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It’s almost 2020. Let that sink in. Remember the panic that was Y2K? The start of this century saw widescale growth of the internet, email and connected devices. This most recent decade witnessed the rise of social apps, smartphones, streaming, AI, voice recognition…the list goes on. Many also cut the proverbial “cord” with cable, landlines, etc. These changes impacted the ability of consumers to make more informed decisions.

What does the next decade hold for real estate? No one can predict the future, but at Propertybase, we believe that the industry norm will continue to be challenged, while the foundational pieces (i.e., agents and relationships) will remain vital.

However, just like the post-Y2K years, there is always room to improve. Astute brokers will be defined by the initiatives they take that ensure they’re part of the consumer decision-making process.

1. Better Understand Your Audience
No, this isn’t a recommendation to go back to school to study sociology or psychology. It’s simply time to realize that mass consumerism is no longer the norm. Many seek personalization or authentic interactions. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon take advantage of data to make sure they provide content/products that appeal to the needs of their users. Apply this same approach to real estate. Strike up deeper conversations, listen to your clients, log immaculate notes (such as birthday or favorite sports teams) in your CRM, etc. Put your relationship skills to work and truly know with whom you’re working and give them what they want, because this is the new norm.

2. Showcase Your Expertise
In no other point in history has there been such a wealth of information readily available. Customers are savvier, they’re more adept at change, and, again, they know what they want. Many call this the age of the “uber experience.” It means once you’ve better understood your customer, it’s essential to be their go-to source of information. Be the agent or broker that gives customers something so tangible, so noteworthy that they’ll want to post about it across social media and tell their friends. Up your game with better website community pages, improve your listings presentations, make sure you stay on-top of repeat business, etc. Look to make your expertise so binge-worthy that customers will keep coming back for more.

3. Up the Usage of Technology
Yes, the topic of technology will continue to dominate the real estate landscape. No, technology alone doesn’t solve all of your pain points. Don’t just throw together a multitude of shiny objects because you’ve been told to. Look objectively at your abilities, the abilities of your agents and how intelligent use of technology can make the age-old quote “work smarter, not harder” ring true. Many of today’s real estate platforms, like Propertybase, provide brokerages and their agents with the tools they love to use. Look for a partner that takes great strides to provide an ecosystem that is centralized, but also offers open connectivity with other software. Most importantly, ensure that whichever technology you decide on is adopted and utilized to its potential in order to generate more business in 2020 and beyond.

John Voigt is manager, Digital & Brand Communications at Propertybase, a leading real estate platform. Complete with IDX and MLS-integrated luxury websites, lead generation, real estate CRM and intelligent transaction management and back-office tools, Propertybase strives to simplify the process of transacting real estate, create better customer experiences and help agents ditch the grunt work and focus on meaningful interactions—all leading to more business.