United Real Estate Gallery leaders talk about low-fee models and commission lawsuit prep

Ray Rivera and Sonny Downey share their perspective on the commission lawsuits. Sonny is a past president of his local MLS and Ray is the incoming 2024 president, so they have a unique view of how things may shake out.

Ray and Sonny also discuss how low-fee brokerage models are able to scale so quickly and offer services to agents, and how traditional brokers have a misguided perspective of the model.

Here is a small preview of today’s interview. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: There are several settlements to the commission lawsuits. Redfin just announced today that they’re not requiring NAR membership within some of the markets and the settlements also allude to that. When we spoke in Orlando, you said that the state and your brokerage are positioned for those changes. Do you want to talk to me about your position, the transaction brokerage concept in that as well?

Sonny Downey: What it boils down to is, how do agents collect potentially a commission from a buyer? I think it’s a matter of them being able to pivot. Prior, about mid-2000s, Florida was considered a single agent state. If you wanted to show a house in your brokerage, you had to get permission to transition into a transaction broker. Whereas now, with our agents, we’re coaching them into buyer-broker agreements and the ability to sit there and offer single agency as a single agent. They’re able to try to get the best terms for that buyer.

I think that is where we can start to see value. I do know that there are some agents that still do have some concerns with it and quite frankly I tell them that if you’re that scared, donate to RPAC, and let the money do the fighting for you, or even better yet, become the listing agent because on the listing side. That’s where they have the control and the ability to sit there and get compensated.

The RealTrending podcast features the brightest minds in real estate. Every week, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Elissa Branch.