How To Stay Ahead Of The Trends – Thinking Ahead and Staying Ahead
Today we are going to talk about how to stay ahead of the trends – thinking ahead and staying ahead!
Hey, Krista Mashore here from Krista Mashore coaching and today we are going to talk about how to stay ahead of the trends.
Creating your niche is critical to your success. But don’t be swimming upstream in the market. Get ahead of the market by knowing what’s coming down the pike.
Economic markets, demographics, and issues change. And you’ve got to change with them.
For example, say you’re an architect who specializes in very high-end vacation homes design. You follow economic trends nationally and locally and you see tough times, maybe a recession coming down the pike. When that happens, you know that vacation homes won’t be such a hot commodity.
This is where you need to be flexible. What is another niche you could tap? Maybe it’s renovations rather than new construction. Maybe it’s designing in-law’s cottages on high-end properties for all those kids and grandparents who are moving back in. Think out of the box.
Even in the beginning of my career, I always researched market trends.
I tried to anticipate, based upon data and analytics, how the real estate market would be affected in the future. In the years 2005- 2007, we had a fantastic seller’s market. Suddenly, I realized that home prices were increasing too fast. Common sense told me that something was going to happen. I started researching loans and trends in the market. I figured out people would soon start losing their homes. I knew we were going to have a problem. I started contacting banks, traveling the country, and going to bankers’ association conferences.
By the time the real estate market completely crashed in 2008, by being proactive and thinking ahead, I landed over thirteen banks and asset management companies and helped them sell their foreclosures and short sales. I continued to keep my finger on the pulse of the market. By 2014, values were getting closer to where values had been previously. I could see the foreclosures lessening and asset management companies selling off their portfolios to larger banks. It seemed likely that we’d have a more traditional market within six to twelve months.
So, it was time for me to reposition myself from foreclosure and short sale specialist to an area specialist in high-end properties.
This was prompted by the “foreclosure queen” incident. None of this happened by accident. I paid attention and I used common sense to anticipate what was going to happen. Then I positioned myself to respond to what was happening before most agents in the market even realized it was changing. The difference was anticipation and preparation. Your business or profession may not be quite as volatile as real estate can be.
But whatever your business or profession, it will undoubtedly change over the course of your career.
Think about it.
How many Blockbuster video stores do you see these days? At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had more than 4500 video stores in the U.S. and nearly 9,100 worldwide. It filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and closed its last company-owned 300 stores in 2013.
As of 2019, there is just one franchise Blockbuster still open.
What the heck happened? Technology happened.
First came Netflix with its mail-order video service. Next came video on demand and today it’s all about streaming videos. Blockbuster did not anticipate and prepare for these changes. It stubbornly kept with the same model it had always used rather than adopting the new technologies. Netflix had the potential to become obsolete as well. The company was a little slow on the trigger when streaming started eating into their market share. But the company regrouped and joined the bandwagon of streaming then even started creating content of its own to keep up with other streaming services.
Netflix anticipated and prepared. Blockbuster did not.
Stay flexible. Without giving up your core values or the overall vision for your business, stay responsive to market conditions. Educate yourself about the market: What’s happening? What’s going on in the community, locally? What’s happening nationally? What are the new trends in your business or profession? How does that affect what’s happening now and what could possibly happen later? And how can your business remain responsive to all of that? Through innovation.
We’ve talked about this, but I’m going to say it again because it’s critical: Once you have the vision of what kind of business you’re creating and have a clear idea of your brand, you need to start incorporating innovation in all you do. If you don’t, no matter how competent you are, you’ll get left behind. When I first started, one agent in our community completely ruled the market. It was unimaginable that anyone would ever be able to hold as much market share as this powerhouse agent. Today, that powerhouse is still in the ranking, but I’ve surpassed that person by far. Even within my first year of being in business, I was neck in neck with this fierce competitor. The same thing happened in my coaching and training business.
In my first year, I surpassed a guy who had been in the coaching business in my area for several years. Why?
Because I chose to be different and innovative. Don’t be like everyone else who uses the same old approach that was used two, five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago. Do things differently, be a leader, set the new norm, and stand out from the crowd. The very cool thing is that as soon as your competitors take notice of just how different you’ve become and how you’ve set the “new norm,” you’ll already be holding market share and your business will have a momentum that is unstoppable. My goal is to make sure that you understand how to be innovative and stay at the top of your marketplace.
It’s like cell phones.
When they first came out forty years ago, they weighed 2 1⁄2 pounds, died after 20 minutes of use, and cost about $3,000. Twenty years later, cell phones could be used as pagers, fax machines, and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to store phone numbers and keep track of your calendar. Today, you can use a cell phone to pay for Starbucks, navigate your way across town, find out the latest baseball scores, talk to someone on video, and book a trip across the world. (In 2013, the UN reported there were more people on earth with mobile phones (six billion for world population of seven billion) than there are with access to clean toilets (only 4.5 billion).
If the cell phone industry can change that much, don’t you think your industry should evolve as well?
Look at what’s happened to travel agents. They are practically extinct now because technology has taken over. The great service and knowledge these people had has been traded for convenience and speed. It’s up to us as service professionals to make sure that our unique value doesn’t get replaced by some clever app someone invents! Those of us who choose to be different, innovative, and beyond wonderful will not only survive but thrive. Yes, even during a pandemic or bad economy. You can’t afford to be “just good.” You have to be excellent, superb, and beyond great. You need to outshine everyone with your creativity, innovation, drive, and customer service driven work ethic!
Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
The definition of innovation from BusinessDictionary. com is, “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service, that creates value, or for which consumers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need.”.
Basically, innovation is to find out some new ideas, devices, or methods. It’s the application of better solutions that meet new requirements and articulated needs, or existing market needs. Again, I’m Krista Mashore. As always, I’m here to serve, Krista Mashore with Krista Mashore Coaching.
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