Challenges help agents grow, be more efficient, and solve problems creatively. Brokers can prepare agents for rough times and any obstacles that come their way.

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This post was last updated on May 11, 2023.

Learning the news about a judge granting class certification in a federal commission suit, prompted me to immediately call Tiffany McQuaid from McQuaid & Co. in Naples, Florida, to figure out what this actually meant for her and other brokerages nationwide.

The threat is very real, but McQuaid and her core internal team, who know a thing or two about weathering storms given their South Florida locale, have already met and formulated a plan to stay in front of these new changes.

From her perspective, the top five questions brokers should be asking right now are the following:

  1. How can I prepare my agents going forward so they have a clear path of who will pay them, and how they will get paid for their services?
  2. What script will my agents need to feel prepared and able to clearly articulate the value of a buyer’s agent and more importantly their individual value in that role?
  3. What collateral do I need to create to be able to easily share our value as a brokerage to potential buyers?
  4. What marketing support and concepts can we as a brokerage create and offer to double down on helping our agents with inventory building to help ensure a solid financial future, even if only on the listing side, until this all shakes out?
  5. How are my buyer’s agents mentally managing this news, and what opportunities can we as a brokerage look for now to support this potential transition? 

Although the long-term implications of this decision are still unknown, McQuaid understands the need to shift how they work quickly. Buyers will still need agents to guide them through the process, and she believes will be willing to pay for these services.

After all, few people buy and sell homes often enough to develop competence and confidence in the numerous aspects of the transaction. She equates the comparison of getting a divorce with only one party having an attorney to advocate for them.

That often doesn’t end well for the person representing themselves.

Some immediate tips for buyer’s agents who want to demonstrate value to their current clients:

  • Knowledge is power. Share your expertise about homes, what to look for and what to look out for in each property. Point out potential issues and benefits to your buyer.
  • Double down on education where you have skill gaps. Power up on your negotiation, contract, state and local laws.
  • Get to know every aspect of the community and market you serve. Where are the floodplains? Construction plans? Rezoning? How will your expertise benefit your buyer?
  • Like a client listing proposal, put together a buyer’s proposal. Set clear expectations, and articulate your value.

For the buyer’s agents who woke up worried this morning about this news, McQuaid shares the importance of staying focused with a positive mindset as well as clearly communicating your role and value in the process: 

“What am I going to do for you? I am going to keep you up to date. Together, we are going to narrow down the field of your desires and what you’re looking for. As your agent, I’m going to go preview everything before I take you into it, and I’m going to provide you with photos and/or video so that I can streamline your life, and we can narrow options down together before you even walk in the door. I’m going to be present for all your inspections and appraisals. I’m going to guide you through the mortgage process. I’m going to work hand-in-hand with the lender that you choose, and/or I’ll assist you with appropriate title services. You know you can count on me to be your representative.”

Challenges are opportunities to level up, find efficiencies and creatively problem-solve. Things may get bumpy in the near term, but brokers can help prepare agents for this and any storm that may come their way. 

Molly McKinley, co-founder of Redtail Creative, Intentionaliteas and author of The Intentional Business: A Path to Purpose & Prosperity, is an expert at connecting the dots. She is a serial entrepreneur, public relations and integrated marketing strategist with over 25 years of experience launching new products and brands.

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