Property Management

Is Managing Your Own Property Causing You To Burnout?

Written By

Adam on Dec 2, 2021

A series of matchsticks, progressively more burnt. Image depicts stress and burnout of managing a rental property.

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Most Americans are feeling some level of toxic burnout. If you’re not a professional, managing your own property can make it worse.

We’ve all said it, or heard someone say it:


“I’m really burned out.”


In fact, it is more than a casual expression, it is a real condition – and a serious one at that.


This definition defines the problem perfectly, we think:


Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. 


This situation existed long before the pandemic. As Jill Lepore wrote in the New Yorker in May of this year, “burnout is generally said to date to 1973; at least, that’s around when it got its name. By the nineteen-eighties, everyone was burned out.”


Lepore goes on to add that “To be burned out is to be used up, like a battery so depleted that it can’t be recharged. In people, unlike batteries, it is said to produce the defining symptoms of ‘burnout syndrome’: exhaustion, cynicism, and loss of efficacy.”

And don’t think that burnout chooses one generation over another; its toxic effects cross demographic segments.  In a book called Can’t Even: How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Peterson, the author – a  BuzzFeed News reporter – describes herself as a “pile of embers.” 


There is, of course, no shortage of surveys that track the burnout phenomenon. This particular piece of research – a study called “Burnout Nation – finds that a whopping and nearly unfathomable 76 percent of employees are burned out on their jobs.   Researchers link this to not just the pandemic, but to “major political upheavals and natural disasters ranging from wildfires to hurricanes.”


Add to this a combination of increased work responsibilities and job insecurity, months of homeschool and caregiving duties, and the data speaks for itself.


Burnout happens gradually


As you can see, burnout isn’t caused by just one thing. It happens bit-by-bit – accumulates layer-by-layer – as a multitude of tasks and responsibilities that leave no room for thought, reflection, or enjoyment to build up.

As the experts at Healthline put it: “The stress that accompanies each single factor might be manageable on its own, but the combination can easily overwhelm you if you don’t take steps to get support.”

Is managing a rental property adding to your burnout?


If you’re feeling burnout, and are experiencing the symptoms we describe at the beginning of this piece, it's important that you recognize it, and take steps to change it.


One cause could be the results of the decision you’ve made to manage your own rental property – especially if you’re an amateur in this, and doing it on the side. If that’s the case, it’s time to take a good hard look at what self-managing is doing to your overall well-being.


When you look at the causes of burnout, many of them can be linked back to the stresses and pressures of what amounts to 24/7 availability.


It doesn’t matter if you are called upon that often: just the idea that you might be called upon is truly the trigger when it comes to stress, the anticipatory dread that you could get an urgent email or phone call at any moment.


Healthline notes that “It’s tough to make changes when you don’t know exactly what needs to change, but exploring contributing factors or sources of stress in your life can help.”


They go on to point out that “Trying to do too much on your own also creates an ideal environment for burnout to fester.”

The right property manager can help


At Belong we constantly hear from our homeowners that we have lifted a huge burden from their lives, and helped them deal with the burnout phenomenon.  Whether it’s collecting the rent, finding residents, or managing the inevitable issues that come up all the time, Belong has built the first true 21st-century property management company.


We combine the best of digital and the best of human caring, to dial down the burnout blaze. Learn more about us here.

About the author

Adam Hanft

Editor in Chief

Adam is a futurist - co-author of "Dictionary of the Future" - brand strategist, public-company board member, former comedy-writer (but he hasn't stopped being vaguely amusing), and an investor in Belong.