrawn and unable to take part in hobbies they usually participate in
Increasing/reducing intake of food or increasing intake of alcohol, cigarettes etc.
If any of this sounds familiar and you think you might be affected then we would suggest reaching out and talking, here are a few people you could consider speaking to;
HR and/or Occupational Health Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) such as cogitative behavioural therapy (CBT) – www.iapt.nhs.uk
NHS Choices – www.nhs.uk
and here a few self help tips that may help;
Go outside for fresh air at break or lunchtime
Drink plenty of fluids
Have your lunch away from your desk
Get involved in office social events
Ask for support with tasks when needed
Practice self-care at home
Self-help books, websites and apps
Keep in touch with family, friends and other support networks
Learn new skills and hobbies
Take part in physical activity through sports or walking/jogging
Try yoga and meditation
Eat a healthy balanced diet
For anyone interested in promoting more mental health care within their agency there is loads of information at the fabulous charity Agents Together, in particular their programme 'Thrive' may be of interest and you can read more about it here, they also have tonnes of useful info and free resources you can download.