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Today, we are in an era of drastic technological transformation. With the increasing use of digital technologies that include everything from 3D printing to various applications of extended reality, how we do business is constantly and dramatically transforming in ways that we have not seen since the industrial revolution!

While company leaders have long been questioning how to navigate this quickly changing landscape, Anticipatory Leaders are one step ahead, leveraging the ever-evolving digital landscape in front of us. In doing so, they are integrating artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), edge computing as it relates to data processing, and so much more.

As a business leader, it’s imperative to grasp that the ongoing technological revolution reshaping the business landscape is an indisputable future certainty—a Hard Trend that’s here to stay. While numerous technological innovations have already initiated substantial shifts in a wide array of business operations, some leaders and managers who prioritize adaptability over forward planning might entertain the notion of a forthcoming pause—a plateau where they can recalibrate and bridge any gaps. However, such a hiatus does not exist, nor will it ever materialize. The trajectory of technological evolution is constant and unceasing.

How we conduct business is changing right now and will only continue to do so with increasing velocity, so the key is to not only embrace the technological disruption, but to anticipate it and find a way to get your team excited about it! The second part of that should be easy, given the opportunities that are bountiful within the disruption itself.

Before all else, you need to transition into a role as an Anticipatory Leader to see where technology is headed in order to find the opportunity for your business. 

3 Hard Trends Transforming Technology and Business

Recently, there have been some specific technology sectors that are proving to be the most disruptive yet equally as beneficial for businesses and organizations that are leveraging them. These have been extensively explored in past blog posts I have written, but there are so many new applications for them that they are worth re-exploring.

  • Datafication 

Datafication involves leveraging data gathered from our daily activities to facilitate the creation of novel products or services, as well as the enhancement of existing ones. Our actions continually generate data across a spectrum of endeavors, ranging from the music we stream on platforms like Spotify to our interactions with digitally sophisticated vehicles during travel. In this context, edge computing stands out as a technological stride that enables data processing to occur in immediate proximity to its origin, presenting a substantial advantage. As 5G networks proliferate and data processing mechanisms streamline, the viability of such edge computing approaches is poised to amplify significantly.

While we are familiar with specific websites and smartphone apps that adeptly utilize your browsing history to facilitate ongoing purchases or engagement, like Amazon or Google, an even deeper evolution of customer service within organizations has been orchestrated by Vail Systems, Inc. This company employs basic data analytics extracted from customer phone calls to refine and enhance automated customer service systems. This innovative approach eliminates the need for painstakingly enunciating your responses when seeking assistance, heralding a more streamlined and efficient customer support experience.

  • Extended Reality

Extended reality may sound like an addition to mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), but really, it is simply the umbrella term referring to any type of digital landscape or integration of digital assets into the physical world. Gaming and entertainment have certainly exploded in the past by incorporating MR, VR, and AR; however, I constantly find myself informing business leaders and executives of the many exponential ways these software applications can be utilized in their various industries.

The concept of any extended reality application is to create an immersive experience that brings the human sensory experience into the digital world on some level. But how can something like AR be used in something tactile like the beauty and cosmetics world — a sector said to be worth nearly half a trillion dollars by some? My Dior answered this inquiry with its smartphone app that projected lipstick colors on its users’ lips, allowing them to sample without ever hitting the “Buy” button!

  • 3D Printing

Another Hard Trend that has long been revolutionizing the business world is the rise of 3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing. Using a machine to produce three-dimensional objects off of a two-dimensional blueprint, 3D printing provides easy part customization options, quicker turn-around times, the ability to produce products on demand (minimizing having to ship products from overseas), and ultimately results in reduced manufacturing costs and a far more sustainable industry as a whole.

Auto manufacturers have slowly taken to 3D printed parts for many integral components of their vehicles, with Volkswagen being a notable leader. They not only produce parts for new vehicles, but they also have been known to 3D print tools and replacement parts for classic cars that are not in production any longer. When looking at the big picture, this can help preserve automobiles and ultimately cut down on large-scale litter of disregarded clunkers.

Find the Opportunity and Make It Your Own

Now that we have identified that the increasing use of datafication, extended reality, and 3D printing are fully predictable Hard Trend future certainties, the second step is to implement your own Anticipatory mindset in discovering exactly where these trends are headed for your industry and to find the opportunity they present to you and your team.

Unfortunately, many business leaders are afraid of where technology is headed, but it is my goal to ease this stress with the power of critical, exponential thinking and the many Anticipatory principles at your full disposal. I do not want you to fall behind the curve; I want you to be the disruptor instead of the disrupted!

What I hope this blog post has illustrated to you and your team is that keeping your opportunity antennae up is not only about looking at the digital disruptions themselves, but also being on the lookout for what other industries are doing with various technologies and how you might be able to adapt that to your industry. You may not be in the data processing, cosmetics, or auto industry, but there are indisputable ways that those same technologies can be critically leveraged to produce exceptional results for new products, services, or processes.

Also, it is time to do a deep dive into your current products, services, or processes themselves and see how today’s new technologies can help you redefine things — redefine your customer base, redefine your production methods, redefine your internal operations, and redefine your company overall. New is not always the answer, as sometimes you can simply rehash what already exists in profound ways.

Posted On Tuesday, 19 September 2023 00:00 Written by
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Reporting back from the street has been very positive when it comes to the reaction from accountants to the calls about tax extensions. These conversations have caused some meetings and a few immediate referrals, and we are just a week removed from the plan. It is very interesting to see how a simple phone call and a brief conversation can change the perspective of other professionals. Most accountants don’t have much use for mortgage professionals until they come across mortgage professionals who understands their business and provides an important value added to them and their clients.

I am also seeing continued results from the back-to-school conversations as the final wave of kids head back to school. I actually think this year has been the strongest in the past three or four years when it comes to seeing these conversations turn into opportunities. Between functional obsolescence conversations and the awareness of the monthly cost of getting what people want and need has really taken this talk to a whole new level. Being able to frame the conversation around total monthly payments and not simply arguing rates has proven productive and profitable!

Oil prices will become an issue with inflation if the Fed chooses to make it an issue. The Fed meeting coming up next week is likely not going to move rates all that much, even if they leave rates unchanged as expected, it will be more about the tone of their remarks and if they signal a “pause” or “the peak” of the tightening cycle. We will have to see the details and let the markets react. We are in a very strange cycle now and it’s impossible to get a clear long-term picture at the moment, but doing nothing at this meeting will certainly be a good step into the future! 

As always, if you have questions or comments, it’s This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Some homebuyers got cold feet as mortgage rates hit the highest level in over two decades and prices continued to rise, but buyer demand and new listings have stabilized following months of declines

Residential real estate deals are falling through at the highest rate in almost a year as high mortgage rates give homebuyers sticker shock, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Nationwide, nearly 60,000 home-purchase agreements were canceled in August, equal to 15.7% of homes that went under contract that month. That’s up from 14.3% a year earlier and marks the highest percentage since October 2022, when mortgage rates surpassed 7% for the first time in two decades.

The average interest rate on a 30-year-fixed mortgage was 7.07% in August. At one point last month, it hit 7.23%—the highest since 2001—sending the typical homebuyer’s monthly payment up significantly from last year.

“I’ve seen more homebuyers cancel deals in the last six months than I’ve seen at any point during my 24 years of working in real estate. They’re getting cold feet,” said Jaime Moore, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Reno, NV. “Buyers get sticker shock when they see their high rate on paper alongside extra expenses for maintenance, repairs and closing costs. Many of them would rather back out, even if it means losing their earnest money. A lot of sellers are also willing to let buyers slip away because they don’t want to concede to repair requests.”

Home Prices Post Biggest Increase in Almost a Year

The median U.S. home sale price rose 3% year over year to $420,846 in August, the largest annual increase since October 2022, and was little changed (-0.2%) from a month earlier. It was 2.8% below the May 2022 record high of $432,780.

Activity in the housing market is sluggish due to rising mortgage rates, but prices remain high because the buyers who are out there are competing for a limited number of homes.

“Home prices will likely remain elevated for the foreseeable future,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “The Federal Reserve still has more work to do in its battle against inflation, which means mortgage rates are unlikely to come down anytime soon. As long as rates remain high, homeowners will be reluctant to sell. And that lack of homes for sale will keep prices high because it means buyers are duking it out for a limited supply of houses.”

Home prices also posted a year-over-year gain in August due to the “base effect” from a year earlier; in August 2022, prices had recently started descending from their record high, which is contributing to the size of year-over-year increases we’re seeing now.

Buyer Demand Is Below Pre-Pandemic Levels, But No Longer in Freefall

Pending sales declined 0.6% from a month earlier in August on a seasonally-adjusted basis, and fell 18.1% year over year. While they’re no longer falling as rapidly as they were earlier in 2023, pending sales remain below pre-pandemic levels. They’ve been hovering below 400,000 since the end of last year, compared with nearly 500,000 just before the pandemic.

Pending sales have stabilized as the initial shock of elevated mortgage rates has moved further into the rearview mirror, but high housing costs are still keeping many buyers on the sidelines.

New Listings Tick Up Slightly, But Overall Housing Supply Remains at Record Low

New listings rose 0.8% from a month earlier in August—the second small uptick on a seasonally adjusted basis following nearly a year’s worth of declines—and were down 14.4% year over year.

“New listings have likely bottomed out,” Zhao said. “Most of the homeowners who feel handcuffed by high rates have already made the decision not to sell. That means many of today’s sellers are putting their homes on the market because they have to, in some cases due to divorce, family emergencies or return-to-office policies.”

Still, the total number of homes for sale hit a record low in August, falling 1.1% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis and 20.8% year over year—the largest annual decline since June 2021.

Housing supply is at an all-time low because homeowners feel locked in to their low mortgage rates; for many, selling their home and buying a new one would mean taking on a much higher monthly payment.

August 2023 Highlights: United States

 

August 2023

Month-Over-Month Change

Year-Over-Year Change

Median sale price

$420,846

-0.2%

3.0%

Pending sales, seasonally adjusted

381,192

-0.6%

-18.1%

Homes sold, seasonally adjusted

409,217

-1.4%

-14.1%

New listings, seasonally adjusted

474,239

0.8%

-14.4%

All homes for sale, seasonally adjusted (active listings)

1,301,871

-1.1%

-20.8%

Months of supply

2

-0.2

-0.2

Median days on market

30

1

4

Share of for-sale homes with a price drop

18.4%

2.2 ppts

-1.7 ppts

Share of homes sold above final list price

36.2%

-2.0 ppts

-1.5 ppts

Average sale-to-final-list-price ratio

99.9%

-0.2 ppts

0.0 ppts

Pending sales that fell out of contract, as % of overall pending sales

15.7%

0.5 ppts

1.4 ppts

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

7.07%

0.23 ppts

1.85 ppts

Metro-Level Highlights: August 2023

  • Pending sales: In Boise, ID, pending sales fell 70.5% year over year, more than any other metro Redfin analyzed. Next came Hartford, CT (-57.3%) and New Haven, CT (-55.8%). Only two metros saw increases: Rochester, NY (0.9%) and McAllen, TX (0.5%). The smallest decline was in Detroit (-1.8%).
  • Closed sales: In Bridgeport, CT, closed home sales dropped 25.9% year over year, more than any other metro Redfin analyzed. Next came Stockton, CA (-25.8%) and Tacoma, WA (-25.7%). Closed sales rose in just one metro—Las Vegas (1.4%)—and fell least in North Port, FL (-0.1%) and Phoenix (-2.9%).
  • Prices: Median sale prices rose most from a year earlier in Newark, NJ (16.7%), Miami (14.6%) and Rochester (14.3%). They fell in 15 metros, with the steepest declines in Austin, TX (-7%), Boise (-5.8%) and Fort Worth, TX (-2.7%).
  • Listings: New listings fell most from a year earlier in Hartford (-46.7%), Allentown, PA (-46.6%) and New Haven (-38.8%). They rose in five metros, with the biggest increases in North Port (6%), McAllen (2.4%) and Albany, NY (2.2%).
  • Supply: Active listings fell most from a year earlier in Boise (-45.5%), Allentown (-45.4%) and Bridgeport (-45.1%). They climbed in six metros, with the biggest jumps in New Orleans (28.8%), McAllen (25.9%) and North Port (13.7%).
  • Competition: In Rochester, 77.1% of homes sold above their final list price, the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Hartford (71.9%) and Buffalo, NY (69.6%). The shares were lowest in North Port (7.7%), Cape Coral, FL (10.6%) and West Palm Beach, FL (13%).
  • Speed: The fastest market was Grand Rapids, MI, where the typical home went under contract in seven days. Next came Cincinnati (8) and Seattle (8). The slowest markets were New Orleans (61), Honolulu (60) and West Palm Beach (60).

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-tracker-august-2023

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