These are unusual times, folks. They are scary, frustrating, and just plain strange. Most people today have never been through any experience like this one. I know I haven’t. Some people are experiencing severe hardship, illness, loneliness, and grief, while others have become their children’s teacher, and are trying to balance work, school, and home life all AT home. Some are bored, or going stir-crazy, while others are making cakes and marmalade, playing games, and planting gardens. These are very strange times, indeed.
I want you to know I am doing everything I can to stay up to date on information as it relates to me as a resident of California, and of Santa Cruz County, and as a Realtor. Thankfully, I work for a wonderful brokerage, and my broker, Morgan Lyng Lukina, is keeping me up to date as well. Morgan not only runs the David Lyng Real Estate brokerage with 200 agents, the largest in Santa Cruz County, she is also president this year of our local association, the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors, which has over 1300 members. Who knew she would be dealing with this . . .
I’ve had to make some changes
As soon as the shelter-in-place took effect, I quickly worked to move all of my business on-line. So what does that really mean?
A lot of my business was done remotely already – phone calls, texts, and email, first viewings of homes were on-line, I already created buyer disclosure packages for on-line viewing, and most of my clients signed real estate documents via electronic signature. But in-person meetings are very limited now and open houses are off limits.
Here are some new things I am doing:
- I am meeting with my clients on Zoom instead of in-person.
- I am sending all (not just some) of the seller’s disclosures to be filled out on-line.
- I am using virtual tours and walk-through videos on all of my listings.
- I am using virtual staging where appropriate. Virtual staging is when the listing photograph is “photo-shopped” to add furniture and amenities. This info is disclosed to buyers.
- I have beefed up my knowledge and use of social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
- I am using eco-flyers instead of traditional flyers. An eco-flyer is essentially a weather-proof flyer sign that gets posted at the home and directs buyers to more information on-line.
- I am putting security codes on all of my listings so that no one can access a home without my permission. Every person needs to sign a disclosure about COVID-19 prior to entering.
- I have started a blog on my website to keep people up to date on real estate.
And for fun and food for thought, I’ve been posting daily quotes on Facebook and Instagram for every day we shelter. Here’s a good one for this memo. . .
Resilience is accepting your new reality,
even if it’s less good than the one you had before.
You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost,
or you can accept [it] and try to put together something that’s good.
― Elizabeth Edwards
We will get through this. I’m confident that by staying positive, by working hard every day to do what we can for our businesses, our families, and others, by adapting to our new reality we will not only survive but thrive in the months and years ahead. I’m looking forward to the journey.