The Real Care app – created by the real estate industry to help agents better manage health and wellbeing and to support better mental wellness – now has an important new feature to support agents in crisis with the release of a new counselling feature.
The Real Care app counselling feature is designed to help reduce the tragic rates of suicide and burnout in real estate which are higher per head of employee population than comparable industries.
The feature has been made possible thanks to the support of Domain.
“Too many of us in real estate know someone who has tragically taken their own lives and left behind so many questions and sadness for their families and friends. This is not okay and we urgently need to change this,” said Rise founder Chris Hanley.
“The Real Care app is our first step to giving agents a valuable tool to help them manage stress and their health – mental, physical and financial – and this new inclusion thanks to the very generous support of Domain puts access to a confidential service to let those in crisis speak to a trained counsellor.”
The new upgrade provides users with an EAP – Employee Assistance Program – that delivers up to three personal and confidential conversations with a trained counsellor free of charge.
The CEO of Domain, Jason Pellegrino, said Domain was committed to taking care of the people that contribute to the real estate industry.
“Whilst we have long acknowledged that real estate agents work in a high-stress environment, it has been unsettling to see how the uncertainty and unpredictability in the market caused by COVID has added further pressure to their mental health,” Mr Pellegrino said.
“With many agents operating independently or within small businesses, there are often limited resources available to provide the necessary mental wellness to support the stress that agents feel from working in this high-pressure environment,” Mr Pellegrino said.
“It’s been important to us to extend our resources where possible to positively contribute to the mental health of agents. Access to Domain’s EAP and the development of the Real Care app through our partnership with Rise are fantastic resources now available to agents.”
The Real Care app is free to download from Google Play or through Apple iTunes. Chris Hanley said the addition of the EAP meant that every agent and property manager, regardless of who they worked for, now has access to crisis and counselling support.
“I encourage every agent and property manager to download the app, use it and recommend it to your teams and your friends,” Chris said. “It is time to rise and be upfront and honest about the need to deal with this issue together.”
The Real Care app is the primary project of the Rise Initiative, a collaborative organisation formed in 2019 to recognise the mental health crisis occurring in real estate in Australia and New Zealand. Real Care provides free access to mental health resources for real estate agents and their families in a mobile phone app that can be accessed easily and discreetly any time.
The Real Care app is the result of thousands of hours of research of real estate agents which revealed that some 65% of agents report physical symptoms caused by job-related stress and anxiety.
Research of more than 1,000 Australian real estate agents found that two out of five agents feel overwhelmed by their work and almost half (47%) say that anxiety is a consistent part of their professional life. Some 26% use alcohol to cope with the stress, and 7.5% say they’ve resorted to illegal, recreational drugs.
The legacy of these shocking statistics are burn-out and even suicide. In 2014 the Coroner’s report of Victoria officially classified real estate as a ‘high-risk industry’ with an average annual suicide rate of 13 people per 100,000 employees, placing it higher on the danger spectrum than policing.
The Real Care app has been built in conjunction with technology and public health expert David Stanley and the team at Utility Creative, who have produced a similar resource for the police forces across Australia and New Zealand.
The app addresses major stressors faced by agents including financial health, well-being checks, guidance for self-care, as well as rapid response features for crisis intervention.
Created with the support of: