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Business not as usual: a Post-COVID report card, & something even more important.

Business is coming back. The Energized Realty Group’s buyer calls were up about 50% in May compared to May 2019. This is nothing to party over, but it is enough to do what we came here to do – SELL HOMES. If you look at buyer calls from March and April of this year, there was nowhere to go but up. So here’s a short report card of our activity for the past three weeks:

  • 7 sales contracts
  • 5 accepted offers
  • 7 listings and extensions

After weeks of meetings, zoom talks, and one on ones with everyone on the team, we felt collectively ready to woman up (Gary, of course, manned up). We started explaining the market to whoever would listen. Until that date, we called everyone in our sphere and database, focusing on our older clients, those in the medical and safety services, and small business owners (those that were most susceptible to the health and economic effects of the virus) – we offered help. Whether it was picking up some groceries, running an errand, delivering a package, or just engaging in a short chat for some human connection, we tried to be there.

During the weeks between March 18 and May 14, I worked and studied to develop the systems that we are currently using to advise our clients and customers on how to succeed in a post-COVID, no physical contact (HOW!?) climate.

In the middle of this glimpse into our future normalcy, we are faced with a very ugly truth –Racism is pervasive. It exists globally, nationally, and even in our local neighborhoods. For over 34 years, I have been selling homes in Northeast Queens, a predominantly white community, and I have witnessed, firsthand, the racial undertones that unfortunately exist here. Over the years, the Department of State and Realtor Association has made it a point to eradicate this behavior. I am grateful that on February 14, as if to foreshadow the protests underscoring racial injustice, New York State announced the Fair Housing Enforcement Program. This initiative aims to expose discrimination within all aspects of the real estate transaction. This includes implementing a mandatory disclosure form that outlines and bans discriminatory behavior and must be signed by buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants.

When I was first introduced to this form, I didn’t think much of it. To me, it felt like another piece of paper that we have to explain and get signed. But on May 25, 2020, after 8 minutes and 46 seconds of a grotesque human rights violation and watching the brutal killing of George Floyd, it now holds much greater meaning for me. Discrimination is ugly, it is disgraceful, and it is unfair. It lives, breathes, and festers in our communities on a systemic and often blatant level. But just as dangerous is the subtle, unconscious racism that is just as prevalent. Like many of you, I, too, have been guilty of being culturally insensitive and not consciously aware of the sad realities that still exist today. So, before I can be a part of the solution, I must accept that I have been part of the problem, whether intentional or not. I pledge to change that now! To help create a better, safer, and more inclusive world, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be vigilantly anti-racist. Our neighborhoods and communities will be better for it. So I urge you to join me in this effort by personally pledging to do the same. We can evoke change together.