A YEAR IN REVIEW AND WHAT’S AHEAD IN 2020 AND BEYOND
For those of us lucky enough to refer to real estate as our profession, there’s no question that the last 12 to 18 months has been somewhat turbulent and disruptive.
In the world of property sales, we have seen sales volumes & auction clearance rates plummet to record lows. Conversely, to stimulate and drive growth and spending, we have seen the Federal Reserve drop the Cash Rate and seen the respective bank interest rates fall to unprecedented low levels. The credit squeeze brought about by the Royal Commission into banking and APRA put the brakes on the property market and our recovery has been nothing short of challenging.
Unemployment and new jobs growth figures remain steady with no real warning signs that they are to change anytime soon; which to me is the most significant underlying factor for a healthy property market & economy. Let’s face it, if you don’t have a job, you won’t be getting any sort of bank loan to facilitate the purchase of the family home let alone have any leftover for discretionary spending.
And what do we make of the recovery we have experienced in the second half of 2019? Has the strengthening of the market and a return to higher sales volumes a sign for a prosperous 2020? Are we heading back to a ‘normal’ market with seller and buyer confidence bouncing back?
I could go on and on about the ‘market’ and the dynamics of it all. Who’s to blame; what caused the slowdown that took so many agents by surprise. There are countless reasons and economic factors that are simply too complex to try to understand, and for that matter, predict into the future. No one can foresee the volatility of the market. At best, we go by educated guesses. My best advice to real estate agents is to be aware of the economic cycle, but don’t let it dictate your next move; in fact, use it to your advantage.
Let’s put it all into real perspective. It really is all ‘blah blah blah!’ Everything is relative and above all else, there is only one constant in business and for that matter life. And that constant is that the only constant is change. May sound a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s the only truth. Change is the only constant.
The property market will always have its ups and downs. But one thing that many are not seeing (or are having a case of wilful blindness) is the change to the traditional real estate agency and how it functions.
We are witnessing an unprecedented period of evolution and transition that will see a changing of the guard from the traditional, clunky corner store real estate agency to a modern, exciting, fast-paced & agile real estate practice run by a new breed of young and dynamic real estate professionals. A breed that will be so customer-centric that they will leave the ‘old school’ so far behind that it will make it near impossible to catch up.
We are seeing a growing emergence of new business models, such as ours, come into the market-disrupting the traditional business model of agency practice. Agents and employees are wanting (demanding) so much more from their Directors and Principals, many of whom are simply not capable or willing to participate and adapt to this new world of business ownership. Access, ease and affordability to new technologies are spearheading this evolution.
A new level of leadership will be required should you wish to thrive in this changing landscape. A commitment to change. A commitment to embracing new technologies. A refocus on bringing the human element to the forefront of the real estate process. An introduction of new client services and revenue streams. A move from being ‘transactional’ to ‘transformational.’
This will be the biggest change & opportunity in 2020 and the new decade we are entering.
Not convinced? Sceptical? I’m pretty sure that’s the attitude Kodak and Blockbuster executives had just prior to their disruption.
The ‘future is exciting… for the prepared’ is truly an understatement.
From our family to yours, wishing you all the very best and an amazing 2020 and beyond.