Back in the Rain - An ActiveRain Challenge
Well, I've got to thank the hosts and Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 for filling me in on this month's Activerain Zoom calls. I haven't been active in the rain for many reasons, mostly because I'm busy as heck, but these calls have been so worthwhile to see some familiar faces, and to finally put a face to the voices I hear over the phone.
I've talked with Debe Maxwell, CRS , Eileen Burns and George Souto over the phone, and have had the pleasure of hanging out with Jeff Dowler, CRS in person, but to be able to get some facetime via zoom has been a wonderful experience that I'm looking forward to keeping going. It also gives me a reason to get back into the rain, a place where I've made so many great friends and have collaborated with so many great people on helping people get into homes.
I was late to the first call I attended but was happy to see some friendly faces even if by the time I got there it was more a roundtable discussion than a presentation. One the 2nd call, Kathy Streib (another rainer who I've been lucky enough to talk with over the phone but had never met in person) gave some great information on staging - one aspect of our industry I know nothing about. Thanks to her insight, on the call I even did a little staging myself and rearranged the books in my office.
On today's call, George Souto gave us some insight into his lending world and what he's experiencing as a loan officer during the COVID19 pandemic. It's an interesting world for sure! Being licensed in 18 states, it's great to be in a room with people in so many different states and markets in which I work, learning about the unique challenges and aspects of their business that (like many things in real estate) are local. For example, Pennsylvania for a while was the only state in the US that deemed Real Estate non-essential (could you guess that their Governor isn't up for re-election?). And in CA, many markets are having listing agents require a full preapproval for a buyer to even see a home. Many states are also using COVID19 disclosures, and have restrictions on who and how many people can see homes. Eileen Burns mentioned that much of Florida is operating with virtual showings.
Im looking forward to future Zoom meetings, and got the idea to maybe hold a monthly mortgage roundtable to field questions, share tools, and offer up help to agents looking to thrive in today's marketplace. This could be a fun way to better communicate not only what my team and I do differently, but also to improve the industry by showing what the new standard should be for a loan transaction - it is digital, seamless, fast, and insulated from many of the issues COVID19 has presented the real estate world. With our market changing so frequently, it would also be a great way to communicate those changes and keep people in the loop on the latests and (sometimes not) greatest in where our business is headed and the things their customers and buyers may encounter.
While submitting for a contest and falling short of 750 words (I could surely blabber on for another 100 words, but would that do anyone any favors), I have to say my favorite part of this is the fact that it's gotten me involved in a community that's meant so much to me over the years. When moving from the east coast to CA in 2013, the AR community was one that led to some local relationships and helped me get my footing here on the west coast. And while I'm not exactly quiet about my disdain for the technical leaders of this platform and how terrible of a job they do, the real leaders here like the ones putting these challenges together should be commended for maintaining such a special place. Indeed, there's not another one like it, and I'll look forward to trying to participate more going forward. Thanks to everyone that worked to put these Zoom calls together. You got me back in the rain, and hopefully I'll be here for a while : )