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Are You a REALTOR? Time to Step Up!

March 23 2020

agent front of listingLike most of you, I have spent this week social distancing by staying home, only going to stores when I needed important things, and a bunch of Zooms, webinar and video conferencing. Folks, this is week one for most of us and we don't know for sure how many more weeks like this we have coming. It's time to step up in your local community and become a leader and start thinking outside the box.

We all can moan about how this terrible virus is affecting us, causing us financial and personal hardship, but look around—there are many worse off then you are. This shall end and where will you be when things return to normal or bounce back as the experts say will happen? It's time for you to take the lead in your local community. I promise if you do, your community will have a newfound respect for your efforts, which will pay dividends when we do return to normal.

Let's start with what you did before real estate. For most REALTORS®, this in your second or third career. What did you do in the past that might help the community? Medical? You are needed! Education? You are needed! Food service? You are needed! Look around in your community and volunteer however much of it you can do while social distancing—be a friend, be a neighbor, be an asset to people who need help.

Ideas for connecting while social distancing

In my world, I decided the best gift I can give my 55+ neighborhood is to prevent social isolation. Monday and Tuesday, I organized 'Get Out Front,' for which I printed directions and delivered them around the neighborhood, sent emails and used our neighborhood Facebook group to get the word out. How it worked was people with even house numbers sit in front of their house at least six feet off the street, and folks with odd house numbers either walk or drive a golf cart around (I live in a golf cart community) and visit. The next night, everyone changed roles. It was a big hit and it helped people get their mind off what was happening around them.

Last night I did 'Social Distancing Karaoke.' I set up a Zoom webinar for 7:00 pm, sent out instructions on how to use Zoom, lyrics to James Taylor's 'You've Got a Friend' and did a Facebook live on our neighborhood Facebook group. We had dozens of people singing at the same time—it sounded terrible, but we all had a laugh. Tonight, one of the neighbors—a DJ, piano player and singer—saw what I am trying to do volunteered to set up in his garage to play music and use his yard and street for parking and keeping the six feet recommended social distancing.

Something else: stop the stale emails. It's not a good time to be using your drip email campaign! I get tons of emails from agents across the country—STOP them! Now is not the time your contacts need to get emails asking, Do you know your home's worth? I'm not a big fan of canned emails anyway, and getting them now with what we are facing can't help your image.

I was on a webinar hosted by a local broker the other day. She explained she stopped at Target, bought boxes of 'Thinking of You' cards, and was planning to hand write notes to her contacts. I'm sure you have time to do that.

I started in the real estate industry in 2000. Think about it—9/11, the crash of 2008 and now this. Like 9/11 and 2008, this too will pass and you have the chance to enhance your standing in the community not as a REALTOR®, but rather as a person. God bless and be safe!

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at