Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, individuals around the globe were forced to make changes to almost every part of their daily lives, especially those in careers that thrive on conducting business in a personal, face-to-face manner, such as real estate.

Here’s an intimate look at how members of our NOVA Real Producers community have adjusted — rising to the occasion, facing the challenges, pivoting, adapting, thriving…

Agent in lockdown

NIKKI RYAN
Keller Williams Realty

How has the pandemic affected your business?
Lots of sellers waiting, business paused for while, now picking up.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
As the mom, am dealing with everyone’s feelings and anxiety and my own. Feeding my mind with positive and new habits.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Yes, business in mask.

What are you currently doing differently?
Virtual meetings and paperwork.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Leave groceries in car unless perishable, perishable wiped down before entering house. Finally, ordering delivery and emptying dishes from take-out containers to our clean ones while wearing gloves.

What are you focused on?
Gratitude and giving back.

What are you grateful for?
Time with my daughter, more in-depth conversations with old friends and family.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Connection with long-distance family, and time to read.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Now more normal. Wake and journal, prospect and care calls, followup, and market research.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Showing in mask and gloves, and sellers wanting to wait.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
People reaching out and checking in, and office supporting others.

Partner in lockdown

PJ MOORE
Donofrio & Associates Inspections

How has the pandemic affected your business?
The pandemic has affected our business in being prepared to handle the changes in doing virtual inspections. We are definitely slower than usual, but folks are still buying and selling homes!

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
I am conducting business via phone, email, and virtually.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
The pandemic has affected my home life by creating more at-home time, which allows for catching up on reading, TV shows, movies, being creative in the kitchen, walking and riding bikes, as well as more time to keep in touch with family and friends.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Coffee first! I check emails and the calendar for the day. I usually make a list of everything I want to accomplish. Shower, dress, and get to work!

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
It is a challenge not to be able to get out and socialize.

What are you currently doing differently?
I wouldn’t say I am doing much differently, other than it’s more about how I am connecting with people. More one-on-one phone conversations, virtual meetings, presentations, webinars, masterminds, and happy hours.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
I have created some rest time by time blocking with 20 to 25 minutes of work, then a five-minute stretch, snack, drink, or closing-my-eyes break. Helps to keep me focused, since I am not used to sitting behind a desk all day!

What are you focused on?
I am focused on connecting to our clients, teams, and brokerages. Meeting new agents and telling them about our amazing inspections services.

What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for a good job with an amazing company and team, as well as the ability to work from home.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
It is a gift to learn how to set up and navigate new programs. I feel like I learn something new every day, which helps to keep me current and accomplish my job more efficiently. I feel like I am connecting better with people, since we are all going through the same thing.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
Our neighborhood has a weekly drop-off site for food pantries and donations to feed our local hospital and first responders.

PJ Moore is a valued NOVA Real Producers partner. To contact Donofrio Inspections, call 703-771-8374 or visit www.DonofrioInspections.com.

Agent in lockdown

ANDREA SCHATZ HAYES
Schatz Hayes Homes
at Living Realty, LLC

How has the pandemic affected your business?
It has made me focus on contacts and hone in on what I do best, which is connecting without a sales pitch.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Yes, we are still working, with some slight variations to ensure we, as well as our clients, stay healthy.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
For the most part, we are homebodies, however we like to be outside playing and chatting with neighbors. My parents are always popping by, so we miss that too. We are trying to spend more time playing board games and watching shows together. The hardest part, other than less contact with friends, neighbors, and family, is balancing out the schoolwork with two working parents.

What does your daily routine look like now?
It looks more flexible, for sure.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
The newest challenge, for me, is figuring out how it is all going to look once everything returns back to the new normal.

What are you currently doing differently?
We have actually not been using lock-boxes in occupied homes. We are having our clients open all doors and turn on all lights. This way, the agent is only walking through the doors, and the prospective buyers don’t have to really touch a thing.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
I am walking at least 6K steps a day, and have pushed back my morning routine one hour later. I still keep a very similar routine, especially my miracle mornings.

What are you focused on?
Self-care and the mental wellbeing of my family.

What are you grateful for?
A home that I love, with people I adore in it!

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
The slowdown has some major perks. No rushing from work to school to practices, etc.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
People that never waved, wave…people that never smiled, smile.

Partner in lockdown

FRED WESTERLUND
MBH Settlement Group

How has the pandemic affected your business?
Fortunately, decisions we’ve made over the last three years positioned us well for this environment. We adopted our first e-Closing platform two yrs ago, and our VPN infrastructure, eRecording, cloud-based software, mobile app, and remote EMD tool are all essential and are enhancing the client experience every day.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
The fundamentals haven’t changed; our goal has always been to put our clients, communities and colleagues first. The difference now is that the COVID-19 crisis has inspired us to be incredibly creative and flexible in achieving these goals. Business has been booming, we really haven’t felt a downturn at all. My heart goes out to our neighbors and friends who’ve not been so fortunate.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Other than my high-school senior not getting to experience beach week, prom, varsity soccer, etc., we’ve adapted fairly well. We’ve spent more quality time together as a family. My wife and I are going on daily walks and we’re having more family card games, board games, puzzles, and movies. We even have my oldest home from his freshman year at college! Not sure that he’s happy about that, but we certainly are.

What does your daily routine look like now?
I still get up early to exercise and check the news and my goals for the day. However, with no events to host or attend, I have been driving into our main office every day. It’s very unusual for me not to be driving all over the D.C. metro area for meetings and other events. I’m arriving home earlier in the evening, and enjoying long walks and relaxing with the family at home.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
The initial challenge was to determine how to continue to serve our clients while keeping everyone safe. There was a constant inflow of information from what seemed to be an infinite number of sources, the information changed rapidly and was often contradictory. Things have settled down and we’ve deployed the technology and innovations we had already invested in in new ways.

What are you currently doing differently?
On a daily basis, more of our colleagues are working from home, and we’ve embraced video technology like never before. It’s not “business as usual,” obviously, and we’ve been impressed by the creativity of our clients, partners, and MBH colleagues. We have developed a full array of closing options from hybrid eClosings to parking lot and driveway closings and traditional office and power-of-attorney closings — with appropriate social distancing and deep cleaning, of course. We’re ready for full-blown 100% RON eClosings as well. We’re going above and beyond CDC guidelines to protect our clients, partners, and colleagues.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Personally, in addition to spending more time with the family, my fitness routine has been more consistent, and I’ve been reading more books. Professionally, my communication has been less task-oriented and more “well-being-oriented,” checking on people and ensuring our teams, clients, and partners have the information and assistance they need.

What are you focused on?
This is a very interesting time. From a business perspective, I’m excited about adopting some of the changes we’ve made during the crisis and using them going forward. For example, will eClosings become more commonplace? If so, we’re ready. This has been an opportunity for MBH to differentiate itself versus less nimble, less prepared, and less resourceful competitors. I’m focused on leveraging our advantages into the future, post-crisis world. Personally, I’m enjoying the increased family time and determining how I can be giving back to others less fortunate.

What are you grateful for?
Where do I begin? I’m grateful for the amazing team at MBH, my incredible family, the health of our friends, clients, and partners, and the resilience of our community — and, truthfully, of this entire nation. I’m also thankful for the fact that my elderly parents are being more careful than I had anticipated! My brother and I were a little concerned about their willingness to self-quarantine.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Without a doubt, for me, the big silver lining has been the increased amount of time I’ve been able to spend with my wife and four children.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
Every day, there are examples of heroism and generosity in our communities and across our country. It’s really beautiful and encouraging to be reminded of how selfless we can all be, and how we tend to band together in the face of great adversity.

Fred Westerlund is a valued NOVA Real Producers partner. To contact MBH Settlement Group, call 703-277-6806 or visit www.MBH.com.

Agent in lockdown

ANNIE CEFARATTI
The Busy Blondes
at Keller Williams Realty

How has the pandemic affected your business?
Serious buyers are out, and we are working harder than ever and transacting!

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Carefully, but fully.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Closer than ever.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Care calls!

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Showings and in-person meetings.

What are you currently doing differently?
Mask, gloves, individual appointments, and virtuality.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Putting more disciplines in place!

What are you focused on?
Helping clients sell their homes. We are a listing team.

What are you grateful for?
Opportunity to help.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Growth.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
Kindness prevails!

Partner in lockdown

JOSH GREENE
Eastern Title & Settlement
(Photos are of Robert Dinh, Account Executive/Settlement Agent with Eastern Title)

How has the pandemic affected your business?
We have actually had to perform virtual settlements or RON closings, closings in parks, closings in the backs of cars, closings in garages. Check out our Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Yes we are growing our business, so if you have an issue with a title company being closed or not being flexible, we are here, and we are open and thriving.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
I actually am spending more time with my loved ones and am more present than I usually am. I am always working, so it’s a nice shift — or pivot.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Thinking about next month, and what is going to happen, and what we need to do to stay ahead of the curve.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Conducting the settlements in a way that everyone is safe and feels safe.

What are you currently doing differently?
Everything. Every day, we are evolving.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Definitely staying away from people shaking hands, and making sure we have sanitizer, gloves, and mask to make sure our staff and clients are safe and stay safe.

What are you focused on?
Growing and helping our network of clients, friends, and family with what they need right now. We had a client looking for rubbing alcohol, and we found it and delivered it to them. We have sanitizer and gloves for anyone who needs them, while supplies last, though.

What are you grateful for?
To be able to help the community.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
We are actually becoming more virtual, if even possible, in our industry. We have access to video conferencing clients when we weren’t thinking about it before.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
Our company has really come together and become stronger, and the commitment is showing to our clients.

Josh Greene and Robert Dinh are valued DC Metro Real Producers partners. To contact Eastern Title & Settlement, call 240-403-1285 or visit www.EasternTitle.com.

Agent in lockdown

BRYAN FELDER
TVRG Homes
at RE/MAX Gateway

How has the pandemic affected your business?
Forced us to integrate more technology and work more virtually.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
By supporting the team with launching an interactive virtual program and providing supplies (i.e., gloves, sanitizer, and wipes), we are able to still continue to sell homes.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Spending more time with my twin teenage girls…family breakfasts, dinners and Felder movie nights.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Wake up at 5 a.m., journal, meditate, change my voicemail, write 10 notes every work day, work out for an hour, shower/get ready, then make breakfast. Before 9 a.m., have to do 10 text videos to database. Calls to database for 30 minutes, then our team huddle (Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri.) or team meeting (Wed.). Calls to database, then Zoom call with business partner, break for lunch with Bethie (my wife), then back-to-back Zoom calls, then a webinar, and then work on cases. Wrap up with setting three b2b calls for the rest of the week or for the following week. Shut down around 6 p.m. and make dinner with family, then downtime with Bethie…go back to computer around 8:30/9 p.m. until 10 p.m.-ish.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Continuing to keep the agents and staff engaged and motivated. Also, showing active clients that this is a season that will pass and to see that this is a good time to make a move. Financially — making sure we are cutting unnecessary costs and only invest in the tools and systems we need.

What are you currently doing differently?
Where 90 percent of my previous workday was outside the office, now 90 percent is in my home office. I also tripled my daily contacts touchpoints.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
My routine is fairly the same except it is more virtual. Still wake up at 5 a.m., work out, focus on proactivities and serving the team.

What are you focused on?
Making sure I am creating mindshare to our database…teeing things up for when the levee breaks and we get back to being able to get engage more in-person with our clients and business partners.

What are you grateful for?
My family and my team…both are making the best of this situation.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Our business has seen a dip, but, overall, morale is up, and we changed and continue to change how we serve. I also have been able to be more intentional and engaged with our brokerage. Best thing is, we have a strong company culture that is enduring, and is adopting this change with open arms. Nice to see the team get stronger, not weaker.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
I’ve seen agents come together more and work harder to keep the transaction as smooth as possible. Also, investing in my business partners and supporting the local community has been very rewarding!

Partner in lockdown

TONY FERNANDEZ
Rn HomeTech Home Inspection Services

How has the pandemic affected your business?
Home Inspections have come to a virtual standstill. From an average of 10 to12 weekly to perhaps one or two.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Reaching out to REALTORS® via email and social media.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
I live alone and my kids, siblings, etc., are dispersed throughout the country and in Canada, so not really that much.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Trying to strike a balance between getting work done, learning, doing stuff that needs doing at home, getting some exercise, and staying in touch with friends and family. Succeeding at not stressing out.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Too much time on my hands.

What are you currently doing differently?
Controlling exposure during the inspection by wearing protective clothing, limiting attendance, disrobing in my garage once home. Cleaning equipment. Basically, just using common sense, following guidelines, and taking precautions.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Have gone to wearing an overall instead of my regular uniform at inspections to prevent contamination and potentially bringing virus spores into my home. Requesting buyers and REALTORS® to not attend the inspections. Having a video or conference call at the end of the Inspection to recap findings. And we are experimenting with the possibility of using body cams or other methods of filming a virtual inspection.

What are you focused on?
Staying healthy. Taking online courses, certifications, and CEUs to further improve our knowledge base. Learning new skills, such as filming inspections, vLogs, and other media. Exploring new avenues of growing business, such as having become part of the NOVA Real Producers family.

What are you grateful for?
My kids. My health. My kids’ health.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
The opportunity to slow down, reassess life, goals, and needs. And the time to act upon them.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
The jury is still out on this one. Times of crisis typically increase peoples’ empathy towards others and their generosity and willingness to help. And whilst that has been evident this time around too, we have also seen the less flattering side of human nature, perhaps because instead of a regional catastrophe we now face a worldwide threat.

And small but critical things like hoarding essentials, when supply lines and production is impacted, have increased rather than decreased. One can only hope that humanity learns that we are all so closely interconnected that we must rely on everyone else for our collective wellbeing. Hopefully, humans will finally embrace our humanity.

Tony Fernandez is a valued NOVA Real Producers partner. To contact Rn HomeTech Home Inspection Services, call 301-221-0357 or visit www.RnHomeTech.com.

Agent in lockdown

KELLY GAITTEN
Berkshire Hathaway PedFed Realty

How has the pandemic affected your business?
I’ve been busy, but not the typical “spring” busy. It’s affected the number of in-person appointments I’ve had, and it’s been slower than normal for me.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Yes, for sure conducting business. Wearing masks to any in-person appointments — listings, showings, appraisers, inspections. Some title companies ask agents not to attend, so I’ve missed closings. I have always attended closings. I’m making it a point to send out my closing gifts in advance to the clients. I want them to continue feeling my presence all the way up to the day of settlement and beyond.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Not much affected. We both work from home, anyway. I’ve been able to get out daily for appointments, errands, and groceries, as needed.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Not much has changed. I am proud to say I kept my routine and my good eating habits. I know, from past experience, if I don’t, my mental clarity and energy will suffer. So I’m up at 6 a.m. every single day, seven days a week. Two-mile dog walk, breakfast, shower, dress (in regular clothes), and be ready for video calls or meetings, should they arise. Even if my calendar is blank today, I do the same routine. I get “pop up” showings or listing appointment requests all the time. I’m happy to be the one they call because they know I’m ready. Always be ready!! I’ve used this pandemic as an excuse to challenge my normal courses and help me grow. I use any downtime to listen to podcasts or audiobooks that give me inspiration.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Just helping people realize the market will come back and that now is an excellent time to put the house on the market. We can work around all of your concerns. Once they understand that we can get those on the market who have hesitated, we’ll see a large inventory coming on in a few months. I am trying to help those who want to be ahead of the big wave!

What are you currently doing differently?
Scheduling virtual open houses, more interior property tours. I typically only do floorplans and virtual tours for the $1M properties, but we are now doing it for every property. Pre-screening agents/buyers going to my listings to make sure they are pre-qualified and are not showing any symptoms. Asking all to wear masks and gloves. I provide shoe covers for all of my listings, so those are onsite.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Streamlining business costs so money is not being wasted, but making sure not to cut vital advertising or marketing budgets. It’s important to be visible now, as the Spring market will happen, just a little later.

What are you focused on?
Keeping my current sellers happy. Showings have dropped off. Making extra efforts to update their exterior photos (interior if needed — one seller moved out, so we re-shot the entire property). Fresh photos that match the “now” market are important. I listed a few of these in cold weather January/February, so they are all looking spring-like and fresh now!

What are you grateful for?
The patience and loyalty of my clients. The ones with me now are going along understanding the market has slowed. I’ve connected with everyone regularly to ensure they know I’m not hiding or ducking out. I’m present at work every day, making sure, if we don’t get foot traffic, that we get online traffic, and they are made aware of the efforts and see the results. Keeping in contact with people now is more important than ever! — even if just to see how they are doing or if I can bring them anything.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Oddly, having time to do things. Before, I was so busy, work was always my excuse. Now, when I have some downtime, I’m seeking out Zoom conference calls to see people and hear them talk about challenges. Any calls — professional or with friends. I’ve been going on four to five calls a week when I can! I have a client who is also a scientist with NIH. She’s been a huge help to me with education and information on the virus, and just a great friend. The benefit is on both sides. She lives alone, so I know she needs to talk to someone. I’m happy to be that friend. Our time is a gift we give to others.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
The sacrifice and endurance of our medical community has astounded me. Those who are called go and do their duty to save the sick, risking their own health and safety. I’m inspired also by watching those who help our first responders. The restaurant owners who are making and delivering food to the hospitals. That is great to see. I love to help the local businesses. They are on tight budgets and still making food for our medical staff. I tip them extra and give them extra kudos on social media so people are reminded they are there for us. I want their businesses to survive. We need them to. You want to just reach out and help everyone right now. Trying to stay focused is hard. There is much to do and many who need help.

Partner in lockdown

KEVIN WHEELER
123JUNK

How has the pandemic affected your business?
It has definitely caused a slowdown in business. It has made us think outside the box and try to continue to innovate. As a company, we decided we can either sit back and let this pandemic take us down or we can face it head-on. We chose the former. We are fortunate to have amazing employees who are not only willing to work during this, but grateful to be employed.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
We are trying to limit human contact as much as possible. Business as usual, but keeping social distancing and discounting curbside or as garage pickups.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
It has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my family, which is definitely a positive in all of this.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Wake up early. Work out, meditate, and read. Jump on our 8 a.m. sales call. Connect with clients throughout through calls, presentations, emails, and Zoom conferences. Run at lunch. Make dinner and spend time with the family.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Being at home all the time with distractions. Also, I love seeing people face-to-face, so not having in-person meetings and networking events is tough.

What are you currently doing differently?
We are making sure to have all correspondence done virtually and have no exchange between staff and clients (including collecting payment). We are sanitizing the trucks every day. All staff are wearing new masks and gloves every day. We have multiple discount specials in place for all clients who place items outside the property or in the garage. We also are encouraging clients to not be there when we do the pickup, if at all possible.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
I have been trying to keep a routine, just as I would if the coronavirus was not around. Waking up early to read, meditate, and work out. Also trying to go on a run at lunch at least three times a week. Lastly, try to play golf at least once a week to get out in the fresh air and do something I really enjoy.

What are you focused on?
On bettering myself and looking out for the loved ones around me. My opinion is, you can sit back and surrender to this pandemic or use it as a opportunity to improve skills you might not have the time to in a busy market.

What are you grateful for?
For my fiancée and my family. Also, very grateful our company is still open and that we have an amazing staff that is willing to brave the current climate to help our clients.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
We have had the opportunity to win some new clients and really develop the way we do business. “Operation Curbside” and working with HOAs on bulk trash have been huge success for us!

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
People coming together! I really see the good in people every day. Talking to so many people on the phone, it feels amazing to have such a supportive community. What usually would be a two-minute conversation turns into a 30-minute conversation, and people genuinely care about your wellbeing!

Kevin Wheeler is a valued NOVA Real Producers partner. To contact 123JUNK, call 703-786-5331 or visit www.123JUNK.com.

Agent in lockdown

KIM CHAMBERLAIN
RE/MAX Allegiance

How has the pandemic affected your business?
It has changed the way I conduct my business.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Good! Still doing things, but I have changed things to be almost 100 percent virtual. I had four closing at the end of March, four at the end of April, and two so far in May.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
It’s just giving me more time with the family that I thought I didn’t have. I was always stressed out trying to get business done and allocate family time.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Wake up to coffee and personal time. Ahh…Then I get online and check emails and text messages, make calls, and follow-up emails, then a little bit of housework and lunch with the family, then back to work for a few hours to tie up the day. I actually get offline after dinner, for the most part, when before, I would come home and jump online after dinner, working a full day, but now you have to have a schedule and follow it or it will all run together.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Missing the personal touch! Zoom is great, but not the same. Giving closing gifts in-person to see reactions. Feeling like I’m in a rut and need Starbucks and outside meetings.

What are you currently doing differently?
Oh yes, as stated above, almost 100% virtual. I use Matterport videos on my own listings and ask for PEE approvals from the buyers prior to entering. I also do a short interview with agents, just making sure this buyer is ready to write an offer. For my buyers, if other listings don’t have good videos or Matterport for my buyers to see, I go out and FaceTime with them throughout the home. We do virtual home inspections, virtual walkthroughs, and virtual settlements (buyers must show up to sign, but they are in a room by themselves, with the closer in another room). I’m on the Zoom call for closing.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Being at home allows me to get things done around the house. I haven’t used my housekeeper I so desperately needed before. I am noticing things that need to be done around my house, am doing the things I don’t need a contractor for, and making a list for the other things.

What are you focused on?
Touching base with my large database. If people aren’t ready now, we can make a plan for when the country reopens.

What are you grateful for?
My health, my family’s health, our ability to work from home (except my husband), and grateful for a new perspective on doing business virtually and not feeling like I need to run around all over the place. Having more of a work-life balance.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
How much you can do virtually! How much you can get done when you start from home, remove the commute, and get things done.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
When our country needs Americans to band together, we do what we need to do! We are so strong together and prove it in time of needs. Helping the elderly stay safe. Helping others find things that they need. Being a positive sounding-board for those who are struggling. Feeding the people that need it most. We are busy as a country, but when we need to come together, we always do!

Agent in lockdown

LYNNE MCCABE
Keller Williams Capital Properties

How has the pandemic affected your business?
We have stayed very busy, I am carefully showing homes nearly every day and have listings coming on the market. Good homes are selling in days with multiple offers.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
I am capitalizing on technology to market my listings — virtual tours, drones, social media. When I show property to buyers, wearing masks, using Lysol-sprayed paper towels to open doors and clean hands. Contracts and closings are handled electronically and virtually.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
I love to be out among people, so staying home is hard. Also, our house is not really conducive to three adults living so close.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Getting up early to row on the Hydrow, then setting my schedule for the day, follow-up with sellers and buyers, online meetings, we are cooking more while at home, Joe is working hard on his garden…everything is pretty much the same, except more distanced.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
I am a people-person; isolation can be tough, so I spend more time on phone calls. I worry about keeping my sellers’ homes safe, and spend more time prepping the home for a showing and then disinfecting it after. I worry that we will have a second round of virus when we do open, and how long it will take for the economy to recover…but for all my worries, I know that He is in charge and will be by my side.

What are you currently doing differently?
Conducting open houses by appointment only, only two adults per group.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
More electronic and virtual contact, taking precautions with clients.

What are you focused on?
Initially, we made contact with our clients to see if they needed anything. Now, we are busy helping our sellers prepare their homes for market, putting more systems in place while we work from home, and getting prepared for the delayed Spring Market to explode in June and July.

What are you grateful for?
The health of our first responder children, that we now can see a glimmer of sunshine in the re-opening of business, and that Real Estate is an essential business that allowed us to work safely through the quarantine.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
We connected more with family and friends using technology, we had time to take a breather and get our business more organized, that I purchased a Hydrow rower that has become my escape and daily workout.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
Many good things — online Mass (our priest writes a daily newsletter that inspires and keeps us strong), really kind and grateful clients, friends and family. Because our family is doing well in our business, we are able to be more generous in return.

Agent in lockdown

NATALIE MCARTOR
Long & Foster Real Estate

How has the pandemic affected your business?
Sales in units are down about 40 percent.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Safely showing properties and adding gloves, booties, and masks to homes I am listing.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Made relationships with husband and clients stronger.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Same as before — meditate, read, work out, and get dressed for Zoom calls.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Finding more listings.

What are you currently doing differently?
Covering up with masks and gloves.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Sanitize my hands 20 times a day.

What are you focused on?
Communicating with my database.

What are you grateful for?
Being healthy and my Buffini coach.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Stronger relationships.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
People wanting to connect.

Agent in lockdown

RITU DESAI
Samson Properties

How has the pandemic affected your business?
The impact on the housing market and my personal real estate has been mixed in the Northern Virginia area. My buyers, who are looking for a long-term commitment to living in the home, have not frozen their home search. Similarly, the sellers who are looking to cash out and move on to their next chapter of life are listing their homes. It is not the same as pre-COVID and/or manic Spring Market. But I am personally loving it. It is a very balanced marketplace.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
My mom was a nurse…It brings back memories of her coming back from the hospital and scrubbing to avoid spreading germs/infection.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Definitely a lot of anxiety. Every time I am out showings homes, my family has worried about my health and safety. Having been blessed with a healthy and supportive family, I have continued to serve my clients. I am also helping fellow REALTORS® with their clients who cannot go out due to their health challenges. Things are not normal, but taking a day at a time.

Very similar to that. I kept a small set of clothing I can throw in the washer every time I go out and show homes. Wearing a face mask, hand gloves, and using hand sanitizer every time I walk in and out of a home. Shoes get wiped down. The jacket stays in the garage. And the drill continues every day I go out and come back home.

Hosting lots of virtual appointments!

What does your daily routine look like now?
I tried to keep up with the similar pre-COVID routine. Still waking up early, exercise, meditate, keep up with the market, marketing, reach out and check on family far away, and ensuring I do one thing every day to support someone or something in the community. It could be a fellow REALTOR® who needs help, or going out to buy groceries for a neighbor who is high risk, or just calling and checking on friends to see how they are.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Answering the unknown. What will be the Northern Virginia real estate market post-COVID-19? This is uncharted territory. The economic uncertainty of not knowing how and what will happen next. Being mentally healthy and taking a day and time.

What are you currently doing differently?
Definitely ensuring the buyers and sellers I am working with are very well qualified and serious about their selling or buying decision. It is not a time for browsing or just to test the market.

I have added numerous tools, like virtual tours, virtual open houses, and 3D tours for the safety of the public to all my listings. Hosting virtual listing appointments for my home sellers. Buyers relocating out of state, who cannot visit a listing during lockdown, I have hosted Zoom meetings for them.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Real estate was never a stagnant business. Being in the industry for 16 years, I have evolved, and the midst of pandemic is no different. Adding technology, learning online classes, and being extremely mindful of the safety and wellbeing of our clients/family.

What are you focused on?
Being mindful of the times we are in. Volunteering and supporting people in need.

What are you grateful for?
Very grateful to have a supportive and healthy family. Truly grateful to technology to help us navigate during the tough time. So grateful to be able to pause and spend time with loved ones.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
How emphatic and compassionate human beings are. In the midst of crisis, seeing friends and family support those in need. Community drives that are helping those in utter need. With all the stressful news around us, keeping some sort of sense of humor and positive perspective.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
Everywhere. Seeing a friend sew masks for essential workers, fundraising, donating food to those in need, being mindful. A lot of Zoom time with family I would have not seen or talked to from various continents.

Agent in lockdown

LAURIE MENSING
Long & Foster │Christie’s International Realty

How has the pandemic affected your business?
It has become more streamlined, and I am not wasting time doing things I don’t have to do. It’s not because I “should,” but rather because it is required or necessary.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
As I always have, but using gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer in my car! My buyers drive in their own vehicles.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Thankfully, no one has gotten sick in my home or nucleus of “my tribe.” So I can say it has been somewhat positive, in a way. I am more conscious of my sleep, physical activity, eating habits, and have had a bit of time to actually read and do some needlepoint! My time schedule is more consistent because I am not jumping to try to be everywhere and be everything to everyone.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Sleeping in a little longer in the morning.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Conducting a home inspection without physically being inside the house. This was a first!

What are you currently doing differently?
I have introduced more video.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Set up my work station from home, more casual dress, and not engaging face-to-face unless I have to.

What are you focused on?
Routine.

What are you grateful for?
My health and family.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
Eating at home, walking my dog, less stress, truthfully.

How has the “good” of humanity shown up during this time?
No matter what the call, conversation, or reason to communicate, the first words are always: “I trust you and your family are safe and well.”

Publisher in lockdown

KRISTIN BRINDLEY
NOVA Real Producers

How has the pandemic affected your business?
As a serial entrepreneur, my businesses have been affected. We doubled our efforts for a couple months, and pivoted quickly, so, fortunately, most haven’t slowed too much. Another business emerged from the change occurring. Change creates opportunity.

Are you continuing to conduct business? If so, how?
Virtually, on Zoom.

How has the pandemic affected your family/home life?
Home life for me has been mostly a blessing. More quality time with family from lack of transit time. Kellie has been able to work at NASA from home, and I have been able to do all of my appointments via Zoom or over the phone. We are extremely fortunate to have an au pair during this challenging time. I can only imagine the challenges I have seen most parents navigating. Both parents at home working, and doing their best to educate and pay attention to their children. We are humans; we cannot split ourselves in two. Being okay with doing our best has to be enough.

The biggest challenge, for me, has been seeing Avery and Kellie home and staying in my office working. The challenge isn’t in doing it. It is in the disappointment they have of not spending time with me. If I treat my business and personal development as a calling, it flourishes. If I take advantage of the freedom my position affords, I may risk the security of my employees and all the people that depend on what we do for their livelihood. There comes a point when it is no longer just about you and your family. It is about all the families you also affect.

What does your daily routine look like now?
Same. Up at 5 a.m., miracle morning, Avery time, let’s go.

What new challenges are you facing and navigating?
Family wanting to spend time during the workday. Leadership fatigue sometimes. Feeling like I am needed to lead in mindset and help people with a positive perspective. How might we do this? How can we act now? Action is immediate medicine for melancholy.

What are you currently doing differently?
I am habit stacking, as normal. Routine hasn’t changed, to a great extent.

What changes have you already made in your personal or professional habits, routines, strategies, or methods?
Fifty-minute appointments and 10 minutes between, to finalize actions from the last meeting, and prep for the next meeting.

What are you focused on?
Growth, adding value to all those I touch.

What are you grateful for?
The ability to adapt and grow. Very fortunate to be able to adapt and grow.

What are the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the midst of this crisis?
With the new venture, I have reached out to people from many phases of my life. I have found a very humbling theme. We have heard a few times, “If Kristin is involved, I’m in.” There are people from all stages of my life with this theme. I have been humbled, and am very committed to continuing to do all we set out to do. This feeds the fire that is my resolve. I always laugh, and yet…#blessed

How has the good of humanity shown up during this time?
In so many ways. Communities supporting the local restaurants and hospitals, PPE being bought and sent to front-line workers. Food being delivered to those in need.

People are stepping up in many ways. Communities of support are being founded.

Kristin Brindley is the Owner and Publisher of NOVA Real Producers. To contact Kristin, call 313-971-8312 or visit www.novarealproducers.com.