Real estate agents, it’s time to show up. 

Every consumer reading the headlines is seeing a bad news parade. It’s been months of litigation and salacious articles about leadership at our national organization. It’s been climbing interest rates and a lack of inventory. 

We have a choice. We can ignore it and hope the public doesn’t notice, or we can lean in and show up as the leaders our clients need us to be. 

Now is the time to share your value—and it starts with three actions you can take today. 

#1—Make a decision.

Are you going to shy away from the headlines or lean into what is happening?

In a market characterized by uncertainty, real estate agents have a unique opportunity to step up and provide the guidance and stability that clients desperately need. By embracing the issues head-on, you can position yourself as a leader and a trusted resource in your community.

Making a decision also means adjusting your business strategies to fit the current environment. Along with being a source of information for your clients, this might involve reevaluating your marketing tactics, lead generation strategies and appointment consults.

The bottom line is, your clients rely on your expertise. When you make a decision to lean into the challenges, it’s important to communicate transparently with your clients. Explain your strategies and reassure them that you are well-prepared to guide them through the complexities of the current market.

#2—Send the message. 

Everybody wants to talk about what they are seeing in the news. Rather than wait around for the people in your database to broach the subject, my advice is to embrace the headlines and get ahead of misconceptions by opening up a conversation. 

You can start the dialogue with a simple email like this one, which I shared with Happy Grasshopper members this week: 

Subject: Did you see this? 

Hey !first_name!-

I’ve been getting a few questions about the headlines in real estate and thought we should connect about it, too. Have you noticed articles like this one? https://finance.yahoo.com/news/realtors-found-liable-1-8-191400056.html

Part of being a professional is facing the facts for what they are, and I’d welcome the chance to talk about any concerns you may have– and what it might mean for your real estate goals.

When are you available to connect?

Take care,

!signed!

Sending messages like this as new developments arise in the industry keeps your clients informed and connected to your services. It reinforces your role as a trusted advisor who is always up-to-date with the latest industry news and market trends.

#3—Have the Conversation

Even when you don’t have all the answers, just the fact that you are willing to have the conversation is meaningful. By fostering honest discussions with your clients, it’s proof that you care more about the person than the commission they represent. 

To have transparent conversations with consumers, it is crucial to be prepared. I challenge you to think about how you would address the following points when talking to people in your market:

  1. Market resilience: No matter what happens in the market, real estate has always been bought and sold. People are always going to need a place to live, and homeownership remains a valuable investment in the long term. 
  2. Consumer perspective: The industry cares about this a lot more than the consumer will. Today, buyers and sellers are asked to sign forms they vaguely understand. Tomorrow (post feather un-ruffling) they’ll be asked to sign different forms they vaguely understand. Differentiate yourself by explaining these intricacies clearly and guiding your clients through each step. 
  3. Buyer’s representation: Buyer agents need to get better at explaining their value and asking consumers to sign buyer’s representation agreements. Many already do this well. Some will try to “corner the market” by offering flat fee services and will quickly fail.
  4. Changing dynamics: The willingness to show homes outside of a signed buyer’s rep agreement will greatly diminish. Consumers will learn that buyer’s agents may be hired differently. (Assuming NAR changes the Participation Rule and Clear Cooperation.)
  5. Commission integration: Address the potential for lender-driven integration of the buyer’s agent’s commission into the mortgage, and explain how this might affect clients.

“Having the conversation” is about connecting with your clients on a deeper level, providing information and guidance, and assuring them of your commitment to their best interests. This open and caring approach will help you build strong, lasting relationships with your clients

Show Up as a Human

In a world where genuine care and commitment are often overshadowed by impersonal transactions, your willingness to reach out, even when you don’t have all the answers, speaks volumes about your dedication.

Isn’t that what we want from all the companies we do business with? We’re furious and enraged every time we have to deal with large corporations, be it the phone company or the internet provider. These interactions are often fraught with frustration and disappointment because that’s what our expectations are going into the conversation. Many consumers would argue the same could be said of the real estate industry. It’s time for agents to bridge the gap between the public’s perception and the true commitment we have to serve our clients. 

When you show up during challenging times, you create lasting impressions. You have the opportunity to show that, despite negative press, you genuinely care about your clients. 

It’s a chance to show up as the human you are instead of the headline. 

In doing so, your clients will remember the unique value you bring to the industry long after the headlines have faded.