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In advance of Connect Now, we’ve asked many well-known members of the Inman community for their insights on how they are working and keeping their businesses moving forward in this time — in other words, How They Connect Now. Here are three responses.

Danielle Garofalo

Danielle Garofalo

Chief of Business Development, CORE Group Real Estate

What’s the biggest change in the way you’re managing your business now? 

More Zoom calls. I’m almost exclusively taking phone calls via FaceTime and Zoom now.

How do you find new business in a time like this? 

Right now, it’s not about a hard sell or a hard pitch. Everyone is experiencing this differently, so being a good listener and not a salesperson is the focus.

How do you keep morale up, for you personally, and for your team? 

Reminding everyone that this is not going to last forever, and while it’s difficult, this is a huge opportunity to sort out the things that we wanted to do from a strategy standpoint that we always wish we had more time to accomplish.

Who in the community has impressed you or helped you most during this time? 

I’ve been impressed with a lot of people who are offering their expertise during this time and putting information out there because things are changing rapidly. Jamie Heiberger Harrison is one person in New York who has gone above and beyond helping sort out information for New York agents.

What’s your outlook for the rest of this year? 

I want to flip the story. So far, the story of this year is a nightmare. No one could’ve predicted or expected this situation for 2020, but seeing and taking advantage of the opportunities that will come out of it will enable us to flip the story and make it a great year. That’s the goal.

Can you share a few words about how Inman has helped you grow your business, in bull or bear times? 

I always look to Inman for information and the latest news about the industry. There’s no drama, industry gossip or sensational headlines, just facts. That’s what I’m looking for when I get my news. That’s why I look forward to Inman in my inbox every day.

Patrick F. Stone

Patrick F. Stone   

Executive Chairman & Founder, Williston Financial Group (WFG National Title)

What’s the biggest change in the way you’re managing your business now? 

We have more than 50 percent of our personnel working from home. Fortunately, we run every aspect of the company on one system and have good cybersecurity, so we have been able to function at a high level, safely.

How do you find new business in a time like this? 

We are focused on enabling our clientele to use technology whenever possible in order to minimize personal contact. We teach Realtors how to employ the tools to remain active with clients and lenders how to facilitate lending with safe and secure portals.

How do you keep morale up, for you personally, and for your team? 

Our focus is to communicate constantly so that everyone has structure and content. During trying times, it is critical that all members of the team understand the mission and their role in our continued success. Underlying that are our priorities since the company was founded: health, family and job, in that order.

Who in the community has impressed you or helped you most during this time? 

Virtually everyone has been responsive, engaged and helpful. The one thing about a shared crisis is that all impacted share a need to survive and an understanding that we are all in this together.

What’s your outlook for the rest of this year? 

We appear to have topped in infections, and I believe we will start to see a recovery in Q3. How fast depends on the development of more testing capability, an antiviral drug and eventually a vaccine. This is a man-made recession, and the best example of recovery is the “Volker Recession” of the early ’80s. When that ended, everyone was stunned at how quickly employment picked up. Hopefully, we will see the same this time, and given that both the economy and real estate were in excellent shape before this recession occurred, there is good reason to be optimistic that we can recover quickly.

Can you share a few words about how Inman has helped you grow your business, in bull or bear times? 

Inman has provided the best available view into the hearts and minds of our Realtor client base. By reading Inman, I feel like I understand the concerns, the priorities and the needs of the real estate community. Additionally, Inman has provided insight into opportunities to better serve our Realtor clients, and that makes Inman priceless.

Valerie Post

Valerie Post

Co-Founder, License Partner, Engel & Volkers Boston

What’s the biggest change in the way you’re managing your business now? 

Currently, the biggest change has been due to COVID-19 and working remotely mostly out of the offices.

How do you find new business in a time like this? 

We have started a large mailing campaign, ramped up our digital online presence, and gone back to the basics of telephone calls and touching base seeing how clients are doing.

How do you keep morale up, for you personally, and for your team? 

Sales meetings have doubled weekly.

Who in the community has impressed you or helped you most during this time? 

The restaurant and grocery store workers have impressed me. They need to work to pay their bills, make minimal money and are not getting a lot of recognition for what they do on a daily basis. Without them, our home confinement would be even worse than it has been.

What’s your outlook for the rest of this year? 

Quick sales when the confinement ends and then slower toward the third and fourth quarters.

Can you share a few words about how Inman has helped you grow your business, in bull or bear times? 

Inman keeps us from being an island. Your information on happenings is swift and unbiased toward best practices. You have your ear tuned to all subject matters, including but not limited to technology, legal matters, financial issues, sale processes, etc. I look forward every day to seeing what is new and exciting in the industry as reported by your group. Thanks for what you report.

Inman Connect Now connects virtually June 2-4, 2020. The digital event offers standout speakers, incredible networking opportunities, and the chance to forge business breakthroughs and build new relationships to last a lifetime. Don’t miss out — register today.

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