The changing tide in real estate

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The 2013 edition of the Swanepoel TRENDS Report is out, and we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek before it officially hit the shelves. And we weren't disappointed. What's most impressive about this report is how forward-looking it is. Stefan Swanepoel recognizes that there is a fundamental shift occurring in the real estate industry and offers valuable conclusions to help keep you ahead of the curve. One topic he discusses that's near and dear to our hearts: the true value of a brand to your company. According to the report, companies and agents need to step up their game when it comes to developing and maintaining their brands:

"Building a brand is more complicated than just advertising, franchising or capturing online eyeballs. Consumers aren't just buying Starbucks, they're buying a larger experience through their interaction with the brand, their fellow consumers and everything else associated with Starbucks."

We've been preaching the importance of providing your customers with a great user experience, but it goes far beyond that. Swanepoel identifies a recent phenomenon he calls the "Gentle Revolution," in which a new generation of younger, technologically-savvy homebuyers is starting to interact with an older generation of more traditional real estate agents. Those that are unable to accommodate the new attitudes and behaviors of today's homebuyers will become casualties on the battlefield, writes Swanepoel.

With the real estate industry at a crossroads, the foresight that Swanepoel offers in his report is as important as ever. From the fiscal cliff to Berkshire Hathaway's big move, Swanepoel always finds a way to look beyond the obvious and understand the bigger picture. In an increasingly uncertain and competitive market, these insights are an invaluable tool for every real estate professional.

Image Credit: Rusalia Bazlamit on Flickr.com