Ask An Ambassador: Semper Gumby!!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

Back in my Navy days we had a saying: "Semper Gumby!".  Perhaps a play on the Marine Corps saying of "Semper Fi" (which was short for Semper Fidelis), "Always Faithful".

So you can probably put two and two together to get that Semper is Latin for Always.

And unless you're of a certain age you might have no clue about Gumby, either in the original cartoon form or the Eddie Murphy version from SNL (I'm typing and realizing just HOW LONG AGO ALL OF THIS WAS!!).

Bottom line, Gumby was a very flexible guy, thus "Semper Gumby/Always Flexible!" makes a lot of sense for military folks.  You make your best possible plans with the available information and then the real world intervenes and you'd best be Semper Gumby.

If you're in real estate (or anything associated), you know you have to also be Semper Gumby to succeed.

A lot can change in a day.

The home your buyers were THINKING about buying.  Under contract already.

The home you thought would have no problems at home inspection?  BIG problem.

The new construction home for your buyer that was going to close in a month?  Major plumbing flood, the builder is going to have to build them another home.

And that's without even putting a global pandemic on the table.

Our flexibility is being tested.

What's important?

From a blogging perspective, my priorities have shifted.  The COVID-19 situation is volatile, and new information is coming out frequently, so rather than my normal market reports, I've written a few posts to answer some basic questions about what this all means to local home buyers and sellers.  While normally I'd prefer to write a more evergreen post, I'm hoping these COVID-19 posts are soon a thing we're looking at in our rear view mirror. 

And of course our blogging isn't all we need to be flexible with during this current environment.  Depending on your state you've been told you're essential or non-essential.  Regardless, getting through the near future requires evaluation and flexibility.

If you've got a niche, is it more impacted than most?  (e.g. most of our patio home niche work involves people in the higher risk age group).

Has it changed the way your partners do business?  (most of the local builders are now appointment only)

Has it impacted your primary means of advertising?

Do you need to communicate with your clients MORE?  (probably!)

The list of questions could go on for quite a bit.


So take a moment, evaluate and decide where you need to be flexible and make those changes.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Oh gosh yes, you gotta be super flexible.  If one thing is consistant about real estate it's change.  And just when you think you've seen EVERYTHING a new issue you've never seen before arrises.

Mar 24, 2020 01:40 PM #1
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We are in Gumby mode for sure. The Governor has deemed us as non-essentials - and we are accepting it, since our clients want to remain in a hold pattern for a few weeks, it's fine. Like you, we are sending out the information most folks need right now...and offering our help and support if needed. 

Mar 24, 2020 02:03 PM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too) - definitely time for some not-so-serious Pokey Pondering.  I like the angle you chose.

Mar 24, 2020 03:52 PM #3
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

The times change. Every transaction seems to have something different going on.  It does pay to be flexible.  Semper Gumby! ! !

Mar 24, 2020 03:55 PM #4
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker, CRB, CRS
HomeSmart International - Phoenix, AZ

Real Estate has alwasy been Semper Gumby since I started in 87. And my guess, as it is again now, will continue to be so in many flexible. And save your money wisely!

Mar 24, 2020 04:28 PM #5
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Semper Gumby is a great way to characterize how we have to be in this business, and given current and changing circumstances, being Gumby-like is even more important.

Like some other states in CA real estate is not considered an essential business - other than the construction end of things - so no showings or open houses. But we are hopeful our state association will get this revised with the Governor, with their efforts underway as of yesterday. Interesting how it varies around the country.


Mar 24, 2020 05:28 PM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Bill-I love Semper Gumby. You have always had to be flexible and certainly now we absolutely must be flexible now. Take some deep breaths and figure out what your next step will be, then do it. 

Mar 24, 2020 06:29 PM #7
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I love the idea of Semper Gumby - that is definitely what it takes to be a realtor! 

Mar 24, 2020 07:17 PM #8
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I remember Gumby! haha.

Yes, we need to be flexible especially in this crazy time we now find ourselves in.     Even in areas that are not on "lock-down" or "stay at home" orders, many sellers don't want people in their homes and many buyers don't want to go see houses.

We even need to remain flexible in terms of products we buy at the store. The other day when I did weekly shopping, the store had eggs again, but many of the other items on my list were gone. So I substituted. I was thinking I might even like the substitution better than what I usually used!

Have a great day.

Mar 25, 2020 06:15 AM #10
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

In Illinois real estate agents are considered "essential", too.  But that doesn't mean that buyers are willing to venture outdoors, and walk through stranger's homes.  Things may change in short-order, but for now... everything seems pretty stalled.

Mar 25, 2020 06:28 AM #11
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

We are considered "essential" and our State Association is asking us to please keep working - that we are vital to the economy. I have been doing a day-by-day look at our Market Watch. I've been fascinated to see that the Under Contract, Pending, and Sold numbers are staying the same, but the Listing numbers are taking a beating. I have three listings coming on in the next few weeks, all vacant, and wonder if that will make a difference. Will certainly do a virtual tour so people can get a good feel for it rather than having to actually visit. Thanks again for sharing your insights. I like Semper Gumby. Those who are will be fine on the other side of this.

Mar 25, 2020 07:42 AM #12
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - There are so many things I love about this post. First, I was a fan of Semper Gumpy! My father was in the Navy, and I never knew the background of this cartoon character or what he represented. Thank you, for sharing this information to me now. If my father was alive, I would have been on the phone first to thank him for his services in WWII, before writing my comment to you. Gumpy was a family favorite. I could still see myself sitting down on the rug with my sister's watching the TV with my mother and father on the balcony behind me (the couch). Both of them, deceased now, much too long but still crystal clear in memory...

Bill, thank you for your services. As far as flexibility goes, it is important to think about safety and liability. Personally, I don't care what NAR or local Associations determines about "essential services," when it comes to liability, there's a lot to consider and a lot we don't know. I cannot, in good conscious put anyone at risk. 

It is inevitable, many will suffer financially. Myself included. It is with fear and much humility that I must be cognizant of consequences. There is a lot we need to learn about sustaining life, medical practices, food, and the economy. Above all else, is human life and the public's need for practical knowledge. Shelter is a basic human need. I hope for blessings from above to help guide us all. My greatest fear over money is premature death to so many people, world-wide. For humanity, let us pray for mercy. 


Mar 25, 2020 08:07 AM #13
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing this post with us. Semper Fi my husband is a Marine and the short term is very much part of his life even after years of not being active in the Marine Corp itself. As we move through this time in life remaining faithful to what we do, at home, at work, and in life, in general, is very important. Thank you again for all that each of you do here in the Rain. 

Mar 25, 2020 08:31 AM #14
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Hey I’m feeling real flexible here inDay#6 of our State Mandated Staycation!!!

Mar 25, 2020 11:24 AM #15
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Being stretched is part of the real estate industry - rather be that than brittle Bill! Those of us who come from military backgrounds knows this as well - adapt and adjust accordingly. So far, we agents are deemed essential in the scheme of things here still!

Mar 25, 2020 12:28 PM #16
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Totally agree, Liz and Bill Spear ... to survive we must be Semper Gumby in our industry.  And we're being asked, sometimes multiple times a day, to show and prove that flexibility.  We live in interesting times ...


Mar 26, 2020 08:08 AM #17
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Liz and Bill Spear ,

Great post..time to ponder for sure. The world is not coming to an end..we have a set back and this too shall pass. Adapt and adjust to the new norm..we do live in interesting times.

Mar 26, 2020 10:06 AM #18
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

HA! I had Gumby drop-ins when I was on the air. 
And yeah. Semper Gumby.
Not you, Pokey!

Mar 26, 2020 04:54 PM #19
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