By Ali Calladine

Time Magazine has just announced Greta Thunberg, 16 year old Swedish climate activist, as the person of the year (to almost nobody’s surprise). Amongst years of presidents, researchers, tech execs, and so on, Thunberg stands out to me in one particular way. It’s not her youth that sets her apart, but her completely non-individualistic approach.

The huge wave of support behind Thunberg is crossing oceans, cultures, and generations, and normalizing a view that monumental changes are needed in our society. Thunberg does not speak to individual accomplishments, or actions. She speaks to a society that needs to come together and support each other in a massive shift. She is constantly sharing her spotlight with other organizers, scientists, and indigenous youth. Her being recognized as person of the year tells us two things about where the world is at right now:

  1. We’re ready for foundational change
  2. We know we can’t do it alone.

What does this mean for the Real Estate Industry?

This industry is one that touches almost every person (at least those who can afford homes), which means that as the world changes, the industry changes. We don’t know what will shift in the coming years. Between tech, affordability challenges, the climate crisis, and changing cultural values, we’re primed to see some big shifts.

So where’s the connection?

  1. Be ready for foundational change

Adaptability has always been one of humanity’s strong suits, and if there is anything I’ve learned in my 3 years connecting with Realtors, it’s that those who embrace change are the ones who thrive, and who serve their clients to the highest degree. This industry includes everyone, which means open-mindedness, respect, and leaning into diversity are essential qualities to being adaptable and successful. Beyond that, embracing tech can mean serving your clients better, but it’s crucial to stay clear about what is most important, and how to preserve that.

  1. Know you can’t do it alone

When it comes to industry specific changes, working together is the second piece we can learn from Greta. Tech companies will challenge the current models of real estate. If Realtors can stand together for what it is that they do that matters, what policies best protect buyers and sellers, and be a part of the conversation about what the fairest housing models look like in the future, the impact will be mighty. In an industry full of intelligent, effective lone-wolves; it’s certainly going to be interesting (and exciting) to see people work together to uphold their beliefs.

I’m excited to see how Realtors will be a part of emerging housing models, and the changes rippling across our society. Real Estate is a backbone of the economy, society, and livelihoods of our populations, and we need great people with a high bar of both knowledge and ethics to support the industry through changes to come. Thank you to all of you who are already doing that work.

This will be Ali’s last Blog Post with the Nature of Real Estate. In 2020 she will be moving on to work more directly with global issues, and pursue higher education.