The real estate industry is poised for transformation. After a year of historically low affordability and inventory, industry economists are predicting better news for home buyers. 

But housing affordability isn’t the only thing that made headlines in 2023—and we’re sure to see more than market trends and economic stats in 2024. Here are five PR forecasts that are set to shape the discourse around real estate over the next 12 months.

1. More positive news stories about the real estate market.

In 2024, expect a breath of fresh air as the media pivots towards highlighting positive aspects of the real estate market. Reporters and editors are human, and like everyone, they love a good comeback story. Tired of the gloomy narratives from last year, the media is likely to embrace more positive stories. 

While the possibility of a market rebound is not guaranteed, signals like top housing predictions and the Federal Reserve’s announcements suggest a potential shift towards more optimistic news.

2. Missteps from agents and brands that weigh in on politics.

This is an election year which typically makes for a good market, as political powers pull out all the stops to win the hearts and minds of voters. Not only will you see an influx of political ads and news stories, but you’re also likely to see positive things happening for the economy and the real estate market.  

This also means we will witness real estate agents make political missteps by weighing in on political subjects online. Brands will make the same mistake. 

Don’t let this happen! Avoid weighing in on politics at all costs. My parents taught me when I was in elementary school that you only discuss politics and religion at the dinner table with your family. In the world of PR, there are no exceptions to this rule.

3. AI continues to dominate media—and the first AI agent is created.

We talked about ChatGPT being a big winner in 2023, and 2024 will be no different as far as the amount of attention it gets from the media. 

However, this year will not be all roses and heart-eyed emojis. Lawsuits, such as the one initiated by The New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft in December, raise questions about AI and plagiarism. More quietly, the creator of Game of Thrones launched a lawsuit against OpenAI as well. I believe we will see more of these lawsuits and questions about plagiarism.

As far as new AI tools for real estate agents—the list is never ending. One to take note of is long-time Lion & Orb member Luxury Presence, which launched an incredible new AI-powered app last summer called Copilot

I also believe this will be the year someone builds the first AI real estate agent. It’s only a matter of time.

4. NAR takes a more proactive approach to the real estate agent narrative. 

Going back to the theme of the media loving a comeback story, I believe the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will get its act together and start reshaping public perception about real estate agents. 

I also think NAR will use this new narrative in the courts this year. Agents have had this overpaid, sleazy, used car sales, reality TV star image for a long time now. In reality, the average agent is a 59-year-old woman—many of whom are single moms active in their communities—and real estate is their livelihood. They work very hard for every commission check received. A war on single moms will not play out in the court of public opinion.

5. The voice of the industry shifts from traditional media to real estate agents and micro-influencers.

My last prediction is that the voice of the industry—which has for many years been with big companies and traditional media—will shift to the real estate agent and micro-influencers on social media.  

Double-paywalled traditional media and big corporations are not going to represent the voice of the industry—the agent is. We saw this a few years ago in proptech, when agents took on a more proactive leadership role, and I expect to see that in the media this year.