Wishing you the best of health and happiness. Happy Easter!
It’s 9pm on Good Friday as I write this newsletter - both my kids (12yo Zak and 8yo Jasmine) are bouncing on the trampoline in the dim exterior light of the detached shop. It is past their bedtime. The inky-blue sky is dotted with stars. If the neighbours hear their laughter and joy, I suspect it will put a smile on their face. It is good for children to share laughter and joy to adult ears, when there are currently 1,700,388 reported Covid-19 infections and 102,755 deaths, which have sadly occurred since the first reported case in China on November 17th, 2019.
I am a single mum with two school aged kids. They roll their eyes when I remind them in the morning that “we can’t sleep in, we must get dressed, and together let’s do activities that we can learn from while school is indefinitely closed.” Such as Book Club, Outdoor Adventurer, Chef’s Up, teaching Mum to hover board and playing board games.
Everyone asks: “What do you think will happen to the real estate market?”
“Well….”, I say, “I know what happened yesterday, and what happened today. The world is changing fast so I do not know what tomorrow may bring. Here, I’ll send you an article that answers that question well”. http://www.westerninvestor.com/news/british-columbia/sharp-drop-in-b-c-home-sales-should-be-followed-by-steady-recovery-bcrea-1.24114014?utm_source=Western+Investor+Newsletter&utm_campaign=35fd4d2bb2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_01_03_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9b89d35e1e-35fd4d2bb2-96642945
This pandemic unleashed sudden and unexpected changes to all. Kudos to Health Carers worldwide and to everyone for adapting as best they can for the good and wellbeing of all. Thank you! My heart goes out to those that have suffered and those that have passed on to the afterlife, and to the frontline health carers who become infected and possibly die.
Realtors® are an essential service. My business is encouraged to remain open during the Covid-19 crisis, as long as I obey public health orders to reduce the spread of the virus. I do not qualify for EI, CERB or CEWS. My monthly business overheads churn on, in addition my monthly personal expenses. I was prepared for a crisis - prepared to survive financially if I needed to, with no further self-employment income it if came down to it. I learned hard lessons during the ’08 Global Financial Crisis and survived that. I learned to save, to pay off debt and to nurture my Jade plant money tree that sits on my kitchen counter.
I work each day from home supporting clients who bravely soldier on - listing their properties for sale and doing my best to sell virtually. I am operating at about 15% productivity. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board reported in the past 4 weeks that 6 RE/MAX Realtors® in my local area have switched brokerages and parked their licence at a discount brokerage that charges no membership dues and fees, and that 4 Realtors® so far have given up their licence. They were amongst a list of 28 fellow Realtors® from various brokerages within the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.
Working during the pandemic, I find that everything takes longer. It is what it is, and I accept that rather than get frustrated.
My 8yo daughter has just run in from the rear garden to give me a hug. She knows it’s past her bed time and that the hug might reward her some extra trampoline time. I am a pushover mum. It’s late and I’ve let her go back outside rather than tell her to go to bed now.
To cope with social distancing. I participate in daily live stream yoga sessions. My mat is set up in the guest bedroom. Most days I go for a run. I find new trails. My run on Thursday took an epic adventurous turn - the trail seemed endless and did not curve and loop back to my car until well past the 10k mark. When I run, I wear my bear/cougar defence backpack with spray, whistle, phone and knife. Whether it will be of help or not or whether it is silly or practical, it makes for a more enjoyable run just knowing I have it with me.
Not even the best economists and forecasters know what is going to happen to the real estate market over the next 24 months. Those that are bold enough to publish articles with their opinion and analysis of stats, survey results and reviews of past economic downturns, are not able to definitely answer this question of “what will happen to the real estate market?”
Here is an account of my past 4 weeks operating at 15% productivity. Removed conditions and sold a listing. Listed an executive rancher at 115 Oregon Road.https://livetour.istaging.com/651236f3-0218-4585-9431-e21ed3cc2480 Completed 3 transactions while carefully adhering to public health orders with key handover. 2 virtual showings. Spoken with numerous clients and replied to emails and texts. Participated daily in Zoom meetings (on Wednesday, I styled my hair into a 5 inch Mohawk to amuse co-workers). Completed 2 evaluations. Wrote two offers that were $20,000 less than the list price of which both offers were quickly rejected (a sign that sellers are holding strong in the Covid-19 tunnel with hope of a better priced offer to come). I note the growing pile of 17 listing files on my desk that were sellers intending to list, but are now on hold until Trudeau regains their confidence to get on with their plans to list and sell. Today I drafted an offer (a 13-page new construction custom build) and my son and I made a short movie together for a RE/MAX Check Realty initiative which I will share with you in my next newsletter. Here is a screenshot of my son and I.
Yesterday was the first time in approximately 4 weeks that I ventured out and shopped in person. With sanitized hands, I entered London Drugs and chose Easter treats for the kids and a birthday card for my soon to be 13yo son (we celebrate his birthday tomorrow). The signage above the shelving said something along the lines of Do Not Handle Goods, Touch Only What You Buy. I chose a birthday card with a picture of a pickle on it, not knowing what it says inside but thinking it must have a good punch line. In another aisle, I saw a lady of similar age to me wearing a large surgical mask, and another aisle was a man wearing a scarf wrapped around his face and another guy wearing black rubber gloves. Very different to four weeks ago. I looped around the aisles again, not to shop but just to take it all in. I encountered a past client who I have helped sell and buy. We practiced social distancing and snuck a quick chat in. At the register, I sanitized my hands again and passed my carefully chosen goods to the cashier, through the cut-out hole in the newly erected enormous clear plastic screen that safely separated her from me. The hole was L-shaped and I wondered who was this clever person that so quickly designed this screen and figured out that this L-shape is perfect for passing through the thousands of various sized items within this shop. I sanitized my hands again, took out my credit card, paid, placed credit card back into wallet, gathered the bag and left, sanitized my hands again to load the bag into the rear of my car and then again before opening the driver door and seating myself in the driver’s seat. I tell myself, remember this.
For the past 4 weeks, I am dependent on my local go-to Healthyway to deliver groceries to my door. They ring the doorbell to let me know the box is out front, and then they drive away. Whether you may think it is wrong or right, over the top or crazy, I spread a blanket out on my kitchen floor, carry the large boxes in with gloved hands and then go about washing everything with soapy water, even washing the cardboard packaging. Then wash the blanket. I tell the kids, look see what Mum is doing, remember this. Yup, maybe I am over cautious, but I believe I need do this. I do not need to read or watch the good hygiene advertisements that the government is promoting. I have not touched my face for many years. Have not handled and eaten food with unwashed hands for many years. For many years the kids sanitize as they get in the car at the end-of day-school-pick-up. For many years the first thing we do when we get home is wash our hands. I am mindful of the 11 rounds of IV therapy that were pumped into my heart via a portacath and the 28 rounds of radiation aimed at the area around my heart and lungs, and I am very certain that I do not want to test my organ resilience with a case of Covid-19.
March 13th, the kids and I almost went to Costa Rica. We were to depart on a 6am flight out of Comox. It dawned on me the evening of the 12th that I would not be packing the bags. We did not get on the flight despite Trudeau not yet making an announcement about international travel and despite my travel agent telling me there would be zero refund for the G-Adventure Tour and 3 Air Canada flights. $7,000 down the drain. I didn’t care. My 8yo cried. She really wanted to go. On March 15th, due to Trudeau making the no international travel announcement and asking Canadians to come home, my travel agent sent me an email and had good news. All would be refunded other than the tour deposit. Wonderful. In the following weeks while reading news articles, my son kept telling me that it was soooooo good that we did not go.
The kids are inside now. It took a while for them to calm down from their late-night trampoline antics. They are safe, healthy and curled up in bed now sleeping. Tonight, while writing this newsletter there were 2,759 new reported Covid-19 infections and 91 deaths.
If I have said too much, I am sorry. I miss my community. I look forward to your reply to hear how you are doing, how you are adjusting and sharing with me the changes to your daily routines. You are welcome to call me. Would love to chat. Anytime.
Wishing you and your family the best of health and happiness!