We’re in the fourth quarter of 2019, we have roughly 58 days until we enter a new year and a new decade. Knowing it’s time to really get focused on the next year and what we need to plan for how  to get there, I’ve put together what I’ve been hearing, seeing, discussing and analyzing.

I want to go over disruptors, predictions for 2020 and solutions to have the most successful year yet. I know what you all are thinking … I’m the FSBO and expireds guy, so where is all this coming from? It’s coming from the fact that I am on the ground with you all, day in and day out and I hear what others are saying about the markets and the industry and I’m seeing the shift in the markets and industry, so I want to simply share the information.

In my opinion, the three biggest disruptors next year will be: iBuyers, Federal Trade Commission regulations and the growth of the use of artificial intelligence. All three will radically change the way agents and clients communicate and interact.

Quite frankly, for many would-be clients, the necessity and relevance of real estate agents is a big question mark.

IBuyers

Why do we need to worry about iBuyers? Because they’re starting to replace agents. They’re enabling homeowners to make quick sales without having to go through the inconvenience of showing their homes. I know that historically iBuyers are not a phenomenon that anyone has taken as a threat due to the discounted prices.

However, that simply isn’t the case anymore. Markets where iBuyers are present are buying homes at 90-94 percent of market value. iBuyers, by the way, make up 11 percent of the sold homes in the Phoenix market. iBuyers are going to become more popular and are starting to emerge in the Midwest and other markets.

‘Do Not Call’

Next, let’s move on to the FTC and “Do Not Call” laws. These laws have gotten stronger and more prevalent and the FTC is cracking down on those who are not in compliance. There has been a plethora of cases brought on by the FTC and there are two instances where franchises were forced to settle.

In 2020, these laws and regulations will become stricter and consumer knowledge of these laws are now heightened. This, by the way, impacts the drop to voice mail message that we all do when we don’t necessarily need to talk to someone but want to leave a message and prospect.

Artificial intelligence

Now, let’s move on to artificial intelligence. Every big new wave of technology development presents a “game change” to various industries. I see this as a positive. Developments in artificial intelligence will enable all of us to do more transactions in shorter amounts of time. Artificial intelligence-enabled customer relationship management systems will do follow ups and client contacts for us. The key is learning how to master these new systems and use them efficiently.

How am I coming up with the predictions for 2020? I’ve been going to appointments every day and selling real estate every day. I see and hear all the rumblings, I’ve been studying the industry, markets and trends.

The need for excellence

This is what I see coming: More deals completed with iBuyers and markets will normalize/stabilize in 2020. Teams and brokerages will merge. Fewer teams will exist, but their size will increase. Distressed sales will rise, investors will start unloading their properties and online agent reviews will also rise in importance.

Client loyalty will decline as more customers will rely on the likes of Opendoor, Offerpad and Zillow. All these changes and shifts mean that now, more than ever, it’s important to not only understand but analyze our industry. Client satisfaction and experience are going to be how we win.

Alright, now for some solutions. First and foremost, we must add value to our clients. Our databases need to be the strongest they’ve ever been.

Next, we need to create a mission statement around providing the best client experience possible. This is how Live Unreal came about: We believe in and provide service that is so good that it is, in effect, an “Unreal” experience for our clients. When you are living an “Unreal” life, you are happier, your attitude and mindset is positive, you’re smiling, you’re confident, you’re looking forward to coming to work each day.

The reality is, due to the disruptors and the industry changes, we will have less business closing from those traditional sources of business. So, we must compensate for this by striving to do everything we can to increase our closings and business from our database. Mastering it, knowing it and taking the time to give our clients and ourselves the Unreal Experience is how we will succeed in 2020, and stay ahead of everything that is coming to disrupt our current industry.

Jeff Glover is a Realtor with Jeff Glover & Associates in Michigan.

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