Home Agent Leading in Luxury Roundtable: Top life and work hacks from 3 high-performing agents

Leading in Luxury Roundtable: Top life and work hacks from 3 high-performing agents

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Wailani O’Herlihy, Global Real Estate Advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty – Malibu Brokerage; Dan Ortega, Real Estate Associate with Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage; Carlos Pastrana, REALTOR® at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty


Wailani O’Herlihy and Cormac O’Herlihy – Sotheby’s International Realty – Malibu Brokerage

Real estate agents know the engagement and rewards that come from working in high-end markets. But these markets are also demanding, with rigorous competition, significant transactions, and highly discerning clients who sometimes expect round-the-clock service. Therefore, health and self-care shouldn’t just be priorities for buyers seeking wellness-enhancing homes, but for real estate professionals as well.

Here, three agents share their tactics and techniques for boosting health and happiness in life as well as at work. Wailani O’Herlihy is a Global Real Estate Advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty – Malibu Brokerage; Dan Ortega is a Real Estate Associate with Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage; and Carlos Pastrana is a REALTOR® at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. This is their advice for other luxury agents.

To start off, how do you set yourself up for a successful day? What does that look like for you?

Carlos Pastrana: For me, success starts with a good night’s sleep. I go to bed before 10 p.m. and wake up at 5 a.m. to start my day.

Elizabeth Daly – Sotheby’s International Realty – Loz Feliz Brokerage

Wailani O’Herlihy: Starting the day physically active makes a huge difference. Practicing tai chi and qigong teaches me how to be in the moment. It keeps me centered, and also teaches me self-defense. These forms of exercise are in my calendar, and my team doesn’t disturb me because they understand how important wellness and rest are to the day’s flow.

Dan Ortega: That’s so key — schedule wellness activities so you’re accountable to your team, your clients, and yourself. Whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening, I walk six to seven times a week, and of course, I plan it so that I can manage my real estate career and responsibilities as well.

On the topic of work-life balance, what “work hacks” do you incorporate into your day to accomplish more without burning out?

WH: Using my CRM every day keeps me prepared to follow up with those I need to engage with. I encourage agents to embrace technology to help make their lives easier.

CP: Absolutely. Every second counts during the day. Recording your thoughts and ideas has been a game changer. Logging them in the calendar and remembering to follow up is critical. We’ve got to stay focused and on top of our goals. That’s what gives us sustainable growth and longevity in this market.

What are some “life hacks” that you practice on a regular basis so that you can achieve balance and feel your best?

DO: Like a lot of people, weight was a challenge for me. I used to run on empty, then come home at the end of the day starved and consuming a lot of food. Now I eat regularly and pack snacks to enjoy during the course of the day. Real estate often feels urgent, but the need to rest and replenish is so important.

CP: It comes down to practicing calendar zen. At the end of each week, I review my calendar and to-do list and see which of the remaining items need to be pushed to the following week and which should be removed because they’re no longer relevant.

To conclude, do you have any tried-and-true wellness strategies that you could share?

DO: There are several, including meditating, exercising, and spending time with friends and family if that soothes your mind and soul. Walking and being outdoors is my personal favorite. I also enjoy getting massages at least every two weeks when possible and find it a great way to relieve stress.

Wailani O’Herlihy and Cormac O’Herlihy – Sotheby’s International Realty – Malibu Brokerage

CP: I would reiterate that sleep is huge. To that end, I do not drink alcohol during the work week because it has a negative impact on my sleep and metabolism. It can be a tough regimen starting out, but the benefits are worth it.

WH: Any type of exercise you do is helpful. My favorite way to stay mindful and present is by meditating in the morning, followed by dancing hula at the beach. I’ve been dancing for decades, and now, my Hawaiian music still helps me set the mood for the day, while the choreography is a form of exercise and breathing.

DO: The bottom line is that making time for self-care is key, and actually helps us agents feel energized and ready to provide the best service to our clients.


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