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In this episode, Leigh Brown asks if you believe we are in a new market shift in real estate. You will be able to get some great insights and suggestions from Leigh as she is one of the most well-known speakers and thought leaders in the real estate industry. She has been selling real estate for several years and is the founder of One Community Real Estate® in Concord, NC. She has written three books, hosts two podcasts, and speaks all over the country. Leigh and Monica discuss the information REALTORS® can get from their MLS, their Chamber of Commerce, as well as the news, in order to inform their clients of the most up to date information. They also discuss the importance of networking, and using data to help make decisions. Leigh insists that REALTORS® need to keep current on changing conditions and educate their buyers and sellers with the most relevant information in order to navigate this market shift.

[2:35] Monica welcomes Leigh Thomas Brown to The Center for Real Estate Development Podcast to talk about The Shift. Leigh compares the shift in real estate now with the shift in '07.

[5:23] You have to figure out the new conditions in a shift. In March of 2020, a house that earlier would have sold in minutes was sold in seven days. Now it takes longer. The busiest REALTORS® see the changes in the marketplace first. Once you see them, you need to educate sellers and buyers or you will get behind the REALTORS® who will figure out the shift and leapfrog you.

[7:16] In the big recession in 2007, REALTORS® didn't see the shift, didn't get educated quickly enough, and didn't adapt their expectations quickly enough. If you're not dialed in, you can hurt people.

[8:11] Monica watches her local group's Facebook pages to stay current with local market conditions. It's also great to see local REALTORS® supporting newer REALTORS® with their experience.

[10:43] Going to in-person events allows you to build relationships that will last through your career. Take classes to network with long-time mega-listing agents. There is no better resource for an early-career REALTOR® than a long-time agent who has been through a shift. They know how to conduct themselves when the phones stop ringing and everything seems to be coming apart.

[12:46] Leigh tells how she acted in 2007 when her phone stopped ringing. Going to events would have helped her. An experienced agent would have reassured her that houses will still be bought and sold.

[13:56] Leigh defines a shift as market conditions that cause people to behave differently in real estate. She notes several market conditions that have happened together. An agent can see a shift first by keeping track of Days on Market and price reductions on MLS.

[17:04] Leigh lists some of the conditions defining the current shift, showing how complex the real estate market is. Being a real estate professional doesn't mean being a financial/business expert but you need to be aware of what's happening. It helps you talk to your clients who are also reading the news. Real estate is a financial tool as well as a living and home tool.

[17:50] Monica refers to Episode 70, featuring Josh Cadillac, about the different areas that affect the real estate market and how to talk to clients about them.

[19:43] Leigh tells how an agent in her office used statistics from MLS. MLS is much more than bedrooms, bathrooms, and prices. Put the best information possible into the MLS so every agent has the information for their clients to create a match. Check out the History button on every comp property. Print it out and attach it to the comp. Highlight all the times it has changed price.

[23:55] Let people know markets are fluid in a shift. Also, every house is a combination of condition and price. Look at feedback on the listing to see more about the house.

[26:02] Call your MLS and ask the data person to do training at your brokerage. Learn how to use the Statistical Analysis Module (SAM) to look at the month-over-month of ZIP Codes or neighborhoods to come up with an accurate market value price. You will be the most educated REALTOR® at the table. Most listings occur at the end of the month. Things change every day.

[30:01] The future is coming at us quickly. Dig into the data now. Take classes at your MLS or have them come to your brokerage. Learn it now. Only REALTORS® can dig in and analyze the last six weeks of data. The three-month data doesn't matter. Monica shares an anecdote about how they first saw this shift. Using the data is a skill all agents need to have right now. Train your client with the data.

[32:30] Look at the NAR profile of home buyers and sellers. Clients want greater transparency. They wish we told the story better. When you're discovering all the data points, explain what they mean to your client. You will have a client that understands where you're coming from.

[33:32] Train your clients to understand the data. They will receive it, own it, and make informed decisions about what to do. This is what Monica calls proactive real estate work. If you will set up the systems and do the work proactively, then you won't have a problem later. Leigh reminds us that everything we do has to center on the best outcome for the client and it's up to the client to determine the best outcome.

[34:39] One of the top complaints to any state Real Estate Commission is "My REALTOR® made me…" When clients understand the decision they are making, they will not feel pressured to make a bad decision. Give them as much information as possible in writing so they can decide. This also protects you from going against Commission guidelines. The client wants to trust you to act in their interest.

[37:18] Leigh shares some best practices. Human behavior, when something doesn't feel right, is to pull back and stop. Agents don't have that luxury. Right now in our marketplace, there are people who need to sell. If we do not effectively tell them how to get out of the market, then we are hurting them. Learn the language of short sales and foreclosures. Leigh explains why.

[39:55] Prospecting is not about you. Leigh's father taught her that if you take care of people the right way, money will find you. That's what REALTORS® must remember, going into a market change. Stop thinking about money; think about somebody else's best interest and the money will find you. Pick up the phone and call your contacts to say, "Hi! If you need something, I've got you." You don't need a script.

[44:01] If this time has afforded you a pause and you need to take a month if you have money in the bank and you're OK, then take a break. REALTORS® have worked seven days a week since COVID-19 started. You have to be a businessperson when it comes to your time. That includes putting up guardrails. If you're not rested, you're not capable. Find your balance between work and rest.

[47:45] Real estate is not going to stop being wildly competitive. Every pre-licensing school is full. If you want to maintain or grow, you have to make specific business choices.

[48:30] Leigh explains how to talk to buyers in a shift. Buyers have a built-in need to win. They've been getting beat up. You have to explain to the buyer that sellers and even banks are not accepting 20%-off offers. They have to get their equity. Banks also sell in bulk deals that exclude individual buyers. Don't wait for a repo.

[51:54] Inflation is not over; the monthly payment is lower now than it will be later! Tell buyers to focus on the monthly. The buyer needs to get a pre-approval letter updated for every property they look at. Talk to your buyers about PITI-plus. The "plus" is a buffer for inflation for fuel and food. Talk to your buyers about how they can stay in that house. Your job is to help people think logically about an emotional transaction.

[53:41] You should know how long people stay in their houses, on average, in your ZIP Code. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce. Be the person who has the data for your clients. With the right data, people can buy houses.

[54:36] If your client insists on making offers at 30% off, refer them to a REALTOR® who is willing to do that; which is why you show up at networking events, to build a stable of amazing REALTORS® who have different business models and mindsets so that, at the end of the day, the client is best served by the REALTOR® who fits what they're looking for.

[55:04] Leigh's final word is, Do the work; pay attention to the information, take the classes, train your clients, train your sellers, and keep moving. Without REALTORS®, home ownership dies; the American Dream dies; REALTORS® are the ones doing the work in the field, every day, giving some neighbor the hope that they can buy their first house.

[55:48] Monica thanks Leigh Brown for joining the Center for REALTOR® Development podcast!

[55:56] Leigh shares three takeaways from this episode: Get education in person, to network. Build your knowledge of statistics and how to use MLS data. Call and care about your clients!

[56:23] The Center for REALTOR® Development has migrated all of its educational tools to one website: Learning.REALTOR. Contact your local association to see what's happening in your area!


"We have been through some changes in all of these years and so, when they say The Shift, I'm like, ‘Well, all right, let's see where this new road's going. You know, not a big deal, maybe I'm even glad!' But a lot of our listeners, as crazy as their lives have been, they're not necessarily excited about this!" — Monica

"That was what I felt like on March 13th of 2020. Of course, the COVID-19 lockdown started on Friday the freaking 13th. The phones stopped ringing for a minute and then they started ringing and it was, ‘What do we do?!'" — Leigh

"I got you, baby! I know what to do when the market goes stupid and sideways because I've been through this and frankly I would rather not think about how many years it's been since the shift last time, in '07!" — Leigh

"The managing of expectations is the hardest thing for REALTORS® to adapt to because we see it first. The busiest REALTORS® see it first." — Leigh

"It's one of the under-sung beauties of REALTOR® world is that there is an actual desire to work together; not collusion, … but from a knowledge, information, expertise, and competence standpoint." — Leigh

"If you're an early-career REALTOR®, there's no better resource than somebody who has been through this. … They know how to conduct themselves. They know how to maintain a sense of calm and confidence when everything … looks like it's just coming apart at the seams." — Leigh

"There's a new problem. I'm going to define it and I'm going to help my clients get where they want to go. 100%!" — Monica

"[A shift is] anything in the external market that causes people to behave differently in real estate." — Leigh

"When you call your MLS, that data person will come to your brokerage and do a training session and show you inside scoops and they love it." — Leigh

"Because markets are fluid, all you have is your data. So if you take in that month-over-month view of the ZIP Code, you're going to be the most educated REALTOR® at the table." — Leigh

"When everything goes smoothly, it's not because it just went smoothly, it's because you prepared well and everybody joined in the journey together." — Monica

"Everything we do has to center on the best outcome for the client." — Leigh

"Be curious. Ask better questions. What's their need?" — Monica

"Care about your people. Genuinely care about your clients, your friends, and the business will come." — Leigh

"Until interest rates are higher than the rate of inflation, we're not at the end of the pain for buyers. You've got to tell your buyers, right now is still a good time to buy! It's not going to get easier! It's cheaper, monthly-payment-wise than it will be later! … Focus on the monthly." — Leigh

"Go back to that [average stay in houses] data and MLS may not have it but your Chamber of Commerce will. … So you know that number, you know the interest rate, you've got your lender on speed-dial, and you're focused on PITI-plus, people can buy houses." — Leigh

About Leigh Thomas Brown

Certified Professional Speaker™ (CSP®) international keynote speaker who happens to be hilarious in an almost-inappropriate-but-still-family-friendly way. Leigh uses her decades of experience as the go-to expert for REALTORS® to help any organization get on track with goal setting and achievement. She knows the secret to solid relationships with clients to ensure that they keep coming back again and again. She talks fast, and every word of it is gold. Leigh’s messages are bold, powerful, and full of a contagious energy that breaks through barriers and skyrockets your organization towards success.

A wife. A mama. A runner, singer, and pianist, who enjoys cooking, gardening, and needlepoint. A child of God and a follower of Jesus. Trying to get life right, one mistake at a time.