The power of information

We started this newsletter not only because we knew how much agents could use sound information, but how much their clients could use it too.

Sharing information with clients is a great way to re-open conversations and generate leads, especially with buyers and sellers who have been on the fence.

Now that mortgage rates are going down (…finally), we suggest using that information to reconnect with clients. Start with three steps:

  1. Make a list of buyers who were hesitant to buy because of rates

  2. Call all old clients who bought a home in the last two years

  3. Prepare a competitive market analysis of homes that were listed for sale and then taken off the market

There’s more useful information in this newsletter, so let’s get on with today’s Blueprint.

– James and David

CoStar CEO sends must-read message

CoStar CEO Andy Florence has responded to criticisms that Senior VP Bob Evans made about, which is a subsidiary of CoStar. The dispute centers around whether is helping or hurting agents. For multiple reasons, we believe Florence’s response is a must-read for all real estate professionals. We encourage all agents to read it in full

As you read the letter, keep these points in mind about

  • It is now the fastest-growing real estate portal in America.

  • In September, the site crossed 100 million unique visitors, placing it above and most of its other competitors.

  • It is now the number 2 portal in the nation behind only Zillow

  • It is positioning itself as the most agent-friendly portal in the industry

Our take

It doesn’t surprise us that the leadership at is peeved and annoyed. is having tremendous success while is going through a leadership reshuffling and struggling to find its identity. While Zillow still dominates, we wouldn’t bet against Andy Florence and the machine that is Costar. He is a fierce business tactician. We welcome the disruption (and possible innovation) that comes from healthy competition. We are all for any platform that supports agents and gives them their leads.

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Price cuts continue unusual streak

The share of listings with a price cut was at 22.6% in November, which is highly unusual for this time of year. It was even more unusual than the 25% we saw in October. That’s from Zillow’s November update of its Home Value Index report. Here are some more key points on listings from the report:

  • New listings are 14.1% lower than pre-pandemic levels, compared to a 34.8% shortfall in April

  • New listings in November were 3.1% higher than last year, despite mortgage rates being higher.

  • Total inventory (the number of listings active at any time during the month) in November decreased by 5.3% from October, and were 2% lower than last year

Our take

This is an nice report from Zillow. It shows that inventory could be trending in the right direction. In fact, homes are selling two weeks faster than pre-pandemic. It further reveals that while mortgage rates are slowly coming down, buyers are still constrained by costs. As a consequence, sellers are dropping prices to encourage buyers, even more so than usual for this time of year.

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The most vulnerable housing markets in the nation

California, New Jersey and Illinois have the highest concentrations of housing markets most vulnerable to declines. This is based on home affordability, foreclosures, underwater mortgages and other Q3 measures. That’s according to ATTOM’s just released Q3 2023 Special Housing Risk Report. 

Here are the metros with the highest percentage of properties with foreclosure filings in Q3 2023:

  1. Madera, CA

  2. Kaufman, TX

  3. Essex, NJ

  4. San Bernardino, CA

  5. Butte, CA

  6. Passaic, NJ

  7. Sussex, NJ

  8. Atlantic, NJ

  9. Warren, NJ

  10. Kent, DE

Our take

ATTOM has really done us agents a huge favor with this report. Instead of just using one metric, ATTOM used every metric you could think of – percentage of income needed, underwater mortgages, employment rate, etc. – to come up with its various lists. Every agent needs to thoroughly study this report and use these insights for their plans for next year. It’s that good.

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The news that just missed the cut

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

As we continue in our prep for 2024 series, today we’d like to offer some tips on how to get creative with listing presentations. One of the methods we like using in our pitches is the case study method. Using your past listings, it highlights the processes you use to showcase your expertise, thoughtfulness, and ability as an agent. Here's how to use it:

Outline and detail your listing process – You probably already have a process for getting a home ready to list. Outline this process. Be detailed and thorough, but don’t overwhelm your clients. The point is to show clients what they’re getting when they hire you by demonstrating the thoughtfulness, care, and intentionality you bring to everything you do as an agent. 

Collect data and document the process – This is how you'll show prospective clients why they should choose you as their agent. Collect before-and-after photos of previous listings, client testimonials, and the list and sale prices of homes you've sold. Show them your results and the difference you made. 

Put it all together – After you've clearly outlined your listing process and compiled data, it's time to take all of this information and package it beautifully. This can be a simple flyer or brochure, or a video to send to potential clients. The most important thing is to show potential clients evidence of your success as an agent, and how you can do the same for them.

The 1% Blueprint

An on-demand course created by James & David

Discover our strategies and techniques to attract a stream of high-quality leads, propelling your real estate business to new heights of success.

For Blueprint subscribers, the course is 30% for a limited time. If you’d like to take our course to learn how to become the top 1% of your market click here!

Just in Case

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

Source: Mortgage News Daily

That’s a wrap on this edition of The Blueprint!

We want to hear what you think! What’s your take on today’s stories and tips? Send us a note with your comments, questions, or suggestions.

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

– James and David