By Maddie Jostol, Senior Marketing Manager
Don’t get too comfortable. That’s right, if you want to be a winner in today’s real estate game, you have to start embracing change. We hear a lot about change, especially when it comes to technology. The rapid pace at which technology is developing is forcing businesses in all industries to adapt to new competition and changing consumer expectations. Rightfully so, many business leaders in our industry are resistant to change, hesitating to evolve their business into its next phase. However, getting stuck in your ways will only cause your business to be stagnant in a market full of growth.
Change is inevitable. In today’s world, you have to embrace change in order to stay ahead of the game. Competition is only getting hotter, and I think we’ll continue to find that those resistant to any change will fall behind.
Change is hard. Rather than running from it, leverage it and use it to your benefit. Use change as an opportunity for improvement. Gain a competitive advantage, improve efficiency, and expand your business.
A new generation
A generational shift is happening, affecting your brokerage from multiple angles.
First there’s a shift happening in brokerages across the US. For example, in 2015, the average Realtor was 57, now it’s 54 (NAR). Younger professionals are entering the real estate industry, both as agents and in brokerage leadership. Many brokerages are family-owned and are seeing their business passed down through the generations. Across the industry, as many Baby Boomers retire, space and opportunities open for younger leaders to take brokerages into the next phase in their evolution. This generational shift comes with a shift in leadership style and business strategy, causing many brokerages to undergo change in how they operate and how they compete.
Then, there’s a change in homebuyers. Millennials and Gen Yers (37 years and younger) are now the largest generational group of buyers at 36% (NAR). Your target audience is changing, so your brokerage’s marketing and customer service strategy must account for that in order to grow your business amongst this group of homebuyers.
Changing client expectations
Technology has changed the game – it has both heightened client expectations and enabled agents to deliver a better experience. Offering outstanding attention and service is what will set you apart in a sea of agents, and as we all know, properly leveraging technology can help you to achieve this.
Consumers are accustomed to having access to information at their fingertips. This means they want accurate information with the click of a button. Real estate is no exception here. The tools you use should always be fully integrated with your data source (the MLS, for example) so that your clients have access to up-to-date, reliable information at all times.
An evolving industry
The competitive landscape is changing. New players are entering the market, new brokerage models are forming, and the presence of technology is shifting how real estate professionals operate. Like any industry, ours is evolving, and with that comes natural change. Brokerages are challenged to find a balance, where they keep up with the evolution while still staying true to the core of their business and everything it was built on. Successful brokerages will continue to find that balance, adapting as necessary – not for the sake of being trendy, but for the sake of growing their business in an ever-changing market.
Adaptability is key
So, how do you keep up? There seems to be a ‘new hot thing’ hitting the market every day, and the noise can make it difficult to navigate. Some of the tools and technologies being developed are absolutely ground-breaking, but how do you know that there won’t be something better coming down the road shortly?
This is where adaptability is key. The new systems you put in place for your brokerage should have future change in mind. In other words, select tools and services that play well with others, so you can swap things out down the road as needed. You want to change your business purposefully, ensuring that the changes you make truly impact your agents’ lives and your brokerage’s bottom line.
Embracing change is step one, enabling change is step two. Use change to your advantage, taking it on as an opportunity to take your brokerage to the next level. Then, put the right systems in place to remain competitive in today’s market and give your agents an advantage, all while preparing for more inevitable changes to come. Be one of the brokerages that thrives through the ever-changing landscape.