This January marks Inman’s fifth annual Agent Appreciation Month, which culminates at Inman Connect New York in a celebration of agents at the end of January. Plus, we’re rolling out the coveted Inman Power Player Awards, as well as the New York Power Brokers and MLS Innovators awards.

New year, new beginning, right? If only it was so easy. The reality is that the market is still the same, even after a long weekend and a new year.

As such, it only makes sense to look back at the most-read stories of last year to try to glean what skills agents need right now. After all, these stories are our most-read, and likely by your competition as well.

To help you start this year — and Agent Appreciation Month — off on the right foot, we rounded up the best advice from our most-read contributors.

How to generate leads

1. If I wanted to make $342,987 in 2024, this is what I’d do

If you truly want to have your best year ever in 2024, writes Jimmy Burgess, develop your plan of action and execute on your plan. Here’s his blueprint for the new year.

2. 24 of the best ways to generate real estate leads in 2024

Whether you’re looking to appeal to buyers or sellers, Jimmy Burgess offers a range of paid, low-cost and no-cost lead generation activities that are working now.

3. Need leads? Try this easy approach to high-probability door knocking

Bernice Ross talks to long-time Bay Area broker-owner and trainer Jerry Kidd about how to integrate so-called old-fashioned marketing methods into a winning formula for growth.

4. 7 smart strategies for getting more real estate leads for less than $100

If social media, direct mail and networking aren’t yielding enough leads, try these simple, inexpensive strategies from author and coach Darryl Davis.

5. 10 no-upfront-cost lead sources for real estate agents

If you’re looking for a way to keep your upfront costs down but still have a steady flow of leads coming into your business, Jimmy Burgess has put together a list of services to explore.

How to check in

6. Running on empty? Check yourself before you wreck yourself

When eXp’s Troy Palmquist ran out of gas (literally), it gave him some time for reflection. Find out how to manage your energy this holiday season so that you can keep moving forward.

7. 7 reasons agents are failing (and how to avoid their mistakes)

The current real estate market separates the best from the rest. Jimmy Burgess shares how to avoid the biggest mistakes agents are making right now.

8. 7 massive mistakes most real estate agents are making right now

The best way to learn is from the mistakes of others, and right now, many agents are making critical mistakes that are leading to business destruction, writes Jimmy Burgess. Here’s how you can avoid their mistakes and fill in the holes they’re creating when committing these errors.

9. This 22-year-old agent did $16M in Year 1. Here’s how he did it

Jimmy Burgess sits down with Noah Escobar, a 22-year-old real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida closed and contracted over $16 million in sales volume in his first full calendar year as an agent.

10. 10 tasks real estate agents delegate (but absolutely shouldn’t)

If the 80-20 principle is correct, then agents must delegate tasks. But broker Nick Schlekeway says many agents have taken it too far. Here are the areas agents should stop delegating and personally handle with care.

How to negotiate 

11. 11 things top negotiators know (and now you do, too)

Learn the essentials of great negotiating. Broker Nick Schlekeway reveals the tried-and-true principles of world-class negotiators in Part 1 of this three-part series.

12. Negotiating? 10 more words to put on your don’t-say list

The wrong word can derail your negotiating position and undermine your best efforts. Here’s what not to say now, from author and trainer Bernice Ross.

How to stay up on ChatGPT

13. Using ChatGPT? Here are 40 game-changing prompts to try today

ChatGPT brings opportunities that typically only come a few times during a career. Jimmy Burgess shows you how to take advantage of this amazing tool, and help your business grow.

14. The secret is out! 23 ways Realtors can use ChatGPT

The agents who utilize this technology will become more efficient and productive, freeing up time for building the relationships needed to grow their businesses.

How to create content that converts

15. 23 video content ideas every agent should be making right now

Whether you’re looking to advance your video-making game or making your debut, these 23 video content suggestions from Jimmy Burgess will enhance your reach, solidify your reputation as a local expert and ignite your creativity.

16. 23 ways to turn one listing into many, many more

Jimmy Burgess shares how to take one listing and turn it into multiple deals by making the most of unique opportunities to market not only the listing but yourself as well.

How to talk commission

17. 58 questions agents should be asking about commission lawsuits

Broker Cara Ameer helps you think through the implications of the current bombshell commission lawsuits and what they may mean for your business.

18. What agents need to talk about when they talk about commissions

Now that Anywhere has announced a deal on the bombshell commission lawsuits, it’s time to take a look at the way you communicate with buyer clients moving forward. Trainer and author Bernice Ross offers a step by step guide to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

19. 18 ways to show buyers you’re worth every commission dollar

Now that Anywhere has announced a deal on the bombshell commission lawsuits, it’s time to take a look at the way you communicate with buyer clients moving forward. Trainer and author Bernice Ross offers a step by step guide to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

How to work with buyers and sellers 

20. 9 ways to get a client to sign a buyer-broker agreement

Don’t be a shrinking violet when it comes to your compensation. Broker Cara Ameer teaches you how to ask for what you’re worth and have that tough buyer commission talk.

21. Stop! Before you send that buyer listings, ask these 47 questions

If you don’t ask your buyers the right questions, writes broker associate Cara Ameer, before you travel too far down the road with them, you could end up wasting their time and yours.

22. Up your game with these hot tips from NAR’s buyer and seller data

NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers has just been released, and it’s packed with insights that can help you take your business to the next level in 2024. According to trainer Bernice Ross, the most important insights concern your lead generation and lead conversion.

23. 8 reasons sellers aren’t selling (and how to get them off the fence)

Interest rates, insurance premiums, tax concerns and more are keeping sellers from putting their homes on the market and forcing them to defer their dreams. Team leader Carl Medford believes it’s up to real estate agents to communicate effectively and help sellers move forward.

24. 5 steps to making money in today’s down market

Helping your clients understand the psychology of a changing market will make the job of selling their home much easier, writes trainer Bernice Ross.

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