Managing Mental Health as an Agent

By MNR News posted 05-23-2023 03:33 PM

According to United Nations data, almost 1 billion people in the world suffer from some type of mental disorder A staggering statistic that represents a literal world of pain 

In the U.S., approximately 50 million people are believed to have some sort of mental illness—roughly 21% of adults. And of those, 55% have not received any treatment. Of the 51 states, Minnesota is unfortunately ranked 36th when looking at the prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care.*  

Sobering data for sure—especially in an industry plagued with so many stressors. Real estate agents must deal with regulations, inventory issues, long hours, market fluctuations, rejection, difficult people, and so much more. Add to that the stigma of mental health issues and you have a recipe for potential disaster.

Luckily there are a lot of resources available if you’re struggling. And being self-aware is incredibly important. Here’s a list of some challenges and solutions followed by helpful resources.

Challenge 1: Having a 24/7 Job 
With all the tasks an agent has on their plate, it can feel like 24 hours just isn’t enough. The temptation to work night and day is high. However, there is no easier way to achieve burnout. Setting boundaries and practicing good time management are critical to reducing stress. Work smarter, not harder.  

Challenge 2: Clients (the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)
As Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet and playwright, famously said: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” As with all things in life, you won’t like everyone you encounter, nor will they all like you. Keeping yourself calm and professional—especially in situations as emotionally charged as buying or selling a home—is key to keeping your life as anxiety-free as possible. 

Challenge 3: Stress and Rejection 

Being in sales is full of stress and rejection. While your head knows that you’re not going to have every offer accepted and satisfy every client, your hopeful heart and wallet are telling you something else. Though it’s commendable to strive to be the best real estate agent you can be, it’s critical to your own mental health to be a well-balanced human. Taking care of yourself by exercising, meeting with friends and family, or taking up a hobby are all ways you can successfully manage stress. And at the end of the day, failure can be a great opportunity to strengthen skills and become an even better agent. 

Challenge 4: Getting Technology to Work for You 

Does it seem like technology is moving so rapidly that it’s passing you faster than a hat in a hurricane? Does it feel like everyone you work with wants to use a different type of tech and you just can’t keep up? Take a deep breath and remember that technology should make your life easier. Take advantage of training, search for helpful tutorials online, or ask your favorite 20-something to help you out.    

Challenge 5: The Trifecta of Marketing, Training, and Networking 

MarketingDeveloping a plan to promote yourself to prospective clients is the difference between people knowing you exist or not. This is not an area where you want to cut corners to save a few bucks, in the long run it is money well spent. Plan out a marketing calendar with a variety of methods of communication. Emails, postcards, magazine or web ads are just some of the ways you can reach people to build your client base. 

Training—Want to be the best you can be? Take advantage of training! Locals, MNR, and the National Association of Realtors® all offer courses to help you shine and build your business. Don’t forget to think outside-the-box and search for online classes too. You’d be surprised how much free or low-cost training you can get through LinkedIn, YouTube, Goodwill, and various local organizations.  

Networking—How better to learn than by others mistakes (and successes)? Take advantage of meeting with other agents at local events. Attend NAR NXT or other industry events. Join professional organizations. Meeting new people is a great way to grow as an individual as well as grow your network.  

* Mental Health America, 2023 State of Mental Health in America survey 

RESOURCES—Where to Turn for Help

  1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have several free and confidential resources. Visit 

  1. Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached by calling or texting 988. 

  1. National Network of Depression Centers has a long list of resources that can be accessed at 

  1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has an extensive therapist directory. Visit  

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. 

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.