In these times, double down — on your skills, on your knowledge, on you. Join us Aug. 8-10 at Inman Connect Las Vegas to lean into the shift and learn from the best. Get your ticket now for the best price.

Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: NAR’s new numbers show that a lot of those pandemic-era agents are heading back to where they came from.

Just over a year ago, when people were frantically Googling “How to be a real estate agent,” long-time veteran agents were feeling the heat from all of those newbies.

What a difference a year makes.

Now, we’re coming off an NAR fee hike driven in part by projections of a shrinking agent landscape. It seems that, minus a worldwide pandemic and record-low interest rates, real estate sales don’t offer the easy money many new agents were expecting.

Take a look at the new, shrinking membership numbers, then find out how to gain mindshare in your market with a well-developed content marketing plan. After all, there are a lot of hopeful buyers and sellers out there who suddenly need an agent.

NAR’s membership is now shrinking for the 1st time in years by Jim Dalrymple II

If you were following along with Andrea Brambila’s coverage of NAR’s Midyear Conference, you probably saw this coming, but now it’s been confirmed.

NAR’s latest Monthly Membership Report shows that as of April 30 the organization had about 1.54 million members. That’s up slightly compared to the roughly 1.53 members NAR had one month prior. But, critically, it’s down year over year about 0.66 percent compared to the 1.55 million members NAR had at the end of April 2022.

According to Nick Gerli, CEO and founder of real estate data firm Reventure Consulting, there’s a strong correlation between real estate prices and NAR membership. As the market has struggled over the last few months, the record-setting tide of agents coming into the industry has, predictably, begun to reverse itself.

NAR itself anticipated falling membership numbers and cited this as the reason that it voted to raise dues — as well as tie future hikes to inflation — in an effort to minimize deficits.

Read the full story

While all of those agents head home, it’s time for those who are in it for the long haul to double down, get back to basics and use this as an opportunity for growth. After all, for every agent who leaves the industry, there are buyers and sellers who now need someone to call on in the days and years ahead.

Fortunately, Inman has been showering readers with the good stuff when it comes to marketing over the past week. Check out these world-class insights and strategies from top producers so that you can turn this trend to your advantage.

Majority of buyers lean on agents, not banks, for financing info: Poll

Wondering whether now’s the time to go all in on a content marketing strategy? This new report by Zillow shows that when it comes to mortgage and market info, buyers and sellers would rather talk to their agent than anyone else. According to Dalrymple, more than half of successful buyers learned everything they needed to know from their trusted real estate agent.

EXTRA: How to build an ever-evolving blog — and become the local expert

How to create an email newsletter that cuts through the noise

Once you’ve created that content, whether it’s in blog form, video or a podcast, you’ll need to spread it around. There’s no easier way to distribute your content than with an email newsletter. An email newsletter is a solid foundation for any agent’s marketing efforts, whether you are a newbie or a seasoned veteran, writes broker Eric Bramlett. Those with a sizable sphere of influence (SOI) should stop what they are doing right now and start working on their email newsletter. They are just that important.

EXTRA: Reach out and touch base with a 2023 email marketing plan

3 keys for turning Instagram into a sales funnel

Want to share your content with a whole new audience while building relationships and market reach? You need a social media strategy — pronto. Let Michelle Berman-Mikel walk you through the process and help you crunch the numbers so that you can finally make Instagram work for you.

EXTRA: What Kim Kardashian can teach you about social media

How to nail your next listing (from the agent who wrote the book on it)

Now that you’ve gotten the word out about how gosh darn great you are, it’s time to transform some of those leads into listing clients. Turn to the No. 1 RE/MAX agent worldwide, Jordan Cohen, to learn how to find and convert those listing leads and differentiate your services. Christy Murdock talks with Cohen about his new book and his mission to help agents do more and go further.

Christy Murdock is a freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. Connect with Writing Real Estate on Instagram and subscribe to the weekly roundup, The Ketchup.

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