What if everything changed overnight?

Looking back, I can see two things.

One, the writing was on the wall and, two, I was utterly unprepared.

Hindsight offers that sort of clarity.

In the spring of 2009, I was flat broke. The housing market had collapsed, and over the previous nine months, I’d sold only one property, earning just a couple thousand dollars. The bills were piling up, and with the credit cards maxed, and I had no idea what I was going to do.

Although the collapse took place over many months, it seemed as though it had happened overnight. All of the signs were there, but like most people in the industry, I chose to ignore them and keep cashing those commission checks.

The struggle to recover was fierce, and I promised myself I wouldn’t get caught with my pants down like that again.

Fast forward ten years, and there’s more writing on the wall, but this time I see it. No, we are not in danger of a housing crash similar to the Great Recession, but those of us in this business are facing a rapidly changing industry.

New business models, innovative technology, and a shift in consumer behavior & expectations are coming together in a fashion that will eventually disrupt and then totally upend the traditional brokerage model.

My prediction: Five years from now, we will look back on this time and say, “remember when we use to do it that way?”

The whole world of real estate will have changed, and it will seem to have happened overnight when, in reality, it’s happening right in front of us, right now.

There is one only aspect of the housing market that will never change, and that is the basic human need for shelter. Everybody has to have somewhere to live, and for most of us, that somewhere is a house.

Here’s something you might not know about those houses - 35% of them are not owned by the person who lives there. Instead, they are owned by investors, many of whom use property management companies to handle the business of leasing.

We see opportunity in that segment and, as one part of our plan for continued growth in a shifting industry, we are launching a property management division of R.W. Price Realty Associates.

I’m excited about it. We’ve set some pretty audacious goals for this venture, and I’ve decided to document it from inception through the end game that lies 10 to 15 years ahead. This video is the first of a series that will follow that journey.

Will it be challenging? Yes.

Are there risks? Yes.

Are there unknowns? Of course.

But to that, I say, “Bring it on.”

Because the question isn’t really, “What if everything changes?”