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Brad Inman’s crystal ball: Real estate predictions for 2017

The year of the homeseller, a female CEO of NAR and more

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Here were my predictions for 2016.

Here are my predicitons for 2017.

2017 will be the year of the homeseller

The most profound real estate technology innovations in the last two decades have benefited homebuyers finding homes and agents becoming more efficient.

This coming year, technologists and venture capitalists will zoom in on homesellers, with the $60 billion commission pie up for grabs.

Opendoor, Knock and to a degree transparent bidding features are examples. Using technology, more companies will figure out how to give sellers more certainty around their home sale.

Don’t miss out on the homeseller innovation parade — your livelihood is at stake.

The housing market will soar (temporarily)

Boosted by the Trump confidence pop, mortgage money will be plentiful.

IRAs (individual retirement accounts) are already increasing in value, and job creation efforts will take hold as unemployment has already reached new lows. Both of these trends will give consumers a boost in the market.

This could be short-lived as robots steal millions of service jobs, middle managers included. This trend will make overseas offshoring seem like a pimple on our butt.

Enjoy the sunlight, but stash away some of your profits for dark clouds later.

NAR will pick a woman to lead the trade group

Though the old-guard will lobby hard for anointing one of its own, the National Association of Realtors will do what the country could not — make a woman the CEO.

Remember, your hard work funds NAR, so speak up in one way or the other. If you hold an opinion, email the search committee and give them a piece of your mind.

Zillow will expand overseas by acquiring a European portal

Zillow will cross international borders through an acquisition of some type, somewhere.

Growth opportunity in the U.S. is still strong, but to fill its valuation expectations globe trotting will be necessary.

Still avoiding Zillow as a source of business?  Think twice before you continue to dismiss the giant portal.

Footnote: dotloop (a Zillow company) will come out of the closet and do some interesting things on the back end that make life easier for brokers and agents.

Opendoor becomes second-biggest broker in the country by year’s end

One year from now, Opendoor will be the second-largest broker in the U.S., second only to NRT.

By unit count — and, most importantly, by revenue — the exchange platform will give a segment of the selling market the certainty they generally cannot get when unloading their homes the traditional way.

Remember, Opendoor still works with buyers agents, so when the company comes to your market, consider how to make it work for you.

Redfin files to go public

The 10-year old online plodder will take its story to Wall Street and file to go public.

Redfin will use its new funds to capture more share in its current markets and continue to innovate and make gains on the recruiting front and with its technology.

Lots to learn from Redfin — copying their best features is one strategy to compete with them.

Equity-sharing mortgages will spread

Wall Street will provide the funds, and homebuyers in pricey markets with a sparse down payment will be the beneficiaries, as equity sharing becomes widespread because of support by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the big lenders.

Learn everything you can about this new loan so you can help your buyers who are scrambling to save their down payment.

Luxury housing market recovers, but tastes change

With a U.S. President who earned his billions in luxury real estate, the high-end market will have a revival as rich people who have been hoarding their cash and hiding out from the redistributionists will tiptoe back into the market.

But tastes will change. Walkable neighborhoods will become the Cartier wrist bands of real estate, guard dogs in tow.

Docusign IPO bigger than Zillow

The paperless cruasader, San Francisco-based Docusign will  go public, shining light on the real estate efficiency race. The company’s finances will look sterling and get the attention of Wall Street technology skeptics.  The IPO could be huge.

 Mars will be subdivided

A first step in creating a new civilized world on Mars will be a plan to subdivide the far-off planet. It could pay for space exploration. That is how we pay for infrastructure on planet earth.

Some of the smartest minds in the real estate industry will get involved. But don’t be bamboozled into investing in Mars property — yet.

The present and future will merge

Bots on your phone and on everything you own or drive will help you manage many functions of your life and will be automatically updated, taking you into the future every second, whether you like it or not.

Installation artist Douglas Coupland calls this phenomenon “accelerated acceleration.” Your challenge will no longer be keeping up with technology, because it has already kidnapped a big part of your life.

Instead figure out how to hold onto, restore and grow your humanness.

Bottom line: Enjoy 2017 — it will be a fun and exciting year.

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