Navigating Change

The only thing that’s consistent is inconsistency.

Just like no two houses are the same, so it is with closings. What comes easy with one nearly derails the next. It’s just the way this business goes. But what you’ll learn from agents who have been doing real estate for a while is that these ups and downs are at the very nature of this job. What makes us good at what we do is not necessarily whether we are able to avoid these things but whether we are able to navigate them.

Spend any time talking to a seasoned real estate professional and you will hear stories of insane roadblocks and last-minute moments of panic. For one closing, everything goes as smoothly as it could. For the next, the roadblocks and detours make it look like cosmic forces are stopping the sale. A million different details and a couple different teams managing those details is almost a guarantee for something unexpected. 

But what you’ll learn from agents who have been doing this for a while is that these ups and downs are at the very nature of this job. What makes us good at what we do is not whether we are able to avoid roadblocks but whether we’ve set ourselves up to navigate them. 

Here are some things we wish we’d known in our first few years in real estate to help us work effectively through these inevitable disruptions:

Keep Perspective

This could basically be summarized in the statement, “Don’t panic.” Watching an elite athlete step up in clutch moments is always inspiring. It’s probably because you’re realizing that what really sets them apart isn’t limited to their physical abilities and athletic dominance. It’s their understanding of who they are and how they need to perform. Michael Jordan had one of his strongest performances when he had the flu. Tom Brady envisioned and imagined every conceivable scenario before every game. Your success as a real estate agent to navigate unexpected turns and last minute hurdles is determined by how you view these roadblocks. If you realize that they are normal, that they’re simply a part of the game, you can keep your perspective. 

Have a System 

What sets high performers apart is more often the systems they have in place for the inconsistencies that are bound to pop up. Shortly after “Don’t panic” and “Keep perspective” is the necessary step of beginning the process of solving the problem. And that’s where your system comes in. When a manufacturing operation sees that there is an issue in production, they immediately go to the specific piece of their process or machinery that is responsible for the imperfection. Whether you encounter an issue with the seller or the buyer, with the city or the financing, every hurdle and every problem has a cause and it has a solution. Rather than viewing these hurdles as roadblocks that stop you, view them as obstacles that activate the systems, teams, and trainings you’ve put in place. 

Know Your Sources of Expertise

We wish we’d spent more time asking questions of other real estate agents. Early in our careers in real estate, we didn’t realize how much inconsistency is part of this business. We didn’t realize how much other agents would be willing to help us look ahead and identify potential issues. We hesitated to ask questions that started with words like, “What do I do if..” or “How should I…” It led us to have to feel our way through things more than we probably needed to. 


As a real estate company that has a number of years under our belt, we’ve learned to keep our perspective and rely on our systems as we’ve learned to also rely on the expertise of others. And we’ve also discovered ways to be those sources of perspective, systems, and experience for others. And because of that, we’ve been able to navigate closings and deals that would have been insurmountable early on.