There is no doubt, no equivocation - we’re living in tough economic times. Unbiased unemployment figures show that unemployment is as high as 23 percent! Our debt is in excess of our GDP - in fact, it’s more than 100% of our GDP - not a good place to be.
This figure certainly has an impact on the real estate industry, and in an effort to make sense of where the industry should expect to be, the Strategic Issues Work Group Association Executives Committee with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) put together a study entitled, “Simplify! Real Estate Trends in a Time of Uncertainty”.
The report attempts to answer the question, “What forces and trends will be shaping the industry in the next few years?”
The committee consulted with real estate professionals - brokers, consultants, economists and technology experts, asking them to identify industry trends which they believe will shape the future of real estate in the coming years.
Specifically, the committee asked the questions:
1. What do you see as the future of real estate in the next few years?
2. What are the major changes in the real estate business ahead?
Those real estate pros who were polled agreed on many issues, however opinions varied strongly among them as well.
One of the “common themes” arising as a result of the committee’s questions includes the idea that “more is not always better”.
Consumers often suffer from “information overload” - so much so that it leads to what some term “analysis paralysis”, meaning that the potential buyer does nothing towards buying a home, because they are too confused to understand the process.
NAR’s report indicates that when brokers make the buying process much simpler for potential clients - providing clear information across all of their marketing channels, utilizing technologies to their utmost and being responsive to the needs of customers, they will stand out above the rest.
The following analogy from the report spells out an opportunity that realtors should really take note of:
“Thirty-somethings Susan and her partner are trying to buy their first home, but feeling frustrated by the process. They’ve picked out five condos in their neighborhood that looked promising, but found the websites gave conflicting information. The first agent they contacted didn’t know how to send text messages. The second agent didn’t know as much about the buildings as they did. But Matt, the third sales associate, made it simple for them. He advised on their approach, validated the information, helped negotiate the contract, and made sure everything was in place for a smooth closing. Now, Susan is sending Matt a steady stream of referrals – by text.”
As you can see from the example, brokers who meet buyers where they are at - simplifying the buying process for their clients, have the potential to stand out from the crowd, ultimately leading to even more business.
NAR’s report covered much more than we’ve discussed here, and it is a good resource for brokers who are concerned about the impact that the current economic client will have on their business. Why not check it out now? Tell us what you think about the future of real estate!