What Lies Ahead for Real Estate in 2022

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

What Lies Ahead for Real Estate in 2022

Nothing surprises me anymore. On New Year’s Eve I was ruminating about the future of real estate when I received a mysterious invite to a midnight Zoom session for forward-thinking Realtors. Since I wasn’t doing much else, I figured why not.  

At the stroke of twelve the link went live and I was asked to disable my pop-up protection and share my screen. That’s when one of those eerie infinite mirror effects was triggered and a long series of cryptic messages began scrolling through the chat thread.  

Predictions about the future? Real estate news courtesy of some Century 23 Agent traveling back in time? Or was a clever Nigerian Prince trying to hack my computer? Or maybe Zillow was just trying to penetrate my email and crawl my contacts? Who knows? You be the judge.

What follows is a small part of what I saw and heard for the next three hours. 

As global weather patterns continue to change, Realtors will begin marketing “ClimeShare” Properties that allow Midwesterners to trade weeks in their tornado alley homes with other folks wanting to take a break from California wildfires or East Coast polar vortexes or Gulf Coast hurricane hotspots.

California will begin selling lottery tickets for the right to view new listings in half hour increments before their offer dates. The windfall in state revenue will be earmarked for low income housing efforts. 

Some California Counties will enact Right of Remorse statutes requiring a mandatory three day cooling off period between the time a home is viewed and an offer is written. In related legislation, Buyers will be required to spend at least one hour in any home before writing an offer on it.

Attempting to control the growing outward migration from California, Texas, Idaho and Montana will pass laws stipulating that u-haul trucks originating in California can only relocate to other blue states. 

The Supreme Court will issue a landmark ruling on house porn and a national rating system will be created to warn consumers about house porn content.. General Audience images will be suitable for Buyers with FICO scores below 680 and NC-17 content will be reserved for those with 800+ scores who can also show proof of funds to purchase.

A young ego-driven broker will begin selling one-of-a-kind custom listing videos as exclusive non fungible digital tokens (NFTs) after he discovers they’ll sell for more than the actual homes sell for.

Bear Grylls, noted survival celebrity will host a new show on the Discovery Channel. Each episode will feature first time home buyers learning to survive the current real estate market. 

High frequency house trading will be a growing trend. Ultra fast servers and lighting speed algorithms stationed in warehouses close to regional MLS offices will be able to buy and resell new listings before regular buyers even have a chance to open up their search engine emails.

An insider whistleblower will leak secret research conducted by Zillow that proves the company has long known about the effects that toxic digital house images have on aspiring young homeowners.

A local Seller with a large collection of MAGA hats will sue their real estate agent for insisting that prospective buyers wear masks before entering their listing

As part of a new Digital Agent Promotion,  Zillow will begin offering free Zoom Facelifts and Virtual Botox profile enhancements to all Premium Members.

A new Facebook scandal will surface when Russian Hackers are caught targeting Bay Area homebuyers with a series of Fake Ads depicting $4 million dollar luxury homes that later prove to be exceedingly average tract homes. 

An internet entrepreneur will begin divvying up large parcels of land in Silicon Valley into tiny one square foot parcels and selling tenant-in-common deeds to people who thought they’d never be able to buy real estate in the Bay Area.

Milton Bradley will begin offering a special limited edition Silicon Valley monopoly game called Multiple-Offer Monopoly

More busy Techie Homebuyers will start sending out their Personal Drones to view properties instead of coming to see them on their own.

In the summer of 2022 Amazon will announce a more active foray into Residential Real Estate Sales with a series of clever ads that start out with the phrase:  “Alexa, write an offer on 226 Maple Street.”

By the fall of 2022,  there will be a noticeable backlash against the use of technology in real estate.  Growing numbers of buyers and sellers will refuse to let their agents communicate with them by text or email and they will reject signing anything that requires an electronic signature.  New “high-touch” real estate firms will open touting their “organic and algorithm-free agents”. 

Reminiscent of mini-riots breaking out among Christmas Shoppers fighting long lines and low toy store inventories, a rise in sporadic fights and pepper-spray incidents will be reported among prospective buyers during open houses.

In a variation on the recent “ice bucket” challenge, Silicon Valley CEOs will take turns living in camper vans outside their corporate headquarters to raise money for affordable housing efforts in upscale Peninsula communities. 

Realtors will expand efforts to lure GenX homebuyers with cutting edge branding techniques like company tattoos and logo piercings.

A large pharmaceutical firm will begin clinical trials of a mourning-after pill designed to relieve symptoms of Buyers Remorse.

As more Americans continue to seek smaller homes and simpler lifestyles, a dramatic increase in the number of Near-Life Experiences will be reported.

The Conversation Pit will make a comeback in American homes. Most of them will be located in lead-lined safe rooms, where no electromagnetic tv or phone frequencies can penetrate.

Realtors will begin beta-testing nest cameras and facial recognition apps that can allow them to let prospective buyers into homes without having to actually be present.  

A series of real estate-specific emojis will make their debut in 2022 as Realtors attempt to stay current with the growing audience of millennial buyers. The list of new emojis will include a pinched-nose character that delineates homes that smell bad, an ear-cocked character that indicates ambient freeway noise and a head-scratching character that denotes functional-obsolescence.

When Aging Baby-Boomers declare that old age doesn’t start until 75, defiant Millennials will immediately proclaim that adulthood doesn’t really begin until the age of 40.

In the winter of 2022, a spontaneous populist movement will erupt all over the United States as people rush to empty the neglected contents of hundreds of thousands of rented storage units so they can be transformed into free sleeping shelters for the homeless.

By the end of 2022, Realtors will be required by law to buy and sell their own homes every three years so they can stay intimately in touch with what their clients are experiencing.

A prominent national magazine will name Santa Cruz one of the ten most-affordable communities for aging baby-boomers with seven figure incomes.

Traditional times for Sunday Open Houses will be changed to 1am – 4am as more real estate jobs are outsourced to Asia.

As Americans continue to downsize, an enterprising home improvement company will begin up-cycling portable saunas into small man-caves called “cockpits” that are just large enough to fit a lay-z-boy recliner and a big screen TV

As the price of real estate continues to rise precipitously Agents will be forced to carry epipens to treat the increasing number of anaphylactic sticker shock incidents suffered by their clients.

A new pest control franchise called The Termite Whisperer will promise to rid houses of termites without the use of toxic chemicals by convincing them to leave voluntarily and move on to neighboring houses.

When neuro-scientists discover that consumer brains respond most directly to smells rather than sights and sounds, Aromatherapists will be in great demand as Home Stagers. “Sell the Smell” will become a common catchphrase..

More frustrated home buyers will turn to online Virtual Dream Homes in the coming year, where their Avatars can easily move into custom comfort. California will also begin exploring a Virtual Property Tax.

Remote Viewing will be just one of the innovative new forms of Psychic Marketing that begins to replace old fashioned, web-based, virtual tours in the coming year.

Local Hardware Stores will fund a scholarship program in the industrial arts with the goal of teaching hundreds of young graduates the skill of making duplicate keys that actually work the first time.

A record 842 real estate agents in Santa Cruz County will be named to the prestigious Champion Producers Circle for 2022. Unfortunately, by the time most of the awards are mailed, the majority of those agents will be working in other professions.

In November a local real estate agent will give birth to a 14 pound escrow file and be prominently pictured on the cover of the National Enquirer.

An exhaustive study commissioned by a prestigious national real estate organization will conclude that male buyers are responsible for leaving the lids up on for sale sign brochure boxes 92% of the time.

Scientists studying Real Estate Buyers and Sellers will identify a new psychological syndrome called Intention Deficit Disorder (IDD)

New Fair Housing laws will require Short Sales to be called Chronologically-Challenged Sales in all real estate advertising

A study by the National Association of Realtors will conclude that making more Pocket Calls does not result in a larger inventory of Pocket Listings.

A missing Escrow Officer will be found alive under a massive avalanche of paper after surviving 6 days without food, water or a sanity check.

An entire Cabrillo College class in Abnormal Psychology will apprentice at a local Real Estate Company for a year of in-depth field study.

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