Wednesday, May 20, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
We all owe Yogi Berra a big "thank you" for telling us sixty years ago what we need to understand today. The future is NOT going to be what it used to be. A global pandemic and subsequent economic crash have changed everything we expected the future to hold.
I started this year with a vision. It was a vision that would set my company on a solid path to scalable growth. A “Beyond 20/20 Vision”, which was to focus on deeper and wider growth of our excellent service and partner network around the globe. Then suddenly, with barely a warning, a tectonic shift to the scale of a world war has brought society and the economy to its knees, gasping for air. In a mere couple of months, over 500 million people globally have lost their jobs. Here in the United States, economists are projecting a 30-40 percent reduction in GDP. Just in Q2. This is a disaster that makes the memory of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 feel like a mere cold compared to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the past two months of lockdown, my body has adjusted to the withdrawals of jet lag deficiency. No more conferences for me this year. I guess once the dust settles, I’ll be airborne again. But for now, Zoom, What’s App, We Chat, et al., remain my mode of transportation and the method of presentations and communications face to face. Yet, despite the malicious intentions of the Coronavirus, the vision is still in motion. This lockdown has provided the time to implement the goal of forging new friendships across the world and increasing our collaboration with like-minded professionals across the globe. With my newly acquired certification in Blockchain Technology from MIT, my horizons have broadened, new relationships are being solidified, and as the ashes of the COVID-19 crisis begin to settle, the world will once again begin to turn.
Already discernible patterns are emerging for our industry, tokenization and fractional investments are becoming industry buzz-words across the globe. While after a glorious decade here in the USA, it will be hard for many to come to terms with the new technologies necessary to survive in our brave new world. Many incumbents won’t be nimble enough to adapt to the upcoming changes. In the past four weeks, bail-out after bail-out has shaken the foundations of free-market economic theories, giving way to intertwined public and private sectors. All this was done in a couple of months and without a single gunshot. Simply unimaginable.
The digitization of real estate will revolutionize the way we do business. The goalposts have been moved. Over the past few years, a good percentage of our global business evolved around arranging citizenship or permanent residence for our clients, by investment in property overseas. However, after COVID-19, it is anticipated that many HNWI’s, their companies, and their supply chains will begin coming home. Jobs will be recreated and homes needed. While international real estate transactions have traditionally been based on reliable, solid relationships built over time, the new trust factor, blockchain, will be behind many of the changes moving forward. As we start to facilitate the migration back to the USA, international referrals, escrow, and commissions will need to be protected like never before. As a real estate professional, local, or global, you will need to be open-minded, forward-thinking, and prepared, to survive.
Vanessa Saunders MBA, MIMC As Founder, CEO, and Principal Broker of Global Property Systems is responsible for three divisions, residential, commercial, and relocation with a presence on three continents. Saunders is a lifelong global marketing professional with 18 years in the real estate she is known as an industry leader in the global real estate arena, and global influencer in blockchain technology, business innovation, and application. A board member of Consortia.realestate and advisory board member to SolidBlock.co. Saunders is currently Chair USA Strategic Planning Committee & Secretary-General Global Communications Committee, FIABCI (Federation of International Real Estate Professionals,) and Member FIBREE (Federation of International Blockchain Real Estate Experts.) Saunders serves regularly as a speaker at major conferences and corporate forums in the US, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. She has also served as a consultant and executive education faculty with some of the largest corporations in the world including IBM, Intel, Medtronic, Tyco, Pfizer, Mastercard, and SwissRE.
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