When I read this headline recently, 2024 Spring Outlook: Another tight market, this time with extra anxiety, I had to say something.

Really? Extra anxiety? How lovely.

For the record, I think the headline is accurate; there is a tighter market in most of the country, and we are all a little stressed out about the DOJ v. NAR pissing match.

But for the media in general to dedicate pages and pages and pages of information about WHY we are stressed and anxious—and nothing about HOW not to be that way—makes me stressed out.

Mostly because inside the prevailing context of the 24/7/365 hustle culture, Lamborghini-leaning model of success, anxiety and stress are badges of honor. How hard we work and how many hours we devote to the grind are the things we hold out to others to get either sympathy or admiration.

How about this: You don’t need to tell us the real estate industry is known for its fast pace and high stress. 

The last 12 months have seen tens of thousands of agents leave the biz. And those of us who stayed are clear about the added stress the current conditions have added.

Now, more than ever it makes sense to look at the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, which go beyond personal well-being.These practices have tangible impacts on both our professional success and our clients’ satisfaction. 

Here’s a cool tidbit for those still thinking meditation is too “woo woo” to take as seriously as other types of sales training:

In Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers—Tim Ferriss’ New York Times bestseller— Tim finds that the single most common denominator amongst everyone he interviewed is mindfulness or meditation practice.

That’s right—80% of the world’s billionaires and top performers all practice some kind of mindfulness.

Now, I know it’s easy to look at a billionaire and think, Oh sure they can take the time to meditate because they have all that money and time.” 

But it might just be more likely that they have all that money and time BECAUSE they take the time to meditate.

Mindfulness in Real Estate: A Path to Better Decision-Making and Reduced Stress

By focusing on the present moment and developing self-awareness, we can— 

  • improve our decision-making abilities
  • reduce stress
  • communicate more effectively

Is there a downside to that? This can only lead to better outcomes for both us and our clients.

For example, let’s look at a study done by Psychological Science on the impact mindfulness has on freeing people from the Sunk Cost Fallacy.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is a common cognitive bias where we’re enticed to continue down a particular path because of the time or money already spent, even when the facts indicate it’s time to cut our losses.

How many times have you chased a lead that was never going to buy—or hung onto some agent on your team that was unlikely to ever produce? Or maybe you’re still paying for leads that haven’t produced “yet” but will “soon.”

It’s natural, thanks to this bias, to feel like we want to get a return on money already spent. But our brains find it difficult to determine exactly when it’s throwing good money after bad.

In a series of studies, researchers found that increased mindfulness—through a brief 15-minute breath meditation—reduces the tendency to think in terms of sunk costs. The findings suggest that even brief doses of mindfulness meditation can assist in improving decision-making processes and outcomes.

The Science Behind Mindfulness: Cognitive Benefits and Emotional Resilience

Research has shown that mindfulness meditation can change your brain structure for the better, enhancing cognitive function and emotional regulation in as little as two weeks.

A recent study out of Ohio State demonstrated just 10 minutes of daily meditation can yield significant benefits. Consistency matters more than duration. We can learn to be present if we are willing to start practicing.

This improved cognitive function is crucial for real estate professionals who are interested in staying sharp and focused when everyone else is stressed and anxious. 

In addition, mindfulness fosters greater empathy and compassion, which are invaluable when managing client relationships, not to mention our relationships with the other agents with whom we work. When we are calm and present, we allow those with whom we work to calm themselves naturally, and this helps everyone in the transaction.

Boosting Productivity and Creativity in Real Estate

Mindfulness increases the ability to concentrate on tasks, boosting productivity and efficiency. 

The tech tool Zapier collated studies from across multiple fields and determined a statistically significant correlation between mindfulness practices and improved creativity.

Aetna International, the global insurance company, demonstrated mindfulness increased productivity by 62 hours per week while reducing stress and increasing employees’ sense of well-being.

For us, this could mean being able to prioritize tasks effectively and complete them on time, with less stress. Picture the time with your family actually being WITH your family and not scattered half at work and half at home.

Additionally, mindfulness can unlock creative thinking and innovative problem-solving, which are essential for developing unique marketing strategies especially useful in light of the changes happening in our industry.

Those of us who can think creatively are going to have a massive edge over those stuck in the past ways of doing things.

Enhancing Interpersonal Relationships and Client Experiences

A recent article in Forbes recounted mindfulness programs at Google and Intel have shown improved focus, thoughtfulness, and decision-making abilities, while multiple studies show the impact a mindfulness practice makes on emotional regulation.

Real estate agents who practice mindfulness are better equipped to handle transactions with empathy and understanding, improving the clients’ experience and making sales smoother for everyone involved.

Ours is a business based on relationships—between our clients, the agents we partner with, those on the other side of the table, the lenders, etc. It’s hard to imagine a profession with more emphasis on building empowering relationships.

While every training in the world pays at least lip service to the importance of communication—and while the vast majority of training goes into script practice, objection handling and the like—almost nothing prepares us for the most critical aspect of communication, which is twofold:

  • how we hear what is said to us
  • how what we say to others is heard by them

This is precisely the area mindfulness practices can impact for the better.

Implementing Mindfulness in the Real Estate Workplace

To harness the benefits of mindfulness in real estate, team leaders and broker owners would do well to follow the advice of Jack Latus, CEO and Founder of Latus Health: 

“It’s important to lead by example and encourage a culture that values these practices.”

Providing mindfulness training and creating a quiet space for meditation can help employees integrate these practices into their daily routines. Encouraging regular breaks and supporting work-life balance are also key to fostering a mindful workplace.

Does your brokerage offer these? Mindfulness classes were just approved in Washington state for CE Clock Hour Credit. Check with your state board to see if something similar is available where you live.

The Impact of Mindfulness on Real Estate Professionals

Real estate professionals who embrace mindfulness report a shift in their business approach, prioritizing authenticity and work-life balance. 

In this way, mindfulness contributes to a healthier, more prosperous industry by benefiting agents and clients while aiding in managing stress.

When things get weird (and they always get weird), our ability to be fully present leads to personal and professional growth, increased satisfaction, and increased productivity.

When we practice mindful decision-making:

Everyone talks about mindset being a critical factor in our success. So, maybe it’s time to move mindfulness from some “nice to have” thing that we can “get to when we have time” to a consistent practice for all of us. 

Eighty percent of the world’s billionaires can’t be wrong.

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