STRESS GOT YOU DOWN?...The STRESS FACTOR in Real Estate Getting to you too?

STRESS GOT YOU DOWN???...The STRESS FACTOR In Real Estate Getting To You Too?

As real estate professionals, we are up against daily, seemingly insurmountable challenges .

  • We deal with people where they live!
  • We have a responsibility to the public that not many other professions have: A homeowner in distress or a buyer buying their first home. 
  • The Home is the place where emotional, financial and survival mechanisms are rooted.
  • Not one other thing that an individual owns or manages is anything like their Home.
  • Families laugh there, cry there, play there and raise children there--memories are in the walls and layered in the floors.
  • As real estate professionals we now have an onslaught of new laws and new  technology  companies who are committed to our undoing--and they are more upfront about it than ever before!
  • Turned inward, our frustrations about new laws that govern rentals are eating away at our well-being like never before.

These STRESS FACTORS are embedded in our profession and need to  be recognized by each of us in order to heal and become polished, healthy, and ethical professionals.

I find the stress from real estate is one of the most overwhelming of all the other stresses in my life--most other situations I handle with no effort, it seems. But the stress from real estate is rather subtle in it's impact on my system. My back is a place where stress ends up. I just found a great chiropractor who helped me get rid of a constant pain in my neck and back.

Headaches come and go with the amount of stress I am having from my work...never had headaches before real estate!

Anger management is necessary in real estate. Either learn how to manage it yourself or get help to manage it! I have fortunately found ways to get over my anger very quickly, and to move on.

I find myself feeling resentful of the way some other agents behave, or the way a seller just talked to me. Resentment does nothing to improve your attitude. In fact,  it can kill you!


I wanted to share with all of you the idea that one of the major tools that is left out of our real estate training is how to handle the stresses from our work. Our initial training and our Continuing Ed classes never mention the STRESS FACTOR. As a result, we are in a profession that loses so many new agents in the first year of their real estate career that it is a common thing to see agents leave their desk and not even say they are leaving! There is also the disappearing agent who can't handle the stress anymore and so they just leave the business. Then there are those who fall victim to the abuse of alcohal and drugs.


  1. Deep breathing after an encounter and before a reaction.
  2. Relaxation techniques, i.e. meditation, self hypnosis (self talk that will send your subconsious the message that you are NOT a greedy SOB, just waiting for your next victim to bilk out of their money).
  3. A mantra that is in front of me at my desk or on my refrigerator: "I am a worthy, honest person; I deserve to be treated properly; I am a happy, successful, and thoughtful person"...Well, you get the point!
  4. Make up your own positive reinforcement.

Established agents have usually dealt with the stress that is built into our profession but many just push it down, try to ignore it. They may not even realize the deep influence this kind of stress can have on them and they go forward, working with other buyers and sellers without realizing they are bringing that anger, resentment and pain along with them into a new business relationship.

Many agents become ill or over imbibe, never realizing that years of subjecting their minds and bodies to this STRESS FACTOR is taking it's toll.

All professions have their stresses; all business comes with a substantial share of stress but none deal with the kind of stress that comes with a  seller who is about to lose his or her home.

  • Financial stress
  • Emotional stress
  • Fear of losing equity
  • Fear of losing the property
  • Fear of letting go of a family icon

No other profession has the multiplicity of emotions and conflicting feelings of a person who is letting go of such a personal possession as their home!

Whatever else you do to lessen the strain and stress from your work, it is wise to keep a positive thought.

As in a hike, life does not care what you suffer along the way. Life will end one way or another, just like that hike, and it is to your benefit and health to take the journey knowing that you will reach your final destination regardless of how the trip went. Why not make it as stress free as you can make it?

After all, it is a choice you make about how you feel regarding your interactions with people that will determine your well being in the end. Feel The Bliss!




                                     **ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY.  The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate


Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995;  Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York

Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005


Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill:



Comment balloon 6 commentsPaula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA • November 06 2019 07:58PM


Hi Paula- it's a shame that a course or classes on handling stress aren't covered. Your job is 24/7 even though you may not take calls after a certain hour. But your mind is still thinking about your transactions. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 1 year ago

Hi Kathy: It really is a shame. There is not one thing to show or guide a person along the way as they join this profession and try to make a living, only to find that you just may choke to death on the rough treatment and the general stress of the job. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Paula,  What a thought-provoking post.  Like Kathy Streib said, you are thinking about your transactions long after you shut down for the night.   You need to find the balance.  I am better saying it than doing it.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Hi Elyse: Thanks for reading this post. I find I need reminders myself to take care of my peace of mind. It has been particularly difficult of late so I needed to get this out there for anyone who may need it. Glad you liked it!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hello Paula,  You are so close to 500,000 points,  blog a couple of times am I will help you make it over.


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 11 months ago

Hi Will. Thanks for reading this one. I just re-read it and got a chuckle. In retrospect I had better start following my own advice. I have just had a horrible problem that I almost couldnt handle! So, yes, I know I need to blog more...that has always been like salve to a wound. Thanks for the suggestion; I will take you up on that!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) 11 months ago