Removing the roadblocks: Nigel Dalton on tomorrow’s customer, social and tech trends emerging, and why true innovation lies in solving your customer’s struggle

The pace of change is happening faster than ever before and that applies across both technology and society in general. So how can your agency be ready, and what will those changes bring? Social scientist Nigel Dalton looks at social and tech trends emerging, and why the key to innovation involves solving your customer’s struggle.

Future opportunity for the real estate industry isn’t about tech adoption, property market shifts or even fee discussions. It involves solving your client’s struggle, according to social scientist Nigel Dalton.

And that struggle will change, he says, as new generations enter the market and technology advances. But if you can find the roadblocks that stand in the way of transacting or renting property, that’s where there’s an opportunity to innovate and future-proof your business.

As the former Chief Inventor for REA and a current social scientist at global consultancy ThoughtWorks, Nigel has a deep insight into both tech and social trends.

He notes the pace of change is gathering momentum, and it’s only likely to continue in the years to come.

In this Elevate podcast with Elite Agent Managing Editor Samantha McLean, Nigel examines some of the tech and social trends which are emerging now, what’s likely to happen in the next 10 years, and also beyond.

He shares how that will impact real estate, and why agencies need to start preparing for the shift.

Nigel notes those changes include Baby Boomers exiting the property market, the rise of Gen Z in the workplace and real estate market, and the increasing integration of the online and offline world.

And Nigel says he’s concerned for the industry if they believe the next 10 years will be anything like the decade that has just been.

It won’t be predictable, it won’t be all laid out, it won’t be about plugging the gaps with technology.

Instead, it will involve knowing your customer, understanding their struggle and finding new and innovative ways to better cater to their needs.

It will also involve seizing on the local advantage rather than being overwhelmed by global trends.

“This is not a war of global companies versus local camps. Ignore the globals, they cannot get down to your neighbourhood. Big companies are terrible at local, but you’re brilliant. Exploit that and solve the struggle.”  Nigel Dalton.

Nigel and Samantha also discuss:

  • How generational change will reshape the property market over the coming years, with a disenfranchised cohort coming in and the property rich Baby Boomers bowing out.
  • Why the pace of change is rapidly accelerating, what the future is likely to hold and how a five-year plan will soon be irrelevant.
  • The rise of the metaverse, how Gen Z has been embracing it for years and why agents are mistaken if they think it’s not about real estate.
  • How Gen Z will reshape the real estate workforce and why they will be an incredible asset to the industry, but only if you can find the right way to motivate them and cater to their needs.
  • How 2050 is now closer than 1990 and why you should have this front of mind when preparing your business for the future.
  • Why true innovation lies in paying attention to your customer’s experience, while getting “into the weeds” of really running a company.
  • Key examples of how real estate businesses are seeing their customer’s struggle and creating innovative ways to assist.
  • Why time is your client’s most precious asset and how this gives agencies an opportunity to claw back decreased commissions via additional services.
  • How to approach automation, and why it pays to be careful about what’s automated and what’s not.
  • Why employees need a map of where they’re going, and an idea of the progress made rather than just turning up ‘for another day at the salt mines’.
  • Nigel’s favourite question to ask about the future of real estate, and the mindset it helps reveal.
  • How and why agencies can embrace real opportunity when they choose to be the best player in their neighbourhood

And much, much more…

You can find out more about Elite Retreat and the lineup of speakers and experts attending here.

Connect with Nigel

Show More

Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.