This November marked my 14th year attending the National Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo. I spent the first 11 as one of the 1,000+ vendors peddling product as REALTORS® go from booth to booth, trick or treating for tchotchkes and the next shiny piece of technology that promises to change their business forever. It is only the last three years I have been on the franchisor side, searching for speakers who inspire and share the latest real estate trends. Attending usually results in lots of lobby meetings, networking with today’s influencers and reminiscing of yesterday’s newsmakers. It’s also interesting to see the many real estate legislators, councils, and state reps debating and lobbying for their own political gain and the protection of those they were elected to serve. While it is an exhausting five days, NAR Annual is guaranteed to be anything but boring!
What I found most fascinating is we, as an industry, seem to be reacting to our fear of people, companies, and technology rather than moving our industry forward. The world around us is changing and evolving at a pace that we are scientifically not able to adapt with. This is a fact. It is said that 65 percent of kindergarteners today will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet. Ten years ago, the title “Social Media Manager” or “Mobile App Developer” would have been an imaginary job. Today, we cannot imagine waking up without checking our notifications or snapping photos for social media or using apps that remind us when to stand up at work, how to get places, how our stocks are doing, and so much more! As a society, we have become dependent on technology to do the simplest things. So why do we as an industry keep circling and repurposing the same topics and fears year after year?
We are all consumers. I would even go as far as saying 10:10 of us could not go one week without internet/WiFi connection. And find me one REALTOR® in our industry who is not happy about the progression of things like email, paperless contracts, UBER, Netflix, iTunes, Alexa, 3D tours, or Amazon. Why do we accept and welcome change and progress in every aspect of our life but fight it in our own industry? As if the buyers and sellers of real estate are not the same?
So while the real estate industry is still sorting out some version of “How do we take our data back? When will Zillow become a brokerage? Are iBuyers the next disruptors? Should we consolidate the MLSs (or remain 690 too many)? Does responding to leads in under 5 minutes result in more business?” and so on… NextHome will celebrate the fact that we are opening an average of almost 3 offices and adding more than 50 NextHomies each week. We will continue to refine our systems to make them better and more competitive. We will continue to expand beyond the boundaries of what everyone says is possible while delivering the very best experience to our franchisees, so they can extend it to their agents who can then extend it to their clients.
What was my greatest takeaway from this year’s NAR Annual? Run your own race, love those running it with you, and do not get lost in the noise. Do not become complacent or stagnant and stop worrying about what your competition is doing. This is a journey with a lot of pit stops and the scenery is changing fast. If you keep pressing forward and moving your business to the next destination, you will open yourself to a world you never knew was possible.
Ready to take your journey to the NEXT level?