Revisiting our predictions for 2019

Back in January we had a bit of a think about what would be facing agents in the year ahead.

Given we’re now closer to the end of 2019 than the beginning, we thought it’d be a good time to go back and see how we’ve fared so far.

We said back then and we’ll say again now we tried to keep the thoughts and predictions as realistic as possible and completely based off the interactions we had with those in the market over the past few months back then.

Firstly let’s talk Brexit. While our predictions didn’t focus on Brexit, it’s something that still hasn’t happened. And as we write this follow up piece, we’re four days into the reign of our new Prime Minister. A man who “at all costs” has promised to take the UK out of Europe by October 31st.

Uncertainty still abounds throughout markets around the country. Brexit still dominates the news each night. And yet, homes are still instructed, buyers and tenants still view and deals are still done.

Over the last six months we’ve spoken to a number of agents who are having their best years ever. Why is this? Well, it’s conveniently down to our first prediction…

  1. Leaders will encourage more human interaction.

We’ll claim that we got this one right.

“Old school estate agency” is in vogue again. Social media and mass marketing took the focus away from the one on one communication for many agents during the extended bull market, and it’s those agents who never left it behind who are seeing the real benefits of it now.

Prospecting and value-add-communication has made a big comeback this year amongst those agents wanted to thrive, rather than just survive. 

  1. Technology will improve efficiency

When we published our predictions we were seven days away from soft-launching the first BETA version of Homesearch. Six months and a few thousand users later, we’re happy to report we’ve played our part in improving efficiency too.

The CRMs are starting to come to the party, and businesses out there like Olivia, IceBerg Digital, Inspect Real Estate, Fixflo, Mio and more all offer valuable and affordable products for an agent to streamline their businesses so they can focus on the really pound-productive work.

  1. Agents will learn more than ever

It’s hard to gauge if this one’s true or not as I think most great agents have always been lifelong learners. 

Facebook is a huge learning tool for agents and we’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to participate in both Matt Giggs’ and Perry Power’s agent Facebook groups, as well as setting up our own Homesearch Community

The Estate Agents podcast is a wonderful (and free!) resource for any agent wanting to learn and upskill from their peers. The guys behind it put out incredible, in-depth and UK centric content week in week out that a listen can take onboard and action immediately.

to see the industry starting to help each other out more through knowledge sharing is exciting and can only been positive steps forward for all involved. 

  1. Companies will turn to retention over recruitment

We actually think we’ve got this one wrong. 

I’ve heard a lot of stories of agents unwilling to change being asked to leave the industry by their employers, even if they were doing the numbers. In a tight market, culture is everything and more and more businesses are realising the cost of high-performers with a poor attitude to the rest of their team and their business. Again, this is a sign that relationships are being valued more than transactions and these businesses will flourish in the long-term.

Recruitment has taken on a whole new look in a lot of the industry. Gone are the days of recruiting from a competitor for the existing market experience, or black book of contacts. Here and now are the days of recruiting from outside the industry, recruiting on a people first basis and recruiting people based on values rather than direct-agency-experience. And, from what we’re hearing anyway, it’s producing better results.

  1. Mental well-being will get prioritised

We’re trying to push this forward with our #mentalhealthmonday focus but it’s still an area that people are scared to talk about and management are scared to address.

Without awareness, there is fear. We need to continue to push the conversation around mental health in estate agency forward as often as we can. There are people in our industry who struggle to go to work every day because of the stress, depression or anxiety that it’s causing them.

They don’t quit because it’s all they know and they don’t get help because they don’t believe people will understand their issues.

If you’re reading his and that sounds like you, hear us. People get it. People care. And talking cures.

And if you’re a leader (or want to be) and you’re reading this, hear us. Make sure people know you get it. Make sure people know you care. And make sure people know you’re there.

Bringing it all together...

We got a few right, a couple wrong and one that’s always going to be in the conversation. How did you think we did? And what are you predicting for the rest of 2019 into 2020?

To your success!