At round table discussions, REALTORS® shared their thoughts about the future. (Photo courtesy of MLSListings Inc.)

At round table discussions, REALTORS® shared their thoughts about the future. (Photo courtesy of MLSListings Inc.)

Approximately 125 REALTORS® from the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® and neighboring REALTOR® associations gathered at the Tech Mart in Santa Clara last Friday and shared their ideas and insights on the future of real estate at the National Association of REALTORS® REThink Initiative Workshop. MLSListings Inc. hosted the workshop, which included REALTORS® who do business in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

With the changing demographic and socio-economic landscape and changing economic concerns, the real estate industry sees itself facing a transformation. NAR launched the REThink Initiative in August 2012 during its annual Leadership Summit in Chicago, Ill. The REThink Initiative will use the experiences and insights of REALTORS®, academia, consumers and others to plan for and adapt to dynamic changes in the industry.

At Friday’s workshop, REALTORS® discussed different versions of what the future holds for the industry. Workshop participants were asked to consider a focal question: In an ever-changing world, what is the future of the real estate industry in 5-10 years, and how will this affect consumers, real estate professionals, industry organizations and associations?

At the round table discussions, participants examined several scenarios for the industry and elements that are likely to impact the future of U.S. real estate, including the long-term effects of the recent recession, the global economy, technology, demographic forces like the retiring Baby Boomers, emerging Echo Boomers, increasing ethnic diversity, and population growth. Environmental concerns, like growing scarcity of energy and raw materials, and how they could affect housing patterns and design, access to owning a home, and the value of homeownership, were also explored.

Cross-country workshops are being conducted through May 2013. Insights from members will provide critical input into NAR’s future strategy and help formulate a shared vision about the future REALTORS® want to create for themselves, their association, for the industry, and for society as whole.

For more information about NAR’s ReThink Initiative, visit