Moving Toward an ‘Antifragile’ Future

The companies that survived the peak months of the pandemic were the ones that adapted quickly to the changing conditions and continued to evolve as each phase of the virus brought new challenges.

I’m reminded of the concept behind the book “Antifragile” by Nassim Taleb, the same author behind “The Black Swan” theory. His premise is that there are people/organizations/governments that can become stronger after a major upheaval. In other words, they’re “antifragile.”

The real estate industry has become stronger in many ways because of the pandemic. We quickly adapted to technology that helped our clients who couldn’t meet in person and relied on more tools to significantly speed up the paperwork process. All things considered, real estate is a strong contender for an industry that can fit an antifragile model, but there are two fundamentals that must be in place first.

Virtual interactions need to be more secure and have more degrees of privacy. We’ve been forced to move many of our interactions into the digital universe, but the risks involved are significant. If we’re talking about all the crucial documents that travel back and forth both inside and outside an organization, we need to move beyond attaching them in emails or keeping them on a server—even if it’s password protected.

Not only is there risk of data hacking, but there’s also the possibility of human error—such as adding new people to the email thread later in the process and giving them access to information you didn’t want them to see. We need a more sophisticated way of sharing documents and better places to store them.

Integration is the only way forward. Security is a necessary goal, but if it slows down the pace of business, it can negatively impact the bottom line. The next step is bringing all the platforms together so that employees aren’t wasting time jumping between document management software, messaging platforms and their CRM. This is how data gets lost or falls into the wrong hands. If companies had a single platform from which they could run all their major workflows, they would have a much more streamlined way of doing business. All their contracts, paperwork, marketing materials, message histories, etc., could be housed in a single platform using blockchain-based security so that everything is protected.

There’s more to be said about how we can keep moving toward an antifragile future for our industry. We also need to look at how we market properties beyond the usual aggregators, and how we build relationships with clients in a digital environment while still retaining the heart and soul that makes our jobs worthwhile. Let’s look to the future with an eye toward building these foundations into our profession’s DNA.

Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom, the technology company behind DocuWalk. For more information, please visit

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