Blog Logo

Blog Categories

President Howe: Can We All Take A Moment To Just Breathe?

July 23, 2020 in Guest Columns

This year, as we all know, is one for history books. I feel
like I’ve done about five years’ worth of growing in these last six months,
simply by working through the obstacles this year has thrown at me, and I’m
sure many of you have as well. I have grown in both my personal and
professional life, and I’ve found new strengths that I didn’t even know I had.
At the same time, this year has been incredibly divisive, and I encourage you
all to not only to be polite and empathetic in the midst of these tough times,
but also to take time to check in on yourself.

All around us, we see divisiveness everywhere we turn. From
who to vote for in the elections to the debate on masks to the debate on
sending our children back to school… so much of what we see on social media is
fighting, arguing and no one changing anyone else’s mind about anything. Even
if you are a conflict avoidant person by nature, as I am, you’ve probably felt your
heart race and felt the stress of some of these public arguments. And that is
not good for either our mental or physical health.

We are even seeing this tension in our own industry among
our own members, and I’m not talking about on social media, though that is
happening too. While many members are having their best year ever, we cannot
deny the fact that we have an inventory crisis. We were already in an inventory
crisis last summer with not enough homes for sale for all the buyers, and this
year it’s even worse with 47% less inventory in June 2020 than we had in June

The result of this is multiple offers on almost every new
listing. In the best of times, multiple offers pit member against member. We
are emotionally invested in our clients and getting the best for them, no
matter which side of the transaction we are on. Add in a drastic shortage of
properties for sale and it becomes complete chaos with finger pointing flying
in every direction. The fallout from all of this is accusations (and actual
occurrences) of ethics violations in handling those multiple offers and
communicating with all parties efficiently and effectively. This is not who we are, and this cannot be
how we operate on a daily basis. The NAR Code of Ethics tells us to treat all
parties fairly and to be honest in all our transactions. Beyond that, how about
also granting some grace to one another during these more than strange times we
are living in?

In short, we are on edge in virtually every area of our
lives right now. This is not a conducive way to live our lives day in and day
out. Though I am far from being a yogi, over the last few months when I start
to feel the stress building up in me, I tried to remember the lessons from the
yoga classes I’ve taken in the past. The most important of these lessons is to
breathe. Slowly in. Slowly out. Let whatever is on your mind go (yes, more
easily said than done) and focus on you and what matters most in your life. I
encourage you to find the method of managing stress that works for you. Quite
often, when you are in the middle of something, it feels like it will always be
that way and things will never change. While we may never get back to our old
normal, the world we are living in today won’t be the world we are living in
tomorrow. So take a moment. Breathe in. Breathe out. Grant yourself some grace.
Grant those around you some grace. While no one knows what you are dealing with
on the inside, you don’t know what anyone else is dealing with on their insides

The theme of this year’s Diversity Committee is Unity Lives Here. Let’s be the
embodiment of that and set the example for the other people in our lives,
neighborhoods and community. Be the change you wish to see. And don’t forget to

Join the Conversation

We'll never share your email address with anyone else.

We'd a follow.