What’s “The WORD” in 2022?

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Chatter about the upcoming New Year is all around us, but what is really going to happen in 2022?

For real estate professionals, blending all they’ve learned and discovered in 2021 with what happens next is a challenge for them and, perhaps, even more so for their clients.

2021 was a year like no other for many professionals and their clients, but not everyone has experienced the second year of the pandemic in exactly the same way. 

What should be carried forward from the many real estate changes and pivots that emerged in 2021?

This is a question that individual real estate professionals must answer based on their 2022 business projections and on their clients’ long-term reactions to pandemic-triggered buyer and seller patterns.   

On top of these challenges, are steadily emerging trends and patterns that may take on more prominence in 2022. They are often linked to one word which will catch our attention during scrolling or the rolling conversation that continues around us, online and off. Tracking their emergence provides the opportunity to seize advantages ahead of the pack and to protect clients by avoiding pitfalls. 

Four Trend-Emerging WORDS That Could Jump Out At You In 2022


Cryptocurrency, and its related products including saicoin (SC), defy simple definition because there are no set standards or regulating guidelines for these complex digital products. Without regulation, there’s no one overseeing to ensure ease of consumer comprehension of the benefits and pitfalls of the Crypto financial world.

This form of digital currency has been running in the background since 2008 and has come to real estate. Now, cryptocurrency is rapidly moving into the banking and financial services sector.

Cryptocurrency was created to function without banks. The challenge is that crypto users want to access their bank accounts and other financial products and bring crypto with them. This financial crossover may cause problems for both sides, which means consumers will be caught in the middle.

At the recent Consumer Federation of America (CFA; consumerfed.org ) Virtual Financial Services Conference, an expert panel discussed “Crypto’s Rapid Rise: The Future of Financial Services or Cause for Concern?.” Leading-edge panelists introduced the wide range of significant financial issues, risks, and gaps that must be addressed, so that consumers are not disadvantaged as crypto meets banking, an area where consumers are already often at risk. 

  • What will cryptocurrency’s move closer to mainstream mean to your practice, brokerage, and your clients?

2. ESG

Gradually, the socially-responsible-investment movement gave rise to the Environmental-Social-Governance or ESG initiative which has become a global mega-trend. Companies that operate by strong ESG policies perform well in the market and attract investors and consumers alike.

Adding “green” or environmentally-friendly features and standards to every level of construction will become increasingly important as investors and home buyers continue to seek out and to value ESG features. At the same time, these investors will look for remarkable technology-enabled installations that reduce construction’s negative impact on the environment.

While there has been a surge in “E” aspects pushed by growing environmental concerns about climate change and natural disasters, “S” and “G” have lagged behind.

These people-focused elements are harder to measure and have traditionally not been popular value indicators in economics. However, social initiatives are proving their value. For example, the work of financial tech star Zita Cobb, founder of Fogo Island Inn on Fogo Island, off Newfoundland, Canada (featured on CBS’s 60 minutes on December 12/21) demonstrates the financial and social power behind managing to optimize nature and culture before economics.

This evolution and the pandemic-accelerated push to increase affordable housing will carry challenges. Choosing the best environmental solutions gets harder as more solutions emerge. For instance, green roofs have become increasingly popular, but insurance costs can undermine practicality. Solar panel technology has gained popularity, but the pandemic manufacturing and logistic bottlenecks corrupt many construction supply chains.

Predictions forecast that supply chain constraints across industries will continue into 2022 on a broad scale, but that they will ease in 2023. That does not mean prices will drop back to “normal,” but they may climb more slowly.

During the pandemic, social and governance issues have accelerated social concerns that may lead to the rise of “S” and “G” trends in real estate and elsewhere. The call for affordable housing may lead the charge.

  • Does your practice or brokerage apply ESG performance policies or standards to listings and to attract investors and buyers?


For a while, there was talk that office buildings were facing extinction and that working-from-home (WFH) would rule the workplace. Now, return to the office has gained ground in many sectors, but change remains the key trend.

This makes OFFICE a new word moving forward.

Determining whether it’s a traditional office, WFH, or hybrid for your practice or brokerage should not rest entirely on your or management’s preferences. Strongly consider where target prospects and clients see value when working with you and your organization. Each local market offers distinct solutions and challenges. This may be less about following industry leaders, who work in very different markets from yours, and more about opening up discussion with local target markets to learn where they see the future of selling and buying real estate.

Even if you trade only in residential real estate, tracking the future of offices is important because this is where your clients run their businesses and earn their income. If WFH is or becomes a significant reality in your trading area, real estate values and building styles will reflect this lifestyle switch to home office.

  • How have you and your brokerage adapted to changing buyer and seller demand for different ways to trade real estate?


According to Wikipedia, “The metaverse is a hypothesized iteration of the Internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets.” Metaverses are online multimedia platforms that enable users to create avatars with virtual lives in a very specific virtual world. Metaverses have appeared in video games like Second Life, but expect them to become more compelling and to increasingly encroach on reality.

Within emerging metaverses, virtual real estate purchasing streamlines the detailed, legal process of physically buying physical land into “click, it’s mine.” This could transform critical real estate decision making into impulse buying.

Current mind-blowing virtual real estate sales are either “a novelty driven by hype and speculation” or harbingers of an evolving industry. New York-based Republic Realm, a metaverse real estate firm which invests in and develops virtual real estate and other digital assets, spent a record-breaking $4.3 million on digital land in a virtual world called The Sandbox.

“We bought a city, or the equivalent [of one]," said Janine Yorio, co-founder and CEO of Republic Realm in a recent Insider interview. “Because most metaverse platforms haven't launched yet, valuation techniques used by venture capitalists are helpful. You interview the founders, you find out their pedigree. If they've launched a massively successful video game in the past, obviously that's a great sign. Game developers are very sophisticated software engineers, but they also have to be good marketers. If they built the best game in the world and nobody knows about it, it's also a flop."

Questions about legal ownership and other real estate security issues have yet to be resolved.

"There will be no difference with digital property, property on the corner of Meta Avenue may have a million avatars pass [infront] of it every day, so in effect why would it be worth any less than a piece of property that had a million physical people pass by it every day?” emailed virtual real estate investor Casey Brown, CEO of 3000 Capital.

“There has always been a technological gap between agents in the field and the programmers who make the next best-in-the-world CRM, the biggest challenges are going to be getting people to understand what is going on here from a technological standpoint….I can’t drive to that address on Meta drive so they dismiss it as ‘worthless,’ when in fact there will be hundreds [and] thousands of people gathered there shopping. Amazon has proven that consumers of merchandise aren’t really affected by the time it takes to get the product to their front door as long as they don’t have to leave their house." 

  • Will rising investment in virtual real estate erode the intentions and capacity of traditional real estate investors?
  • Where does your future lie as virtual real estate intersects, leverages, and crosses over with physical real estate?

Take care as you educate yourself on these four trend-heralding words. There is no one person, source, or link with all the answers, but there is a lot of hype and marketing out there! In fact, no one knows all the questions either.

Hindsight will be the educator for too many. This lagging enlightenment may be too late to protect them and too late for them to take advantage of benefits.

Do your clients know more about these four future-impacting WORDS than you do?

All the Best in 2022!

Rate this item
(0 votes)
PJ Wade —       Decisions & Communities

Futurist and Achievement Strategist PJ WADE is “The Catalyst”—intent on Challenging The Best to Become Even Better. A dynamic problem solver and author of 8 books and more than 2800 published articles, PJ concentrates on the knowledge, insight, communication prowess, and special decision-making skills essential for professionals and their clients who are determined to thrive in the 21st-Century vortex of change.

PJ Wade's latest business bookWhat's Your Point? Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick!—further proves PJ's forward-thinking expertise and her on-point ability to explain technical, even non-verbal, communication details in practical, actionable terms. Print publication: Fall 2022.

PJ: “What's Your Point?the pivotal 21st-Century business question—must be answered before you open your mouth, hit a key, tap anything or swipe. Too often 'Your Point' is not clear to you and communication remains an expensive illusion.”

As The Catalyst, PJ concentrates on enhancing communication ROI for experienced advisors, executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, and other savvy professionals, who may not have received as much formal training in communication as they have in their own field.

Onward & Upward—The directions that really matter! Reach PJ at pjwade@TheCatalyst.com and visit her What's Your Point? Blog. Keep up-to-date with PJ's popular column  Decisions & Communities


Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.