Myrtle Beach Real Estate by Mirela

Realtors: How has your life changed because of this Market?


Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent Overworking again...

How has your job changed in the past couple of years?   My business card says Realtor Broker, but my job entails so much more nowadays: I am a social worker, general contractor, psychologist, loss mitigator, asset preservation specialist, credit counselor, short sale specialist, reo specialist, foreclosure counselor.  My days are spent solving problems.  That’s really what should be written on my card:


Mirela Monte, Problem Solver


Do I sell Real Estate anymore?  Yeah, and lots of it, but the quality of my life has deteriorated immensely.  I work 80 hour weeks, not for the money, but because I have too many balls up in the air.  Real Estate is not for sissies!  It is a full time, all consuming endeavor, more so now than ever before.

Realtors: how has your job changed?

“God bless you if this is how you have to deal with more deals this year.  If so, you are in need of a vacation.”


These were the words of a builder on a project I am handling on one of my Bank Owned properties, a spec taken back by the bank right before it was completed.  We’ve had so many obstacles on that project that what started as the 100 yard dash has turned into the Boston Marathon - only at the ‘dash’ tempo!!!  In the past year and a half, I’ve sold that house seven times and I’m yet to close on it.   I could write a book about it and I just might, however the project in question will be a mere chapter, since I also have several others with various sized problems.

 Mirela will sell it!

As I close them all, I get even more business.  Such and such person hears about my feat and comes to me to solve their problem.  I’m not complaining, it’s good to have business these days; I just want to know if the lifestyle I’m having right now is sustainable for long periods of time.  Am I paying the price for solving other people’s problems with my own life, or is this extraordinarily tenuous period going to propel my career into the stratosphere?


How many of you have changed gears and are now bearing down under a mountain of stress?  The way I figure it, I’d rather carry the stress, rather than the mountain of bills…  What do you think?


How has your life changed because of this Market?


Mirela Monte, Your Myrtle Beach Real Estate Connection                     Join The Optimist Group!


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Comment balloon 77 commentsMirela Monte • October 29 2009 12:18AM


I very much look forward to hearing from you on this subject!  I find my days just slipping away, while I deal with the myriad of issues.  Am I the only one that notices the HUGE changes brought on by this market, or are you all tacitly suffering it out?  Please pour your heart out here; I certainly have!

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

OK, I'm going to bed now.  I hope to wake up to some candid responses from you.  Please share!  I have a hunch I'm not the only one whose job has changed quite a bit in the past couple of years...

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

I actually went through a MAJOR burnout for the most part of the middle of this year.

I had to bring things back into perspective, start weeding out negative people and negative energy, be very selective about my business.

I've also learned to economize on many levels, and cleanse my life of stress attractors.

And it paid off.

I started turning the corner about 2 months ago and feel close to normal again.

I am SO looking forward to the day where short sales mostly have disappeared.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) almost 11 years ago

Ralph:  Have you entertained doing something else?  I've been fantasizing about other projects.  I am selective in the clients I take, I have good working relationships and positive people around me, but the sheer amount of stress on a DAILY basis is almost unbearable sometimes.  I just have a hard time motivating myself to continue.  I like the job, it's just emotionally draining weeding through all these short sales and foreclosures and seeing people hurt on a daily basis.  Even though I help them, it's still a big load for me to carry emotionally.  I jog, work out and do whatever I can to relieve the stress, yet I still feel it.

I sincerely appreciate your input on this!

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, we all have our burnout stages or we haven't been in the business very long.  But this market has been so long and laborious and tough on the psyche.  The people draining you are seriously in trouble, you know that and your empathy is admirable, but they won't have a good Realtor if the Realtor doesn't take care of herself.  A week off might be good, at least a pedicure or massage once a week, a yoga class.  DO something for yourself.  I had a similar experience and now get every other week massage NO matter what, there is always time for a 2 hour break somewhere in the schedule.  IF you can get a day off all the more reason for a regular massage.  You need to lower the baseline stress level and you'll be a better Realtor and like your work again.  I started sharing with another realtor in my office.  We work similarly and "cover" for each other to get a day off.  It's tough, she can't take on all my drama, but can at least return a call and say I'll be back tomorrow to handle it.  It's hard to delegate, to trust someone to take care of it like you would, but for me, easier to take a day or two than a week because I'm not gone so long that I can't solve it when I return.  Sometimes that is less stress for me than to come back to a week's worth of drama.  I don't know the answer but you are important to their process, so just start taking a 24 hour period, walk, read, massage, be with family or whatever can relax you.  Best and good luck.  "just do it"

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 11 years ago

Excellent post.  I certainly wouldn't blame anyone who has a degree, or experience in another field to leave this mess to others, and maybe return when everything gets back to normal.  My primary work is appraisals, and it's all unwinding for me due to HVCC.  But I know that real estate isn't much better.  On a positive note (for Ralph), most of us are healthier, since we're too broke to party.

Posted by Alix Pinzon, (562)743-6086 (Open Mortgage, LLC NMLS # 2975) almost 11 years ago

Mirella, I am going through the foundation stages again - back to basics so there is stress without the reward or with. At least with the reward of having the stress of deals (albeit problem ones) you have the option of delegation to some degree.

I love the cartoon.

Posted by Kathryn Gorham, Emerald Isle NC Crystal Coast (Green Key Realty) almost 11 years ago

P.S. Your tag line is great -  Mirela with Sell it.

Posted by Kathryn Gorham, Emerald Isle NC Crystal Coast (Green Key Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mirela ~ What an excellent post!  I am sure life has changed for most people period.  I too work long hours and sometime think I am answering/solving problems for others and not getting paid to do so.  I had to become more picky in with who I want to work for.  I am constantly trying to learn new tactics on a daily basis and grow my business.  Just when you think you know what your doing the rules change or a new twist comes at you.  Working with Positive people is a must.  A good laugh everyday is a must. Taking care of me is a must.  Its been one hell of a couple of years for my husbands business and mine.  He is a custom home builder and a Home Inspector.  Currently away from home in Fl. working.  That is tough.  The best thing that is happening for me/us is that its making us stronger people because of it and it has brought us closer together.

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela,

I love the sign "Mirela will sell it!" I too feel like the problem solver. Every deal requires extra time involved in managing the process and the's the sign of the times.I know our market is not as harsh as everyone else and have way fewer short sales and foreclosures (at least in my marketing area). I have a reputation for spending time with my clients in preparation to go to market and price properties at fair market value. They do sell. In my market area there are 13 properties under contract and I have 7 of them. But each one has their issues; appraisers, loans taking longer and extensions (one buyer switched jobs mid stream - can't blame her but they need 6 weeks worth of new bank stubs). The list goes on..the hand holding is ever time consuming but I feel closer to my clients and their lives than ever before. The price is worth it.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 11 years ago

Great post. Real Estate definitely has changed my life. As Realtors we have to adjust to the market and this has been a lot of adjustment!

Posted by Joyce Thomas, Your Home Sold Guaranteed! (The Thomas Group Brokered by eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Its nice to have a truly down to earth honest post about life in real estate.  It certainly is tough especially in my county but I am hanging tight and have always been selective of clients, I share your pain but am NOT giving up, ever!

Posted by Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia ( United Real Estate (703.216.5635) almost 11 years ago

This market is loaded with stress, and burnout.  I have concentrated on my webs and SEO and have done well.

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Maximum One Executive REALTORS®) almost 11 years ago

Mirela: It has actually changed for the better. I think it was important for us to go through the tough times. Those of us who came out the other end are wiser for it and  have to be more knowledgeable than ever. Do I like the fact that every deal has something with it? No. But I'm blessed to be with an extraordinary company and am surrounded by great friends and family. What more could a person ask for? Thanks for the post!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) almost 11 years ago

Mirela - love the sign!  I found myself reading your post and wondering if you were describing my life right now.  I have been in the business for 20 years and don't remember a time when I have worked harder or longer hours than now.  And yes, we currently have to wear so many hats.  I have had days or maybe weeks this year, when I have felt like I couldn't do it anymore, but then I realize how much I love this business and how lucky I am to be able to help people through this tough time. I feel as I have grown so much during this time and am really excited about what next year will bring!

Posted by Lori Mode, Real Estate Made Simple (The Mode Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela. Your analogy of this market being a sprint but run over a marathon distance is absolutely correct.  The moment banks began to get involved in almost every transaction is when this market became almost unbearable. It seems as if the banks do not want to do ANY deals at times.  And it's always hurry up and wait with them.  They can take 6 months to get you an answer on a short sale but when they do everyone involved better jump and get the deal closed in 30 days, or else.  People don't understand the fact that I work 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day, and still can't get everything done.  The daunting thing is, it looks like this market is going to be with us for quite a while longer.  I'm afraid short sales are going to be the norm for the market for the next 3-5 years.  Great post and best of luck to you.

Posted by Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES, Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate (Long Realty West Valley) almost 11 years ago

Best post I've read in a long time!  I felt as we went into the recession that we would come out in a different nailed it!  Good news is that we as realtors have had to sharpen all of our skills and learn a few new ones.  The list you made in paragraph one is not long enough!

Great info!!! 

Stress is really just an admission that we are accepting a challenge!


Posted by Verlyn Steward, Real Estate Answer Man (Vision Realty Partners LLC) almost 11 years ago

In between putting out fires this morning I came to check on this post and I am so excited about it becoming featured and garnering such candid responses.  I thank you all so very much for your contribution.  I just needed to "air out" yesterday, so I wrote this blog.  There is so much support and good advice here.  This is precisely the reason I love ActiveRain so much.  It is helping us garner business AND network on other Real Estate related issues, such as Realtor burn-out.

Thank you all very much for participating in this.  Your honesty and your solutions will help many other Agents.  Please keep the comments coming and I will be here whenever I can (most likely late this evening) to comment the comments.

Very thankful!

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

I feel like I should have a couch in my office because so much if my time is spent just listening to clients.  Especially now that I focus on short sales.  I try not to bring the emotions home, but it's hard sometimes.  People really don't know ALL THAT WE DO to keep deals together and get homes sold.

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (RE/MAX Executives) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, It has been a challenging year for everyone in the business.  For me, the burnout factor was huge.  So much so that I stopped writing on my ActiveRain blog for nearly a year because my whole focus was trying to keep my business going.  On top of dealing with my own problems, I was working with people who were on the brink of financial ruin.  I know of one person this year (a former Realtor) who committed suicide because of the pressures that are among us.  I am more grounded now & re-energized for the upcoming year.  Yes, I still have question why I am still in this business and I put things in perspective with this quote from an unknown source that I heard years ago:

"I was sad because I had no shoes to wear, until I met the man who had no feet."

Posted by Harold Watts, Palm Springs Real Estate Blog (Teles Properties) almost 11 years ago

Stress level is up, that is for sure. Last year was worst then this year though. Last winter I put my house up for sale (not one looker) and was going to move to NC (from VT) felt I had nothing to lose as my business was so much in the hole, but this summer it turned around and I actually started working again, still not like the good ol'  days though. I have cionsidered other jobs but being in this one for over 25 years I feel like this is my niche and I must stick it out...if only I could rid of some of the local competitors, there are just too many agencies in this area.

Posted by Deborah Amazon (Deborah Amazon ~ Amazon Realty ~ Mount Snow, VT 05356) almost 11 years ago

You hit the nail on the head with this one girl!!

Oh yes, we wear many hats these days.  We need to remember we can't be everything to everyone!  Don't forget to look after yourself.......

Patricia Aulson/Seacoast NH

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 11 years ago

I think one thing most Real Esate professionals can agree with is that they've become much more familiar with the Short Sale process.

Posted by Kurt Miller (TREND MLS) almost 11 years ago

Mirela,  I'm so sorry I didn't see this last night and send you a inter-net hug before you went to bed.  Sometimes we just need to get it off our chests but a little support for you last night would have been good. 

About 18-19 months ago, I was sure I would not survive.  I'm a broker-owner so I really don't have the option of walking away.  I have a mortgage to pay whether I'm here or not, so I'm hanging in.  I love this profession but sure am getting tired of working just to pay the bills.  Then I see those who didn't make it and I'm grateful that at least I am paying the bills.

Thank God for Active Rain and the support we can share with each other.  This business is cyclic and you can be sure it will get better.  If we can just hang on 'till then.

Good post.  Thanks for baring your soul.


Posted by Marian Goetzinger, Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, excellent post!!! I do feel like apart from juggling personal life with kids & hubby at home I have another layer of burden or commitment to my buyers & sellers. Past couple years have brought many changes in my personal and professional life. I do feel like venting and screaming like a little child who is sick and tired of demanding and nagging needs of people around me. But as a parent I learned to have patience and take a step back to think about the things going around. Again an excellent post !!!

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, it sounds like you are working 25 hours a day.  Seeing an increase in business during this market is certainly a credit to your work ethic.  It sounds like you could use assistance handling the work load.  Do you outsource your contract-to-close and/or marketing?  You could consider finding another agent in your office or area that you like, and refer some of the workload to them.  It may free up your time to work on your top clients and still collect a referral fee (without having to juggle all the stress).  Those are just some thoughts I wanted to share - I hope they help!

Posted by Will Goodson (Sheffield Properties/Private Label Realty) almost 11 years ago

You are not alone, that's for sure! Deals are short sales which take forever, and learning along the way...or they are shortfalls for sellers, with much anxiety and stress along the way.

I switched everything to major on short sales, and I'm surviving. Not sure how others will fare throughout this period in history, but many will not be in real estate for some time to come. I hope I make it through by helping others.

There are no guarantees, but I am hopeful.

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) almost 11 years ago

My life has changed drastically.  I've never worked so hard for so little.  People ask, "Are you busy in real estate right now?  My answer, "Yes, but it doesn't mean I'm making money."  The hours I'm putting in, and the focus required to make it through these times have taken me away from my family.  I have to make a conscious effort to put it down and step away and focus on them for a bit, but I'm not able to really give them my full attention anymore.  I don't think our clients realize how much of ourselves we actually give up.

Posted by Lina Robertson, REALTOR® Serving Springfield, Nixa and Ozark, MO (RE/MAX Solutions and RE/MAX House of Brokers) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, Our market has been so sluggish here that I am grateful that we also own a storage facility that pays the bills and keeps me busy.  That being said, it sound like you might need to incorporate the word NO into your vocabulary.  You can't be all things to all people without being evreything to yourself first.  I know in this age of instant communications that we are at times "expected" to respond to any and all communications within minutes, but we are only human.  I learned at a Sweat Hogs class that you MUST schedule yourself personal time.  If you have an appointment at 10 am and someone else calls and says they want to see a house at 10 am what will you say?  My guess is that you will say that you are committed at 10 but how about noon or tomorrow at 10 - something to that effect. Well, do that with personal time. You have a right and if people don't feel as though you are "blowing them off" they will be fine with it.  Schedule an appointment for yourself for however long you need it.  You don't owe anyone an explanation of what your appointment is.  if it is for soaking in the tub, golfing, lunch with a friend, kids ball game, whatever, that is your business and no one elses!  My 2 cents! 

Posted by Diana Hoyt (Lakes Region Buchanan Group, Ossipee, NH) almost 11 years ago

I am as busy as I have ever been.  I keep saying I'm at capacity but I still find that I'm adding more work.  I think a lot of agents for the first time are learning what it's like to have to earn it. 

Posted by Brian Brumpton, Boise Idaho Real Estate (Keller Williams Boise) almost 11 years ago

It is like the 80's right now... between the economy, loss of jobs and the government placing knee jerk regulations on us... but it does seem like there is light at the end of the tunnel... and a market is a market and there alre always those who can buy and those who need to sell.... just have to be patient and work a little harder and know each deal is going to be difficult... with some kind of unexpected glitch!  I go for the optimistic approach...and also try and take some time for fun and family... and learn to enjoy what you have... many have it much worse... really...

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) almost 11 years ago

You got it.  We wear so many hats, I'm not sure why I even bother messing with my hair in the morning.  lol  It sure is a different market than I have ever seen, and this ain't my first rodeo.  I feel most sorry for the buyers and sellers who are not sure how they got to this point.

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, what a great blog!  I have had several recent experiences where the predictable evolved into the unexpected and disappointing.  What I am referring to are cut appraisals, last-minute loan declines, buyer's remorse, disloyal clients, and bureaucratic nightmares. I continue to recite my personal mantra, i.e., this is a learning experience; I'll benefit from this challenge down the road. Thank you for articulating so well what many of us REALTORS have been thinking and feeling during 2009.

Posted by Roseann Annis (Prudential Homesale Services Group) almost 11 years ago

It's amazing isn't it how we turn into therapists during many deals and many clients!

Posted by Diana Manzato almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela,  You really are preaching to the choir here !  I was just mentioning to my wife how much harder I'm working and struggling with each deal.  And the stress !  Can't be good for us.  Hope we all make it to better times and more balanced lives !  Well done !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela,  You really are preaching to the choir here !  I was just mentioning to my wife how much harder I'm working and struggling with each deal.  And the stress !  Can't be good for us.  Hope we all make it to better times and more balanced lives !  Well done !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 11 years ago

This has been a phemenonal year for me, much better than I had ever hoped possible. It has caused me to find ways to better organize my time and to streamline my processes. As a result, I've also begun to pay more attention to my own well being and health. I make sure I take small breaks throughout the day, even if it's just to wander into the back yard and yank a weed. I also reward myself, which tends to keep me more relaxed.

But the market has been crazy, the demands tough and challenging. Every day it's something new.

sacramento agent

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 11 years ago

We're handling way more rentals, and doing fewer sales. Sales are very slow in our area right now. We're working long hours, and have both our sons helping us.

Posted by Leslie Prest, Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson, (Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela -- I've never worked harder for less.  I am getting more selective about only working with realistic and motivated clients.  My stress isn't from overwork, but always prioritizing on what is the best use of my time.  Sounds like you need to hire an assistant or two so the mundane stuff can be offloaded.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) almost 11 years ago

My life has changed radically because of this market. My husband and I still own a small real estate comoany in Santa Cruz, California and I just renewed my license for another four years, but I'm basically done. After twenty plus years I'm writing mysteries set in our home town with a Realtor protagonist instead of selling houses.

I regularly have lunch with Realtor friends who are all ragged and depressed. I'm using my past experiences for color and background, my learned marketing skills for promotion, and Amazon for wide distribution becuase it turns out non-realtors and non-locals like the books,too. I'm having more fun than I've ever had doing anything.

 Nancy Lynn Jarvis, author of "The Death Contingency" and "Backyard Bones"

Posted by Nancy Lynn Jarvis almost 11 years ago

My life has changed radically because of this market. My husband and I still own a small real estate comoany in Santa Cruz, California and I just renewed my license for another four years, but I'm basically done. After twenty plus years I'm writing mysteries set in our home town with a Realtor protagonist instead of selling houses.

I regularly have lunch with Realtor friends who are all ragged and depressed. I'm using my past experiences for color and background, my learned marketing skills for promotion, and Amazon for wide distribution becuase it turns out non-realtors and non-locals like the books,too. I'm having more fun than I've ever had doing anything.

 Nancy Lynn Jarvis, author of "The Death Contingency" and "Backyard Bones"

Posted by Nancy Lynn Jarvis almost 11 years ago

Mirela:  I'm with Elizabeth.  Been a great year, and that was unexpected.  But when you don't wimp out of the hard deals, you get more and more referrals.  Nothing is easy these days, but like you said, I'd rather have the work stress than the mountain of unpaid bills.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 11 years ago

Mirela--Thanks for the great post.  You have verbalized what we all are feeling.  More work often for less money...more stress!  I did try doing something part-time to supplement but found I was better off just finding ways to make more real estate happen... It has been a learning experience but we have gotten through the worst of it I believe...

Posted by Kathy Stankard, Years of Experience, Years of Results (Coldwell Banker, Franklin,MA/508-369-5131) almost 11 years ago


Yes, we all have had to adjust, even us general contractors. On the positive, this market has made us develop stronger realtionships within the real estate community, even among other contractors... at least with those who desire to have a support system and not be the real estate Rambo taking on the entire market by themselves.

Posted by Bristol Restoration, When you need it done right and done right now! (Bristol Restoration, Inc 661-294-1812) almost 11 years ago

I am still fairly new to this business so "this market" is all that I have known. It can only get better from here right?

Posted by James Lyon (Vista Pacific Realty) almost 11 years ago

Great post Mireal ~ I went to the local community college to learn more about the technology (I do have business cards with me). I took classes on HTML, photo-shop, java,. Not to forget I am learning and getting motivation here on AR.

Posted by Haris Dedic, Glenview Real Estate - Chicago North Shore (RE/MAX Villager 847-878-2588) almost 11 years ago

Mirela - great post! We are working harder than ever as well. We've been fortunate to have been able to use social media to tap into new areas with our marketing, it's made a big difference for us this year - especially Twitter.

Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching almost 11 years ago


Posted by Amanda Wilson, Real Estate Advisor (EWM International Realtors, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

I enjoyed your post. I have had more deals this year as well, but I am not going to complain one bit. Like you said, the extra stress is way better than figuring out how to pay a mountain of bills!

You deserve a good spa day!!

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 11 years ago

I think there is a bigger problem that also exist in the "work place" today.  As a Real Estate agent, it is harder now than before but also it allowed the industries strong to surface.

Burn out is in EVERY JOB!  EVERY JOB has stress and absolutely some of the stress is manageable.  Many of my friends are all from different industries are doing more work FOR less and WITH less. I think the beauty of Real Estate is that you have an opportunity to delegate or modulate your work load.  As an Industrial Engineer, I am always looking to streamline the way I do my work. Getting good processes in place an sticking to them may really help.

On a different note...everyone needs a break sometime.  If you do not take time for yourself, your body will shut you down eventually.  Take care of you!

Posted by Lisa Matykiewicz (United Brokers Group) almost 11 years ago

times have changed and they have not been that great on my side of the world

Posted by Gene perez (Greater Mortgage Solutions & Valley Hills Realty ) almost 11 years ago
More hours, more stress, more appreciation, more skills, more gratitude.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 11 years ago

Mirella, We are blessed to even be having this conversation. Many have dropped out of the business completely and many non real estate people are unemployed with no hope showing. BUT...what we do can be very very stressfull if we let it, 

About a year ago I started meditating first thing in the morning. With out this I would have probably lost my mind already. Dealing with short sales all day is draining,

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) almost 11 years ago

This market is all that I know.  I started in 2006 and like many didn't have much business that year.  2007 started fading into what we have now.  I'm working around the clock doing the very things you listed in your post.  I don't have enough heads for all these hats.  I can honestly say that I love real estate, I enjoy working with people and making my own schedule.  Positive market news is what we need.  We need to see signs of improvement instead of constant negative news, but for that to happen we have to turn a corner.  Our stress level will drop greatly when the market normalizes a bit.  No matter how much money any of us are making right now, the future is scary and that is stressful. I'm looking into other real estate related avenues all the time.  I've gotten very interested in the GREEN movement so maybe there is a new niche there.

Posted by David Monsour, ABR - (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi Morela;

I'll be taking my state exam next week and am walking into RE with eyes wide open. I worked in the title industry (owning a title company for 17 years, 3 as an independant and another 2 'on the clock') and I can tell you one thing: stress is a killer not to be ignored. We closed our business and retired down here to FL at 45 because the doctors said my husband would be dead by 50 if we didn't stop doing what we were doing. We made money hand over fist; it was obscene. That was three years ago.

I've worked for Disney for the last three years and have an immense amount of stress there, mostly due to my inability to cope with someone else being in charge of my time. I will gladly work 7 days a week, it it matters. I did it for years. I was used to being an expert in my field back home and now I am just a number.

I've concluded that stress with compensation and job satisfaction beats stress for little compensation and the honor of being named The Illustrious #60,001. 

Take care of yourself; you know it's going to change :-)


Becky in FL




Posted by Rebecca Fisher almost 11 years ago

Mirela, you are right on with your observations of the way we're doing business now. We really need to redefine the role of a Realtor. I've really been blessed this year with business. Like so many here having commented, the days are long particular when the bulk of your business is Short Sales as we really do have to wear many hats when you've chosen the Short Sale direction. I would not have it any other way job, if I can really call it that, is very rewarding when you're able to help people day in and day out.

Posted by Lynn Pineda, Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mirela, excellent point about the wearing of many hats being so draining. At some point we need to scream out, "ENOUGH!!"

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago

HI Mirela - For sure the last couple of years have not been easy, and it has taken some strength of purpose for all of us to get through it.  It is just starting to turn here, but already in the last month I have closed 3 escrows that were relatively easy ones, and had a bidding war between investors trying to buy a condo that sold for cash $10,000 over listing.  So if this keeps up, I think my perserverance will pay off, while others who dropped out of real estate now find that they have lost their "other" jobs and now don't know what to do.

I just wrote a post tonight based on an inspirational quote by Helen Keller about overcoming obstacles.  I truly believe that you will have a great sense of accomplishment for having achieved success in spite of the market.  Keep smiling, Mirela.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) almost 11 years ago

Mirela - Nice post.  I think real estate has always been about wearing many hats.  I got into real estate just when the market was changing a few years back.  To be honest, I've been waiting for the change...although I wasn't expecting it to be quite so brutal.  I was waiting for real estate to get tough enough that skill and experience meant something again.  For years, anyone could stick a sign in the ground and get paid.  Now you have to know what you're doing.  Last year was a good year for me and this year should be better (knock on wood...who you calling superstitious?).  I work hard and I work a lot of hours also, but I'm starting to see the payoff now.  For me, there have only been 3 slow weeks since March.  I've had to literally run away twice this year just to get some sort of break.  I believe things will get less crazy at some point soon.  In the meantime, for anyone willing to stick it out, you can use this time to really build a solid business base for the future....good luck to you as well.

Posted by John Wall (Realty Connect USA) almost 11 years ago

Mirela - There's definitely been a lot of wheel spinning this year, but I can't complain because there are some agents not even spinning their wheels.  However I must admit I can't wait to go on vacation next month

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 11 years ago

There are certainly many more issues to deal with. All the deakls are harder.  However I have been playing more tennis, taking more photos and enjoying some time off. I have worked hard for the last 10 years so now I can take a break as I do not need every sale.

The side effect is that you do get to interact with your clients much more.  This can be good and bad.  You have to let some go to remain sane. I worked so hard I was able to save money for a rainy year or two. Maybe this is the day. Go with the flow.

Posted by Eric Bouler, Listening to your Needs ( Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La.) almost 11 years ago

Wow!  This is like Christmas!  So many honest and heartfelt responses here.  I am so thankful for your participation.  This will be a post I will revisit again and again, for there are so many great points of view here and so many worthwhile words of advice.

Reading your responses and thinking about this post has begun crystallizing some new concepts for me.  One of the reasons for my long hours is that I am both a working Realtor AND I run a successful Real Estate Office.  It has become quite obvious that I need a partner; my business has outgrown me.  I delegate, I have assistants, but I need a partner who has a stake in the business and can take over the things that I dread doing like regulation compliance, taxes, licenses, forms, day to day management, recruitment, HR, etc. 

I stopped working for money a long time ago.  My clients are crystallized in my mind by first names and I am very knowledgeable about their particular lives and circumstances.   Most of my clients buy and sell with me over the years.  Their kids, relatives and friends buy and sell with me.  I am tuned in to their particular lives and circumstances.  A lot of them are hurting right now and that hurts me.  It's that emotional stress that gets to me.

(interruption - I'll be right back)

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

I have to admit... this market has made me work harder, smarter and with a huge pay cut as my market is mostly second/vacation homes and people have not felt secure enough to buy a lot of those lately.

But I've gotten a great amount of education of that "problem solving" you speak of and I will keep doing it for my buyers and sellers.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 11 years ago

I have to work harder for less. I started my day in Danbury, Connecticut and ended it by going from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to New Rochelle, NY. In all I transacted business in 4 counties today. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 11 years ago

There are so many sad stories to tell of people losing their homes and it just breaks my heart. 

I had a cash for keys with this family that lost their home.  They had sunk about $160K of their cash into it and now here I was to take over their home on behalf of the bank.  After several visits and phone conversations I helped them move.  They were so nice, they even cleaned the home and left it spotless.  It just broke my heart to see them be so cooperative and nice, some real troopers.  Such nice people shouldn't be in that situation...

I was at the courthouse for the monthly foreclosure sale when I heard my daughter's best friends' parents home be called out to bid.  I froze.  I knew they were on the list before, but the way these things get postponed I thought they would certainly be pulled out.  My daughter's best friends home was sold at the foreclosure sale right in front of my eyes.  I froze.  I couldn't believe it.  I texted my daughter.  She was in class.  I told her what had happened.  She cried.  Her best friend cried.  I cried.

We just took a listing as a short sale.  It's a beautiful home on two acres.  The owner still lives there, but has no furniture, no electric, no appliances.  He lost his business last year.  His wife left him.  He sold everything just to eat.  He shipped his 13 year old daughter to his parents, so that the department of social services wouldn't take her away.  Now he drinks all his sorrows away.  We're trying to short sell his home and help him get into some program and try to get his life back together again.

Story after story, one sadder than the next.   It just gets to me.  I've cut commissions at closing, not because I had to, but because I felt bad for the people.  The few thousand dollars donated by me meant they could bring less money to closing (yes, sellers bringing money to closing, it's so 2009!)

Meanwhile my expenses have quadrupled.   Everywhere you go, everyone has a hand in your pocket - mainly the banks.  What are you going to do: say no to a commission cut, when that is the only way the deal will go down? 

Another very annoying thing is that I only have so many hours in a day.  If I have 4 major problems to deal with that day, someone doesn't get a phone call back, something doesn't get done.  It's usually my personal stuff that doesn't get done.  If I don't jog first thing in the morning, chances are I won't have time for exercising later.  If I have urgent problems I won't eat either.  Coffee, jog, phone... in that order.  It's just brutal.  My Active Rain and my Twitter are the only outlets for my mind to finally wind down so I could go to sleep.

So...  I will have to take on a partner for the business and schedule yoga and massage.  I have good systems in place, but we do a lot of business (we have 17-18 deals waiting to close - 2 tomorrow, one Monday).  It's a small office, so that's a lot of business.  For every one of the deals we're closing, we probably wrote 10 other ones that died on arrival...  The pace is arduous.  Still, it's not the pace that's causing most of my stress, but the emotional anguish I am exposed to on a daily basis.  That, my friends, is the real culprit of my lament.

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

Terrylynn:  I loved your advice and I intend to take it.  You presented us with several great ideas.  Thank you so very much! 

Gregg:  Thank you very much for the kind words!  Loved your sense of humor too! 

Kathryn:  I will and I do!  They call me "A Dog with a Bone"... 

Thank you for your comment and you're right: the basics are very important.

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

June:  You have some excellent tips here:

I am constantly trying to learn new tactics on a daily basis and grow my business.  Just when you think you know what your doing the rules change or a new twist comes at you.  Working with Positive people is a must.  A good laugh everyday is a must. Taking care of me is a must.

The business is ever changing.  What worked last week no longer works.  What works this week, won't work next week.  You have to be intrepid, smart, alert and focused.  I guess if one imagines they are a moving target, they will probably do all right...

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

I am not usually good at commenting the comments to my posts.  I'm typically very involved with a post right after I write it and then forget all about it. 

This is not the case here.  Because of the nature of this blog and your extraordinary answers, I will come back and comment all the comments here within the next few days. 

I am very thankful that the post made the feature, thus attracting much needed attention and participation.  This subject is very important right now.  Networking honestly with others who are having similar issues and angst is sure to help each and every one of us.  Communicating honestly here, we can see that you are not alone for feeling the way you are feeling.  This market has created a lot of casualties and the war is not yet over... 

This AR Family has done and is doing a lot to sustain every member of the family.  To that end, I am immensely thankful for being part of it!  God bless you!

Good night!  I'm going to bed now and will be back tomorrow.

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

As I am sure many of you do, I talk to a lot of people who are in the process of losing their homes to foreclosure. I feel like I am as much a therapist/marriage counselor as I am a realtor. I can't even count the number of times I shared with clients to "just let it go and move on" or "I know it is hard now but it will soon be behind you and you can look forward to better times ahead".

Posted by Robert Savage, Bakersfield Short Sales, Property Management, Cash (Bakersfield Property Solutions) almost 11 years ago

Great question!  This one is fairly easy for me!  I am chasing deals that I would have never taken a few years ago,  I have taken a 50-60% pay cut just based on market values alone here in AZ, and every transaction is TRULY DIFFICULT!!  Hopefully things will get better in the next year or two!! 

Posted by Stephen Arnold, CRS, GRI, SFR (HomeSmart Elite Group) almost 11 years ago


Three  years ago I was working 90 hour weeks and selling lots of real estate in another market.  I was a broker owner in a down market.  My husband was the managing broker and we were making it,  then the market hit the wall. On top of that, some of my REO bank clients went belly up and didn't pay for trashouts, rekeys, contracted work.The mortgage meltdown became the mortgage nightmare for me.   I paid my contractors and tried to keep all the balls in the air.   Everything I made was being plowed back into the business. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, two hip replacements, high stress, and high health insurance premiums.    I had a nice home on the river but no time to enjoy it.  I didn't have time to see my own children and grandchildren because of the financial pressure we were under.  My agents were taking second jobs just to get by.  We didn't see things getting better anytime soon.  The market we left is now one of the worst in the country. It has the highest unemployment rate in the state of Illinois.  What did we do?  We took a deep breath.  We shut down, swallowed our pride,  loaded up our belongings and moved to Texas.  Is it better?  You betcha.  I now have a life. I now can enjoy my friends.    My multi-talented husband now has a job with a paycheck and health insurance.  When he is off,  I don't work.  We spend time together.  I now have time to do volunteer work. I don't have to work 90 hour weeks and thanks to Keller Williams Realty I can sleep at night.  I know how to sell real estate and can do it anywhere I choose.  Was it the right thing to do?  I'm slowly building a database and getting clients. I know who my true friends really are.   I had a closing today so life is good and will continue to get better.  Life is too short and I have more of an appreciation for it now than at any time in the past.  Read my blog and you will see why.

Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Our business has changed alot this year. Every deal seems to have it own problem, and the tax credit is great but most people just do not have the 620 to get finance in memphis. So we are doing more remodels, helping clients with credit repair thru a local company, step and fetch with lenders and cleints that have money and credit, alot of hand holding etc etc... But what is working here is Sub2. Memphis has a real strong rental market and we have done well with our old and new rentals. But we have no time off. It has got to the point that when church is over we go to set up for an open house or have a few showing on sunday. I have a client now with good credit and 20% to put down but have yet to find the home she wants because she thinks that if its not a foreclosure its not a deal. Long and exhausting is all I can say when a person feel they know your job better that you. The internet and TV shows (flip this house) give people the big, the shiny and I can attitude. Great, but its the small details of information that TV don't tell you or can prepare you for that can cost you thousands. Trust your agent and maybe we will have more time to rest our minds and body.

Posted by James Martin (J2K Properties LLC) almost 11 years ago

Hi Mirela,

I love this sign "Mirela will sell it" !

You need a break or you will end up in hospital.I don't want to be opposite to positive here but think about it what could happen if you really would have to just leave for a week or two.All this balls you have in the air would have to be on the ground but you will see where.Some of them you can pass by and the others are going to be in a perfect place to take a good shot.

I'm not a golf player but it's a lot like it sometimes and then there is a lot of tennis in it as well.Everything matters!

What matters now in your game is a player and it's you!

Take a good care of yourself !


Posted by Eva Erdmann, interior decorator (Lion International Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Dorie:  I like the way you put it:

The list goes on..the hand holding is ever time consuming but I feel closer to my clients and their lives than ever before. The price is worth it.

13 transactions in your area and you have 7 of them.  You are a powerhouse.  My hat is off to you; that's more than 50%.  If I had that chunk of business in my market (50%+), I really wouldn't sleep any...


Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

Cheryl:  Thank you!  We can see clearly when we are honest with ourselves.  Sharing it with others who understand takes some of the weight off and gives us a better perspective. 

I like your attitude.  You are definitely a winner.  You are in our Optimist Group, aren't you?  (If not, please join, yours is exactly the attitude shared by our members ("sticktoitness"....)

I'm not giving up either!  I'm just lamenting about the brutal market and all the broken lives I have been exposed to in the past couple of years...

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) almost 11 years ago

Wow, it is good to see a site like this and hear the various responses from agents from around the country. I have been in RE for 15 years and am simply feeling uninspired about the business. I have always liked the flexibility but even though I can continue I am not sure my heart is in it anymore. Problem is what I would do instead if I left the industry. I am a very good agent but it seems that experience does not always seem to impress clients anymore and I am seeing so many beginners entering this business that don't have a clue and I am left watching from the sidelines.

Posted by Doug over 10 years ago

Doug:  We all know what you mean...  Our experience can best help the sellers and buyers in this volatile and slippery market.  Without inspiration and passion though, our wings are clipped.  Perhaps stepping away from it all and garnering a new perspective might help.

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) over 10 years ago