• Problems are not like a bad dream. They will not go away. You have to face them.
  • Happiness is when expectations meet reality.
  • Managing emotions and stress is a big part of what an agent does day to day.

Many might think the internet has made a mess of things for real estate agents. Potential homebuyers can scour through photos and videos of homes online, access information about schools, neighborhoods and anything else in about 15 minutes on the computer.

Homesellers never needed the internet to know how much their homes were worth, but now they get all the reassurance they require from Zillow, Redfin and other sites.

With all this technology, it begs the question to many consumers and even some inexperienced agents: “What do real estate agents get paid for?”

Real estate is hazard pay, a game of emotional chess that can unwind the nerves of even the savviest businesspeople. If you want to be successful, you need to be great at the following:

  1. Solving problems
  2. Managing emotions and stress
  3. Managing expectations

Great agents are pre-emptive about problems and solutions, so the unexpected is expected and already planned for when it happens. They keep their calm when the storm arrives and act like nothing happened when it passes. It’s all part of the job.

Problem solving

When approached with a problem the most important thing is to stick to the facts, the contract and focus on a solution. Small problems can easily become big problems if you let opinion and emotion cloud the situation.

Address issues as soon as they arise, and do not hope they just go away.

Real estate is a business that requires the ability to confront and deliver bad news and focus on a solution.

Lastly, remove yourself from the problem. Remember the contract is between buyer and seller, so simple things like not using the words “we” or “I” when speaking to the other agent is a good practice.

Managing emotions and stress

Buyers are anxious before they get their offer accepted and have remorse after. Sellers can be sensitive and easily offended.

One minute clients are happy and trust you, and the next they question everything in the process. Remember this is the biggest financial and emotional transaction of their lives.

How you react can help calm them down and realign their thoughts or make everything worse. If you can’t handle stress and pressure, then you do not belong in real estate.

I’d like to think a good real estate agent can handle 10 times the stress of a normal person. And I don’t just mean managing the stress and emotions of the client; I mean managing your own.

Many times a real estate agent’s job is to be a punching bag.

Managing expectations 

Someone once told me happiness is when expectations meet reality. Don’t try to be a hero or promise things that are not yours to give.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, but there is a fine line between trying to get the most for your clients and over-promising something that is out of your control.

Give them the comfort that you will try anything for them, but set realistic expectations of the outcome to avoid major roadblocks.

These sound like three pretty easy things to do, so I guess that’s why there are so many licensed agents. I mean anyone could do these things, right?

Wrong. It’s the exact reason the majority of business is transacted by a small, disproportionate portion of licensed professionals.

Most people can’t handle the stress and problems of their own lives, let alone deal with emotional clients who are your best friend one minute and your worst enemy the next.

Sammer Mudawar is the broker/owner of Re/Max Prestige in Costa Mesa, California. Follow him on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email Sammer Mudawar

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription