Are you burning bright or heading for burnout? Many people are heading fast toward burnout or just recovering from burnout. Burnout is a real happening for many REALTORS®. Daily we get calls from Agents who are struggling with this dilemma. Burnout occurs when reality and our expectations don’t align over time. Burnout can also trigger anger. The anger is seeded in the feeling that life is not working out the way we had thought it would. We also feel powerless to make the changes needed, or we don’t know the changes that we need to implement.

There are seven key factors that can cause one to experience burnout.

Key Factor #1 – Fail to pace ourselves: We all have a pace we need to work and take life at. Often we exceed that pace. We can only exceed our pace for a short period of time. It’s when we fail to slow down and re-establish our pace that trouble sets in. Are you pacing yourself effectively? What is the pace that you are most effective at work and home?

Key Factor #2 – Trying to do it all ourselves: We often take on the whole world single handedly. It’s us against the world. Are you delegating all you can to others? Are your affiliates, lenders, title, escrow, or home inspectors doing all they can to help you succeed? Are there services you could have your broker provide and pay them a fee for performing it?

Key Factor #3 – Accepting everyone else’s problems: Too often we accept problems that are out of our control. Some examples are: the client that "needs" a certain price for their home, the other Agent’s emotional or financial problems that they try to make yours, or the repair costs the seller didn’t anticipate.

Key Factor #4 – Majoring in minor things: It’s really easy to get worked up by the little stuff. The skill is allocating the right amount of energy and time based on the size of the challenge. There is a good rule to follow: if it deals with the health of yourself or your family, or if it deals with the quality of life and relationships between you and your family, it’s big stuff. It’s a major…everything else is a minor…it’s the small stuff.

Key Factor #5 – Unrealistic expectations: We are a world filled with instant everything. We have been trained by society to want it all yesterday with no effort on our part. A recent study showed that 80% of the late night infomercials deal with instant weight loss or instant financial success. There are few examples of instant success in life. Most people toiled for years perfecting their abilities. Work for measurable progress in reasonable time. That’s the barometer we need to gage our results by.

Key Factor #6 – Poor prioritization of the important accounts of life: We often are so busy living we don’t have time to create our abundant life. What is the most important area of your life? What area has more value than all others? Do your time, energy, and passion reflect the priority you need to have in that area? If you cannot answer that with confidence, what changes do you need to make to elevate that area to its proper place? I see this point being one of the biggest challenges for REALTORS®. We can often neglect our family for income opportunities.

Key Factor #7 – Poor physical condition: Without a strong body, our needed energy and mental focus escapes us. When we are in a regular exercise routine we can relieve some of the stress that causes burnout. We have an opportunity to prepare for the day if it’s early in the morning, or we have a mid-day break before resuming our day, or we have an end of the day stress reliever before we go home to our family.

One of the major steps in avoiding burnout is to know yourself. We can often burnout if we lose touch and focus with ourselves. There are three skills in knowing oneself. They are to know:

1. Your behavioral style or DISC style
2. Your purpose
3. Your passion

Those three areas make you an original. There is none like you before or after you.

Your behavioral style or DISC style: DISC is a universal behavioral style evaluation system. DISC stands for Dominance, Influencing, Steady, or Compliant.

1. Dominance: If you have a high Dominance score you will be competitive, quick to make a decision, and very results oriented.

2. Influencer: If you have a high Influence score you will be people oriented, warm, caring, active, in charge, trusting of others.

3. Steady: If you have a high Steady score you will be non-confrontational, stable, wanting to get along with all people.

4. Compliant: If you have high scores in Compliant you will be systematic, accurate, numbers and data oriented, facts are facts.

These styles will determine your communication patterns and how you process information. The style you are will affect formality, pace of speech, and body language. Finding out what style you are will drastically improve your effectiveness in relationships with your spouse, children, and in your business life. Lao Tse, Chinese philosopher, once said, “He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.”

If you have never taken a DISC assessment call our office at 541-383-8833 or e-mail us at to find out how we can administer the DISC assessment, so you can dramatically enhance your skills and avoid burnout.

Understand your purpose: My belief is we have all been blessed with skills and a purpose to fulfill while we are here. The question is, what is yours? What is the ultimate outcome that you are trying to create in your life?

Mary Kay Ash described her purpose this way, “To provide unlimited opportunity to women.” The interesting thing is her purpose has nothing to do with the sale of cosmetics. Purpose adds stability to life when you hit turbulent waters, or when you have more opportunities than time to do them. At this point you have to be careful to select the opportunities that are in alignment with your purpose.

Your passion: What causes you to get excited? What are you willing to stay up day and night for? What would you rather do than anything else in life? When you are tired, what gets you charged back up? Passion helps keep you on track. Passion also snaps you back on track when you get off track. The day-to-day pressure and wear and tear can overwhelm us when we don’t have passion.

Burnout is a reality we all can face again and again, if we are not vigilant in watching the seven key factors on: proper pacing, doing it all ourselves, accepting others’ problems as your own, majoring in minors, unrealistic expectations, proper priorities, and our physical conditions. We must take action on each of these areas. Invest the time to know yourself, define your purpose, and tap into your passion. Life is meant to be spent in abundance. Are you moving toward abundance or burnout?

Author's Bio: 

Dirk Zeller is a sought out speaker, celebrated author and CEO of Real Estate Champions. His company trains more than 350,000 Agents worldwide each year through live events, online training, self-study programs, and newsletters. The Real Estate community has embraced and praised his six best-selling books; Your First Year in Real Estate, Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies®, The Champion Real Estate Agent, The Champion Real Estate Team, Telephone Sales for Dummies®, Successful Time Management for Dummies®, and over 300 articles in print. To learn more regarding this article, please visit