There has been a (dare I say it) unprecedented amount of content produced over the last few months in these (please don’t unfriend me) unprecedented times about exactly what will happen as we move out of the crash and lockdown of covid and into the drag of its recovery. Much of it is wild crystal balling, and I’ve read just about every prediction from total economic meltdown/Mad Max/doomsday to a recovery festival of spending and prosperity – hedonism that would make Caligula blush.
Like when you put any two things on a spectrum the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but some predictions are probably safer than others when it comes to planning in your real estate business for 2021.
“But can’t I just get my 2020 plan that I ripped up in April and do that?” Nope. Sociological curveballs in history, such as covid, do untangle the order of things and give everyone an opportunity to redefine and redesign our lifestyles. But just remember that while history doesn’t repeat itself, it does rhyme and there are some clues here and there that will help you know what to expect when you are expecting recovery from a global pandemic.
When will this all be over? Is the question on everyone’s lips because it is difficult to have confidence about when to invest in growth again.
In terms of predicting the global recovery – the truth is I don’t know. But like miners sending a canary down the shaft to check the air – you don’t always have to know, you just have to know who to watch. Smart people watch connected people – connected people buy gold when the economy is in trouble because all currency is connected to it. Then they offload it at a premium at the first hint of recovery, selling it downstream where the information is yet to trickly. This is not financial advice nor is it a conspiracy theory…it is just a fairly well-established canary.
When gold starts to fall, it’s because the smart people know cash is coming back.
If you go too aggressive too early on the comeback, you might overshoot and arrive at economic recovery while the hostess still has her hair up in curlers. Instead, you can use the prep time to get your house in order. Likewise, if you are too late to the party, you’ll be bathed in regret and left kicking around the discarded red solo cups on the ground.
If you still don’t know how to make sure that you are ready, see the section below on The Rocketeers, and if you are not rocketing up, you’ll have to buckle down and catch up.
Defibrillation is the process of restarting someone’s heart with a great electric shock – my dad was a heart patient and described it as ‘like being kicked in the chest by a donkey.’ It is a great word to describe what happens once these events finalise. Whether it has been because of war, disease or economic crash – the instinct of the survivors is to build better defences to the future threat, and it often happens in quite irrational but predictable ways.
After being locked out of work and shut out of CBD entertainment venues, you might expect a pouring of people back into the urban pulse of the CBD in the inner city ring. Yet, the highly respected demographer Bernard Salt, is predicting a ‘defibrillation of suburbia’ as people seek connection but stick with their decentralised lives, bringing social, entertainment and commercial opportunities to the suburbs – formerly known as the place where you can find a car park.
People will reassess and choose their local areas carefully, and they will leave them less. The massive spike in online enquiry to real estate portals during the pandemic, even though listing volumes were dramatically down…perhaps that supports this theory – and we shall call it the research phase for people getting ready to move and lock into a newly revived Australian dream.
Don’t believe me? Think about why there is so much post-war housing in the suburbs just outside the urban ring of our cities. That was the suburbia of a less populated, less sprawled city and it is where the privileged chose to build the great Australian dream. The inner city was a ghetto for migrants and poor workers who were prepared to live in close proximity to others and they suffered from the impacts of that density which was disease… that bogeyman will stain us and our memories far beyond 2020 and the quarter-acre block may very well return as the hallmark of Australian living.
Real estate agents, you have the opportunity to put yourself at the core of this suburban regeneration and to connect people to a defibrillated suburban community. If you aren’t occupying this space at the hub of your local market, one of your competitors will be and they will be putting the deep roots down into their community that will sustain their business as local market leaders for generations.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I said that there was a time to sow and a time to reap. While most people and organisations will shift into subsistence mode, where they persist to struggle against the elements and survive almost day to day on the crumbs that this economy has allowed to fall to the ground. Others have been sowing crops.
They have cracked open the war chest that they squirrelled away in good times so they could wait out this economic winter, nurturing their data building timelines and pipelines, and they are ready to capitalise on the explosion of optimism in the suburbs. These agents will reach new market share with a rocket and have clean, lean, mean databases ready to continue expanding.
Nothing makes me more proud than the work we have done with RiTA and our clients during this pandemic to ensure that they are in that position – or at least to be rocket ready.
If you have not been sitting on hundreds of potential sellers who are ready to emerge from the pandemic and restart their lifestyles, then you have been doing data wrong.
We can help.