May 13, 2020

Our New Normal

As June approaches, all of us in the Real Estate industry are awaiting the OK to officially open.  But, while our offices may have been closed, I am impressed to see so many in our market adapt, grow and continue to conduct business within the boundaries we have.  There is no doubt that the market still faces troubles and downturns from this pandemic, but we also know that everything is cyclical, and this, too, will pass.  As I mentioned in my last newsletter, some will leave, some will freeze and some will adapt and continue on.

We have quickly replaced lunch meetings with video calls, showings with virtual tours and handshakes with nods.  I have seen companies adapt some of their services to address specific needs of their clients.  Consultative services are emerging in firms normally relying only on transaction-based revenue.  Offices are seeking help redesigning existing space, and plans are being created to reopen.  I have seen our Chapter members listen to clients, continue strong lines of communication and embrace new methods of providing service, knowledge and education.  Well done!

It is a terrible time for all.  Let us not kid ourselves.  Tenants can’t pay rent; landlords then can’t pay mortgages.  I don’t need to continue.  Additionally, we are bombarded daily with bad, new hype and politically biased news reports. We hear commentaries on how the office environment will forever be changed now that people can work from home.  What the news doesn’t talk about is that employees have had the technology to work from home for 20 years and companies still continue to have offices.  There has been a huge wave of job loss, relief packages that didn’t really turn out to be what they were supposed be and everybody has a prediction of the future.

It is a roller coaster of emotion and economics, and the reality is that no one can really predict what the future will hold.  But what we do know is that if we keep our clients, our local market and only the facts in mind, we have a clear picture.  Don’t be swayed by hysteria, minimalization or hearsay.

We will rise up from this better than before.  I wish you all health, safety and sanity!