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108: Josh Cobb: Real Estate Industry Trends For 2017: Our Top 3 Predictions

By |December 7, 2016| No Comments

Are you looking for new industry trends coming to real estate in 2017? Do you want to know where others are focusing their attention?

Agents and teams typically spend these quieter weeks at the end of the year planning their marketing strategies and business operations for the year ahead. It’s a time to reflect on what’s worked over the past 12 months and more importantly, what didn’t.

From all of the strategies being discussed among agents and teams right now, there are a number of interesting trends starting to emerge.

To get you ready for what might be coming next, we’ve shared our predictions on this final episode of Real Estate Pros for 2016, of the top three industry trends to watch out for in 2017.

Real Estate Industry Trends For 2017: Our Top 3 Predictions

This week marks our final episode of Real Estate Pros for 2016. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have met and worked with hundreds of agents around the country and abroad throughout 2016, and I know for many of you that it’s been a big year.

For some, it’s been a tough market.

Take Townsville in Queensland for example. With up to 10% unemployment rate and a drop in property values, agents in Townsville have been doing it tough this year. Or Perth, where the downturn in mining has affected many markets as well.

On the flip side, we’re all aware of the growth of the Sydney market and to a slightly lesser extent, our other major capital cities on the east coast.

It’s been a tough 12 months for many agents around the country, but for others, it’s simply been an extremely busy year with lots of listings and many personal achievements. Either way, I think everyone is looking forward to a break over the Christmas period to spend time with their families – I know I am!

In our travels more recently, the discussion among agents and teams during this quieter part of the year is around strategies for 2017.

Many are in ‘planning mode’ for the year ahead and from the discussions we’ve had with agents and business owners, there are a number of trends starting to emerge.

So in this final episode of Real Estate Pros for 2016, we’d like to share our predictions on the top three real estate industry trends for 2017.

Prediction 1: New business models will start to emerge

This year we’ve seen the introduction of companies such as Purple Bricks and others who claim to be a better alternative than a traditional real estate business. We’ve seen an increase in flat-fee property management models whereby an agency charges the same dollar amount, no matter how much rent a property receives – rather than a traditional model whereby a percentage is charged on rent collected. We’re seeing developers build highly efficient property management departments into their businesses, instead of outsourcing managements to the local real estate agency.

We’ve seen businesses merge together and there’s been a number of highly publicised acquisitions throughout 2016.

So if there’s one thing that has emerged in 2016, more than any other year in our view, is that more and more people are questioning the traditional method of running a real estate business. The rising cost of running a traditional bricks-and-mortar real estate business is a very real threat to our industry.

We’ll likely see a number of new business models start to emerge here in Australia throughout 2017, at various levels from within the real estate industry itself. These new models will challenge traditional real estate businesses to rethink their business operations and their value proposition to the community in order to remain competitive – both in terms of remaining profitable, growing market share or being attractive to high-performers.

Prediction 2: The rise of teams and consultants

While it isn’t a new trend, we’re seeing a lot more individual agents surrounding themselves with a team of highly skilled salespeople, marketers and admin staff. This is a trend more likely to be found in our major cities, but nonetheless, it’s a trend that is putting pressure on individual agents who have built a name for themselves in a local community and have done it on their own. These agents are now, or soon will be, competing with teams of highly skilled real estate consultants.

So our number 2 prediction for 2017, is that we’ll see a rise in the amount of teams within a business rather than a team of individual agents, running their own show. This could very well tie in with new and emerging business models.

Prediction 3: The rise of strategic, measured marketing

As real estate agents, we do a lot of ‘stuff’ when it comes to marketing – whether it’s letterbox drops, real estate websites, social media posts, sponsoring the local sports team, email alerts, signboards or door knocking – the list goes on.

The common misconception among real estate agents is that the louder you shout in those channels, the better you’ll be heard. That may have been true 5 years ago but today, but it’s not a strategy being applied in 2017 by many high-profile agents and teams that we’ve spoken to recently.

The common misconception among real estate agents is that the louder you shout in those channels, the better you’ll be heard.

We’re seeing agents look at where they are spending their money and measuring the return on their investment. More agents are looking through the eyes of a business owner and making smart, strategic decisions on where they spend their marketing dollars.

On the previous episode of the podcast, we shared a story with you about a well-known agent who decided not to continue using Instagram as a marketing channel, because it had not delivered any measurable business outcomes for him or his team over the past 12 months. His followers comprised of other agents who admired him, or people who enjoyed looking at the properties he sells, but most likely couldn’t afford them.

After diving into his analytics, he determined that the people most likely to employ him as an agent, for the most part, were not on Instagram. Therefore, he made the decision to focus his efforts on another channel with a different strategy in 2017. It’s a channel where his potential clients spend their time. A hint – it’s not online.

We’re big fans of creating what’s called a marketing ‘not-to-do list’, whereby you list all of the marketing activities you’re currently performing and the channels you’re using to promote your business, and if something isn’t delivering a return-on-investment, or you can’t measure if it is, then you give yourself permission to put that tactic or task on your marketing ‘not-to-do list’.

So our number 3 prediction for 2017, is that we’ll see more agents make smarter, strategic decisions on where they spend their marketing dollars to get the best return on investment.

So what do you think?

Which of these predictions are you ready for? Is there something more you think is coming in 2017? Are we completely off the mark? Let us know. Send us an email to

To all of you who have tuned into the podcast throughout 2016, we cannot thank you enough for your support and feedback. We’ll be back on the air in January, ready for another year but until then, from our family to yours, we wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas with your families and a very prosperous 2017.

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