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Real Estate Stories: Co-Founder Hana Cha On How Agents Can Thrive – Forbes

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In the ever-evolving landscape of the real estate market, innovation and being able to tell the right story have been keys to survival. Since the COVID pandemic, the industry has been facing numerous twists and turns, leaving real estate agents to craft new opportunities in a rapidly fluctuating landscape.

Hana Cha, trailblazing icon in the industry, a co-founder of The Agency’s new development division and former managing director at Compass, started her company, HANA. during the pandemic itself, and since then she has been stirring up the real estate industry with her unconventional strategies.


Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

Todd Goldstein, the Chief Revenue Officer from AEG, one of the leading sports and entertainment companies of the world, quite accurately puts Hana’s fiery personality into perspective:

“We owe much of the success of The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE to Hana’s tireless leadership, creative negotiating tactics, and constantly evolving sales strategies to deliver record-breaking sales. She operates like a corporate exec that knows how to roll up her sleeves to deliver what developers need, while accommodating buyers with white-glove customer service and excellent business acumen.”

Ben Belack is the industry innovator of real-estate and the Director of Residential Estates at the world-famous brokerage firm, The Agency, from the show “Buying Beverly Hills” on Netflix. He has worked with Hana for years, and bursts with enthusiasm talking about her.

“Hana Cha is the go-to person when you’re looking to architect a billion-dollar real estate sellout, balancing the complexities of large-scale developments with a deep commitment to client satisfaction. She’s been my friend and partner for years, and she’s taught me everything I know about this business.”

Hana Cha’s insights offer a story of adaptability, innovation, and, most importantly, the relentless pursuit of excellence. In a market where the rules are ever-changing, these professionals are proving that success thrives in the hands of those who accept the reality of this evolving world; and dare to continually diversify, adapt, and learn.

Forbes spoke with Hana Chan on what she did differently when real estate was practically drowning and how real estate agents are adapting to the new normal while also making their mark in the business.

Goldie Chan: Hana, you’ve seen the real estate landscape shift dramatically. Could you tell us about the challenges agents are currently facing?

Hana Cha: The real estate market has been on a rollercoaster over the last several years – it’s nothing new to those that have been in the industry for a long time since this business is always shifting, but agents are facing some unique challenges today that we haven’t seen in over a decade with the combination high interest rates, low inventory, and recent changes in local and national regulations. It’s making agents question their future in the industry.

Chan: How are these agents adapting to this new reality?

Cha: This new world certainly hasn’t been easy on anyone, but again, change is the only constant. It’s all about going back to the basics, embracing adaptability and the willingness to create new opportunities to diversify existing and potential business funnels. Agents that are continuing to do the same thing expecting different results will continue to struggle, but the agents that are taking their experiences to hone in on their skills, reconnecting with past clients, and expanding their networks to broaden their business will reap the seeds they’re sowing today. The current environment leaves no room for complacency; so you have to hustle, seek innovative ways to succeed, and be open to building new skills to prepare for the upside of the current market.

Chan: Education seems to be a big part of this transformation. Can you tell us more about that?

Cha: Absolutely. I’ve always said “knowledge is power,” and education is at the core of this change. Education is threefold at the moment – relearning how to connect and engage with people in meaningful ways to authentically connect and bring value; education to fortify their mindsets to prepare for the long-haul without losing focus; and honing their business knowledge to expand their service offering to create new opportunities for themselves. Agents need to bridge the gap between what they’ve done and know to date, and what they can do to further educate themselves in different facets of this business to thrive in this evolving landscape long term.

Chan: I understand that the HANA’s platform, “The Assembly,” is at the forefront of this Real Estate educational revolution. Can you explain how it’s shaking things up?

Cha: The Assembly is a game-changer – there’s nothing like this in the business, both with the curriculum and idea of collaboration to build each other up. It’s more than just a coaching or mentoring platform; it’s a comprehensive real estate curriculum focused on a very niche segment of this industry: new development projects. It doesn’t just scratch the surface; it’s a deep dive into the intricacies of project technicalities, marketing and sales strategy, and an insider’s look at new development projects – a field that’s often uncharted territory for traditional agents. The platform equips agents with the mindset, tools, and resources they need to build a business beyond the next single transaction. Something that we all need in the current real estate landscape, especially for agents that plan to be around in this business through the next cycle.

This extensive knowledge empowers agents to tackle the modern real estate ecosystem with self-assuredness and confidence. For those who are ambitious to take their real estate careers beyond the ordinary deal, The Assembly serves as a golden ticket for them.

Chan: Your work showcases the industry’s resilience and its ability to adapt. Real estate agents today are seizing opportunities to diversify and expand. How do you envision this evolving in the future?

Cha: The real estate world has always been dynamic, and it keeps evolving. Agents are rewriting the script and molding the industry’s future each day, whether they know it or not. The Assembly is designed to become any agent’s partner as they navigate the unexplored territories of real estate without fear, seeking ways to diversify their businesses, and taking control of their own opportunities.

Think about Blockbuster. In 2000, Blockbuster had an opportunity to buy Netflix for $50 million and take majority shares and control of the movie rental industry. Their CEO at the time believed the dot com era was over and didn’t believe in a digitized streaming service for movie rentals. He wasn’t open or willing to adapt to the new reality of movie consumers – and what happened? Blockbuster went bust and Netflix took over the movie rental industry. In the same manner, real estate agents who are willing to learn, adapt, and open to new and different opportunities will have a bright future.

As Hana Cha and her innovative platform, The Assembly portrays, education and empowerment are the keys to unlocking the full potential of real estate agents in today’s world. Getting ahead of the competition – sometimes rolling with the punches isn’t just a strategy; it’s the way to success. Hana truly is the face of determination and resilience, and her depth of knowledge about the industry is an inspiration as well as a guide for many big names of today.

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