A “stay home, stay healthy” checkpoint

This week’s mile(s); a checkpoint.

Welcome to a new week within our Stay Home, Stay Healthy environment. As Gov. Inslee further prepares and communicates with WA State on what further reopening our economy will look like, my gut tells me this week is a good time for a “checkpoint” within our own marathon.

This “checkpoint” is of self-assessment. Sharing a tool below to help in grabbing very well earned hydration + fuel as we prepare for the continued miles ahead.

If you are finding your scores lower than you had hoped at this “checkpoint” – focus on this > what vital few activities can you do in the miles ahead to increase those scores as we prepare for recovery? What are non-negotiable?

 There will be a finish line to our Stay Home, Stay Healthy marathon. Our recovery will be a direct reflection of our focus right now. I’m still very much laced up and running right alongside of you…

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SIP Self-Assessment

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Welcome to Friday, let’s sweep! | what we haven’t done + weekly #’s + Yale’s most popular course in 300-year history!

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Welcome to Friday! A focus today on what we didn’t do this week, what we haven’t done during our Stay order and what continues to clutter (and frustrate) our minds. In our house, we call this the “shoulds” list. Let’s bring some welcomed perspective (at least for me) to this conversation from a 4.7.20 article published on Upworthy. Cliff note version: let’s not forget to give ourselves a sense of grace and a reminder of why we are in this Stay order in the first place.

ps, the end of today’s post I’m share the most popular course in Yale’s 300-year history, The Science of Well Being…complimentary to you + me! The course is 10 weeks and teaches students how to be happy; without having to go to Yale to take it. This too we can do from our living room as we slowly + safely begin to further turning the dial on real estate. As a psychology major (which I am), I would have eaten this content up within my degree! Might just have to add to my coursework.

First though, this…

A trauma psychologist weighs in on the risks of ‘motivational’ pressure during quarantine. 

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A “motivational” message has been circulating during the coronavirus lockdown, which is allegedly supposed to kick our butts into gear since most of us now have more time on our hands.

On its face, it may sound logical. We often don’t do things because we lack time—or think we do—so now that we supposedly have more time, we should be doing those things now, right?

Just one thing though—there’s a deadly global pandemic and massive economic crisis happening, which might be just the tiniest bit distracting right now, Jeremy.

A trauma psychologist from Beirut weighed in on this idea that we should be extra productive right now, and she didn’t mince words. Alaa Hijazi’sFacebook post has been shared 19,000 times, so people are clearly appreciating her wisdom. She wrote:

I thought I was spared the horrid ‘motivational’ phrase going around now—’If you don’t come out of this with a new skill, you never lacked time, you lacked discipline’—until I saw it on my local yoga studio page.

As a trauma psychologist, I am utterly utterly horrified, enraged, and bewildered about how people can believe and spread this phrase in good conscience.

We are going through a collective trauma, that is bringing up profound grief, loss, panic over livelihoods, panic over loss of lives of loved ones. People’s nervous systems are barely coping with the sense of threat and vigilance for safety, or alternating with feeling numb and frozen and shutting down in response to it all.

People are trying to survive poverty, fear, retriggering of trauma, retriggering of other mental health difficulties. Yet, someone has the nerve to accuse someone of lack of discipline for not learning a new skill, and by a yoga teacher!

This cultural obsession with [capitalistic] ‘productivity’ and always spending time in a ‘productive,’ ‘fruitful’ way is absolutely maddening.

What we need is more self-compassion, more gentle acceptance of all the difficult emotions coming up for us now, more focus on gentle ways to soothe ourselves and our pain and the pain of loved ones around us, not a whipping by some random (person) making us feel worse about ourselves in the name of ‘motivation.'”

Indeed. Even those of us who are still employed full-time are finding it difficult to focus some days like we used to. The enormity of this pandemic and the global shutdown over it weighs heavy on all of us. Our sense of normality has been turned upside down and the uncertainty over what even the near future holds makes sustained attention a challenge.

Add in the fact that many people now have children at home who used to be at school or childcare, many are struggling to figure out how they’re going to pay rent or buy groceries, many are watching businesses or careers they’ve spent years building crumble before their eyes, many have health conditions that make them anxious about catching the virus, and it’s not hard to see how neither “time” nor “discipline” are our big problems right now.

If you want to go read books on hustling and build up some skill set, Jeremy, go for it. But let’s not lay a guilt trip on people who are going through a traumatic experience that none of us have experienced before and none of us were prepared for.4.7.20 article published on Upworthy.

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Need some weekly #’s to better understand where our market is this week?

For King County, new sales increasing and are trending up (The low was 40% of prior year increasing week by week to 44%, 56% and 65% ). New listings and new sales are increasing every week since the Stay Home Order went into effect.  When performing real estate activities outside of your home, please continue to take extreme caution (masks, gloves, social distancing, normal body temperature) to keep the community, each other, your clients, and yourself safe.

Note: if you want me to forward you a longer #’s recap for this week: text me! Just ask. 206.227.7133

Want to go back to school during our Stay order?

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As hinted at the start of today’s blog post, sharing Dr. Santos most popular course in Yale’s 300-year history, The Science of Well Being, which teaches students how to be happy. Related Upworthy article and your back to school portal here.

Next week, I will begin messaging where I believe we are headed as our new normal in our real estate practices and in supporting our clients that need our services. As Gov. Inslee hinted this week; May 4th will not be the day we “flip a switch” in turning on our economy fully, yet we will continue to “turn the dial” safely in doing so. Next week I will also be sharing a Stay Home, Stay Safe self-assessment. As we get even further into this marathon, I believe it is a very good time to take current inventory of our mindset + skillsets + actions as we continue to plant seeds towards a strong recovery.

Continue to Go Slow & Do No Harm. #healthbeforehouses

Committed to “calm + caring thru crisis.” All in, for you. All in, for us.

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep! | dancing + weekly sales + VCR vs streaming movies

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Welcome to Friday, FWL readers. Here’s a little drive-by dance to get you in a weekend mood. Creative! On to my sweep…

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Weekly sales on Windermerestats.com are updated through Wednesday 4.15.2020. A handful of digestible bites below in recap within the weekly #’s.

Note: if you’d like to look at the weekly #’s yourself and drill down to a specific mls area > go to Windermerestats.com, login and go to the weekly tab (upper left on homepage). Need April password? text me: 206.227.7133

King County pending residential sales are down 42% (367 this year vs 635 last year). *up from last week (309 last week)

In-city/Seattle pending residential sales are down 41% (124 this year vs 209 last year). *up from last week (106 last week)

Eastside pending residential sales down 48% (96 this year vs 185 last year). *up from last week (67 last week)

*The Eastside is down more than King County likely due to its’ higher price points.

Based on what I’m hearing, as the Stay order continues expect more new listings and more new sales.  We are deeper into in our Stay order and yet I expect people will slowly become more comfortable working within our restrictions + limitation from Gov. Inslee. If choosing to perform real estate activities outside of your home, please continue to take extreme caution (masks, gloves, social distancing, normal body temperature) to keep the community, your clients, and yourself safe. Go Slow + Do no Harm.

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Difference between the VCR & Streaming Movies ?  Or better yet, difference between 2008 Great Recession vs 2020 current Covid-19 health crisis? 

Steve Harney, on April 7th 2020…

“What we’re going through right now is like a snowstorm. There’s six feet of snow on the ground, it’s still snowing but eventually the snow is going to stop – and after that, the snow is going to melt. All the buildings are still intact. I’m not saying we’re going right back to the way it was immediately, but it’s not going to take us long. We don’t have to rebuild anything. We just have to get back to work. Another analogy I like to use, remember the VCR? We used to have this little cassette and we’d plug it in. We couldn’t stream movies. We actually had to buy a cassette with the movie on it. Well, if we use that metaphor or analogy going back to 2008, someone took their VCR and smashed it with a sledgehammer and it took us a long time to put it back together again; the electrical, wiring and everything. This time around, we’re watching a streaming movie. Someone hit the pause button. As soon as they let us hit the play button, there’s no restructuring. We just have to get back to work.” – Steve Harney, Keeping Current Matters

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KCM’s April market report is 34 minutes. Steve Harney again takes us beyond his analogies and backs everything up with research. As Steve has coined, “keeping current does matter.” I’d suggest adding to your late cup of weekend coffee. Being a voice of reason during uncertain times will be remembered by your people. No greater time to bring the heart of a teacher (educator) into your real estate craft. KCM has helped me along the way. If you do not have a KCM account…

Go to keepingcurrentmatters.com and take advantage of the 14 day free trial. Worth it! Or text me: and you can check it out under my account.

That is a wrap for this week. It’s go time in finding our reasons to dance heading into the weekend. Control what we can control. Dancing we can control, right!?! Again, drive-by dance to get you in a Stay Home, Stay Healthy weekend mood…

Committed to “calm + caring thru crisis.” All in, for you. All in, for us.

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep! |EM vigilance + feeding the front lines + big 3 Q’s

 

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Welcome to Friday, I’m very pleased to be saying that. Why? Because I do believe we’ve reached a moment to which I’m back to my “Friday” blogging vs daily need – which says a lot. This gives me a sense of calm and normalcy to an otherwise continued uncertain  environment. So, let’s say it again – welcome to Friday, let’s sweep!

Please continue to be vigilant with Earnest Money: PSA

We have heard that there was a fraudulent situation where there was someone standing out front of an escrow company who collected a large cashier’s check (EM or down payment) who was not with the escrow company. If you are delivering checks checks to escrow please be aware of this type of potential scam. I recommend that you obtain instructions from a verified source at the escrow company prior to sending or delivering any payment. Each escrow company will have instructions specific to its own procedures to identify/verify proper personnel

*Continue to work with your office on safe practices in handling Earnest Money*

“Feed the Front Lines” Campaign

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If you’ve been looking for a way to help our city’s medical front-liners fighting COVID-19, Windermere Real Estate Co. has created an easy solution. To show our appreciation for the folks at UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics who are working tirelessly to care for a high volume of patients, we’ve started a drive to get these medical professionals lunch twice a week. 

We are proud to partner on this project with Renee Erikson, a James Beard Foundation award winner, and her restaurant The Whale Wins. Meals will be carefully constructed and individually packaged, then delivered by Windermere brokers to UW Medicine’s in-city clinics. This drive will serve both as a thank you to our medical front-liners and as a boost to a beloved local business. 

So far Windermere brokers have raised $5,000 for this drive. Our goal is to raise $19,000 to provide over 1200 lunches. I invite you to join the drive if you feel you are able. These are challenging days for everyone, so if you prefer not to participate at this time that is completely understandable. If you do wish to contribute, you can donate here on the Windermere Foundation’s website. Simply type “Feed the Front Lines” in the Office Name box and choose your donation amount before continuing through the easy and secure checkout. 

Regardless of how you choose to proceed, thank you for considering this request and for standing together with Windermere Real Estate Co. and me at this incredibly challenging time. We are All in, for Seattle.

Donate here.

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Big 3 Challenge Questions

As we approach this weekend, I have 3 challenge questions for you to begin to think about. This is where I’m spending my thought as we settle further into these “longer miles” of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy marathon. I am hopeful we will never experience this sort of this global pause again, yet such pause does also allow for true critical & inspired thought. These big 3 questions are on my mind; sharing with you.

1.  What can you do RIGHT NOW (ABSOLUTELY MOST IMPORTANT) to come out in 3-4 months in GO MODE?

2.  What MUST you do to THRIVE not SURVIVE?

3.  What is the OPPORTUNITY in front of you?

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Next week (actually today) marks the start of spring break for our kids. I’m hopeful to find these beach chairs at our family cabin, breathe deeply, critically think, find stillness and take in what spring is giving us – all of it.

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And oh, let’s wrap this week up with an “idea worth spreading” as shared by Peter Hedlund (fab staffer at our Ballard office!)…
…”So I got really bored of drip coffee during the stay at home order, so I researched into making at home cappuccinos and lattes. 
I bought a cheap moka pot for making espresso, and discovered this easy way to foam milk using my french press. I heat up milk, poor it into my french press and use the plunger to pump the milk until it’s nice and foamy! Then poor it into my espresso.”

Welcome to Friday everyone, feels good to say that.

Committed to “calm + caring thru crisis.” All in, for you. All in, for us.

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It’s today | “When purpose is bigger than pain, purpose wins.”

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Originally I shared this blog post on Sunday 4.5.2020. I’m leaving it here as many people have appreciate these  24 minutes as much as I did and I want to make it easy access for others to digest. A good friend of mine share this with me…thank you Mike Ferreri! Mike, looking forward to our next sushi lunch when we can gather again!

Mike had the luxury of talking with the Seahawks High Performance psychologist Michael Gervais this week. There is a lot here. Yes, we can perform at a high level from our living rooms during our Stay Order.

When purpose is bigger than pain, purpose wins.”

“When pain is bigger than purpose, pain wins.”

I hope you too will find something within these 24 minutes that assists in “purpose” winning your days to come…

Tune in here. 

And let’s take moment to digest a few numbers today too…

[below written 4.5.2020 – will continue a focused on weekly #’s]

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Thank you broker Sol Villarreal for sharing “the science” you are following – week by week. These #’s are for single family homes, townhomes and condos within the city limits of Seattle.

Sol ran the below numbers comparing March 25th – April 4th of this year (the period from the day the stay-at-home order went into place through to today) to March 25th – April 4th of last year.

3/25/19 – 4/4/19

New listings: 582

Listings that went Pending Inspection prior to 4/4/19: 32 (5.5%)

Listings that went Pending prior to 4/4/19: 72 (12.4%)

Listings that were still active as of 4/4/19: 478 (82.1%)

3/25/20 – 4/4/20

New listings: 241 (down 58.6%)

Listings that went Pending Inspection: 13 (5.4%)

Listings that went Pending: 27 (11.2%)

Listings that are still active: 201 (83.4%)

Listing volume is down 58.6%, but in terms of the number of homes going pending and pending inspection, the rates are almost exactly the same this year vs. last year, even with the stay-at-home order in place.

Take in the sunshine where you can. It has a way to keep us powered up as we settle into the longer miles ahead in this marathon.

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Home. Healthy. Grateful. #healthbeforehouses

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep |the miles ahead

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It’s now a marathon not a sprint (I think) as we head into this weekend after navigating another week in a changed real estate environment.

The “marathon” wording feels very cliche yet TODAY it feels most appropriate. Two years ago I had a good friend training for his first marathon along with his daughter. During their long training run he would tell his daughter when she became fatigued to focus + watch his legs as they continued – taking each mile stride by stride.

Today, in this changed environment and in Gov. Inslee extending our Stay Home Stay Healthy order until May 4th 2020, when you get fatigued – find that right running partner and take that mile(s) stride by stride. There will be times you’ll need to watch their legs and there will be times when someone else needs to watch yours. There is a beginning, a middle and an end to every marathon. I have my running shoes on and the miles ahead we will run together and pace each other.

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This week as we sweep I’m focused on the beginnings of putting resources around what unemployment may look like for agents; aka – financial relief for independent contractors. This is a new frontier for our economy. With “new” will come bumps. This week I had my first call with a very smart  group – CFO, CPA, HR, WINDERMERE SERVICES, LEGAL – these minds have created a task force if you will to help us navigate this new frontier. Our collective goal is to share what is available and when.

Let’s set the stage for what will become an ongoing conversation:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides relief to families, small businesses, and individuals who are self-employed and independent contractors. A key provision in the law creates a temporary “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” program that extends unemployment benefits to those not traditionally eligible, including self-employed individuals. Below is a summary of the program that will be updated with guidance anticipated from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Last night, April 2 2020, NAR posted their FAQs for unemployment for agents [as part of the CARES Act]. We’ll start here for today with more to come (hopefully, next week)…

You can find them here.

Ps; your first point of contact should also be your CPA in navigating how the CARES Act may provide you some relief. I’m probably stating the obvious here however it’s a confusing world right now – so obvious shouldn’t be assumed.

…back to our marathon. There will be a finish line. I’m laced up until we both see and cross that finish line; running right alongside of you in the miles ahead.

#healthbeforehouses

Thank you Alexandra Riede Cummings for this hashtag! It’s spot on.

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[yes, those are my actual running shoes]

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It’s today. | The Current Real Estate Landscape

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You are most likely expecting more changes and adjustments to our current real estate landscape from me TODAY. Nope. Instead, providing a sample client/sphere message if you are finding it hard to find your voice in messaging with your people. Hope this helps!

And oh, yes – Gov. Inslee did extent Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order until May 4th 2020. Ok, I gave you one adjustment for TODAY.

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The Current Real Estate Landscape

Everyone loves real estate.

But during these challenging times, it’s not most people’s focus. Nor should it be. We are all busy trying to figure our way through the “new normal” or social distancing, sanitizing groceries, working from home (or worse, filing for temporary unemployment), and homeschooling kids. It’s a lot. The last thing most of us need to dial into is what’s happening in real estate. Even though it’s my passion and how I earn my livelihood, I understand that now is not the time to market my services or update you on your current home value or let you know about what new listings are coming on in your neighborhood. Instead it’s a time just to say hi, to reconnect, and to let you know I’m thinking about you. I’m also looking forward to the time when we can meet again in person. In the meantime, I’d enjoy hearing from you if you feel like reaching out. While I can assure you that residential real estate is not business as usual, I’m proud that Windermere has helped set the tone for what the industry landscape should look like while Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is in effect. Our guidelines prioritize your safety and wellness.

From the very early days of COVID-19,  our mantra has been “Go slow and do no harm.” So while we’re working hard to help those clients who are already under contract on a purchase or who had a home listed at the time of the governor’s order, we are slow-rolling new business until the coast is clear. Our bigger priority these days is to live one of Windermere’s core values: putting people over transactions, which right now is more important than ever.

Stay healthy, be safe, and feel free to connect in any way at any time.

W

It’s Today. | a late cup of coffee & an FFT

Go Slow + Do No Harm

Gov. Inslee’s surprise yesterday morning in approving a handful of real estate activities as essential – permitted under heightened restrictions – did not mean “business as usual.”  Many of you would have received a Go Slow + Do No Harm memo from me yesterday in response. If you didn’t and would like me to forward to you: text me – 206.227.7133.

Cliff notes in response: We are citizen agents and this time more than any other in our history, calls on us to prioritize the collective community good over our individual.

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And this time more than any other is a collective “FFT” moment. Interested in what an “FFT” is? Grab a late Sunday morning coffee and listen in on Brene Brown on normalizing discomfort and identifying when we are in “FFT” moments.

This I am certain of.

Podcast on FFTs – Here.

Sun is out in Seattle at this moment; be sure to see it + feel it. Healing!

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It’s Saturday, please read. |From Gov. Inslee

The news from the Office of the Governor just released will hit each of you in a different way; I acknowledge that up front. It’s hitting me in all sorts of ways that I haven’t yet processed however I owe it to you to share what I am aware of in a timely manner.

As I hinted at on my post yesterday, we have been waiting for clarification from the Governor’s office on many of the critical duties needed to close existing transactions.

Gov Inslee just signed an amendment that outlines what can be done…

Please read this.

I have a 3pm TODAY Zoom meeting with Seattle/Eastside Windermere Owners and representatives from Windermere Services to better understand these details.

I can’t reinforce enough how vital it is for all of us to follow the specific rules that will be outlined! Please watch for the official announcement and revised FAQs from WA Realtors and NWMLS for all details as well as continued communication from me, your manager, your owner.

By end of TODAY, I hope to have finer details ironed out within this blog. For now; be smart and keep top of mind the “why” we are even having these conversations.

We must trust each other that will continue to take on this epic social responsibility in front of all of us as we navigate real estate.

Committed to “calm + caring thru crisis.” All in, for you. All in, for us.

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It’s Friday, let’s sweep. | an open letter

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Today’s post will not be more about what our real estate industry is allowed to do or not do during our current Stay Home, Stay Healthy order by Gov. Inslee. There are a handful of clarifications we are awaiting for and should have those by morning. If we do, I’ll update you here. For today, please lean into “no” you can’t do that right now if it is not from your living room. Need stronger verbiage when talking with a client who wants to see a new listing that came to market? Here it is: “It is illegal.” Somehow that “illegal” word gets right to the point and is heard.

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Curious what you can you do from your living room? Digest this (watch + listen to these 3 minutes)…

 You can plant seeds.

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An open letter to my FWL readers.

First up, a thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for digesting daily what we can. Thank you for understanding that information each day remains fluid. Thank you for reaching out to me; checking in on me. Thank you for sharing with me when this content is meaningful. Thank you for sharing with me when this content is confusing. Thank you for sharing with me when you don’t agree with this content. It all matters. It all goes with having a voice and being willing to write. Thank you.

 “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”  – John Wooden

We can’t physically go to our offices, yet via technologies like Zoom, in so many ways I feel more connected than ever. Thank you Zoom and darn you Zoom. I’m exhausted and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way to “see” so many of your faces. One day, Zoom and I will break up – just not yet. While some people are facing difficulties in their health, job security, overall finances or feelings of being disconnected because they are not able to be surrounding by a family inside their abode like I am – it is ok for me to be exhausted. If I can make a drop of difference during unprecedented times; it’s all worth it.

For those of you that know me well, I live squarely inside an eternal optimist bucket; yet I too have felt every emotion under the sun these past weeks. I have felt fear, yet I lean on daily routine to diminish that. I have felt anger after one of our offices was broken into on day one of our Stay Home order and yet my family reminded me that this person is struggling. You get the point; a rainbow of emotions…

I have also found + created plenty of joy. We can’t high five or hug each other, yet we can send a video message, send a handwritten note or make that extra call in connecting, showing gratitude and caring.  We can’t spend much time with our friends yet we can host virtual book clubs. I did. How many virtual happy hours happened this week around the world?  I’m surprised Zoom didn’t break all together. We can’t go out to eat yet we can can teach ourselves to cook something new – or in my case – my kids now realize I can cook! I’m serious about that. “Wow mom, didn’t know you can cook so well!”  We can’t travel, yet we can expand our view in reading a good book or listening to that podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to. And oh my goodness, the creativity during this time has been epic! We found ourselves without baking supplies for a birthday cake for my husband – problem solved: light up a cold Coca-Cola – a real treat to him!

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Uncertainty continues to prevail day to day yet I am confident that we will eventually arrive at the other side of this time and humanity will prevail. We will be more awake + connected than before. We will see + feel more good.

W

No doubt, “predictions are a dangerous business right now” yet this…

At Windermere we don’t yet know exactly how COVID-19 will impact our regional housing market, though we remain confident in the long-term fundamentals. Far more important to us at this moment is doing what we do best: serving our neighbors, keeping our neighborhoods strong, and valuing people over transactions. We’ve been around long enough to have seen and helped our region bounce back from past challenges. Together we will do it again.

All in, for our neighbors.

I’m not at my desk. I’m home. I’m healthy. I’m grateful. You know where to find me.

Committed to “calm + caring thru crisis.” All in, for you. All in, for us.

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