According to the 2007 Swanepoel Trends Report, the Top 10 trends of Real Estate there are a lot of changes on the real estate horizon (oh wait, are we there already?!?). The concept of Web 2.0 is in the forefront of these changes.
I happen to like the whole Web 2.0 thing, and I like real estate … but now this makes me trendy?!? I do not know how “okay” I am with this. I spent the better part of my youth going against the grain – being the anti-trend. And since I still consider myself young (Didn’t you hear? 32 is the new 21 …) I still have that “If every one of my lemming colleagues are going THIS way, then I will go THAT way” kind of attitude. And yes. It IS an attitude.
So in looking at these Top 10 Trends, I am now facing a grain I am not too interested in going against. Ugh …
- New real estate business models: What is the impact of ABM’s (Alternative Business Models) on the real estate industry … Internet Real Estate Companies, Flat Fee MLS Shops? I believe that ABM’s are essential in the balance of the business of real estate. Although I disagree with several of them on various points, I still value their place in the business.
- What is happening to our local MLS? : The IDX systems out there are giving the local MLS systems a run for their money. A National MLS is definitely on the horizon … but IMHO it won’t be a TRUE National MLS as disclosure laws vary from state to state. (For example, in Colorado it is illegal to disclose that a house may be haunted, whereas other states demand that disclosure.) However, the exclusivity to listings that the MLS once had is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and that is FINE by me. I have no need to hoard my listings. I would rather SELL them.
- How does Web 2.0 fit into your life? : I know plenty of agents who run screaming from anything remotely “new fangled” like that pesky “internet”. Okay. Fine. I know that (just like their fashion sense and Glamour Shots) they are stuck in the day where door knocking and cold calling reined king. Well, they can HAVE their gold embroidery blouses and PUSH their advertising into everyone’s lap. I would rather answer the phone call of a new client that has researched me, like what I say and do and wants to do business with me, than cold call a “lead” that doesn’t know me from Adam.
- The New Consumer: Great time to plug a post I wrote a year ago about being a GenX Consumer (opens in new window). … Oh how the landscape is different when dealing with a Baby Boomer vs. a GenX or GenY consumer. I get it.
- How to deal with the poor image of real estate agents: Um. They suck and deserve that image. So there. Okay … not all of them, and definitely not
you, my genius friends. But, c’mon! I REFUSE to deal with that poor image. I would rather CHANGE it. GO RENEGADE REALTORS!®
(BTW, go to Google and type in Renegade Realtor®…)
- Consumer and Realtor® Demographics: Who IS a consumer? Who IS buying and selling and investing in homes right now? Who IS representing them? Who IS successful in real estate? Somehow, I am under the impression that thick polyester blend suits and greased back hair do’s are not in the picture as much … Yah, not so much.
- Race for/with/against/because of CHANGE: Things are changing so fast that those who are not “in the know” will be left “in the snow”. You might as well just wrap yourself up in toilet paper and ride the Subway to Manhattan … This report mentions CRITICAL MASS. AH! I have been brewing that phrase in my little head since I started real estate and saw the changes coming faster and faster and faster. If we are not on top of the wave of this “new” business of real estate, it will be too late. Early adopters of this Web 2.0 / Life 2.0 way of thinking and doing business will be the ONLY ones still doing business before long. Oh well. So Sad. No. Not really.
- Opportunity is knocking: 2.3 kids, a dog and a white picket fence are not the norms anymore. (I could argue that it never was, but that is a whole different post… )The home buying and selling public is a whole new breed of consumer – sprouting from every corner of every possible way of life and culture. Opportunity is endless and many avenues are untouched in regards to niche marketing and making a name for yourself. Yay for niche marketing!
- WTF are Realtor® Associations for, anyway? : Who cares? I know they serve a purpose, and I happen to really like mine, but their usefulness even 5 years ago is pretty obsolete today. To be seen as worthy – even a little bit – they are going to have to make some hefty changes in WHO they are and WHAT they offer their members.
- The Legacy of Today: Remember the Housing Bubble? What happened to the foreclosure rate? Where did all the Sub-Prime lenders go? Major events of yore are shaping the business that we call Real Estate, today. Do you ignore the importance that each of these have on your business, or do you find ways to make your business BETTER because of (or in spite of) it? I am always up for a good challenge, and these recent events have taught me more about the housing market and my business than any CE class ever could.
I am actually quite excited about these new TRENDS. So, shall I hang up my roller skates, pack up my skate board, put away my stripey tights and Doc Martins and be trendy? No. But, in real estate … if it means making this business a better place to be, then trendy I shall be. (But my yellow Doc’s are still great to wear to closings …)
(All photos courtesy of the Photo Archives of Mariana.)