Where We Are Now: March 30, 2020

Work From Home — Day 15

Emotions Run High — Calm is Required

5:04 AM PST

A very emotional weekend digesting the various announcements from Homeland Security, C.A.R., several counties and local governments.

Please know one important value: we will not sacrifice the health or safety of our team or our clients. Any and all activities we perform will be from SIP ordinance first. It’s likely our offices will remain closed through April 30, 2020.

As we navigate this new normal, please consider the big picture. Please consider short-term sacrifices for long-term gain. Think about the first responders: nurses, doctors and the like, their patients, their families (collectively) and your own family, friends, and loved ones who are hopefully safe.

There is no way in the next sixty days you will not know someone suffering from the Coronavirus (I know a few already). It will soon be a firsthand experience. That will 100 percent change whatever perspective you have on our safety/experience in our current situation.

Remember my writing referencing the CEO of Korn Ferry about meeting people “where they are.” Not a physical place but an emotional place. Today or tomorrow this emotional place could be a place of fear. Listen first – hold your opinion, be compassionate!

Our role in life is as advisors. At our best, we absorb emotions. Our roles do not compare to first responders. We are behind the scenes, relatively safe and secure. We facilitate homeownership. The ultimate American Dream!

I hope you saw Elton John’s special last night #HeartConnectionOnFox. Simple and extraordinary, but from the artists’ homes.

Tonight’s email will update on a county-by-county basis the essential services status and issues. Please know nothing means “business as usual.”

Our leadership team and professional staff have been fast at work ramping up our already decentralized, highly efficient support system for our real estate professionals’ business. The Compass platform and our California operating procedures are exceptionally well-situated not only to support your business, but also to facilitate growth coming out of this crisis.

Our part, your part now is to remain calm. Exude calm, a quiet confidence, as we do not know all the answers. Push away from judgement and raise awareness to risky behavior.

We are 100 percent in this together – all of us – not just in our offices, but in the United States and the world.

We will come back strong. We will have different practices and behaviors. We will once again have happiness and the American Dream will survive and thrive.

A virtual hug to all of you!



P.S. Its all here on the micro-blog.

Mark A McLaughlin

Work From Home — Day 15 — Closing Bell

Escrow and Cancellation Reports

5:30 PM PST

Team – 
Quick update on our county-by-county “essential services” status. After Homeland Security and C.A.R. made weekend announcements empowering residential and commercial real estate as “essential services,” all nine San Francisco Bay Area Counties issued more restrictive orders. Each of these orders confirmed strict Shelter In Place, meaning no open houses and no in person showings of occupied homes.

Both the city and county of Los Angeles, each with different geographic boundaries, are deferring to the C.A.R. policies and guidelines, at least for today.

Compass stands by the notice sent to you by Sam Kraemer on Sunday morning. It is critical, as a company and individuals, that we take the high ground and lead through this crisis. Don’t settle, and don’t abbreviate our social and healthcare responsibilities. 

I am most pleased with the resilience of our clients. Closings for March 2020 look like they will end up only 10 percent below our March 1st outlook, and cancellations, while doubling daily, are still not severe with all things considered — people do love their homes.

Our April 2020 outlook in both NorCal and SoCal seems to be 28 percent off March numbers. Please understand this is likely 50 percent of what a “normal” April may be, as our spring selling season would be in full form.

Tomorrow morning I will circulate a very comprehensive overview of federal, state and local relief programs for real estate professionals. This summary was put together by Kristen Ankerbrant, Compass CFO, and her team. I know you will be most appreciative of their due diligence and summary.

Until tomorrow early AM, you can see it all here at Where We Are Now.


Mark A McLaughlin

COVID-19 Essential Services Definition

by Sam Kraemer, General Counsel

As you probably know, yesterday the Federal Government revised its definition of “Essential Workforce” to include “residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services.” Given that Governor Newsom’s Statewide Stay-at-Home Order incorporates that definition, we are now among those industries that, under the State Order, may leave our homes for work.

Having said that, it is important to remember that these are federal guidelines and may be superseded by state, county and city orders that are more restrictive. Please review the following guidelines for your activities going forward. The main points based on the California Association of Realtors (“C.A.R.”) guidance are as follows: 

  • Remember that your health and safety is our primary concern.
  • Local Stay-at-Home orders may be more restrictive and supersede the state guidelines.
  • Check with your local management about local guidelines.
  • Compass employees continue to work and support you from home.
  • No Open Houses or Broker Tours.
  • Arrange showings and inspections virtually when possible.
  • In-person showings/visits may be arranged if everyone is comfortable. 
  • If visits are in-person, don’t attend unless necessary and follow social distancing and sanitation protocol.
  • Limit the number of people in the home at any one time.

The California Association of Realtors (“C.A.R.”) continues to keep the COVID-19 microsite updated, you may review it here: https://www.carcovidupdates.org/

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

Sam Kraemer

General Counsel, California

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