Camera that makes it look like the toilet lid is down could revolutionize real estate in 2014

Broker Notebook

Toddler investigating toilet image via Shutterstock.Toddler investigating toilet image via Shutterstock.

With 2013 coming to an end it’s time to make some predictions about the new year. If I am wrong I am wrong. But who knows — I could be just a little right, too.

Real estate is local, and these predictions may not reflect actual conditions in your area. Or mine. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

Overall, I think 2014 is going to be a great year. More homeowners will be able to sell because they have equity after making payments for a few years, and because of the rise in home values.

My predictions for 2014:

1. In 2014 a shortage of homes on the market will lead to the launch of a new, national “pre-MLS.”

2. Half of the homes that go on the market in the spring will have five offers before they get into the MLS and three offers before they get on the pre-MLS.

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3. A technology company will discover that real estate is local, and forever change the way real estate websites work. Fifty new real estate portals will emerge.

Amazon.com will quietly become the go-to destination for real estate by providing drones that homebuyers will use to poke around inside of homes before placing their orders."

4. Someone will figure out that real estate brands can be rated and reviewed, too. Each brand will insist that it is independently owned and operated and not responsible for the actions of agents or franchisees as they recruit both by advertising that their brand is just “better.”

5. An entrepreneur will invent a product or service for real estate agents that they actually need, and become very wealthy from it.

6. More agents than ever before will go paperless. At the same time, the demand from buyers for property fliers and printed property disclosures will continue to rise. As a result, we will use more paper as an industry in 2014 than we used in 2013.

7. Amazon.com will quietly become the go-to destination for real estate by providing drones that homebuyers will use to poke around inside of homes before placing their orders.

8. The National Association of Realtors will see the average age of members continue to rise. NAR will invest more money reaching out to younger members, until they suddenly discover that younger members age and that being a Realtor is the cause.

9. As unflattering stereotypes of agents over a certain age continue to be in vogue and more organizations focus on recruiting younger agents, some older agents will get ticked off and form their own MLS, recruiting younger agents when they are old enough.

10. A special camera will be invented for real estate agents that will always make it look like the toilet lid in any bathroom is down. Other special features will include the ability to capture an image of a room with people and pets in it, without having any of them show up in the photo.

A couple of my predictions are really wishes. Who knows? Maybe I will be the one to invent or help invent something that real estate agents really need, and become fabulously wealthy from it.

I like the idea of a special camera. The industry could also use a video camera that shoots video that looks like it is being taken from a moving car, so no one gets hurt and no laws are broken by agents making videos of themselves while driving.

I have a completely different set of predictions for myself for 2014. I call them my business plan. I plan on having another amazing year helping people buy and sell real estate.

I’ll meet interesting people along the way and learn something new. No two transactions, clients or houses are the same.

I look forward to each day and the opportunities 2014 will bring.

Teresa Boardman is a broker in St. Paul, Minn., and founder of the St. Paul Real Estate blog.

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