are you readyIn light of impending alterations stemming from the settlement agreement in the anti-trust litigation, updates to broker and agent websites are inevitable. It is imperative to initiate planning for these modifications immediately. Do not assume that your vendor is already addressing these changes; it is crucial to initiate the conversation proactively. While it may seem like the sky is falling, there is potential for brighter outcomes.

“The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

Two decades ago, the emergence of IDX and VOW sparked concerns about the future of real estate and the role of agents. However, the enduring value of real estate agents transcends mere gatekeeping for property searches. Despite fluctuations in commissions, driven by home value inflation (more commission per trade) and escalating referral fees to portals (less commission per trade), the necessity of real estate agents remains robust. Even during crises such as the housing bubble burst in 2008, real estate professionals proved indispensable, safeguarding home sellers through tumultuous times.

Facing another pivotal moment, the traditional practice of offering compensation to buyer’s agents via the MLS is ending. While apprehension abounds, there are compelling reasons to believe in the enduring value of real estate agents. Consumer satisfaction with real estate services remains high, and alternative models like discount brokers and FSBO have failed to gain traction. The full-service approach continues to resonate with consumers and investors alike.

Key Rule Changes Impacting Broker Websites:

1. Publication of Buyer Agent Compensation 

Listing brokers are the only ones allowed to display seller concessions on their websites, enhancing transparency. Collaborate with your vendor to effectively showcase these concessions, leveraging features to make listings more appealing. This presents an opportunity to drive increased traffic and capitalize on lead generation.

2. Requirement of Buyer Representation Agreements

Buyers must sign representation agreements before viewing properties. This mandate can serve as a catalyst for enhanced lead conversion. Brokers should focus on streamlining the process and offer seamless digital solutions for negotiating commissions and signing contracts.

Planning Ahead for Success

It is evident that proactive planning is essential to navigate these impending changes, successfully. With the industry likely to undergo simultaneous transformations, the time to act is now. Collaborate with industry experts like WAV Group and your real estate technology vendors to devise strategies that align with the evolving landscape. Waiting until the changes take effect could put your brokerage at a disadvantage. Strategic planning sessions can provide clarity and direction, ensuring readiness for the forthcoming shifts.

In conclusion, while change may be daunting, it also presents opportunities for innovation and growth. Embrace the evolving landscape and position yourself for success by planning ahead, and staying ahead of your competition.

What’s at risk?

Zillow,,, Movoto, and Redfin are all brokers with billions in revenue at risk. They have robust buyer agent networks, but are prohibited from displaying the seller’s concession of listing brokers (except Redfin). Only the listing firm can do that. Not sure how their business model changes, but they are planning. 

P.S. Does the QR code on your yard sign take you to the landing page of the listing that displays the seller concessions? What about your virtual tours, or automated marketing tools for new listings, pendings, solds, etc? You need to evaluate everything to get ahead of this. It is an enormous project that will take time. Start now. 

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