Here we are at the beginning of a new year in the midstate, and I had to weigh in with my real estate trends to watch for in 2014 – just a couple of thought on things that will (might?) be coming to a listing near you:
1. Video listings. Video technology has been steadily infiltrating the real estate industry for the past few years but remains on the fringe. I predict that we’ll see an upsurge in brokers using video walkthroughs and marketing pieces to highlight their listings.
2. Drone photography. Despite the questionable legal standing of using remote-controlled drones for aerial photography of properties, their use is growing rapidly and several local companies are offering them to real estate agents. Expect to see more sky-high shoots in 2014.
3. Facebook use will peak in 2014. I’ve been watching the trends in social media and all the recent data suggests that Facebook use has peaked worldwide and is actually in decline as new users (young people) are turning to other “quick use” platforms like Instagram , Twitter and Snapchat. For real estate agents, Facebook will be merely a placeholder for their marketing rather than a mainstay by the end of the year.
4. Mergers and acquisitions. Expect to see more regional real estate brokers merging and being acquired by larger firms in 2014, such as what happened with York-based Morgan Collins and Howard Hanna in 2013. The effects of the prolonged recession and changing real estate industry are still being felt.
5. Increased influence of large real estate websites. Firms like Zillow and Trulia are on the move with ever-increasing share of Web; 2014 will see no break in that trend. Smaller regional sites like Homes.com and Redfin will continue to grow in share at the expense of local broker and agent websites.
Those are my thoughts as we launch into 2014! See you on the other side.