This year’s Trailblazers entries are a testament to a sector that is getting more and more comfortable with new ideas and new ways of doing things.
Like many other industries, the influence of disruptive technologies, talent and consumerism are gaining momentum. These are not things that should be feared, but should rather be seen as an opportunity to revolutionise the way we work and diversify our offer to ensure that we can service the needs of all our clients, wherever they are in the property lifecycle.
The industry has shown that it is able to keep up with the lifestyle trends and consumer behaviours that simply didn’t exist a decade ago.
For example, several Trailblazers are involved in businesses that recognise the growing desire and, indeed, the need for people to live and work in communities both on a temporary basis and in the longer term. This has given rise to several platforms designed to link people with property and living spaces that can accommodate a much more flexible lifestyle.
This is also reflected in the greater diversity of property types now being introduced to consumers that offer much of the convenience of a hotel but are still very much a ‘home’, demonstrating the shift from buying to renting in the UK among certain groups.
There is also a strong focus on making much better use of existing property, with initiatives that optimise unused areas such as lofts and roof spaces, as well as those focused on improving environmental performance in terms of energy efficiency and sustainable materials.
Again, this is a long-term trend and commitment – and one that landlords and housebuilders are embracing.
We have also seen a number of organisations focusing on increasing the supply of housing for rent, which is a key challenge for the economy.
This is a fundamental part of the housing jigsaw and a long-term problem that needs to be solved, so the more effort and innovation put behind making more of these homes available and making them attractive places to live the better.
Technology will continue to have a major disruptive influence on our sector, not just by empowering consumers but also by helping established businesses such as Cluttons improve the service we provide our clients.
Property maintenance will be monitored, and problems solved with the click of a mouse or a tap on an app. Property searches will continue to be improved making the buying and selling process much more efficient for all parties involved.
I have been fortunate to have spent my whole career in property and enjoyed witnessing the changing dynamics and innovations along the way. It is great to see property professionals bring their entrepreneurial spirit and ideas to bear and it reminds me that we all need to be curious – curious about new ideas, big and small. Otherwise we risk falling out of touch with the trends that will shape and influence the future.
Change is a good thing and something that should be embraced to ensure that the industry continues to attract new talent and to develop new and better ways of doing business.
Einar Roberts is head of residential consultancy at Cluttons
See the full list of RESI Trail