It was the middle of March 2020 and no one knew what the weeks ahead would look like. The world was in the throes of the “Great Pause,” commerce was stopped on a global level and capital markets redefined volatility. The stakes appeared to have never been higher as we prepared for new industry safety standards, as well as sheltering-in-place ourselves.
At that very moment, REALM was launching amidst the unchartered waters of a global pandemic. We decided to get 150 of our friends and colleagues on a call. It was an amazing mixture of brands and legends, fierce competitors, and great allies. More than one said it was the most accomplished group of professionals ever convened on one call; it was magical. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Gary Gold (Hilton and Hyland, Beverly Hills) was amongst the first to offer some wisdom. “Regardless of the global situation, properties are going to sell during this period of time; I’m going to be involved in those transactions. And when we come out of this, things are REALLY going to trade, and the great agents are the ones who are positioning themselves to be on the top.”
David Kornmeier (Brown Harris Stevens, NYC) agreed with what Gary said, adding that, “in any market climate, there is business being done. My goal is to provide my clients with the best information and guidance, and that’s why they talk to me about their real estate needs.”
Bernard (Bernie) Uechtritz (Founder, Icon Global) offered, “I’ve been invited to a hundred Zoom calls recently to weigh-in on the noise and state of the industry with Covid-19 impact. Until today I’ve avoided joining the fray, and chosen only to get on this call because of all the associated REALM talent on the call and within the network. I think clients want and expect us to be honest with them. Now is not the time to sugarcoat things or join the noise – it’s the time to cut through the noise, give people hard facts, the right connections, and make sure that they are making educated, non-panicked decisions based on your expert recommendations. It’s time to lead.”
Ann Abernethy (Slifer, Smith, and Frampton) had just been introduced to Toni Haber (Compass, NYC) through REALM. “We were meant to be friends and we’re going to do a lot of business together,” said Ann. In hindsight, how fortunate for both of them to have made a new friend heading into weeks of quarantine and solitude.
Jim Walberg and Ann Marie Nugent (Compass, The Bay Area Team) offered guidance by saying that “…daily, we are in touch with clients, reaching out to our specific top-100 client list in order to listen to their concerns and offer them guidance during these uncertain times.”
As we wrapped up the call, Paul Benson (Engel & Volkers, Park City) had already sent an email suggesting two of the improvements we have since implemented, REALM Communities and REALM Groups.
Whether it was on that Zoom call or based on a culmination of other conversations, it’s evident that we are redefining luxury real estate together. Lessons learned that day:
- Professional excellence transcends markets. If you’re operating at the top of your profession, you’ll find opportunity in all climates.
- Acting as a trusted advisor means honesty, integrity, and style. Your clients deserve to make the most educated decisions possible, and they expect you to use your network and experience to help solve problems.
- Great people attract other great people. Never miss an opportunity to meet another member from REALM. You’ll likely do some business but you’ll definitely have fun.
- A reputation consists of many small, individual acts that come together to define an individual.
- Always be innovating. Standing on the sidelines is boring and you (and your clients) deserve better.
REALM is a new real estate collective made up of elite luxury professionals across the country. Membership is extremely limited, and by invitation only. To learn more, go to www.realm-global.com.