First, I hope everyone out there is safe.

I lived through the 1990s recession. The difference then was we went to work. There was not much happening in the real estate market, but you still had your routine. Now the routine has completely changed. There is no option to “go to work.” Your work is now in a different place…. your home.

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I have written about the working from home concept and how I feel that an office environment is much more conducive for success for most agents. But now? It is what it is. So what to do? Let me first give you a visual of my take on what just happened to the real estate market. Picture you are building an outdoor fire in a firepit. You light it and start to add wood. Each piece of wood reignites and makes the fire stronger. Just like our market was doing here in Toronto, for example.

Then out of nowhere, someone comes along with a huge bucket of water and dumps it on your fire. Then, it starts to rain…everyday. Got the picture? Your firepit is soaked so if you want to be able to get that fire burning again you need to take some steps to minimize the wetness in the pit. Maybe put a tarp over it? Newspaper to absorb the water? I have no idea as I’m not a specialist in the outdoors world.

What I do know is that we need to minimize the disruption to our personal business. So here is what I suggest: Work on yourself first. Mentally and physically. Be prepared for when this ends. Go through your list of contacts. Reach back as far as you can to connect with those you haven’t. Even if it’s been 10 years. Do it! Clean up your contacts. Those who don’t respond, or those you have no intention on contacting…get rid of them. I have always said that when the market is slow in “normal times,” that’s the time to work hard and get prepared for the next swing.

Think of a horse race. The thoroughbreds get into the starting gate. They shift and jostle, they can’t wait for that gate to open. You need to be that racehorse. Ready to storm out of the gate with business ready to go when the gate does open. If you aren’t one of those racehorses, you will be left behind. I assure you of that.

This is the moment of truth where YOU decide your fate in the business. Are you a winner or are you wallowing in despair? It’s easy to wallow and follow all the other agents who are wallowing down to the bottom. The winners will prevail. They will get started right away showing and listing properties, because they have been working all the way through this. If you decide to start contacting people after this ends, you are too late.

This will be a huge challenge to many and it won’t be remotely easy at all. But rise up and be a winner. Your business will never be better afterwards.


  1. Good article, but I would make one addition. When you reach out to your database and they do not respond, try reaching out in more than one way. Make a call and leave a message and write (cursively) on a note card, you can buy some nice blank or embossed ones from Staples and even Chapters or Winners and lick, stick and stamp on an again handwritten envelope a short note on asking how they are and asking what they had done on their home since your last call (hopefully you have notes of previous discussions to pickup on) and if no response try one more time as you never know what is going on in their life which like the rest of us is in some sort of flux. Do not be shy to reach out to those you have not spoken with for a long time, if even ever since your last transaction as now is the time they need to know you are there for them and you have got it together which is what consumers expect from a Professional. Even if you have self doubt do it! What is the worst that can happen? They do not respond and you change their status in your database to dormant (do not yet delete as you never know when they may call, even years later), they do contact you and engage in dialogue, or perhaps they do not but put your card aside until they need you. Either ay you Make The Calls and if you reach them send a handwritten thank you note as well. Cursive is not only missing from our education system, but our business world as well. Go Back to the Basics and reap the rewards the future has in store because you will hit the ground running. Do not look at this as business discruption, look to the future as the one sure thing is that people will still need to move and they need competent professional advice now, more than ever.


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