Chasing the grand prize

You remember the old game show “Let’s Make a Deal?” Contestants had to choose between opening Door #1 or #2 or #3. Sometimes they won a car, sometimes they got a Zonk!

That’s how our business can feel sometimes. It especially felt that way when we started out in Beverly Hills years ago, knocking on door after door after door, never knowing what we were going to find (…usually a No).

We’ve learned to accept (for our sanity) how much of a role luck plays in our day-to-day. A lot of things are beyond our control. Sometimes you just don’t click with a client. Sometimes people just aren’t interested in what you’re selling.

But we always remember—in our business, there are more than just three doors. There are thousands! So today, if you get a Zonk, keep in mind that a grand prize could be in the next door you open.

And now let’s open up a fresh edition of The Blueprint!

– James and David

Trending in the right direction

There were 21.5% more homes for sale in May compared to the same time last year. That’s according to’s new market trends report. Here’s what else they reported:

  • The national median list price grew to $441,000 in May, up from $430,000 in April

  • At 43 days, homes are spending 14 days more on the market than last year

  • The total number of unsold homes, including homes that are under contract, dropped -0.2% compared to last year.

  • Home-seller sentiment rose 5 percentage points in May, although it is still lower than last year.

Our take

This report is an encouraging one. We’re happy with the direction things are heading. Naturally, things could be better, but these are all signs that the market is more resilient and in better shape than many people were expecting at the start of the year.

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The case that could upend the real estate business

Source: Unsplash

Court documents from the Northern District of Illinois revealed that Moehrl vs. N.A.R., et al., the class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors, RE/MAX, Keller Williams, and other brokerage firms, is set to begin at the end of Q1 2024. That is, if the parties do not reach a settlement.

Here’s the plaintiff’s side:

  • They allege that NAR and the others are using anticompetitive practices to force sellers into a system where they pay the commissions of both the buying and selling agents.

  • They argue that this system harms sellers since it leads to inflated buyer-agent fees.

  • They think that homebuyers should pay for their own agents.

Meanwhile, NAR says that the current system “provides transparency and market-driven pricing options for home buyers and sellers.”

Our take

Every agent needs to keep a close eye on this case. If the parties don’t settle and NAR loses at trial, it could not only upend how agents get paid but also the very incentives between agents and clients. Suffice to say, the outcome could radically change our work as agents.

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The 10 best cities to become a homeowner


LendingTree recently identified the best and worst places to purchase a home. The company analyzed data from the Census Bureau on factors such as home ownership rates, home-value appreciation, and household income.

Here are the Top 10 cities along with their median home prices.

  1. Raleigh, NC – $400,000

  2. Charlotte, NC – $399,375

  3. St. Louis, MO – $225,000

  4. Nashville, TN – $435,000

  5. Atlanta, GA – $400,000

  6. Minneapolis, MN – $343,082

  7. Jacksonville, FL – $293,995

  8. Indianapolis, IN – $232,000

  9. (tie) Kansas City, MO – $250,000

  10. (tie) Salt Lake City, UT – $500,000

Our take

This report confirms the general pattern we’re seeing: cities in the Sun Belt and South have become prime markets for home sellers and buyers. Agents in these markets should use this report to update their marketing materials and advise their clients appropriately. Just because a metro has relatively affordable home prices doesn't mean it is the right place for a client. There are a whole bunch of other factors to consider — education, healthcare, safety, and recreation — and that’s just the start of the list!

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The news that just missed the cut

Beverly Hills:

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

We all have goals for what we want to achieve as agents, but we can’t achieve them without a plan. Here are three great tips for building those plans:

Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T – Sometimes big goals can be too big. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the only types of goals that work. Be ruthlessly clear-eyed and single-minded about what you want.

Visualize your future – Set long-term goals. Think one year, three years, five years, and beyond. Then break those goals down into short-term goals and actions. Clearly lay out what you need to do each day/week/month to help make your long-term goals achievable.

Stay flexible  While it's essential to have a plan, be open to adjustments when necessary. Circumstances and priorities may change. Being adaptable allows you to stay on course despite unexpected challenges.

This is just to get you started. Learn more about how to achieve your goals here.

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

Remember: each day is a gift and a new opportunity to lead the life you want and to become the person you want to be. Whatever mistakes and missteps you’ve made in the past don’t define you. Live as intentionally as you can and be ruthlessly focused on the goals you’ve set out to achieve. You can do it!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday!

– James and David