The times we are in are unlike anything investors have dealt with before.
Our industry has seen extreme weather-related issues before (droughts, fires, floods, etc.) and we have seen severe financial shifts (economic downturns, bubbles, recessions, depressions). But these have always been limited in time or geographic impact or both. They came and they went. Climate change will come, but there will be no “went.” It will just keep coming.
Big Tech is changing the way property is bought and sold. Access to data is shifting who wins and who loses. Data is collected on every aspect of real estate investing. It is driving the creation of large data collection and analysis firms. The data they produce is driving large REITs, mortgage companies and insurance companies to shift investment strategies.
What is happening now is beginning to, and will continue to, create these changes and shifts in every part of the real estate field. Changes will exclude those who cannot quickly shift focus, and who cannot find and use new sources and new decision-making criteria.
We are in a place of history, geo-climate experience and data dependence that is unprecedented in the entire length of time the human species has inhabited Earth. Trying to ignore it with a business-as-usual approach is no longer a viable option.
Our only workable option is to embrace the unavoidable changes, learn new skills and do this quickly. And, because we are a business community, we have to do this profitably.
We have an important place in this global shift. Despite everything that is changing, people will continue to require safe places to work; the perfect places to locate their businesses; local community shopping spots; land to raise crops; places to raise their children, create their livelihoods and enjoy their lives.
Our responsibility and opportunity
As real estate investors, we are the engine driving peoples’ ability to have “places” to create the moments of their lives. We can thrive in these times.
We must be smart.
We must be honest.
We must be logical.
We must be attentive.
Well-managed real estate is a trust, a responsibility we offer to those communities where we choose to own. We have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to work together to lift the industry at this time when we are most threatened, but most NECESSARY.
I believe defining this future is second nature to us.
For as real estate investors and real estate professionals, we spend our entire careers focused on the future. We are by virtue of education, experience and expertise gut-trained to anticipate what is ahead and to keep our eye on the horizon.
We have always been managers of risk. That is in the very nature of the real estate investment business. But the risks are changing rapidly and we are not prepared to meet them in a way that will keep our portfolios profitable.
There aren’t many guideposts out there to help us understand and meet the new threats climate change poses. We’re going to have to create these guidelines quickly. We have to learn new ways to research our investment neighborhoods, new and creative ways to protect our properties from devastation. We also have to learn when it’s time to cut our losses and move to another area.
…let’s roll up our sleeves! B.L. Sheldon can help you and your organization learn what to do, who to talk to, and what questions to ask experts – and yourself. Explore speaking and consulting with B.L. Sheldon.