Reviewing My 2009 Predictions

The Seven of Cups Means You're Batting .600!

It’s that time of the year when thoughts turn to chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sleighing through the snow laughing all the way, and making predictions about the future that are likely to be completely wrong. I’m working on that.

But in advance of it, I thought I’d take a look at my track record. In 2009, I made a Top Ten Predictions for 2010 on Inman.com (which you can buy here, though I see not a penny of it, so why I’m promoting it is unclear to me). A year ago I made the following predictions:

10. Social Media Will Divide Between E-Commerce (Can Prove ROI) and PR (Cannot Prove ROI)
9. RPR will reinvent itself
8. A Major Brokerage Company Will Hand the Reins to an Executive Under 40
7. Google Becomes a Real Player in Real Estate
6. Housing market will be worse in 2010 than it was in 2009
5. The New York Jets will once again not win a Superbowl in 2010
4. At least one of the major national real estate search web sites will no longer be around as an independent company.
3. REBarCamp will move closer towards conventional conferences, while conventional conferences will move closer to REBarCamp.
2. A wave of consolidation will start in 2010 within MLS industry.
1. Real estate enterprise CRM will finally make its appearance and start to create competitive advantage for those who have it.

So let’s see how I did.

The Predictions And the Score

10. Social Media Will Divide Between E-Commerce (Can Prove ROI) and PR (Cannot Prove ROI)

I’m giving myself 1/2 of this prediction as PR-type of social media, which was so hot in 2009, still cannot prove ROI no matter what the members of the cult say. I’d say that outside the RE world, e-commerce social media (e.g., Dell tweeting deals and sales) has proven itself, and there are some shoots of brokers and agents leveraging social networking platforms for straight up advertising, but 2010 did not prove to be a breakout year in real estate social media world.

Having said that, I’m giving myself half here because my sense is that after some of the most excessive hype in 2008 and 2009, the industry has cooled off on the whole “social media will save your business” thing quite a bit. There are still a few diehards who go around preaching that Facebook is the source of all salvation for things real estate, but I rather think they’re finding fewer converts than before. So let’s call it half.

0.5 for 1

9. RPR will reinvent itself

I’m going to say I was right about this one. According to a RPR executive I spoke with earlier this year, the application has been modified significantly to address concerns of MLS’s and large brokerages. At this point, it seems to me that the RPR isn’t much more than some version of public records data combined with report generation. Whether that remains the case into the future, who knows? But in 2010, I’d say RPR reinvented itself out of necessity.

1.5 for 2

8. A Major Brokerage Company Will Hand the Reins to an Executive Under 40

Nope, definitely wrong. At least, I have heard nothing and seen no announcements of a CEO under 40 being named for any major brokerage. If you have, please let me know.

1.5 for 3

7. Google Becomes a Real Player in Real Estate

I’m going to say I was wrong on this, because I meant more than being the search engine of choice for nearly all consumers. I thought Google would do more with their Place Pages. It has not in 2010.

1.5 for 4

6. Housing market will be worse in 2010 than it was in 2009

I think I was pretty much on the money with this prediction, don’t you think? NAR’s last report had 2010 running some 3% behind 2009 in terms of sales year to date, and 0.9% down in prices.

2.5 for 5

5. The New York Jets will once again not win a Superbowl in 2010

While this prediction remains to be seen and while I desperately hope I’m wrong, given how the Patriots, the Falcons, and the Eagles are playing… I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I was right.

3.5 for 6

4. At least one of the major national real estate search web sites will no longer be around as an independent company.

I’m giving myself half of this one. While no major national search site has gone bankrupt or been bought out by someone else, Roost did completely change its business model and for all intents and purposes, has exited the real estate portal business.

4 for 7

3. REBarCamp will move closer towards conventional conferences, while conventional conferences will move closer to REBarCamp.

In light of things like Agent Reboot, and the fact that many of the recent REBar Camps I’ve attended were indistinguishable from any traditional conference where some speaker addresses a room full of passive listeners… I’m going to say I was right on this one.

5 for 8

2. A wave of consolidation will start in 2010 within MLS industry.

I thought we would see far more consolidation in 2010, but I did say the wave would start in 2010. And that is happening.

6 for 9

1. Real estate enterprise CRM will finally make its appearance and start to create competitive advantage for those who have it.

Oh, so totally wrong on this one. Nascent green shoots, like we’ve seen from GoodLife Team, have not really come to much in 2010.

6 for 10

So… should I look at this like a Final Exam, in which case 60% is failing, or like I’m a switch-hitting infielder, in which case batting .600 makes me a lock for the Hall of Fame?

I’d like to see some of the others who made predictions for 2010 back a year ago score themselves. You out there somewhere Gahlord? Stefan? Tara? Joel? How d’you guys do?

In the next few days, I’ll do my predictions for 2011, most of which are guaranteed to be wrong, or your money back.

-rsh

  • http://twitter.com/KEGreene1 Kevin Greene

    I’m going to agree with Amy on this one. It’s hard enough for weather people to predict the weather for next week, much less predicting what people in the industry (who you have no direct control of) will be doing in the next year. Well, the Jets was an easy one! But 60% is like batting .600.

    Here’s to a safe and happy Holiday season!

  • http://twitter.com/HomesourceNW Paul Tretter

    on #1 On the CRM prediction, After helping build an IDX platform, I saw the combination of CRM and integrated IDX search(leveraging mls data) and activity tracking in the same interface to be killer in terms of customer service and efficiency. I actually work with something like this everyday now. So maybe you are not far off for early adopters. One note though: this new format requires a different mindset and discipline that is not easy for all to master.

  • http://twitter.com/Roverman Rob Overman

    Sorry Rob, but I don’t think MRMLS -> CRMLS counts as the start of a wave of consolidation. Every year one or two MLS’s merge to reduce costs, provide better service or bend to political pressure. Some of us providing MLS solutions have been talking about consolidation for years. Despite the relative size of the new CRMLS, we’re not seeing an appreciable reduction in the number of MLS organizations. it seems like we’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop for over five years.

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