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30 December 2010

The New Normal

In a year of many new buzzwords, and “buzz phrases” the one that stands out for me is the “new normal”. According to this Bloomberg article, the phrase was originally coined by New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1939. That was a decade into the Great Depression. That sort of confirms another buzz phrase “everything old is new again”.

So what is the new normal in real estate? Here are some of my observations:

  • Rightsizing your business. This can mean growing, downsizing or partnering. Whatever it takes to become profitable again is what needs to be done.
  • Small is the new big. Dozens of incubator brokerage start-ups are emerging and pioneering new ways to streamline our industry. Check out some of these pioneers on our Beta Broker site.
  • Collaboration. The willingness to share has never been more predominant. Have you been to a real estate barcamp yet? The next generation of our industry understands the power of sharing.
  • Education. There is a significant need that is being met by a new generation of educators. This goes beyond best practices and speaks to the need to understand the buyers and sellers of tomorrow and how to exceed their expectations.
  • Strategic Partnerships. Being fiercely independent just doesn’t cut it anymore. Acknowledging that others can actually add value to your business and help you achieve your goals is a good first step to becoming more strategic in general.

Did we really become an overblown, big is best, “I can do anything industry” in the glory days? Competing with each other at any cost? We have a huge opportunity in front of us to acknowledge that everything old is new again, and now is the time to adopt the new normal. Happy New Year!

10 thoughts on “The New Normal

  1. Sherry, nice points. I am interested in your last paragraph where you say, "Competing with each other at any cost?" Do you see IDX and the corporate competition to be THE site for the consumer to search for homes as an example? Seems like every large firm/franchise had to try to create the go to site when in reality, Realtor.com, Zillow, etc. captured most of the traffic. I always thought the industry spent/wasted millions of dollars duplicating what already existed to get a marginal return on investment. Just curious.

    Have a Happy New Year and prosperous 2011.

    1. HI Dave,
      I was referring to lowering the bar and thus lowering the level of professionalism rather than raising the bar… Your observation around where the consumer is going for the best search results is accurate in my opinion. You and I could have a long conversation on that topic – let's try to that sometime soon.

      All the best for a great 2011!

  2. Too much going on and a lot of it is c-r-a-p. For example this "rebar camp" runs the same day as Agent Reboot which in turn runs before Real Estate Connect. What moron would schedule such a thing in the same location on the same day? Next, as far as small start-up brokerages, the only thing they will be good at is trying, failing and ultimately merging or dying off. The market has shown if you don't have the resources in numbers, you aren't going to succeed. To them on that broker list I say, thanks for playing, here is a version of our home game.

  3. Hi Jason,
    There is a ltot going on the week of January 13th, but that means you have a choice of what to attend. If you would like my feedback on what might be best to attend, let's talk… I think we have a free registration for you, if you decide these events are not going to provide value to you – let us know, we have a waiting list of people who are looking for tickets. And thanks for your general feedback – I appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion!

  4. Sherry, I didn’t mean to get misconstrued as to what I was referring to as crap. I should have detailed some points. I am going to Agent Reboot so I am very excited about that. I am referring more to some of the newer technology things that people are trying to sell you such as mobile apps. Also you are correct as far as choices but the information as to who got to see what and made their decision was complicated due to the social networking way they marketed the events. Anyway I know we at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate are the best. 🙂

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