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  • Writer's pictureJulie Nelson

2024, evaluate everything!

Quite the year we're having in real estate. Near historically low US home sales + the NAR settlement that is changing the way we operate have created a memorable year. 2008 was the crash & now we'll look back at 2023 & 2024 as the years of interest rates & NAR. I found this US home sale graph online & I'm maybe agree that 2024 will be up slightly over last year (that will vary from city to city) ... time will tell, but I'm approaching things conservatively & coaching my agents accordingly.

Here's my #1 read on the overall industry scene ... Realtors & Brokers are re-evaluating EVERYTHING. From expenses (business 101 says that rule #1 in a down market is to reduce your expenses), to profitability (a biggie for independents this year), to services you are offering your agents, to how we are delivering our services to our clients, and especially what we are focusing on to create a healthy supply of client opportunities.


Let's talk about the profitability piece. With NAR membership down (actually way down,NAR lost 26,000 members in 2023) & fewer homes selling (see chart above), brokerages are hustling to keep their numbers up. If you are in leadership with a large franchise, you are most likely under a lot of pressure to keep your agents & entice other agents to join you.


If you are an independent brokerage, especially an independent brokerage with narrow or negative profit margins, hopefully you're out there aggressively looking for solutions. Small to medium sized independents are a significant part of the industry, but too many of them are 1 or 2 agents away from being in the red, lose 1 or 2 rockstars & they're in trouble. The industry joke is that too many brokers are broke. Well, 2024 is making many brokers nervous.


Leo Pareja, eXp Realty CEO, said he is on at least one call a day with an independent brokerage inquiring about partnering with eXp, bringing their entire brokerage under the eXp umbrella to improve their profitability, reduce their risk, & bring more NAR change strategy & resources to the table for their agents. Leo said that these are independents that 6 months ago would not even talk to a big brokerage, now they are calling him.


Here's my everyday advice to the agents in my circle ... lower your expenses & double-down on your lead generation. If you are not spending 2 hours per day with your head in your CRM nurturing those relationships & leads, then you're not running a decent real estate business & 2024 will not be kind. Some years in real estate can be forgiving for poor-to-marginal lead generation discipline ... 2024 is not one of those years.

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