No one can predict the future, but you can prepare. Find out what to prepare for and pick up the tools you’ll need at the immersive Virtual Inman Connect on Nov. 1-2, 2023. And don’t miss Inman Connect New York on Jan. 23-25, 2024, where AI, capital, and more will be center stage. Bet big on the roaring future, and join us at Connect.

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: The bombshell buyer commission trial is finally here. We’re making sure you’re all caught up before it begins.

The first of two bombshell commission trials begins this week. The scope and potential impact of Sitzer/Burnett, as it’s known, is reflected in Inman’s top stories of the week.

That’s why, for the first time, we couldn’t pick just one story to lead off The Download. Instead, we’re bringing you this week’s top three stories, all on different aspects of the industry response.

As the defendants, representing some of the biggest power players in real estate, position themselves for what’s next, our focus is on helping you position yourself and your business for the changes that are poised to come to the industry.

RE/MAX becomes 3rd major firm to distance itself from NAR by Taylor Anderson

Following close on the heels of Anywhere Real Estate, RE/MAX released the business practice changes it would make in its proposed $55 million settlement of two bombshell commission lawsuits.

Like Anywhere, RE/MAX said that its brokerages can now decide for themselves whether they join the National Association of Realtors, making it the third major real estate firm to distance itself from NAR this week.

In ‘sudden’ reversal, NAR says listing brokers can offer 0% by Andrea V. Brambila

As a bombshell class-action trial fast approaches, the National Association of Realtors says it’s now allowing listing brokers to offer buyer brokers nothing in compensation when listing a home in a Realtor-affiliated multiple listing service — a change an attorney for the plaintiffs called a “stunning admission of guilt.”

Anywhere reveals the details of its bombshell commission settlement by Taylor Anderson

Franchisor Anywhere Real Estate has publicly unveiled the sweeping changes it would make as part of a proposed settlement in the two bombshell lawsuits that are upending the real estate industry.

In addition to changes related to commission structure, Anywhere said in the statement that its company-owned brokerages and agents could cut ties with the National Association of Realtors.

Some real estate professionals have been following the back-and-forth of these lawsuits from the moment they were filed. Others have chosen to believe they’d somehow go away or get negotiated down to nothing. It seems clear from the response of Anywhere and RE/MAX, not to mention the policy reversal by NAR, that the defendants are braced for impact — and it’s time to prepare for change.

Whatever comes of the trials, you’ll probably end up in the position of having to communicate your value, negotiate your commission — both the amount and the way it’s paid — and rethink the way that you engage with clients, both upfront and long after the closing. That’s not a bad thing; you do a lot for your clients, and you should know how to tell them so.

We’ve rounded up some of our contributors’ best recent ideas for lead gen, negotiating and more, so that you’ve got practical, actionable strategies for remaking the whole concept of business as usual and moving forward post-trial.

How to find (and harness) your distinct marketing voice

Knowing who you are and conveying your value with authenticity is an essential part of communicating with potential clients, writes The Agency’s President Rainy Hake Austin.

7 ways to hook first-time buyers (before they’re ready to buy)

Keller Williams Head of Inclusion and Belonging Julia Lashay Israel offers insights on providing education and information that converts would-be buyers into long-time clients.

8 ways to cultivate connections with builders and developers

Master the new construction niche, and grow your business by building relationships with builders and developers in your market.

Watch your mouth! It’s what agents don’t say that counts

NYC agent Nikki Beauchamp checks out advice from the Harvard Business Review to show that, sometimes, silence is your best option.

Here are the must-win everyday negotiations you’re facing now

Many negotiations take place outside of the deal. Your ability to navigate them successfully will determine whether clients work with you in the first place, broker Nick Schlekeway writes.

EXTRA: We’re in the middle of a perfect storm. But clearer skies are ahead

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