Goodbye 2020! Hello Golden Era of Real Estate!
What a year.
The most challenging for me personally in my 30+ year career. At CREtech, we ended 2019 on a high note... setting company sales records and accomplishing many professional growth objectives I had personally set for myself.
And then, in what seemed like an instant, it all came crashing down. Some really, really hard choices had to be made, which as the CEO, is the worst part of my job. But we fought hard. We acted quickly and decisively. Our core team came up with some really cool new strategies and we weathered the storm. Today, I am super excited for what's ahead for our company. In fact, I am very confident we will emerge a better, smarter and stronger company having gone through what we went through this past year.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
But while my company will live to fight another day, the pain felt by others and the devastating health and business hardships suffered by millions around the globe is truly heartbreaking.
Thinking about my industry, real estate technology, this past year was one which experienced 10X adoption in 10 months. It was for all the wrong reasons, but the speed and pace of tech adoption was truly staggering in real estate (and in most businesses during the pandemic). Literally overnight, companies had no choice but to get their tech house in order and to scramble to adopt as many smart solutions as possible to be able to reopen in the safest and healthiest manner possible, operate effectively in a remote work environment and meet the needs of their customer base who were demanding digital solutions to engage with.
And as I reflect on what's ahead for real estate tech and real estate in general, I truly believe we are about to enter the “Golden Age of Real Estate!”
Never before in my long career in real estate have I seen so many disruptive changes swirling around this sector. Everything from climate change becoming the mantra of corporate America/Gen Z to the new nature of work and how companies are looking to fully embrace a more flexible workplace. From retail, hotel and office spaces that are being repurposed and reconfigured for alternative usages to innovation on the construction side of the business finally taking root. From the migration from certain cities to thriving new markets where people are choosing to live/work and the creation of a whole new stock of affordable housing, virtually every aspect of how and where we live, work, dine, shop and travel feels like it's up for grabs.
I am absolutely convinced that these powerful market forces WILL finally force real estate companies to rethink, reimagine and retool EVERYTHING. From how they operate to what they build and manage. From the people they hire to how they train them. I have no doubt that 2021 will be the most transformative year we have seen in real estate in decades.
And for me and my global community, tech will be the common thread that drives, inspires and leads the way. Those that don't embrace this coming innovation era in real estate will undoubtedly be left behind. Those that do embrace these market forces and see them as a “once in a generation” opportunity, will be richly rewarded as the new leaders in real estate.
Think what e-commerce did to retail but imagine a force even bigger and more widespread that touches every single food group in the real estate industry. Think of how tech built cities like San Francisco and fueled NYC after 2008 and how the pandemic has now created the strongest housing market seen in years as people are rethinking the need to live in places where they don’t enjoy the quality of life they desire. Think of the WFH/WFA experiment that largely worked. Think of the explosion of the logistics sector through the pandemic.
Now put that all in a blender and mash it up. That's what we are staring at today in the world of real estate.
2021… It’s a time to rethink and reimagine everything in real estate and I, for one, can’t wait for the new year to start!