PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE Rochester Chapter
FROM THE DESK OF GINNY SQUIRE, RAC NYSCAR PRESIDENT
March 20, 2020

When 2020 came, we heard all sorts of puns about 20/20 vision.   This year was branded as the year for renewed clarity and vision … and then the roller coaster in the amusement park of life got a major upgrade.  Our climb up offered a view of rising stock market returns and record low unemployment rates.

Then came the big downhill ride.  In a little more than 30 days, almost everything about daily life around the planet changed.   Reality has become that which only used to be seen in movies.  I don’t need to rehash the recent current events, but it is no exaggeration that our lives have fundamentally changed in a matter of a few weeks.

So, what do we do now?

First, let’s talk about RAC NYSCAR going forward.  The RAC NYSCAR BOD met by phone earlier this week and made a decision regarding our upcoming monthly member events.  For now, we have decided to cancel our April 23 event, which has been rescheduled to October 8.  We will reevaluate the May 6 event as things move forward.

The NYSAR State offices in Albany closed on March 18 and will be closed through April 3; these dates are subject to change.  Having said that, as State personnel will be working from home, there will be limitations as to what can be done from home.  They all have access to email and the online network so don’t hesitate to reach out. 

An area of work that will be lagging is the processing of new member applications and anything that might have to do with money.  Typically, non-dues paying members are deactivated on March 31.  NYSCAR will hold off on that for now and decide what to do when everyone returns.

Second, let’s talk about our business and moving forward through this unprecedented crisis.   Like any roller coaster ride, it does come to an end.  But the actual ride is an experience that stays with us after it ends.  Some love it, some throw up; but everyone is on the same ride together. As practitioners in Commercial Real Estate, we are not only on our own ride, but we are also watching the roller coaster ride of our clients, too.

Third, remember that your clients hire you for a reason.  Whatever that reason is, it has set you apart from others.  You are a trusted Resource; you are Responsive, and you have taken the time to build a Relationship with them.  I call it the three R’s.

Thought I would share  some ideas on how to adapt the three R’s to our new reality. 

Relationships:

Check in with your clients, show your genuine concern for them, their families and their employees.  Ask them if there is anything you can do to help.  Reassure them and let them talk and perhaps vent.  Be proactive; reach out.  Chances are you will be able to get them on the phone.  Talk with them and be personal.  Be the voice of reason and understanding.  They may not need you to fix anything right now; they just may be glad you are there.  But ask if there is anything within your professional scope you can help with.

Responsiveness:

Now is a great time to explore CRE tools and technology so working remotely does not mean you are isolated.  Learn how to use a video conference service!  Zoom and Skype are just two examples.  Internally, if your company uses Microsoft, through Microsoft Teams, you can video chat, message, share files and screens with anyone within the company.  We can also host conference calls with clients.   By embracing technology, you are not only responsive, but you become organized and empowered to facilitate productive meetings from anywhere, on any device.  Now, just add technology to your lists of competitive advantages.  As an RAC NYSCAR member, you have technology resources available to you provided by our RAC NYSCAR Technology Committee.  Follow this link to the RAC NYSCAR website to some very valuable information that will help you navigate through your business right now and into the future.

Resources:

Be the efficient messenger of resources to help with the various challenges we all will face.  Here are some helpful links to become familiar with and to share with your clients:

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

Tool Kit for Employers to Communicate with Employees
https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus-response-toolkit

American Express Financial Hardship Assistance
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/customer-service/financial-hardship.html

Empire State Development Resource and FAQ Page
https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD%20FAQ%20COVID1_Businesses%20_0317%20651%20pm.pdf

Monroe County Clerk Emergency updates
https://www2.monroecounty.gov/clerk-index.php

Special Health Insurance Open Enrollment
https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

Resources for Employees That Get Laid Off
https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

New York State Site
https://www.ny.gov/

County Health Officials Directory
https://www.nysacho.org/directory/

Of course, this is a growing list.  If you find something of use, please do not hesitate to share it.  Email me at virginiasquire@hannacre.com, and we’ll see that it gets to the membership.  Serve your clients by striving to be the one who helps them navigate through some of the chaos.  Stay in touch by offering true value during this period. 

While we speculate, we really don’t know what the near future will be like.  Some will panic in the free fall down the roller coaster, while others will hold the hands of the ones panicking.   Some clients will put the pen down and freeze while another may want to aggressively buy, seeking alternative investment options.  Vacancy may rise and yet new businesses may come to life.  But, one thing remains the same, we are all in this together.  Remember why they hired you – your relationship, your responsiveness and your vast resources. 

Wishing you health and peace.