AgentOpinionReal Estate

Opinion: The power of predictability in an unpredictable year

There is power in steady, unchanging predictability, both in life and in real estate. 

According to the most recent United States Census, Maricopa County of Phoenix, AZ is currently the largest-gaining county in the U.S. Why? Certainly there are various factors at play, but I’d venture to guess that one of the most significant is weather, but not exactly for the reasons you may think.

Outside of the occasional rainstorm, Arizona weather is quite consistent. It’s pleasant and sunny nearly every day. Yes, people are moving there in droves because the weather is nice, but equally as important, it’s consistently and predictably the same every day. It’s one less thing people have to wonder or worry about. 

There is power in steady, unchanging predictability, both in life and in real estate. This is an exciting year, and likely one full of changes. The housing market is in a distinct position where, despite mortgage rates, demand still far outpaces supply and prices remain at record highs. The industry is also contending with commission lawsuits and what this will mean for real estate long term. For many reasons, real estate professionals and consumers alike are expecting change and, to some extent, are wary of just how much change there will be. 

It’s true, though, that we often crave things that are different. Tony Robbins, a world-renowned motivational and inspirational speaker, has often highlighted uncertainty/variety as one of the “six core human needs.” But he is also quick to state that one of the other six human needs is, in fact, certainty. Predictability IS certainty. What is interesting, though, is that in times of struggle, fear, pain or massive change, we tend to reach for something that’s different. Quite regularly, I see real estate agents seeking other avenues for creating income during “down” years or changing their approach over and over again in search of that one magic tool, trend or tactic that is going to solve all of their business challenges.

I’d like to make an argument for the alternative.

During times of uncertainty, people appreciate more than ever what they know and can rely on. For all real estate professionals, from brokers managing their business, to team leaders managing their colleagues, to agents managing their clients, an unpredictable market is an opportunity to cement yourself as a pillar of reliance and predictability. 

I’ll share an example. I once had a client pay me one of my favorite compliments I have ever received. She was awaiting my arrival at 5 p.m. At 4:59:59, I knocked on her door, which she opened and said, “I could set my clocks by you.” I was so reliable and consistently punctual that my arrival alone signaled it was 5 p.m. Conversely, it would be very out of character if I walked into a sales meeting wearing a wetsuit and snorkeling gear with no explanation. It would be disconcerting to my team to see me, their managing broker, behaving out of the norm and differently from what they’ve come to expect. 

High performers get more opportunities in the long run because they are reliable; they make those around them feel comfortable and secure despite whatever else is going on. Reliability, in this case, is caused by predictability. NBA basketball coach Steve Kerr once spoke of his multi-time MVP point guard, Steph Curry, and the key to his success being the consistency of his routine. Kerr said, “It’s like a metronome. I mean, every day, it’s the exact same thing.” Even dating all the way back to the days of ancient Greece, Aristotle posited,  “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” 

Real estate professionals get more opportunities to succeed as a result of their predictability. Their colleagues and clients trust that they’re not only going to show up, but also that when they do, their reliably high level of performance will get the job done. 

In 2024, choose to be predictable. Existing and even new clients will appreciate your steadfastness, and in turn, trust you with their real estate needs, even in a variable housing market. Brokers and team leaders, that goes for you, too. Give your agents a place with people they can rely on no matter what’s going on externally.

Considering this is an election year complete with aliens at Miami shopping malls and Taylor Swift being the NFL’s current MVP, all while being on the heels of a major 2023 real estate market correction, there’s a lot going on externally. Being constant during a sea change is good for both morale and business. 

Geoff Bray is the broker/owner of Engel & Völkers Minneapolis.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HousingWire’s editorial department and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Geoff Bray at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Velt at [email protected]

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