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Better Brain Health for the Busy Realtor®

Oct 23, 2017

Posted by

Cynthia Green

Dr. Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, noted author and leading expert in the field of brain health. She is a sought-after speaker on the topic of memory fitness in the workplace, a Read more

As a Realtor®, you probably feel -- and rightly so -- that your brain gets plenty of exercise.  Given all that you have to juggle and the many roles that you play, there’s no doubt that keeping your business going takes plenty of brain cells.

What if you could ramp up your effectiveness and get more done simply by being smarter about your brain health?  While the science of brain health remains young, current research clearly indicates that there is much we can do to improve our everyday intellectual performance for things like multi-tasking and remembering details -- such as names.  In addition, being smart about our brain health today can reduce our risk for serious memory disorders later in life.  The research findings might surprise you as they often suggest activities that we don’t usually associate with brain fitness -- such as staying socially active or getting regular exercise.  As an experienced specialist in memory and brain wellness, I provide clients with smarter ways to think about how they take care of their brain health.

The best approach to improving our brain health is one that blueprints a scientifically grounded plan that is practical and actionable.  The “Total Brain Health®” approach reflects the best of the current science, bringing us better brain health by investing in our body, mind and spirit.  In working with busy real estate professionals, I have found that Realtors® have in common four major challenges to memory performance and brain wellness. 

Four Major Challenges

Here are those challenges, along with some powerful, quick, yet practical, solutions you can use to take better control and boost not only your memory, but your bottom line.

Challenge No. 1:  Graying “Gray Matter”

The Challenge:  What does it take to be effective as a Realtor®?  Solid everyday intellectual skills such as concentration, quick and nimble thinking and good recall are certainly critical.  Yet, as we grow older, these are exactly the kind of intellectual abilities that can change, making it harder for us to be as effective as when we were younger.  Think you’re not old enough for “gray matter” to be a challenge?  Ponder this: Scores on tests that measure timed performance start to drop around age 25.  While we do gain other skills key to business success as we age, such as wisdom and better emotional control, we still need to keep our minds sharp to maintain our business edge.

The Solution:  Here is one area where “use it or lose it” definitely applies.  Studies have shown that when we train our intellectual skills, we can stave off the effects of aging on things like attention and memory.  However, a typical day at the office won’t give you the workout you need (no matter what it feels like).  Games that we play against the clock give us the

biggest bang for our “gray matter” buck.  Try loading a few games on your cell phone or playing a computer-based game for five minutes a few times a day.  Check out sites like www.miniclip.com or www.games.com for some fun games you can play for free.  Or consider one of the new brain fitness software games, designed to specifically address your aging brain and customize the workout to your needs.

Challenge No. 2:  Multi-task Mania

The Challenge:  As a real estate professional, you perform the ultimate juggling act.  All that multi-tasking can definitely challenge your memory, as shifting quickly from task to task can make it harder to focus and effectively get information, such as a contractor’s pricing or customer’s name.  Also, as we learned above, this kind of multi-task mania becomes more difficult as aging challenges our ability to stay focused and think quickly and flexibly.

The Solution:  It’s never too late to get organized.  One of the best strategies to combat the overload of dealing with too much, too quickly is to take control!  Organizational strategies such as taking notes, making lists and having a “memory place” for everything may seem too simple, but they really do work.  (Why do you think folks who are organized remember better?)  Additional strategies include setting times of day for specific tasks and exercising control over the ways in which you get information over the course of the day -- such as reserving set times for checking non-essential e-mail when you are trying to get important deals closed.

Challenge No. 3:  Name Dropping

The Challenge:  As a real estate broker or agent, it really matters to you (and likely to your bottom line) that you deliver your services with a personal touch that keeps your customers happy and your reputation top-notch.  Remembering key customer information, such as names, can be incredibly challenging, especially if we are a bit seasoned and constantly multi-tasking to keep up with the pace of business.  Yet none of us want to be a “name dropper."

The Solution:  Learn some simple memory strategies that will help you remember critical customer data, such as names, more effectively.  For example, try repeating information as you hear it.  This easy technique will force you to focus on what you are learning and give you the chance to rehearse it, increasing the odds that you’ll remember it.  Or use my “Connections Technique” and make a connection between what you are learning and something that you already know.  Meeting Florence?  Connect her name to a famous Florence, such as Florence Nightingale, or to the city of Florence in Italy.  There are a number of simple, practical strategies we can use to boost our recall and build a “better brain” for business

.

Challenge No. 4:  A Life Worth Living

The Challenge:  Do you wake up at 4:00 in the morning with a laundry list of “to do’s” on your mind?  Are you overworked, overweight, and overtired, despite your best intentions to get out that door to the gym and then home at a decent hour?  When you are working to get your business ahead, it’s easy to forget that other bottom line -- your health.  Yet research shows that the very best thing we can do for our brains is to take care of our physical health.  Lifestyle habits such as getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and finding ways to reduce stress are absolutely critical to staying sharp and reducing our risk for serious memory loss over the long term.  Not convinced?  Consider this:  A study out of the Harvard School of Public Health showed that folks who regularly exercised, ate a healthy diet, maintained a healthy weight and did not smoke were 80 percent less likely to suffer a stroke, a serious brain injury which is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.

The Solution:  As a busy Realtor®, I know it can be a daily struggle for you to find time between work and family to exercise, eat well and have some time to relax.  However, I know that the effort is worth it.  Even if you are stretched for time, make the

extra effort to sneak in a brisk walk at lunch or fit in 10 minutes of yoga at your desk (check out sites such as www.kripalu.org for some great short yoga workouts).

If eating well is an issue, try planning out your meals at the beginning of the week and buying healthy snacks to keep around the office. 

Finally, take a mental health break for a quick phone check-in with your best buddy or a video chat with your kids after school.  Not only will you feel better, you’ll work better, too -- and list and sell more effectively!

Try these four steps right now -- or soon -- to boost your performance and rev up your recall.