Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.
Last week, in an attempt to bring a little positivity to the conversation, we asked our readers to share a few victories with us — however small or big. As the answers poured in, one thing became immediately obvious: Despite all the challenges that are cropping up due this global pandemic, with a little bit of perseverance, diligence and perhaps a sprinkling of luck, good things can still happen.
So, in an effort to keep the positive energy flowing, we’re celebrating your triumphs below:
- I had a conversation with a local colleague about referrals outside of her radius.
- I published a book, which was on my bucket list. The title is Rookie to Realtor Emeritus. It’s about how to successfully navigate a career in real estate sales. If you are hibernating at home, now is a great time to “sharpen your saw.” The book is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.
- First-time homebuyer, Nervous Nellie. Found her home, put it under contract, got a new pre-approval, but the loan was at 5.75 percent even though the Fed had dropped rates to almost zero. Hard to explain that away. She was this close to terminating, but I talked her off the ledge and visited with the lender. She followed rates like a bloodhound and two days later, they locked in at 3.28 percent! Contract saved due to professional diligence!
- Despite the current chaos, we’ve still been executing contracts and adding more virtual tours to our listings, which is making the sellers very happy. It’s always nice to hear that they appreciate what you’re doing and to see a smile on their faces. Sometimes the small wins are the biggest.
- Greetings, all! I’m practicing “physical distancing” rather than social distancing. The last thing our fragile world can sustain right now is distancing ourselves from our social sphere, our cherished families, friends and colleagues. I’ve mastered Zoom video conferencing for that very reason. I’ve had client consultations, video lunches, happy hours and virtual birthday celebrations — and it’s really been a big win for me. Thank you for letting us share. Be safe, be warm, be kind.
- I still have a new listing to post this week despite circumstances.
- I held my first Zoom meeting with new clients and was awarded the listing.
- American Airlines refunded me on non-refundable tickets.
- Even though there’s a pandemic, the real estate market must go on. I was fortunate enough to have been working on four transactions before the coronavirus lockdown. Each day presented a new set of challenges as first the city, then the county and then the state went into lockdown. Lenders were running behind schedule. I had a client who was stuck out of the country and was not able to sign documents. Everything I’d been working on for weeks was up in the air. However, there was a lot of perseverance, teamwork and understanding on the side of both buyers and sellers. Everyone knew there were going to be delays because of a virus that none of us could control. I’m happy to say that as I write this, three of the four transactions have closed. The fourth is set to close tomorrow! I feel incredibly blessed and consider this a major win — not only for myself, but for my clients. The majority of my book of business is made up of first-time homebuyers. The first-time homebuying process is already a stressful and emotional one. Add to that a virus we can’t control, and it really puts things in an uncertain place. I’m happy that I was able to work with my clients, hold their hand and get them through this difficult time. Now more than ever, it’s very important that you work with someone who has experience in challenging markets, who knows how to face adversity and can present information to you as the client in a calm, educated fashion. You need someone in your corner to help you win, and I’m glad this week I had people in my corner who helped me do that very thing.
- I’m in a 14-day self-quarantine, and the real estate business in Sedona has come to a grinding halt. After having my right-hand assistant stage the home and arrange the photos, I put the listing in last Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. We priced it with the other units and received a cash offer with a three-week close in the afternoon. I was prepared for it to languish. However, never say never — people still need a place to live!
- I was able to get an excellent buy for a client on a home that had been on the market for over 500 days. They came in with a very low, all-cash, quick-close offer right before all the chaos. The countering started, and the seller decided — due to the length of time this really lovely home had been on the market and the housing uncertainty — it was time to sell. Tenacity and good negotiating skills on everybody’s part — we’re getting the deal done in a very difficult resale market. This was a win-win for all. My buyer gets a wonderful home in Wickenburg Ranch, and the seller can finally move on and not have the expense of an empty home continuing to sit. It was this week’s victory for sure!
- We had a buyer tell his coworker he wanted to buy this house he had seen prior to shelter-in-place orders. It was back on the market. The coworker told our director of operations. We wrote it up. Two offers came in. Ours was chosen. We all cheered while in a Zoom meeting. It felt like such a win!
- We’re now offering a sterilized house for every transaction. This gives the buyer a peace of mind, and it gives the seller a unique point in marketing the home. There’s much more to talk about.
- I connected with another agent on an off-market listing, and my buyer bought it!
- My wife and I (who are partners) wrote and accepted contracts for $250,000, $700,000, $1.25 million and $2.9 million all during the last 10 days. We’re working on two more contracts as we speak. Surprisingly, the market in Central Florida has remained very firm.
- Collaboration on a micro and macro-scale created real estate sales, clarity and community. The owners of Windermere Services in Seattle were among the very first affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instantly, the multistate services team launched a series of online leadership meetings, created documents to assist real estate agents, and ignited a storm of collaboration between franchise owners, managers, agents and staff. Operating like a small start-up company, together, we helped each other learn Zoom, digest confusion, and, across city, county and state lines, work together to support thousands of agent and clients. I’ve never been part of such an effective and swift positive collaboration. Jill and Geoff Wood, OB Jacobi and the WRE Services team collaborated creatively to ignite a modern response where we care for people first and business second. This resulted in a successful week responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- After our governor put a restriction on some of our activities, along with some common-sense restrictions we voluntarily put in place, we found some new ways to do business. One way several agents in my office held recent open houses was via Facebook Live. We just went to the listing, fired up our cell phones, logged into Facebook — and voila! — instant open house. They seemed to go over well. We got several showing requests and some inquiries from them. We’ll be doing more in the future as we adjust to this “new” normal.
- Today is our last day of quarantine, and no one in our house became COVID-19 positive. (We had a house guest from NYC who became sick after arriving at our house two weeks ago.) It’s a huge relief!
- I got one of my listings under contract sight unseen by serious out-of-state buyers purely by my video and the extra details I’d posted with the listing, including a floor plan. No showings needed, even by the agent. The seller is going to buy another home as a result.
- Started offering a COVID-19-specific drip campaign for real estate agents at a deep discount to help them come out of this stronger than ever. It’s selling like hot cakes.
- I created a way to more accurately predict resource needs down to the neighborhood level, one, two and three weeks out. It also provides more accurate detection and prediction of virus spread increase and decrease, down to the neighborhood level. These things will allow us to loosen restrictions where they can be loosened and tighten where they need to be tightened. Basically, this allows the country to get back to work without sacrificing safety. I called FEMA, and the response director loved it. The analytics team loved it, too, and now it’s slowly moving through the bureaucracy.
What did we miss? Please share in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state.