Richard Worzel - Futurist - Speaker - Consultant
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Keynote & Workshop Topics
Keynote & Workshop Topics
Real Estate & Mortgages

Trends and Drivers of Change in Global Real Estate: What’s Ahead?

Like politics, all real estate is local. Yet, like politics, what happens globally can have a profound effect on any and every real estate market. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a best-selling author. In this Big Picture view of what’s ahead for global real estate, he examines the major forces that will impact real estate buyers, sellers, and investors, including:

Demographics – The majority of immigrants settles in the major cities, which has a profound impact on those markets. Meanwhile, the centuries-long move of people from rural areas to urban centers continues unabated, and the evolution of a creative class of professional makes some cities more attractive than others, favoring cities like Austin, Texas and Raleigh-Durham. Consequently, even though domestic population growth in North America is slowing, migration for economic opportunity is creating winners and losers in real estate. So, what happens next? Who will the winners be over the next 10 years and beyond?

Simultaneously, the aging boomers will be looking to change their living situations. Some will flee the cities for less stressful country life; others will look for condos in the city core. All will become increasingly concerned about their health. What does this portend for real estate markets, and how should real estate professionals prepare?

Technology – Technology is no longer a thing to itself; it is, instead, weaving itself into all aspects of our lives, society, and economy. In particular, it is reducing employment opportunities for people of all ages, but especially young people. What does this mean for housing prices, or commercial real estate? Will telecommunting become significant enough that traffic gridlock will subside in the major urban centers like New York or Toronto?

Meanwhile, technology will transform the business of real estate, from virtual reality, to social networks of real estate agents, to driver-less cars, to wearable computers. This will accelerate market dynamics, and leave those who are unprepared scrambling to survive.

Domestic difficulties – One aspect of the aging boomers is that they will place ever-escalating financial pressures on governments at all three levels through the costs of pensions, retirement benefits, and health care. This is already evident in places like Wisconsin, Illinois, Detroit, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. How will that affect government policies, and what effect will that have on the business and practice of real estate?

Geopolitics – Global politics are changing. With more than 50% of global GDP now coming from emerging countries, the power of the developed world, specifically including America, is declining in both absolute and relative terms. The past 30 years has seen to rise of China, and, to a lesser extent, India, Brazil, and others. But where is the growth in future power, and how will it affect the world, and the world’s politics? And how will that affect migration into and out of developed countries like the U.S. and Canada?

Climate change – Changing weather patterns, regardless of why they are happening, are changing what constitutes a desirable location. So, how will the economy respond? And which locales will benefit?



The Robots in Real Estate’s Future: How IT Will Change the Real Estate Industry

One of the most dramatic changes of the next 10 years will be the emergence of everyday robots and computer intelligences in our economy and everyday lives. And since the real estate industry is, at its core, a knowledge industry, the emergence of computer intelligences is going to affect all the players in the industry in a variety of ways. Richard Worzel is not only a Chartered Financial Analyst and best-selling author, but is Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he provides an overview of how these developments, plus other tech-related matters, will change the industry and the way things are done, including:

Crowdsourcing – The rating of houses, real estate companies, and legal services will move even more quickly in the directions pioneered by tripadvisor in travel, and Amazon in customer-rated books. This will include comments on neighbourhoods, brokers and agents, and home-builders, as well as alternative service providers and even times of the year when sellers can achieve the greatest success.

Artificial intelligence – Computer intelligences will become power aids to those in the real estate industry, as well as potential threats to some. Such intelligences will be able to quickly assess industry, national, regional, and neighbour data to reveal trends not immediately apparent, gauge the strength of economic activity with special emphasis on shifts in sentiment and interest rates, and read body language to assess the seriousness or excitement of specific individuals about either buying or selling. Meanwhile, routine work, such as legal documentation, will increasingly be done by ever-more sophisticated computer software.

Computer smartwear, running off of smartphones, will provide portable intelligence and information, allowing agents to counsel clients on the best strategies for buying and selling, and to shift strategies in real time as new developments emerge. Meanwhile, agents and brokers will work with the descendents of Siri and Watson, who will provide real-time information about all aspects of the markets, as well as new developments and strategies as they emerge. In effect, such smart software will become computer assistants, aiding and supporting the efforts of the real estate professional.

Computer regulatory oversight – But computers won’t only work for real estate professionals, they will also oversee their actions, and report on marketplace developments to regulators, and highlight perceive infractions and abuses with lightening speed.

Overall, real estate professionals will find their future significantly changed by the dramatic changes in computer power and sophistication. Those who adapt proven developments will gain significant advantages, while those who are left behind will find it ever-harder to compete. Richard provides a roadmap of where IT is taking the industry, as well as warnings of what to look for and how to adapt.



Re-Inventing the Real Estate Industry (Workshop)

Most real estate professionals, accomplished in their own field, have little experience in the environmental scanning and innovation that would allow them to achieve the kinds of success they believe they should be able to reach. In this strategic planning session, futurist Richard Worzel, C.F.A., will start with an overview of some of the major issues facing North American real estate over the next five to 10 years, including new technologies that are reshaping the real estate industry, demographics shifts that are changing your prospect base, and new competitors who will look to eat your lunch. This will move through a process of discovering the future through a series of structured questions and guided exercises that will allow participants to identify the seams in tomorrow's real estate industry, and then re-invent it in their region.

Along the way, you will identify what surprises are most likely to affect your book and your prospects, evolve a detailed plan for getting from where you want to be to where you are today (which is the opposite of the way most people plan), and clarify your ideal outcome in such a way that you can make it come true. The result will be a much greater awareness of the obstacles and roadblocks ahead, a much clearer definition of what your desired future would be like, and a defined strategy and set of tactics for reaching that future.

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