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Regardless of all the negativity surrounding the residential real estate market these days, Brian Buffini makes one thing crystal clear: If you as a REALTORⓡ will focus on your profession, work hard and be willing to adapt to changing times, you will succeed more than you ever have before.
During a session at RISMedia’s recent virtual Rocking in the New Year conference, the iconic founder of Buffini & Company real estate coaching company went one-on-one with RISMedia Founder and CEO John Featherston, talking about the Burnett vs. NAR case fallout and why it should not in any way keep agents from going forward with confidence.
Buffini said it is vital for agents to simply concentrate on the matters at hand, and not get stuck in the weeds of legalese, wasting time wondering what will happen way down the road.
“Control what you can control,” he stressed. “You can’t control some trial in Missouri or Chicago or anywhere else, and you can’t control the Fed. You can’t control what country declares war on another. You can’t do any of that stuff. But what you can do is control your attitude, control your effort, and then understand the market dynamics you’re in.
“Everyone’s waiting for the Fed to change. Well, the Fed didn’t make any changes, but the rates came down one percent because the markets already banked it in. We went from some really artificially low rates, and a lot of people did lock in. We got up to 8%, we’re below 7% right now, and I believe we’re going to be below 6% by the end of the year.”
The Fed starting to cut interest rates was something Buffini predicted would happen in the spring, and he added that there would likely be a stampede of people wanting to buy and sell homes.
“There’s not just a pent-up desire for buyers, there’s also a pent-up demand for sellers, and this is the key to the whole industry,” he noted. “I don’t care what your mortgage rate is when you’re getting a divorce, you’re not living in the same house. And seven million people turn 65, which right now is the magic number for people downsizing. People are moving, and then 50 million job switches. So there’s a huge demand for people to move.”
Buffini emphasized the need for agents to control their attitude and effort, and to understand the market dynamics they’re in. He predicted an 18% increase in the number of transactions in 2024, suggesting that proactive agents should aim for a 36% growth. He also stressed the importance of cultivating listings and target-marketing to specific types of sellers.
When the talk got around to the Burnett trial, Buffini was blunt in his assessment and opinion.
“The fact of the matter is, as we all know, this thing’s going to appeal,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time. I think the industry is far more prepared for the appeal than they were for the initial case. And ultimately, what I believe in being a part of this thing, I don’t think we’re going to see changes for years to come and when we do see changes, it’s actually going to be a gradual transition.”
He added, “It’s a lot of headlines, it’s a lot of noise. I will tell you this. If a seller wants to sell their house in 2024, they better be offering a commission, because buyer agents are not going to be walking into houses that don’t offer a commission.
“I’ve had to debate people on TV, and they’re like, ‘Hey, it’s just like travel agents, you know, they’re gone.’ The bottom line is that there’s a hell of a lot of work that has to be done, and a big part of the work cannot be done by AI or some computer system. The ball has to be gotten across the finish line, and that requires a skilled professional.
“If you’re feeling down and beat up, you have reason to. Last year was a terrible one for real estate. We’ve had lawsuits and the lowest number of transactions in 30 years, but now you’ve weathered those storms. It’s time to get your mojo on and really get after it.”