2021 is the first year after the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that is set to go down in economic history as one of the most challenging and difficult since the end of the Second World War. Rarely, if ever, has a single event impacted so many businesses on such a global level as this devastating virus. Never before have business leaders been so unprepared for such an epochal change, a crisis that affects almost every aspect of doing business. If 2020 was the year in which no stone was left unturned, 2021 will be the year to reposition and get the stones rolling again. The phrase “Never let a good crisis go to waste”, attributed to Winston Churchill, hits the nail on the head.
Disruption meets Resilience
Disruption is defined as a process in which an existing business model or an entire market is supplanted or “shattered” by a ground-breaking innovation. Simply replace “innovation” with “event” and it is clear that the real estate industry is now facing a series of disruptive transformations. Responding with more of the same will not be enough. The signs of the times point to redefining business models and repositioning in a world that has shifted irrevocably.
The initial phase of instability and uncertainty requires a characteristic that psychologists refer to as resilience – the ability to adapt to, overcome and quickly recover from adverse situations and to transform a crisis into an opportunity for positive development. Resilience requires resources on the one hand and a coping strategy on the other – and for those who do not yet have the latter, the current crisis offers a priceless opportunity to develop one.
Study based on survey of 100,000 industry experts
For us at the European Real Estate Brand Institute, 2021 represents an opportunity to use the coronavirus crisis to deepen our market knowledge and understanding of dynamic processes and their consequences, and to develop a visionary perspective for the future by tracking and evaluating trends in even more detail than ever before. We will be analysing some of the key drivers of the industry, including Sustainability/ESG, Employer Branding and Digital Marketing Leadership.
Our study and analysis are based on the collection and evaluation of empirically validated data that allow us to frame hypotheses and make forecasts for the future of the industry. Given our own philosophy and guiding principles, is only logical and consistent that we dedicate the Real Estate Brand Value Study 2021 to “Disruption meets Resilience”. As early as the first week of January, we began to evaluate resilience and its relevance to real estate brands. We are already preparing a special study on resilience in cooperation with HWR Berlin and a follow-up study on ESG in partnership with gif and Professor Thomas Beyerle. In total, we will be surveying more than 100,000 industry experts and evaluating the market position of 1,400 companies in 45 European countries. We will also be publishing strategic action guidelines for companies in all sub-sectors of the European real estate industry.