Nick Churton and Annette Reeve from our London Office, Mayfair International Realty, have a few words for real estate professionals handling the sudden and stultifying shock of a global pandemic.
The real estate business is cyclical. From time to time there are bumps in the road, brought on by economic booms and busts and natural disasters like hurricanes, fires and floods. We don’t like them but we half-expect them.
Then there are the bumps that we don’t expect: bumps like the Great Depression or world wars. Every real estate generation hopes that it will not have to deal with bumps like these. But our generation has been called to deal with coronavirus.
Global threats remind us that we are an international real estate family, with each nation experiencing in its way the tragedy and fear that such disasters bring – not just to us but also to our clients. No one is alone in this.
Sometimes our first inclination is to panic. We worry about what will happen, what our clients will do or think, and how we will manage the hiatus. The uncertainty can be paralyzing.
But we also know from the smaller bumps and world history that, given time, this tragedy will pass. Ironically, we also need to remember that the Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters signifying danger and opportunity.
While conscious of danger, we must also be awake to opportunity. Probably not this week, but very soon, our clients will need every bit of our expertise, wise counsel and local knowledge. There will be people who have re-evaluated their lives and want change; there will be those forced through sad or difficult circumstances to move on, and those very alive to opportunity themselves.
The only thing we must not do is wait. The time to act is now. Now is the time to plan, learn new skills and, most of all, stay informed, interested and engaged.
This is the time to demonstrate that, now we have been called, this real estate generation will step up to the plate.
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