The COVID-19 Chapter, “At Home”: DAY Whatever
Hello e’erybody. I hope you are safe, well, and COVID-19 free. Life moves on, in our Coronavirus existence.
I think I’m getting the hang of this – strange but true. It doesn’t take too long before we begin to adapt. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and writing about getting my head around being home all the time, and you know, adapting to the the whole planet shutting down to stop the spread of a killer virus. Isn’t it weird that that doesn’t really sound weird anymore?
Well, it’s still weird, and still I grapple with all of it, in different ways at different moments. But we humans, I’m finding out first hand, are pretty darn adaptable. Amazingly so. So much so – that I’m starting to have thoughts, like what is it going to look like and feel like to start to back out of this crazy? I mean, now we’ve got this thing rolling – are they going to ask me to go back? I’ve given this my all, and asked my kids to do the same. We’re committed!!! We’re getting this quarantine thing down. When forced to get on board, we do.
We’re adapting here at home – even getting better at being patient, controlling our frustrations, and finding out new ways to be in the same house for hours and hours on end. The rhythm is starting to gel. So it’s going to be pretty strange, rolling this back, and finding a way to move ahead. I have no idea how it’s going to look. There will be entries on just that process, for sure. But I’ve been thinking about other interesting stuff up in this vacuum of time over the last few days.
First of all, I miss being out and about working. I do. And I’ve tried to figure out how to use work as a platform to stay engaged, stay sane, be productive, etc. My brokerage, as I’ve mentioned, has been really great about giving us social media images and messages to post. They’ve mastered the Zoom platform, and stayed in communication. They have been present, and supportive. They’ve coached us on how to be the best little virtual Realtors we can be in this new and sterile world of online listings and virtual showings. I have been thankful for, and benefitted from, the inspirational emails encouraging us to revisit our business plans, stay productive, and understand that the marketplace is still active. Monument Sotheby’s International Realty has my back, I feel it.
The question for me is, how do I stay relevant and productive, while deeply acknowledging this cosmic shift that is happening in our daily lives, our families, our relationships, our industries? How do we forge ahead while remaining reverent in a time of such loss and heartache? How do we remain respectful of folks, and where they are in their own journey through this cataclysmic event? It feels a little tricky, but I can only do what feels genuine to me. In this scary and odd time of extreme isolation, reaching out and connecting with people feels like the right thing to do, and an obvious step to take, at this time.
All of this makes me get back to the very reason I got interested in real estate, as a career in the first place. At the heart of it, I entered this field for many reasons, not least of which was the fact that (ready for the cliche??) I love working with people. How can I say that without sounding trite? I don’t know, It’s just true. There are many things I do love about being a Realtor – you can read other posts about that. At the same time, there is an element of working in real estate that is something I often work against, and that is the perceived (and real) element of the job, that at the end of the day, I am a salesperson. It says so right on my license from the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Salespersons sometimes get a bad rap. I don’t love that part. I try to avoid the things that make me seem sales-y.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to stay in touch – not as a salesperson, but as Me, who tries really hard to do my job in the least sales-y way possible. And the answer came to me pretty clearly. After sweating about how or when or what I should say to people when I reach out, I thought, it’s not about them! It’s about me! I miss my clients! I miss my friends! I miss people I haven’t talked to in a long time – people I didn’t even know I was missing! And I wanted to get started. I couldn’t wait. I chose to begin with my past clients, because it seemed like a neat and tidy category to begin with. And what began to happen was amazing.
It was easy. The thing that unites me with my beloved clients is the home I helped them purchase. So I started asking everyone how they were doing, with all this time AT HOME. Which, is a no brainer, cuz, the title and all…
Anyways. I started getting the most wonderful responses. Messages of reassurance – and reciprocal concern. Yeah, we’re doing ok, you know, kind of sick of being home all the time… how are you and your family doing? And the BEST part – was the common thread of joy that people are feeling because they chose the home they really wanted. They are thankful that they have such a comfy and cozy place to be – even if the time at home is getting to be, well, a little much.
I started getting photos of new babies, and of kids growing up way too fast… of projects completed – or just commencing. I’m seeing garages turned into quarantine play spaces, and backyard sanctuaries. I’m seeing new paint colors, and fun furniture, and great art … I’m hearing about exciting renovations that people finally have time for digging into. I’m seeing pets lounging, keeping their owners company, and faces of friends I haven’t seen for a few years. I’m chatting with people about what they’re up to – and answering some real estate questions too… It’s fantastic, and so alive!
I’ve been reminded of the satisfaction and happiness I feel after every settlement – that bond with people, and the gratitude of getting the chance to help them out in a real and tangible way. So you see, all you wonderful clients out there, past, present and future –
Thank you. In working with you, I get back far more than I give.
How fulfilling it is to be in the position to help you out – I do think I’m the lucky one. What fun it has been, to beam in on people, and reconnect. What a gift it is, to sit here in the midst of all this time at home, and hear that I have played a part in making home a better place, for some very dear people, the likes of which I am lucky to have in my life.
So be ready – I’m not stopping yet. I’m going to cast a wider net. You too just might be getting a text from me soon – just checking to see how YOU’RE doing, at home. Feel free to check in with me too.
Stay healthy and safe. Love, Julia