When the unthinkable becomes thinkable

As recently as a few months ago, still within this year, if someone had told you that the entire world would essentially go into quarantine, you probably would have smiled and walked away.

That’s fair. But on September 10, 2001, would you have believed that terrorists would invade our country the next day and take the lives of thousands of Americans?

These are unthinkable situations. And both became reality. When the unthinkable becomes thinkable, how do we manage?

I’ve had many conversations around this topic (and more) with my friend, Matt Riley, over the past month, sharing perspective about how this pandemic impacts the building industry.

As businesses closed their doors and sent employees home, life seemed to come to a screeching halt. It’s easy to fall into a mindset of hopelessness. 

When life gets tough, the most important conversation you can have is the one with yourself when you’re by yourself. Examine your perspective. If you’re clinging to fear and dread, your actions will head in that direction. You’ll spend time trying to figure out how to find hand sanitizer and toilet paper rather than seeking an alternative.

If you look at the current situation and assume that you can’t generate new home sales, then let me remind you of something Henry Ford once said. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

This is a tough time, but it’s not a bad time, unless you see it that way. Your problems are not those issues that range from inconvenience to threat to your way of life. No, your problem is your mindset—the attitude you’ve embraced. 

We are one of a few industries currently deemed essential to this country. We ARE in business. We just need to change the way we conduct it.

We’ve experienced tough housing markets in the past. Look at the recession that crippled the industry in 2008. That debacle was the result of bad decision-making on the part of the lending industry that, in turn, smacked down the housing market.

Put this in perspective though. Today, we are dealing with a health crisis unlike any other in our history. In 2008, we saw the market sink lower and lower, and we weren’t sure when we would hit bottom, or if we already had.

The market rebounded and all was right with the world.

In the wake of 9/11, life stopped in the days and weeks that followed as we scrambled to understand the depth and breadth of the attack on our country. Security measures were tightened for our protection, similar to the response we’re experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic. But we recovered, and were perhaps stronger than ever.

Unlike 2001, we now have a wealth of technology tools to keep business moving forward. We didn’t have smartphones then. Look at the invaluable access this one device provides. We didn’t have easily accessible resources like Zoom for video conferencing, Matterport for virtual tours, and NterNow for on-demand access to model homes.

Do you have a problem right now? You have inventory to sell and buyers who want to purchase. You just need to connect the two. With a can-do mindset and the toolkit available to you, this is not a problem. It’s an opportunity.


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