Keep calm and carry on. How to stay cool when things get heated

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Think about a situation where a real estate transaction did not go as planned.

How did you handle the stress? Did you feel agitated? Annoyed? Overwhelmed? Were you able to maintain your composure? Maybe you considered throwing in the towel altogether.

Either way, your reaction to the situation translates into your results, client experience, and overall feelings about your business and the industry you’re in.

As an agent, you will inevitably experience your fair share of challenging situations — it’s a natural part of the game. Real estate is fast-paced, and dynamic, and it requires you to juggle tasks as well as solve problems on a dime. Sometimes it means staying calm when a deal is not going the client’s way (or your way), dealing with demanding clients, inspection issues, legal complications, delivering bad news, or all of the above — and all at the same time. Welcome to real estate!

As expert coaches with backgrounds in mindfulness and embodiment techniques designed to calm your mind and body, we offer essential strategies for you to navigate challenges while preserving your professional reputation and growing your long-term success (without pulling your hair out).

In fact, these simple and effective tools should not only allow you to maintain your cool composure and practice responding versus reacting, but you may find yourself enjoying the dynamic nature of real estate more than you ever imagined.

Mindfulness 101 for Realtors

To navigate these stressful situations, here are some basic, yet essential, strategies that real estate agents can employ:

  • Breathe, take a step back, focus on the present
  • Focus on moving forward with a clear solution

Breathe, take a step back, and focus on the present

To approach your current stressor with a response versus a reaction, you must get present. In short, you must remember to breathe. When we are faced with a stressor, a lot of the time, we hold our breath.

In fact, many of us engage in shallow breathing most of the day, which means we’re only accessing a fraction of our lung capacity. Research shows that shallow breathing increases tension, impacts cognitive function and may result in panic attacks.

Take a moment to step back and focus on your breath. How are you breathing at this moment? Beginning to audit your breath in different situations can reveal patterns you may have overlooked or taken for granted.

Being more mindful and aware of your breath allows you to change the breath, which can help reduce the effects of stress and calm your mind. This slows you down and helps shift your mindset, which allows you to make changes in the ways you communicate, the decisions you make and how you respond to others.

Research shows that breath work is effective at reducing stress because it signals relaxation and can regulate our fight-or-flight response system.

Here’s how to start

Find a quiet place, either in your car in between showings or in your office; somewhere to close your eyes and reset your mind and emotions.Preview (opens in a new tab)

Begin to take some long, deep, slow rounds of breath, and focus on what is in front of you. This is how you become present versus getting caught up in the past or overwhelmed by what’s coming up later in the day (or tomorrow or this month).

By regulating your nervous system through this conscious breathing, while simultaneously getting ever more present, you will be able to acknowledge your current stressor or challenge and the parts of this situation you can control. This allows you to look at the situation at hand through the lens of mindful response.

Proactively move forward with a clear solution

Now that you are more grounded in the present, you can break down the problem into bite-sized parts and focus on potential solutions. This is where you can define a clear plan to address the problem and know what direction you are going to move. Instead of getting stuck, you now can focus on moving forward with a solution-oriented mindset versus a knee-jerk reactionary stance.

As you become aware, new solutions emerge because you have become more adaptable and flexible in your response system. This is how the same qualities that may have overwhelmed you begin to engage and excite you, calling you to see the situation as a riddle to solve or a puzzle to complete and reminding you of why you chose real estate in the first place versus a more traditional corporate office career.

Ultimately, these two techniques empower you in making the best decision for you and your clients (and trust us, people will notice the difference).

In conclusion, challenges are an inherent part of your real estate business but it’s not a reason to run away from a career you’ve clearly chosen. Rather than shifting careers, these techniques will help you shift your internal gears.

These simple and wildly effective techniques allow you better to navigate the highs and lows of your day-to-day business and to strengthen the foundation of your long-term success. 

Melanie C. Klein, M.A. and Emily Bossert are two highly sought-after coaches known for empowering individuals and teams to achieve their full potential and success. Melanie has written and contributed to over 9 books on empowerment, personal transformation, and cultivating resilience. Emily is a highly regarded real estate Sales Manager and co-hosts The 6AMers. Together, they co-coach a 90-day group coaching program offering over 52 years experience at the intersection of mindfulness, embodiment, conscious leadership and entrepreneurship.

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