Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: Ahead of his appearance at Inman Connect Las Vegas, Joe Rath, Redfin’s senior director of brokerage operations and head of industry relations, told Inman’s Jim Dalrymple II that Clear Cooperation is not working.
Have you ever gone looking for your glasses only to find that they were on top of your head? Or looked for your phone only to realize it was in your hand?
Sometimes things are hidden in plain sight. Could that be the case with the years-long listing shortage that’s plaguing the real estate industry?
Yes, according to some industry analysts. In fact, the policy of Clear Cooperation, adopted in Nov. 2019, may have made things worse. Not only are there loopholes in the policy that may be undermining its intended effect — making fair housing more fair, for example — it has also become a factor in some of NAR’s current legal and antitrust issues.
This week, Redfin exec Joe Rath blasted the policy, both before and during his remarks at Inman Connect Las Vegas:
As Redfin’s senior director of brokerage operations and head of industry relations, Joe Rath works with major industry players all over the United States, including many MLSs.
His work has convinced him that pocket listings — or those listings that are marketed privately rather than reaching the public — are a major problem. He believes they raise serious concerns about fair housing and jeopardize the integrity of a housing market where everyone has equal access to information.
Rath is not alone. Indeed, in late 2019 concern about pocket listings led the National Association of Realtors to adopt the Clear Cooperation Policy. The policy was touted as an effective ban on pocket listings while also offering some exceptions, for example in the case of “office exclusives” that are only marketed internally to an agent’s in-house colleagues.
In his appearance at Inman Connect, Rath and NextHome CEO James Dwiggins agreed that rather than receding, pocket listings have increased since the enactment of the Clear Cooperation Policy, with the Redfin executive even saying his company was “strongly considering” deploying exclusive listings in the face of an industry that appears to be ignoring NAR’s mandate.
Low inventory has been the story of the last few years, with record lows recorded in recent months. The low inventory environment — driven by a variety of factors, from off-market listings to seller reluctance and interest-rate fears — has been a challenge for agents, who find themselves constantly having to search for inventory to satisfy their buyers.
This week at ICLV, inventory was on everyone’s mind, it seemed. Here are some of the best sessions on finding inventory in your market and serving sellers effectively.
Palo Alto agent Nneka Jenkins, of Onyx Wealth Realty, and Brett Matsuura, of Coldwell Banker Realty, talked about the proactive strategies they and their colleagues are using to find sometimes-hidden inventory, including both marketing channels and mindset. Understanding why people are moving and communicating with potential clients over time both help to ensure that the agent is on the spot when decisions are being made.
“If I sell one more house you’re going to sell one less. It’s very competitive,” @properties CEO Thad Wong said in a session at ICLV. “Now is the best time to grow and gain share. Now is the time to severely focus on all of your competition and gain share.” Speaking at CEO Connect, the industry leader joined a panel that recommended focusing on educating agents and consumers about the market and trusting that long-standing fundamental life changes — such as divorce, job relocation, death and others — will continue to drive purchases and sales.
Once you’ve found a listing, your job becomes managing seller expectations, especially in the face of a changing market. This panel of experts, including Portland-area real estate broker Sarita Dua, of Keller Williams, and SERHANT. agent Talia McKinney, discussed strategies for guiding reluctant sellers through today’s tricky housing environment.