Property 2021 Feast or Famine?
In three and a half decades in property, 2020 was for me and I am sure you, the most exciting, devastating white knuckle ride that I can remember.
Like a badly mixed cocktail, with shots of alcohol/events that should never share the same glass, and two cocktail umbrellas, one Brexit the other Covid-19, it is time to down the whole concoction and brood on the hangover which might be property market in 2021.
RICS reports market sentiment now cooling, but every December this happens, and with property inventory per branch being at its lowest for decades, it is hard to say if mid-January will be boom or bust for the residential industry.
More subtle, nuances though will play out, just as Zoom became our new best friend, the real story was that adoption of technology takes years or can happen all at once.
Apply this to the present way business has been done by estate agents – and as CBRE said earlier this year – there will be a widening gap between digital tech agents and those who stay in the analogue world. With the modern agents focusing their tech on ‘analytics, management and experience.’
So, my view of 2021 and the housing market is I hope it remains strong, but the strongest and most resilient property businesses will be those who modernise, as the real enemy at the door is agents – ‘complacency or just doing the same thing.’
When your competitor is doing the same thing as you everyone gets a piece of the housing market pie, but if one single thing 2020 has taught us, businesses with big pedigrees in retail and other sectors are gone forever, why? The way they did business had become irrelevant, as the consumer changed the way they shop.
Property is a commodity, the second biggest asset class on the globe, and we are all in a service industry. We either plan, build, sell, lease, or asset manage things that humans dwell in.
The trickiest part of 2021 will be second guessing how our customers most want to do business with us. What communication channels and when; great rewards for those who get it right, and a nasty hangover perhaps for those who do not.