The coronavirus outbreak has had a sweeping impact on the economy and members’ businesses. What are the National Association of REALTORS®’ priorities for supporting members?
Our business is a huge economic driver; it represents 9.5 million jobs. Our data even show that every two home sales create one job. Our advocacy team was involved in crafting COVID-19 relief legislation to help ensure it supports the self-employed and small businesses on every front: tax, payroll, and unemployment. Remember that nar.realtor/coronavirus is the central point for information on business practices and our advocacy efforts, as well as many other resources that NAR has made available.
NAR has revived the Right Tools, Right Now program introduced during the 2009 downturn. What’s available there?
We’re pleased to offer many new and existing resources for all our constituents—residential, commercial, agents, brokers, AEs—for free or at reduced cost. It’s essential that you have tools to build and hone skills and make smart financial decisions without the worry of added expense through this uncertain time. Member support staff are available via NAR’s hotline at 800-864-6500 to answer questions related to COVID-19’s impact on real estate. The hotline is open 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.
You run a brokerage in San Francisco, one of the first places in the U.S. to issue a stay-at-home order. What’s business been like?
When you read this it’ll be May, but I’m writing in early April. Even though all my people are working from home, we’re still transacting deals. I just received a counteroffer, We’re including addenda in agreements to allow additional time for inspections and appraisals. I have great faith in members’ resilience. I’ve seen amazing flexibility and positivity as members provide virtual showings and generally operate remotely. (Read more about how REALTORS® are adapting to the new business climate.) As a personal aside, until recently, I was often apologizing to my wife about how much I was away from home. Now, all I can say is be careful what you wish for.
Do you have some reassuring words for this unprecedented situation?
Yes. I want every single member and state and local association staffer to know that your well-being and your business are critically important to the NAR Leadership Team, CEO Bob Goldberg, and staff. NAR is closely monitoring the situation to help you thrive. We are a team no matter where we are or what we’re facing. We will get through this by sharing information and by following the best protocols for health and safety—both for us and for our clients and customers.