NAR Settlement – It’s Time to Prepare

On this 228th episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will give you my updated thoughts on the NAR Settlement and I will outline how you should prepare for the changes that are coming to the industry mid-summer. I've always asked you to "Trust the Process" and if there was ever a need to have a process to trust, it's now. In my little part of the internet, over the course of the coming weeks, we'll focus on the operational processes (your value) that you'll need to create, communicate, and execute to protect your livelihood and take market share.

I want to begin with just a few notes to let you know where I am with this entire industry development. I had a lot of discussions last week about this topic and here is an updated and brief summary of my thoughts:

  • Many of you have experienced elevated levels of anxiety around the settlement. Again, that's just your brain doing its job. That "fight or flight" mechanism kicked in last week with all of the noise around the topic. There was not a lack of information pushed out over the last 10 days and if you are listening to this podcast, you have most likely decided to "fight" for your business and your commissions.
  • Those brokers who prepare and evolve will do well and take market share. Those who don't prepare and evolve will struggle to find their footing.
  • The word "skill" will be paramount in this discussion. Our industry has always been a battle between "skill vs. speed.” If there was ever a time to improve your skills, it is now.
  • Brokers and brokerages are still sifting through the changes. As we move forward, there will be more clarity around the gray areas of what this means to the industry and you. Again, no one has all of the answers so be patient with your brokerage, your local MLS and each other. I'll do my best to sift through the changes as we see them and highlight the areas most impactful to your business.
  • When talking to your clients, you need to discuss your "professional fee,” not your commission. Words matter. We can talk about commissions amongst ourselves within the industry, but when discussing our services we provide, try using "professional fee" not "commission.” Similar to how I teach the using the word  "introduction" over "referral.” These are elevated wording structures that show the market you are different in how you operate your business.
  • The vast majority of your sellers still want the same thing. They want their home sold for the highest price in the lowest amount of time. It is my opinion that your hesitant sellers will quickly realize that to accomplish their goals with the least amount of pain and suffering, they will want to transact with a buyer that is represented. I'm sure you can attest that unrepresented buyers pose a much higher risk of "fall out" during the transaction. It is also my opinion that unrepresented buyers in a low inventory environment will struggle to find listings without representation.  I think we can also all agree on this. Your value to the marketplace has not been disrupted. How you communicate your value and ultimately get paid for your services is what has been disrupted.

I'll have further thoughts moving forward but it's time for me to pivot to coaching and teaching. How timely is it that this week is "Week 13”? You know what I am talking about if you follow or are inspired by "The 12 Week Year.” Week 13 is when you review and celebrate your accomplishments of the current quarter and plan for the next quarter. It sets up nicely for you to focus your 2024 Q2 planning around improving your transaction operational processes in preparation for the mid-summer changes to our industry. There has been an enormous amount to talk about "Communicating Your Value" as a broker when working with buyers.  Your "value" is your "processes.” Don't let the word "process" scare you because it's what you already do for your clients. For many of you, those processes are between your ears and it's time to get them documented. Documentation is important so you can easily "communicate your value" with your clients.

If this concept of documenting your processes is something you've put off or is new to you, here are the processes I would suggest you address in Q2 and Q3 of 2024. I would focus on buyers in Q2 and sellers/listings in Q3. If you've been listening to my Take Flight content and have already taken action, you are way ahead of the game. There are 10 transaction, operational processes that make up your business:

  1. The buyer initial consultation process.
  2. The buyer search process.
  3. The buyer contract to close process.
  4. The buyer post-closing process.
  5. The listing presentation process.
  6. The listing launch process.
  7. The listing contract to close process.
  8. The listing post-closing process.
  9. Outgoing referral process.
  10. Incoming referral process.

If these areas sound familiar, they are essentially the entire content of Section 4 of Take Flight (Systems and Processes). Team, because this is so front of mind for a lot of you, I will go back to these Take Flight topics and address them in detail during my MMPTs over the coming weeks and months. I encourage you to transform your business once and for all to make it more predictable and enjoyable. To accomplish this, you will need to have a longer-term view moving forward. I would make it your goal to…

Transform in 2024. Thrive in 2025.

It will not take until 2025 for you to see value. You will see immediate value by getting your processes out of your head and documented.  To truly thrive, it takes executing the processes consistently over time and it could take several quarters before they easily become part of your daily operations.

Let me suggest a game plan you should start this week:

  1. Set your 2024 Q2 goals. Focus those goals on Buyer Agency to start.
  2. Find 1-3 accountability partners to navigate these changes with together.
  3. Schedule a WAM (weekly accountability meeting) and commit to it.
  4. Stay current on all of the changes coming to the industry.
  5. Get to work.

The changes to the industry and how we will need to operate have arrived. It's time to adapt, and, being that you are individual business owners and entrepreneurs, you need to put in the work to earn your professional fees (commissions). I have been encouraged by the number of brokers that look at these changes as a real opportunity to grow their businesses and revenue. Change, if handled properly, is good and I'll do my best my best to guide you through it.