News and Updates May 20, 2020

Inman Opinion by Chris Trapani: Why traditional brokerages will persevere post-pandemic

With COVID-19 in our midst, it has never been more crucial for brokerage leadership to take a progressive position to lead their agents through the pandemic and into the future.

During every downturn or recession, the thin veneer over disruptor brokerages that claim to be revolutionizing our industry is pulled back, and we are reminded of the unvarnished truth about our profession:

Real estate agents work for free until our clients achieve their goals.

Because of this, many experimental real estate models simply cannot carry the overhead through the inevitable up-and-down cycles, even when billions have been invested to prop them up. Time and again, the evidence shows a gross underestimation of the inherent challenges in scaling the uniquely personal real estate sales model.

This work-for-pay model is further complicated by the difficulty in defining the true work of a real estate agent. On a purely technical level, agents help clients search, buy and sell homes. They negotiate, assist with obtaining a mortgage, inspecting the property and ensuring the product is sound.

Beyond that, defining the work of an agent becomes more elusive, because agents guide clients through some of the largest and most meaningful financial transactions of their lives. These transactions have meaning because they encompass a client’s identity and intersect all aspects of their life.

Finding the right home defines how one lives, works, raises children and plans for the future. Selling one’s home is a transition that often represents consequential change, some for the better and some not.

The very best agents deeply understand these nuanced dynamics. Their experience handling the most intimate details of a client’s life, managing aspirations and fears has taught them to be empathetic listeners, trusted advisors and pragmatic problem solvers.

These skills make it difficult to say that real estate agents merely help clients search, buy and sell property.

This part of the business — call it heart or human connection — is what has stymied the venture-backed investors in their endless attempts to inject themselves into the equation. Perhaps their failure stems from this relational heart of real estate which seems unwilling to be extinguished by an app or an all-in-one technology platform.

Now, with COVID-19 in our midst, it has never been more important to strengthen connection and for brokerage leadership to take a progressive position in order to lead their agents through the pandemic and into the future.

Brokerages with an intent to survive will need to make difficult and strategic decisions to come out on the other side of the shelter-in-place orders positioned for success. Modest-sized real estate firms may have the advantage with their ability to make swift and meaningful adjustments to overhead. A lighter footprint and financial load, coupled with intimate relationships with landlords, vendors and stakeholders who are more likely to collaborate on temporary expense relief will tilt the scales favorably.

Successful real estate leaders will be those who exceptionally allocate resources to balance both human and financial capital through near-term rough waters and onward to a sustainable and profitable future.

Like mom jeans and a good shag carpet, everything that’s old can be new again. As we exit this pandemic-induced recession, expect the traditional brokerage model to persevere, further enhanced by technology to support the work of the agent and improve client experience.

Written by:
Chris Trapani
May 8, 2020

Click HERE to read the article on Inman.

News and Updates May 6, 2020

#MentalHealthMonth: We Are All In This Together

Since 1949, National Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May to increase awareness surrounding the importance of mental health and wellness. Mental health is defined as emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

As we move through this COVID-19 global pandemic, Sereno Group thought it would be helpful to share resources to support you, and your loved ones, if you are feeling alone, or in need of ways to reach out for healthy conversation during this strange and unprecedented time.

The pandemic has radically shaken our world, and our ability to cope with the aftermath. Please do not underestimate this fact. With so much uncertainty swirling around our communities, now is the time to be gentle, reach out to anyone you think might need help, and even make the vulnerable call to ask for help for yourself.

Everyone here at Sereno Group is committed to supporting our communities during this extraordinary time. Here are some resources and organizations that might spark ideas and offer assistance:

Momentum for Health offers adults, adolescents, and families a vast array of high-quality programs and services that promote a healthier, independent future. The organization focuses on the delivery of comprehensive behavioral health services that are accessible, integrated, effective, and engaging.

Seize the Awkward has some wonderful ideas for beginning those somewhat awkward conversations.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) has all kinds of resources for reaching out to help those around you. A global threat, like this pandemic, touches all of us. Now, more than ever, we are being called upon to make a difference and together we can show people that they are not alone.

The TREVOR Project is full of ideas to support LGBTQ communities and provides valuable resources to young people nationwide who may not have anywhere else to turn to for help. Thanks to Trevor’s programs, LGBTQ youth are not alone.

The National Council for Behavioral Health is full of resources and ideas to support yourself and your community.

Top Mental Health Podcasts in 2020

Stuck at Home Together: Creative Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Promote Meaningful Connections

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting BC2M to 741741.

We are all in this together.