Curaytor CEO Jimmy Mackin. Image courtesy of Curaytor.

In 2023, there were 1.6 million Realtors and only 4.1 million transactions as compared to 5 million sales in 2022 and over 6 million in 2021. As former RE/MAX CEO Nick Bailey said, “Agents today are going from burnt-out to broke.”

Given that interest and inflation rates are not showing signs of easing soon, what easy-to-use strategies get proven results in today’s tough market? Curaytor co-founder and CEO Jimmy Mackin has the answers you need to succeed.

Curaytor is a marketing and strategy company that works with 600 of the top teams in the country who sold approximately $25 billion last year.

Mackin surveyed Curaytor clients at the end of 2023. He found that over 90 percent were optimistic about 2024 as they looked forward to interest rate cuts – which now seem like they will be small, if they ever happen at all.

“Many agents are stuck on their back foot where they are waiting for the market to come in and save them,” Mackin said. “My philosophy is that if you’re waiting for interest rates or inflation to go down, you’re already dead in this market.”

Become Customer-Obsessed

Mackin urges agents to take responsibility for their own success by focusing on the “Five D’s,” milestone events that drive real estate deals no matter what the market does: Diamonds (as in a marriage or divorce), diapers (changes in family size), college or graduate degrees, downsizing and death.

You can also job changes, financial or medical difficulties and, in this day and age, dogs to that list. But by focusing on customers going through major life changes, you won’t be at the mercy of interest rates because these clients must move, no matter what.

Mackin says in today’s market you must become customer-obsessed, get in the habit of doing revenue-generating activities daily and take advantage of what he calls “marketable moments.”

To do this, begin with your contact database of clients, sphere, and social media contacts. Your goal is to send out at least one detailed CMA to one of those people daily.

Don’t settle for sending out a regular CMA like most agents do. Mackin agrees with me that you should offer an “Equity Report,” or what I like to call an Equity Checkup. This consists of your regular CMA along with a detailed property report from

When deciding who to send this to, look for past clients, members of your sphere or those who live in area where you farm, and have had a major jump in their equity over the last five or more years.

You can even identify some of those people with simple tools like publishing a poll on your Instagram account asking if someone would like a report on their home because some of your other clients have gaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity since they bought.

“I can slide right into their DMs and have a conversation with them to get their address and then prepare a report for their property,” Mackin explained.

Let Clients See You Sweat

Mackin believes that the biggest marketing and messaging mistake that we make in real estate is telling everybody that it’s easy. The result is the perception among consumers that agents are overpaid.

“If you think all agents are the same, it means that you’ve never worked with a great one,” Mackin said.

Instead of posting the picture of the happy family in front of the house and saying they’re new homeowners, you need to slow down and describe what it took to close the deal. Mackin provided an example of what to say: “I’ve been working with these clients for eight months. We’ve toured 21 properties, we’ve been in seven bidding wars, we had two deals fall through, and we finally got them the house of their dreams.”

“I think agents do themselves a huge disservice by not showing the sweat,” Mackin said. “On the sell side, talk about the money you’ve invested into the property, talk about the process you follow, prepare the consumer for what it’s like negotiating with buyers, talk about the inspections and the staging, and the marketing. Show the work you’re doing, not just the results you achieve.”

Mackin also advises that you take the institutional knowledge that you have in your head and share that with your clients and your consumer base. Demonstrate your expertise because today’s consumer doesn’t want to work with an amateur – today, it’s pros only.

Mackin’s final piece of advice comes from legendary industrialist John D. Rockefeller: “Action solves everything.”

“Stop waiting on interest rates and inflation to come down. Get in motion, start having more conversations, and you will book more appointments and get more customers,” Mackin said.

Bernice Ross is a nationally syndicated columnist, author, trainer and speaker on real estate topics. She can be reached at