Humans are, by nature, social beings. We thrive on connection and interaction – and Realtors, by the very nature of their work, find their greatest success in building and nurturing relationships. Sending agents home to work alone in a time of fear and uncertainty has been a challenging, sometimes costly task for brokers.
“We saw the crisis coming,” said Cameron Merage, founder and CEO of First Team Real Estate in Orange County, Calif. “Not long before it was scheduled to take place, as the number of coronavirus cases was rising, we cancelled our annual Hall of Fame Gala, a grand event honoring more than 700 of our best and brightest agents. We did the groundwork, put away our tuxedos and gowns, and sent everyone home to work remotely.”
It was a matter of safety first, Merage said. “The governor had not yet shut down the state, but for moral and legal reasons, we felt it was the right thing to do.”
While a patchwork of statewide mandates debated whether real estate is an essential or non-essential business, a similar decision to send agents and employees home was made by hundreds of brokers nationwide.
“These are scary times,” said CEO Jason Waugh, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate in Portland, Ore. “We elected to honor ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ guidelines in an all-out effort to help flatten the rising curve of the virus.”