Navigating change in the dynamic real estate market, Rainy Hake Austin writes, demands a blend of self-awareness, strategic planning and effective utilization of support systems.

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Change is a constant in our lives and businesses, and navigating the unknown can be extremely uncomfortable. During significant changes, it’s common to experience stress responses — fight, flight or freeze — making self-awareness and intentionality crucial. For many in the real estate industry, now is a time of immense transformation, particularly following the $418 million settlement in the Sitzer| Burnett case.


The question is: How will you respond? Will you fight for your business, flee the industry for a new path, or freeze amidst the discomfort? My advice is to reflect, create a plan, and take small steps toward adapting. This is the only way forward.

If you want to continue thriving in real estate, here are six ways to make the most of change.

First off, identify the change

The NAR ruling is a big change — it might be the biggest one in your business right now. Or, you might be navigating another change. Get curious about the nature of the change you’re going through: Is it something affecting just you or a larger group? Is it immediate or long-term?

Address the discomfort

Change is one of the most emotionally triggering experiences for humans. With change comes uncertainty and often fear, which isn’t always the most creative or productive space, so acknowledge that. Know that discomfort is part of the process, and the only way to move forward is to look at the fear, lean into it, and seize the opportunities that lie just on the other side of it.

Ask yourself: What’s the worst that could happen? Then figure out how you would handle that if it did arise.

Find your champions

We know there’s power in partnership and collaboration. As you navigate change, it’s important to know who your champions in life are. These people are the ones who will give you the encouragement, motivation, support and connection you need to put your best foot forward.

Get clear on your strengths

You won’t ever be an expert on everything — the wise path is to know your true strengths. In times of change, it’s essential to know what you can rely on yourself to do well. What is innate? What do you like doing? (Usually, what you enjoy doing is what you are great at.) Your value lies in your strengths — they set you apart, add joy to your work and relationships, and bring your energy into its best light.

Determine your plan for adaptation

It’s easier said than done. True adaptation means being self-aware, highly intentional and stepping outside your comfort zone. Think about your greatest fears, your biggest strengths, and the next steps on your path forward.

Lean into your brokerage

Is your brokerage on your list of champions? Hard times and moments of change are when you find out the value of your brokerage and see how they can support you, provide education and opportunities, and fuel your business when you need it most. Your brokerage can do some of the heavy lifting for you regarding the list we just saw.

Navigating change in the dynamic real estate market demands a blend of self-awareness, strategic planning and effective utilization of support systems. At the end of the day, my goal is to support agents in transforming challenges into opportunities and ensuring they not only endure but excel in a constantly shifting environment. 

Rainy Hake Austin is president of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with her on Instagram.

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