Real Estate News
Real Estate News

2020—Hindsight or Foresight?

Written by
Monday, January 20, 2020

Is 2020—the start of a new year and a new decade—the year you look forward or the year you look backward? PJ Wade examines the benefits and shortcomings of your directional approach to context, process, and content.

January 2020 is the official “forward-thinking” month since it starts the calendar year and, this year, a new decade.

January’s annual barrage of forward-looking media, business, and social media “pundit prognoses” generates a wide range of business and online reflections on opportunity and risk in 2020.

If you don’t consider January the start of your business cycle or you’re on vacation this month, these forward-focused ideas may receive little or no consideration by you.

Where and when do you get your inspiration for the annual “fresh start” that keeps us on our toes against competition and in tune with target prospects and clients?

  • How effective are you at forecasting and goal setting?
    How much do you rely on your research and that of your brokerage versus industry pundits and business experts? Think back to the end of 2018 and your forecasts for 2019. Did last year turn out for you as predicted? What did you miss out on or overlook? What unexpected surprises did you cash in on?
  • Are you repeating an annual habit or do you have proof that this is the best you can do year over year?
    Do you use the same business forecasting methods each year or search out new analytical approaches and data resources to refresh your methods? How effective is your decision making? For instance, do you react more quickly to avoid loss than you do to gain advantage? Do you research ways to maintain status quo or are you continually on the lookout for ways to improve various aspects of your prospecting and client service? What did you learn in 2019 that you intend to put into action in 2020?
  • Will you uncover significant opportunities and relevant risks in 2020 using foresight or hindsight?
    Looking back over your real estate career, which driving forces have moved you forward and helped you overcome risk? Foresight’s anticipation of achievable opportunity can be exhilarating and translates into action and results. “If only I’d” realizations in hindsight are frustrating acknowledgments of loss that can undermine confidence in the future. Stay alert in 2020. This year is shaping up to be full of distractions which can mask opportunity and risk. Will you anticipate opportunity or bemoan losses in hindsight?

Learning from the mistakes of others rather than making expensive or time-wasting mistakes yourself can make a lot of sense. Consider the context, process, and content similarities and differences between your situation and those—including winners—who you want to learn from:

  • Context: Economic Sustainability

  • Use hindsight—which is after-the-fact clear vision—to explore the financial failings of others and what made them vulnerable: what they ignored, what they underestimated, what they overlooked…. A false sense of security or the “too big to fail” confidence that is common with continued success often leads to poor judgement.

    The occurrence of previously-impossible “big” financial failures and the economic roller coaster of the last decade should have taught us that the impossible does happen in this globally-interconnected world. Yet, it is surprising how often the obvious is overlooked. Ignoring increasing financial vulnerability is a common error. What are you overlooking? What could sneak up on you or your target market?

    Have you crunched the numbers so you know exactly where you stand if the market or interest rates turn against you or your target prospects and clients? Hoping nothing bad happens is not a strategy. Wait until something negative occurs and there may not be enough time for corrective solutions to kick in. Searching out ways to cut costs, expand into new niches or services, and earn additional income before a problem arises are strategies.

  • Process: Get Everyone On-side

  • Digital transformation has changed the way we do many things. A number of businesses and industries have been dramatically transformed while others have faded from view. How has the sales process you base sustainability of your practice or brokerage on weathered the shift to online commerce?

    Change is escalating. What do you believe is next for real estate and your sales process? Online shopping will continue to redefine the buying experience for purchasers and the selling experience for sellers.

    Buyers and sellers are often quoted saying that they feel their interests are at cross purposes with commission-intent real estate professionals. Strengthen “common purpose” to ensure prospects and clients connect their success with your services. That is, they understand that without you they cannot accomplish as much and certainly not all they want to. Start by explaining exactly how you contribute to success in the process of home buying and selling instead of merely touting your sales awards.

  • Content: Keep the Facts Straight

  • Perceptions distract us from reality. Real estate buyers and sellers are encouraged to concentrate on glorified “keeping up with the Jones” perceptions of economic value and “modern” interior design instead of learning the realities of financial return, continuous-upgrade maintenance, and design functionality.

    To acquire, preserve, and build home equity, buyers and sellers benefit from learning to analyze all that goes on around them. The increase in internet searches demonstrates that buyers search for content to make themselves smarter and sellers search for content to ensure they’re smarter sellers. Unfortunately, finding accurate, relevant real estate content can be a challenge. Increase your perceived value to prospects and clients by building on and enhancing your reputation as the “go to source” for accurate, relevant, practical real estate knowledge, online and off.

    My personal wish for you in 2020 is that you continue to move Onward & Upward—those are the directions that really matter!

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