According to CEO Dan Stewart, the way you communicate with clients and agents right now will set you up for success as buyer commission litigation continues to unwind.

I’ve been in the real estate content creation and messaging business for over 13 years. I’m not an agent, broker or attorney, but my unique role as an entrepreneur allows me to stay objective.

Many wonder how some brands and brokerages always seem to make the best of the situation. Are they smarter? Getting better advice? Born with a horseshoe? 

I’ve spent over a decade helping broker-owners and teams attract and recruit the right people for their organizations, and what I’ve learned is that industry change creates opportunities for growth.

For example, the Sitzer | Burnett litigation has been dominating both headlines and mindshare across the real estate industry for months. Now, even with a verdict and jury award, we’re still likely months or years away from truly understanding how it will affect us.

The verdict is causing some serious waves in the business. The game is changing, and it’s changing fast. This is the time for brokerages and team owners to step up and lead with confidence. You’ve got to provide certainty and value to your agents.

My work connecting brokerages, agents and homeowners has taught me just how crucial messaging is for a successful business. So, let’s chat about the settlements, the verdict and how they’re shaking things up in the industry.

You need a framework

The current uncertainty allows for what we may look back on as the greatest attraction and recruitment opportunity of our careers. How?

  1. Understand that the uncertainty, fear, and doubt caused by industry change create an opportunity for growth. Agents who were formerly not susceptible to even the most well-honed recruitment practices will open their minds to smart leadership through times of change.
  2. You must have a plan for starting conversations with agents everywhere, both inside and outside your brand. Help them understand the facts of change and your plan for adjusting to it.
  3. Rather than inform, you must engage. Develop a content strategy that raises curiosity and leaves it unresolved. 

It’s time to build stronger relationships through meaningful conversations. People are worried about what’s coming next, and it’s our job to be there for them. Funny enough, industry change presents an excellent opportunity to spark engagement. Listen, establish trust, and build more meaningful relationships. 

Taking stock of agent concerns

Let’s review some common concerns agents have and how you can address them:

  • Fear of income reduction: Agents worry about potential income reductions due to industry changes. Reassure them that your strategies not only protect their earnings but can potentially enhance them.
  • Loss of autonomy: Agents may fear losing control over their business. Show them how your leadership empowers them to navigate change while retaining autonomy.
  • Adaptation anxiety: Agents are concerned about adapting to new technologies and practices. Highlight the support and training you provide to make this transition seamless.
  • Market uncertainty: Many agents are anxious about unpredictable market shifts. Share your insights and preparedness to help them thrive in any market conditions.
  • Competitive pressure: Agents may feel pressured by increasing competition. Explain how your strategies will give them a competitive edge.

Leaders who quell these fears will be the ones whose talent stays long-term.

Shifting perspectives

Here are a few shifting perspectives to prepare for:

The consumer perspective

Often, we care more about industry shifts than our clients do. Buyers and sellers are already dealing with complex forms they barely understand, and, as things evolve, they’ll encounter new forms with the same confusion.

Some agents are great at explaining these changes, but one thing remains constant: Clients want a smooth and stress-free experience. As forms change, so should our ability to explain them in a way that eases our clients’ minds.

The role of buyer agents

The landscape is shifting, and you need to show your worth and convince clients to sign Buyer Representation agreements. Some of you are already rock stars at this, but others might need a bit of practice. 

The shift in home showings

These settlements might make showing homes without a signed buyer agreement less common. Clients will likely come to expect it. This just underscores the importance of clear communication between agents and clients.

Evolution of lender practices

Lenders may look for ways to adapt by finding ways to roll the buyer’s agent commission into the mortgage. This would simplify things for clients, provide more transparency, and ultimately, make the financial side of real estate transactions easier to grasp for everyone involved. However, there will need to be significant regulatory changes before this could offer a viable alternative.

New agent onboarding

With the industry evolving, we need to revamp our training for new agents. They should understand their role better and know how to clearly communicate their value to buyers. Savvy agents will have a leg up in the changing real estate game.

The power of positioning

November is Gratitude Month, and that’s a great time to ease the uncertainty your agents might be feeling. They’re probably wondering where they’ll be next year. Uncertainty creates fear, and it’s up to us to inject confidence into their worries. 

There will always be circumstances beyond our control, but this is a fantastic opportunity to say something impactful to the people you work with. Be the voice of calm.

The brokerage and team leaders who do the best job of calming the fears and having meaningful conversations about the state of the industry are going to be the real winners in all of this. 

Dan Stewart serves as the CEO of Happy Grasshopper where he helps thousands of salespeople make connections and build relationships with the people in their databases.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription