Charting your Real Estate Practice in an Unknown Future

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Charting your Real Estate Practice in an Unknown Future

It should come as no surprise that the top business books for 2021 are all based on coping with an unknown future. As one commentator said, ‘we do not know what will happen in the future and grand plans are most likely a big waste of scarce resources’. But what is interesting are the recommendations for business planning in these challenging times. Here are a few of the top business books for 2021 and their big ideas for charting your barque across unknown seas.

Uncharted: How to Map the Future by Margaret Heffernan. In her book, Margaret suggests experimentation on a more ‘local’ level – brainstorming for small new ideas and then trying them, without too much investment. She is big on the word – experimentation. What little changes can we make to our practice that can innovatively solve unique 2022 real estate challenges for our local community.

As if to follow up on Margaret’s book there is The Imagination Machine: How to Spark New Ideas and Create Your Company’s Future by Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller. In this book the author suggest embracing serendipity and play. It embraces creativity and imagination especially around new social media and cloud computing technologies. The book suggests deriving the full benefit of changing our traditional operating procedures through information technology. Lead generation and the sales funnel come to mind.

In the book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant, the author suggests embracing the scientific method – formulate hypotheses, use data to test them, and discard them in case the evidence is not supportive. This is supposed to help you stay curious, rethink, and set boundary conditions for existing ideas. With such a mindset you are ready to discover new knowledge. Here, I think of using Google Forms to carry out small scale online research in your community or market. Then using the findings to offer new innovative real estate services.

The best selling book Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley, questions the need of the office and promotes going back to a nomadic lifestyle to find business where it exists, using digital tools. I think of the Guyana market and the phenomenal growth in real estate development taking place just outside our front door.

Finally, I highlight Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World by Ron Adner. In this book the author argues that its not working harder to compete better and win the existing game, that may no longer be relevant, but determining what is the correct game. The book suggests that a changing market requires a different response, not the same response with greater effort.

I hope you find the books and their ideas provocative enough to start you rethinking your approach to your real estate practice. By all accounts 2022 will be even more challenging. My personal takeaway is to approach the new year not with new big strategies but experimentation, a more tactical approach and with a lot more agility and collaboration.