The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

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: We get into the nitty-gritty of how to talk to buyers post-Sitzer and ensure you’re communicating your value.

St. Paul, Minnesota, broker-owner Teresa Boardman recently wrote about a perfectly simple solution to defining and communicating with buyers about your commission — the buyer representation agreement.

I have been using buyer representation contracts for more than 20 years. They are similar to listing contracts in that they outline the services the agent will provide and the buyer’s obligations. They also specify how the agent will be paid.

In the aftermath of Sitzer | Burnett, and as the copycat lawsuits ramp up, this little piece of paper has become more popular — and more important — than ever before. This week, you were all about the nuts and bolts of that buyer agreement and the commission conversation in general, reading as much as possible from expert agents and brokers on this important upfront aspect of building your buyer-client relationship.

9 ways to get a buyer to sign a buyer agreement by Cara Ameer

It’s high time that we shift our mindset to “listing” buyers, just like we do a seller’s home, through the use of buyer agency agreements. The upside of using these agreements is expectation management for both buyers and agents. Although conversations about implementing these agreements with buyers might seem awkward, they don’t have to be.

Don’t be a shrinking violet when it comes to your compensation. Broker Cara Ameer teaches you how to ask for what you’re worth and have that tough buyer commission talk.

EXTRA: Inman Intel Index: Anxiety among rank and file up in wake of Sitzer

This week, Ameer had not one but two stories in Inman’s Top 5, evidence of how much it means for you to hear from boots-on-the-ground experts right now. The reality is that you’re the one who has to get out there, answer questions and educate your buyers, so there’s no better time than now to create an actionable gameplan.

18 ways to show buyers you’re worth every commission dollar

Trying to articulate all that buyer agents do is never a finite list; each buyer and transaction is uniquely different between numerous factors involved regarding the property, seller(s) and financing. Working with buyers involves advocacy, education, information, guidance, encouragement, patience, protection and accountability.

Here are 18 things you do to create value for those you represent. Use them to guide your communication and your unique value proposition as you talk to buyers in the days ahead.

The verdict is in: 4 key realities in the emerging market

With the coming appeal in Sitzer | Burnett, writes team leader Carl Medford, and a host of other lawsuits on deck, it will be some time before any final verdict is reached. However, there are four key realities that you can expect as you navigate the market (and the future of your business) in the days ahead.

EXTRA: Commission lawsuits are piling up. Keep track of them all right here

Client trust is all that matters — all else is ‘noise’

Mark McLaughlin, Compass’ chief real estate strategist, speaks this week at the Compass RETREAT on “The Future of the Industry and Client Representation.” In this recent conversation with Inman’s Lillian Dickerson, he shares his insights gleaned from three decades in the real estate industry.

EXTRA: Robert Reffkin: What we have now is a ‘connection issue’

3 new ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your business

One of the most important things to do to keep your mind right in the face of challenges is to embrace a positive attitude that emphasizes focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday, coaches Melanie Klein and Emily Bossert share an actionable plan to help you get in touch with a spirit of gratitude and cultivate it in your everyday life and in your real estate business.

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