Decision Fatigue and the Real Estate Industry

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One of the most common issues that we see in the world of real estate is the problem of decision fatigue. It is an issue that we believe is not talked about enough, and in lots of cases it is not even seen as a problem.


What is decision fatigue?

In psychology, decision fatigue refers to the decreasing quality of decision-making that happens after a long period of making of making decisions.

It does not just refer to big decisions, even small ones can contribute to fatigue.

People often use the analogy of a battery, each decision you take takes some of your battery power. In this analogy your ability to make decisions is seen as a finite resource, with each decision depleting it further.


How do you know when you are experiencing decision fatigue?

You probably recognise the feeling, some people call it ‘brain fog’. The feeling of being overwhelmed and drained at the thought of having to make decisions.

People who are suffering from decision fatigue feel mentally and physically tired.

They are also more likely to:

  • make impulsive decisions
  • experience ‘decision-avoidance’
  • have trouble weighing up the pros and cons of difficult trade offsdecision fatigue


How can you reduce decision fatigue?

Former President Barack Obama, who during his presidency was faced with more difficult decisions than most people could fathom, famously used to wear the exact same suit every day because he did not want to waste any energy whatsoever on the decision.

He was a firm believer in the idea that you only have a finite amount of willpower and ability to make good decisions, so why waste it making unimportant ones?

For many people, simplifying their wardrobe and  having a meal plan are two common ways to combat decision-fatigue.

But sometimes, the amount of decisions that you need to make are out of your control.


Decision fatigue in the real estate industry

The real estate industry is certainly not immune from the perils of decision-fatigue. This is evidenced by the high level of burnout experienced, in particular by property managers.

The role of property manager has never been more complicated than it currently is, and you won’t find any industry expert who will predicts that to change any time soon.

There has been a massive adoption of new technology in the real estate industry, technology that is designed to make life easier but has the cumulative effect of making people’s jobs more complicated and stressful.

There are so many different apps and tech stacks that it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the feeling of never being on top of it.

As well as that, expectations of clients, whether that’s tenants or landlords, have never been greater.  They expect more, faster.


What’s the solution?

The bad news first. Ultimately, the problem of decision fatigue is not one that will ever be completely eradicated.

But the good news?

As an important decision-maker in your business, there are steps you can take to reduce its effect.

  1. Integrate your tech into one place so that your property managers and admin staff never have to go ‘searching’ for it.
    So much time is wasted deciding where to look for notes, data, tasks that need to be done. Businesses that are reliant on bookmarks and emails to run their operations are wasting decision-making willpower. Find out more about how we can integrate your tech stack here.
  2. Prioritise your workflow. Your employees don’t need to see EVERY task that needs to be done for the rest of the month. This can be completely overwhelming and unnecessary. Instead, show your employees only the most pressing and relevant tasks that needs to be completed that shift. This will allow them to focus on the most important decisions that require the most urgent action without having their willpower drained by other, less pressing tasks. You can find more about how we do this here. 
  3. Automate where possible. One of the weaknesses of the real estate industry is that a process that might only take one or two minutes is not seen as a problem. But what if that’s a process that gets done 50 times per week? If this process could be automated not only would there be a significant time-saving, but there would be 50 less decisions to be made every week. Once you buy-in to the idea of decision-making as a finite resource, this wastage becomes unacceptable.


STAFFLINK can guide you

STAFFLINK was started by real estate professionals for real estate professionals. Our background in the industry means that we understand the many challenges that businesses face. We get it.

We are also proud of our track record of success, currently there are over 100,000 properties that are managed using our innovative and state-of-the-art software.

We have a proven ability to help businesses increase their productivity, reduce their costs, and increase their sales revenue.

We can give you a plan to do the same.

But ultimately, the decision is yours.

Don’t allow decision-fatigue to stop you making the right one.

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