It’s amazing how hope can emerge when you’re feeling tested. A test, after all, is often just a measure of one's problem-solving ability. The REALTOR® organization rose to the challenge in 2020, helping to ease the COVID-19 burden on our members - from getting the all-important “essential service” designation in states across the country to ensuring more of our members qualified for Small Business Administration lending. The pandemic isn’t behind us. But my interactions with thousands of you during my presidency showed me that we'll persevere through what comes next. My advice going forward:
Don’t second-guess yourself. We’ve all had to act on instinct more than usual, and our instinct often guides us well. It’s most important to do what we think is right for our clients and businesses, and move on.
Plan, but be prepared to shift. The pivoting we’ve done in 2020 is without precedent: working with clients to redefine space needs, renegotiate leases, and calculate property values even as the pandemic renders old valuation models useless. As we move forward, pay attention to what experts say, but, more important, observe what’s happening in your own market, and be prepared if things go in an unexpected direction.
Ask a lot of questions, and reach out to people you wouldn’t normally talk to. None of us has all the answers, but asking questions creates dialogue, which leads to solutions. Our future could be shaped by joining forces with groups we haven’t historically done business with.
I'm grateful that we came to the test that has been 2020 with strength and experience on our side. It’s not a year many of us were prepared for, but I daresay we’re ready for the challenges that lie ahead. It has been a privilege to serve you.