March 19, 2024

The Sky Is Falling! What Should We Be Doing NOW?

“The sky is falling.” 

Based on the past week’s headlines and the social media feeds of Realtors®, you’d think that was the case.

In case you’re not familiar, the phrase, “the sky is falling” comes from the fable of Chicken Little (or Henny Penny as you may know it).

The moral of the story was “Don’t be a chicken. Have courage.” and “Don’t believe everything you’re told.”

Both of those apply here when talking about the NAR Settlement.

So, the question becomes: What should we be doing NOW?!

Here’s what we are telling our clients about how to approach the NAR Settlement situation like a BOSS (an OPS BOSS®):

B: BREATHE

STOP. Take a breath. Take a moment to just breathe. Breathing doesn’t slow you down, it calms you down. Why is that important? So you can respond and not react. So you can focus. Focus on what is fact and what is feeling. Fear is understandable. And it’s a feeling. Focus on what you control and discard the rest.

A few facts to remember:

FACT: If you were in real estate in 2020, you have navigated substantial change before and navigated it successfully. (Remember Covid?) Use this experience to move yourself from fear to fact. Back then, we were all understandably fearful about what would happen in real estate. It’s hard to sell homes while locked in your house. But guess what, we figured it out. Take this look backwards and let it give you confidence that just as we figured it out then, we will figure it out now. Find the learning you gained then (grit , creativity, clear communication & consistent action for example) and harness those lessons to use now.

FACT: What you are reading in the press (and in many real estate Facebook groups) is inaccurate. (I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised at this because reporting the news is not what it used to be, it’s become agenda based opinion, but that’s a topic for another post. LOL). The point is, if you want to know the facts, read the actual settlement. Here’s a link to the settlement agreement and a link to the NAR Fact Sheet.

FACT: After you read the settlement, you will have LOTS of questions about HOW things will happen and even IF they will happen. The fact is the court still must sign off on the settlement. AND all affected parties (brokerages, agents, MLS’s, Boards of Realtors, state legislatures, lenders, the secondary loan market) have LOTS of things to sort out before we will know exactly how things will shake out. So focus on what YOU control.

FACT: You control your mindset. So get it straight. How your start your day matters. Who you spend time with matters. Choose your leaders carefully. Ensure your mind, body, soul & spirit are healthy. Lean on your coach. If you’re not in coaching, NOW is the time to invest in yourself. You’ll need ALL of this in line in order to do the rest. (Schedule a call NOW if you need a coach. This includes operations team members and we have multiple options.)

O: ORGANIZE

Don’t sit back waiting to see what happens. Control what you control and make a list of things you and your team can do to prepare for the changes. Here are a few:

  • Meet with your team and prepare them to answer consumer questions. Even if you are not personally worried about the changes, your team may be. Don’t just blow off their concerns, help coach them to move from feelings to fact. The more clear they are on the facts, the more confident they will be in moving forward. Ensure your outward communication is CONSUMER focused. Most of us got into real estate to help people. Let’s keep doing that.
  • Document and make scripts accessible to both your agents and staff. Whether you are an Agent or an Ops Boss, licensed or not licensed, you should be prepared for consumer questions AND be ready to capitalize on the opportunity this provides. Many people are asking questions BECAUSE they are thinking of buying or selling this year. Without the news headlines, you might not have known or had the opportunity to educate them and hopefully represent them.
  • Re-evaluate and re-articulate your Value Proposition.
    • Gather stories & statistics to share with clients. When I was a DOO, we used to have a list of 166 Things That Could Go Wrong. We built thet list from things we had actually seen happen in a transaction. We have done such a good job as Realtors at doing our job that most consumers don’t know what we do to protect their interests. We have done a terrible job at articulating it. Sharing that list was one way of educating our clients about what we would be doing for them. For example, most consumers don’t think about or know what to do with: low appraisals, clouds on title, encroachments, tax liens, court ordered divorce challenges, HOA violations, permits, appealing appraisals, what repairs are necessary depending on loan type, what closing costs are allowable depending on loan type, the myriad of required disclosures & disclaimers, what things your new home should have for resale purposes, and a MILLION other things.
    • What about your Value Proposition to agents joining your team or brokerage? I can think of MULTIPLE ways this NAR Settlement makes joining a team/teamerage/brokerage even more attractive than it already is. Are you educated and using that in your recruiting? (Here’s a quick tool you can use to improve your recruiting value prop.)
  • Update your listing and buyer presentations with your Value Proposition. (If you don’t have a Buyer Presentation, create one!)
  • Level up and focus on your relationships. People do business with those they like and trust. AND who provide value. Are your database, touch plan and client events dialed in to be a TEN PLUS out o 10? If not, NOW is the time to do so. (Ops Bosses – have you downloaded our ROI of Operations Calculator?)

S: SKILL UP

  • Make sure your team is trained on Buyer Broker Agreements.
  • Make sure your team knows the FACTS of the settlement.
  • Restart the Power Ups you have been skipping.
  • Reinstate Script practice & weekly training.
  • Train your team on value proposition.

S: STAY FLEXIBLE

The only change that’s guaranteed is there will be MORE change. Those who stay flexible will succeed.

BOTTOM LINE:

NOW is the time to BE A BOSS (Breathe, Organize, Skill Up, Stay Flexible).

I choose to believe, just as I did when Covid hit, that NOW is a time of GREAT opportunity. The Unicorns who control their mindset AND take action will succeed at higher levels than we have ever seen before in our industry. The others will fall away. The good news is YOU get to choose which camp you’ll fall into – Chicken Little or Unicorn. I’m pretty sure I know which way the Ops Bosses® will go!

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