Cassie Walker Johnson Preaches The Buyer Agreement Gospel

At Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30-Aug. 1 2024, the noise and misinformation will be banished, all your big questions will be answered, and new business opportunities will be revealed. Join us.

Cassie Walker Johnson has been a broker with Windemere Real Estate in Seattle since 2005, practicing with her husband Jeremey Johnson for her entire career as a broker, other than a stint in property management after the 2008 recession.

Throughout her career, she’s become known as an expert in buyer agreements, and credits much of this to the systems she has in place to ensure deals go smoothly. She’ll be sharing tips on how to implement effective systems at the upcoming Inman Connect Las Vegas, and sharing the story of how her systems saved her business amidst a breast cancer diagnosis in 2021. Inman caught up with Walker Johnson ahead of her Connect appearance.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.


Inman: What’s it like being part of a husband-and-wife team?

Johnson: It’s interesting. There’s great days, there’s frustrating days, but frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Real Estate is actually kind of a lonely business, and being able to have a business partner, especially when they’re your spouse is a really great way to go because it’s only my husband I can turn to and say “you know what? I don’t want to work today,” and not give a reason. It’s definitely challenging in the way that we have to be very religious about having date nights where we’re not talking about work, and that’s very hard to do.

You’re known as an expert on buyer’s agreements. How did you earn that reputation?

Back in 2006 we had a friend — I’ll say “friend” in quotation marks — who we toured with for a good six months, like every weekend over a broad range of mileage and territory. But we were having fun. It was a friend. And then six months later she calls me up and she’s like “I bought a house,” and I’m like… “What?”

For various circumstances, she was able to cut a deal with a listing agent. It was a listing that hadn’t sold and they dropped the price and waived their compensation and all this kind of stuff, so it worked out for her.

Her dream house happened to be finally in her dream budget. Of course she’s going to do everything she can to get that home. But it fell on us to explain to her how we work and how we get paid. From that moment on was when we really started realizing the benefit of using a buyer agreement. But we weren’t using it religiously — we were using it here and there.

We would use it with someone who we thought maybe wouldn’t be as loyal to us as like, working with my sister or something. It was really in about 2017 as these various things kind of all came to fruition.

As we started using this tool, our business got stronger and our systems got stronger, and it really helped increase production. It really helped us weed out the not so serious buyers we might be wasting time on, and then it also helped us have this equity lens that we really were not paying attention to before. It came down to “Okay, why are we having some buyers sign this and others not?”And are we looking at a fair housing equity issue there?

And that’s when it just became our policy.

I started teaching about two years ago about our buyer system. Windermere came to me and said “Look, you seem to be using this with every single one of your buyers. You seem to have a system. Would you share it with others?” And that’s when I started teaching our eight-step process and the ease of incorporating this agreement into your day to day.

Could you share a bit about what you have planned for your Connect appearance?

I think the biggest thing that I’m excited to share is this process and the ease of it and helping agents and brokers understand that when you create systems, that’s when your success goes to the next level.

I’ll be sharing the story of how I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 and that was, like every other real estate agent in the United States, a record breaking year and had we not had those systems in place, such as our eight-step process for both buyers and sellers, we would not have made it through. So I’ll be talking a little bit about the importance of these systems and my personal story of how it saved our business.

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