Where We Are Now: March 24, 2020

Work From Home — Day 9

Real People — Real Feelings!

5:50AM PST

Team – 

Good morning on another inspiring day!

If you think about it, every day is an inspiring day! Our days are what we make of them, how we act, behave, compete and inspire others.

In the past two weeks, I have become closer and closer to all of you as we are sequestered to our homes. It’s amazing what distance and adversity does to gather people around common causes; whatever they may be. We gather in new and different ways. I am humbled and honored by so many heartfelt emails.

For us common causes are safe families in homes, teamwork, communities and the pursuit of dreams! It’s not about transactions or “houses in boxes” via advertisements. It’s humbling to get to know so many of you and share our stories. Keep ’em coming!

Why did it take SIP and adversity? Candidly, it’s because our world, as we know it, was put on pause, all at the same time. We all had to hit the reset button at the exact same time. The reset takes us back to core values and diminishes the noise in our lives.

What is changing now? For us, we are aggressively reducing costs, dialing down marketing and advertising unless is it’s compassionate about homes, people or children. Our thoughts are deep on health, safety, community activities and thinking about others. It’s wonderful to see.

We started the day yesterday with an all-employee call. On the call we shared what our challenges will be ahead. Everyone has access to news, most is not compelling, positive or inspiring. We shared with our team our path forward and most of all how amazed we are at USA consumers’ determination to own a home.

Fiscally, we elected not to take steps to engage with layoffs. Together all employees will share in a 20% income reduction in order to keep the team entirely engaged.  This 20% reduction is scheduled for a period of 60 days from March 30th – May 31st. It’s our hope we roll back to productive times in May and the velocity of our industry rebounds and ultimately thrives. 
That’s a wow in my mind! Team committed to each other.

There is not a day that has gone by in the last thirty, that I have not reflected on my experiences of the great recession. If I can find some free time, I will write a timeline of my journey in residential real estate from 2006 – tomorrow.  I’ll share it with you, it’s not to be a book; just a simple sharing of our journey from 2006 to now! You have all played a role!

For today, try to inspire others!
Talk soon!

Mark A McLaughlin

Work From Home — Day 9 — Closing Bell

C.A.R. Perspective

5:50PM PST

Team – 

Today was exciting! What will tomorrow bring? 

One of my early calls this morning was with Joel SingerCEO, C.A.R. and Sara SutachanVP Industry Relations, C.A.R. Like you, they are working double time to pave our path, when safe, to be an “essential service” and make sure our industry gets every consideration for State and/or Federal relief. If there is ever a time that I feel we are in the best of hands with C.A.R it is RIGHT NOW!

Our conversation was fluid and focused. Joel and Sara confirmed C.A.R.’s focus on the following:

  • Lobbying for Relief and Benefits for Independent Contractors and Brokerage companies.
  • Preserving every ability to keep real estate virtual closings as an “essential service.”
  • Keeping County Recording offices open or fluid e-filing.
  • Requisite approvals for virtual signings and notary services (see below).
  • It’s fascinating to listen to Joel and Sara and realize in 8-10 days, working from home like the rest of us, what amazing energy and progress CAR is dedicating and achieving. A high-five to CAR! Joel and Sara signed off the call by saying, “if you have ideas, we want to hear them.” Below are several initiative descriptions Sara shared with me after the call. Answers to many of your questions are likely in these paragraphs or online via the appropriate links!

Online Notary Services

C.A.R. is actively and aggressively trying to push forward legislation to allow for online notary in CA so that Realtors can continue to do business and serve clients in need. CAR is working with NAR to have a federal solution that would permit the use of online notary by CA Realtors. CAR, in coalition with other real estate groups, requested the CA Secretary of State who has concerns about online notary to not oppose such efforts.

CAR Microsite:

Relief for Independent Contractors 

  • As independent contractors REALTORS® do not have access to the safety net of unemployment benefits afforded to millions of others during this crisis.
  • On March 19th, we sent a letter to the California Congressional Delegation to ask Congress to include in the next bill addressing the coronavirus crisis and forgivable SBA loans for self-employed independent contractors. Under California’s order real estate sales, rental leasing, and all the ancillary industries directly involved in each sales and leasing transaction will come to an immediate halt. An SBA loan, even with zero interest rate will do the majority of independent contractors no good if they are unable to perform their work to pay the loan back. CAR and NAR ask Congress for aid for REALTORS® 
  • Additionally, thanks to the first round of stimulus (Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act) — our members are qualified if they are “small businesses” as defined by COVID-19 since Jan. 31, 2020. They can apply online for these Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) SBA Disaster Loan Assistance



Mark A McLaughlin

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