Hot Mess from RRS (Realtor Related Stress)?

written by Shannon Gilmore, CRS
Middleburg, VA
Apr 26, 2021


Lately my colleagues across the nation have been expressing how mentally and physically exhausted they are as the real estate market heats up in many areas.  It seems everyone; buyers and agents are clamoring for listings. The deluge a well-priced listing can create requires advanced planning and management. Agents working with buyers are equally if not more stressed as they venture into a hectic market. Buyer clients are somewhat bewildered by the aggressiveness of the market and often lose out a few times on homes, having to repeat the offer process. Time spent preparing, writing, and trying to show a home requires strategy and patience leaving many agents feeling depleted.

What can we do? The clients still need to buy and sell... So, we get up and we do it all over again, grateful for the opportunity and disappointed when despite our efforts our clients have to try again. Our expertise, professionalism, poise and guidance are critical to a successful transaction. It’s who we are and why we are CRS’. The public needs us!

How we respond to RRS (Realtor Related Stress – yes, I made that up) is critical to our wellbeing, to our loved ones, and yes to our clients. In order to help them we must remember to help ourselves. Realtor Related Stress can come home with you and affect every aspect of your life, health and career if you let it.

So how do we handle R.R.S.? A good place to start is to be honest with yourself and look at your stress level. How unbalanced has life become? Are you all work and no play, no family or friend time? Are you losing sleep, gaining weight, drinking too often, lost your zest pour la vie? Question those who know you best; what do they notice? I’m all for making hay while the sun is shining (yes, I live on a farm) BUT you want to be around to enjoy it and have people you love with you. Don’t you?

Now that you have determined that your stress level is out of whack what are some ways to relieve stress. Isn’t that a nice word RELIEVE? The dictionary defines it many ways but for our purposes let’s focus on; as a release, to take a burden from, to free someone. Not all stress can be eliminated especially in our line of work, but it can be managed and with thought and effort you can take a break from it.

A comprehensive web-based resource on Stress Relief and all things related to stress is well is written by board certified mental health experts and journalists. They use peer reviews and scientific research material. They work hard to update information as it becomes available and partner with the renowned Cleveland Clinic. They offer other sites (for ex. Fitness) but this site Very Well Mind is for all things mental health. It is easy to use, offers solid research and useful suggestions regarding stress. They also have a Podcast titled Verywell Mind.  

While researching this article I found a section on stress written by Elizabeth Scott, MS, reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS here. I also loved that the article used a graphic for some ways to handle stress and so I’m sharing it below.

Stress Relief

The article shares some ideas from the chart (see graphic) that you can implement immediately, but it does differentiate between short term quick stress relief tactics and the importance of a long-term stress relief practice.

Some things you can do immediately in stressful situations:

  • Crank up your favorite music (at home or where we usually are in the car)
  • Get up and go outside - NOW. Take a 5- 10-minute break, put your phone down for a minute and feel the sun, rain, wind on your face. It will clear your head.
  • Take a walk. Anywhere with someone or alone, morning, noon, end of day. Good way to reconnect with family, friends, the dog.
  • Clean up something a drawer, your closet, your desk. Getting rid of clutter is freeing.
  • Rediscover what you enjoy. Did you used to play piano? Ride horses? Paint? Or what have you always wanted to do? Schedule it into your week like an appointment that is nonnegotiable. Make the time.
  • Use a meditation app or listen to sleep stories with the Calm app. Unwind at night so you can get some well-deserved rest.
  • Get a massage, need I say more? Ok get a massage… You’re welcome (and you’re supporting a local business now too).

These are a few techniques I have personally found useful when I need a moment to detach and reduce my stress levels. I now notice when I am stressed, the discomfort I have, and tell-tale signs like holding my breath, or neck pain from hunching my shoulders. If you have a handle on your stress, (I admire you) check in with those around you. Maybe someone you know is not doing well or overwhelmed and could benefit from the website or this article. Let’s all strive for less stress and more happiness and success.

Shannon Gilmore, GRI, CRS  @Washington Fine Properties. She assists buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.