Fair disclosure up front - I love numbers and I like to read about future trends. I blame the former on my engineering background and the latter on being a fantasy and SF writer. Plus I'm a Trekkie from waaaay back.
One of the real estate futurists I enjoy listening too, he has been at CREA AGM's several times, is Stefan Swanepoel. Stefan has been studying the North American real estate industry for decades and his company has produced "The Swanepoel Report" for years. I've been getting it for the past couple of years and consider it a valuable tool.
One section in this years report has caused me some difficulties. It talks about Digital Natives, the Gen X and Y crowd who really don't remember a world without internet, and how they will affect real estate as they enter the real estate market for the first time. It was interesting to see the Swanepoel predictions on how they would change the real estate industry and how REALTORS would need to continue to evolve to serve these new clients.
I absolutely agree that today's REALTOR needs to be able to push past the use of email only when communicating with their clients, and at least be comfortable using the basic social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Whether you need to stay on top of the social media site du jour is still under review. In that ever changing world it's tough to keep up with what is trending that day and still actually work for a living.
One specific area in the this section of the report causes me some concer. The report goes into detail about the new apps and sites available for mobile use and this is all good but the area I'm having an issue with is on the hardware side of the tech explosion and how it will affect us. It is a given fact that the world is becoming increasingly mobile and REALTORS and their data have to mobile as well. Our Century 21 website is showing a large increase in mobile traffic over the past 12 months and this is the trend on REALTOR.ca as well.But wearable tech like smart watches or Google Glasses? I think we are a long ways from accessing MLS data from our watch just because of screen size if nothing else.
The report goes on to say "Agents can demonstrate their value..." by getting outside the conventional communication box by using "experimental communication", ie. sending information on these various new wearable tech devices. I may be missing the mark but I firmly believe that content trumps delivery method and that REALTORS will continue to show their value by what they provide their client rather than how. Timely industry and market knowledge communicated to your client using email is of more value than "I like toast" sent on your watch!