There's No School Like Old School


Happy Wednesday, y’all! If we have learned anything this past week, it’s that there’s no organization that’s too big to be untouchable. No, ma’am. Institutions we thought were unshakeable have been shook. This applies just as much to the National Association of Realtors as it does to the British monarchy. (Personally, I can’t take my eyes off either story.)

This week, I’m going to break down what this all means for us (at least the real estate part), and how with one old-school tool, we can all keep calm and carry on.


An Analog Glennda Girl in a Digital World

Everyone’s been asking me lately, “Glennda, is AI going to change the face of real estate?” Well, short answer yes, longer answer no. Sure, AI has carved out a new place in tasks that can be automated and that’s great. But if you’ve ever been on the other end of an automated voice response unit, screaming, “Representative! Representative!” then you already know that there’s but one tool that has truly stood the test of time.  

That’s right, I am talking about the true GOAT (oh, my stars, I love this term)—the phone call. Like that classic red lip thing that you like, the personal touch of a phone call is never going to go out of style. Sing it with me—we never go out of style. 

Think about how much better life was when you had a question for the pharmacist and you could just call and talk to them without having to navigate a whole menu. One minute you’re phoning about your migraine meds, and the next, you have one because you can’t get past all the dang prompts.

Of course, AI has its place and it’s a tool in your belt. But when it comes to creating a real connection in the world of real estate, when potential clients are calling to talk about their real estate hopes and dreams, they want the warmth and clarity of a live phone conversation. And it shouldn’t matter what time they choose to reach out and get in touch with someone, they want and deserve that round-the-clock human to human connection.

Maybe you’ll say, “But you’re Glennda Baker! You have a big, fancy team to handle the little stuff and you probably just farm it all out.” 

Two things: first, connecting with a potential client is never the little stuff, and second, I am in the exact same boat as y’all! In my thirty-plus years of experience, I know exactly how important that connection is and I want and need to talk to everyone. But it’s not always possible, and that’s why I couldn’t be happier to tell everyone about my friends at SignMore. Like me, they understand the power of a live phone call and that’s why they are available 24/7 to help you with your business. They are a team of live 5-star professionals, not computer simulations, by your side day or night. They are here to answer your calls, schedule your appointments, qualify your leads, and more! With SignMore, you’ll never miss another call again. The best part is, for a fraction of hiring in-house, you’ll get the benefit of around-the-clock support, from real people! They will also work with you to craft a custom script, so every caller will receive that personal touch. (Try getting AI to do the same.)

Let me guess—this sounds as good to y’all as Taylor Swift’s new master recordings, right? Well, as a loyal SignMore partner, I am so pleased to offer this promo—get 30% off your first three months on SignMore’s Best Value Plan.

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The Elephant in the Room

All anyone is talking about in our space is what’s happening with the NAR. Everyone keeps crying, “That 6% is gone. It’s gone!”

That statement tells me the people saying it are too young to remember when the commission used to be 7% (but it has always been negotiable). Now the MLS here in Georgia is not operated by the NAR, but they did put in a clear cooperation policy back in the day, which meant that pocket listings would no longer be allowed. I wasn’t on board with that back then, because what if my seller wanted theirs to be a pocket listing? It was their house and they should have been able to do whatever it is they wanted to do with it.

In the state of Georgia, commissions are negotiable. Now, let’s take this scenario—say you’re selling your $1,000,000 home at 123 Banana Street. If you’re telling me you only want to pay a 1% commission, in your head, you’re saving 2%, which is $20,000. As a seller, are you going to want to list your house at the $1,000,000, which had the original commission factored in with all the comps, or are you going to list it at $980,000? Of course you’re going for the $1,000,000!

What I’m saying is, the theory is that savings will be passed along to the buyer, but that is not the reality. Home prices are not going to come down. The person who saves when there’s not a buyer agent commission to pay is the seller.

In another scenario, let’s say you’re a first-time buyer with a VA loan under the coming new rules. You’ve served your country and now it’s your time to grab a little piece of the American dream because you earned it. Well, the VA does not allow the buyer to pay a commission. So that leaves our brave vet with a real Sophie’s choice—either don’t use an agent at all, pay out of pocket with money they may not have, or use an agent who won’t get paid. Now, I can’t sell you a house for free because my insurance won’t cover that. So these buyers in the $0 to $500,000 price range are like lambs to the slaughter and there’s no good options for them to be afforded the protections that had always been baked into the system. And what happens when Vet Bobby and his wife Susie buy a house that has mold—without an agent, how are they going to negotiate for the seller to pay for that on their own? Short answer—they’re not. These are the nuances that people (and the media) don’t yet understand.

Your clients are going to need clarity and certainty, and you cannot let the national media curate the narrative for your community. If you cannot provide that clarity and certainty, you are nothing more than a service provider—a commodity.

What the media fails to understand that the same people who are listing agents are also buying agents. We do both jobs. There’s a saying in real estate that you list to last, and you work with buyers to build. Everyone assumes this is going to change over night, but it’s not. When they strip the commission info out of the MLS, it opens the door for service interrupters like Zillow to list this info and become an ad hoc MLS. Also, thus far, this is just a seven-year thing. What’s making my head spin around and snot fly out of my nose is that the Department of Justice is appealing the decision that they can’t go after the NAR. Now tell me this since we’re on the subject—how can these same people fast-track a ban on TikTok, but can’t do the same about stopping hedge funds from buying up all the starter homes?

More than ever as an agent, you need to move from being a service provider to your clients to having a relationship with them. And the very best way to build that relationship is with a live, voice-to-voice connection.

Remember that text is for information. Posts on social media are for information. What all buyers and sellers need right now is the context of the content. Control the narrative for your community. The very best way to do that is to pick up the damn phone and have a conversation with them. So I am calling all my old clients up and saying, “Hey, it’s Glennda. You know, I remember when you bought 123 Banana Street and I recall y’all saying you wanted to be there from three to five years. A lot has changed in the last three to five years, so I’m calling to check in. Number one, are you curious about the value of your home now? Number two, I don’t know if you’ve been following the national media, but over the last few days, real estate commissions have been a hot topic. Do you have any questions I can answer about it?”

Ultimately, this ruling is a disruption. It’s creating confusion and friction and any time there’s confusion and friction, it makes that disruption all the worse. So your best bet right now is to pick up the phone and help it make sense to your clients. (I mean, I already have clients asking me about the trending data on this ruling—it’s been less than a week! There is no trending data yet!)

Because I’ve been selling real estate since Jesus was a baby, I’ve seen a lot of stuff come and go and I’m still standing. This will all shake out and whatever our new reality is, we are going to find ways to roll with it, I promise you that. Remember, the sky isn’t falling. And as long as it’s you who’s informing your clients—not the 24/7 news cycle—this is yet another storm that we can weather, so stiffen that upper lip and let’s go about our business.

(Now who wants to help me find Kate?)


And the Award Goes to… Jeffery St. Arromand!

What a treat I have for y’all today! I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Serhant real estate agent Jeffery St. Arromand. What a fascinating person and a great chat! Mr. St. Arromand took the leap from being an Emmy Award-winning producer to selling luxury properties. (Although how fair is it to be so very good at everything you try?) Anyway, I’m thrilled to be able to share him with you!

Now go forth and be inspired!


The Cardinal Rule

Your clients need clarity and certainty. Don’t let the media curate your reality.

Glennda Baker


Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

In the early 1980s, they used to run an ad every night that said, “It’s 10:00 pm; do you know where your children are?” That’s right, those days were so loosey-goosey that they had to make a PSA to remind parents that a) they had kids, and b) they might want to get a feel for their whereabouts.

Well, times have certainly changed since then and it’s the very reason I love this particular listing. If you’re a parent to little kids, you know you don’t want their play space buried in the basement where you can’t keep track of them. With the rec room above ground, you’ll always be able to keep your eyes and ears on your most precious resource!

You can always make their playroom in one of the bedrooms, if you’ve had your eyes and ears on them a little too much.


One More Thing

As important as the telephone is, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that SignMore actually comes with the leading tech, like a mobile app where you can listen to your call recordings and read your messages, CRM integrations where you can connect with your favorite apps and software, appointment scheduling software that lets you integrate with your calendar, and one of my personal favorite features—a business phone number! This allows you to keep your private number private, as SignMore provides you with a dedicated phone number that you can use across your marketing materials and lead generation activity. 

So what are you waiting for? Get your 30% off your first three months on SignMore’s Best Value Plan. Visit

This post is sponsored by my friends at SignMore, but as always, the thoughts are all mine.