New Years REOM

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

New Years REOM

Welcome to the new year. Congratulations on getting to the other side even when you thought 2020 would never end!

Now that we’ve partied like it was 2020, hunkered down, masked up, socially distanced from the latest surge..let’s resume our search for the greater meaning behind the shock,  fear, gratitude, courage and humility we all felt last year.  Hindsight is 2020 but when it comes to this 2020, it’s going to take awhile to make sense of it all.

In  A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens offered a great description of real estate in 2020:  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

A few lifetimes ago last January,  economic factors were lined up like a perfect wave for the market. Employment was strong, interest rates were low, stock were high, inventory was low and early buyer demand was encouraging. It was all a recipe for strong sales activity, except for the little matter of a new flu strain in Wuhan.

Could anyone have guessed that the market was also on the verge of a complete shutdown heading into its busiest spring months? Or that a Byzantine system of property showing protocols was about to emerge out of the confusion and chaos of a pandemic?

Or that traditional Open Houses would soon be a thing of the past? Or that virtual meetings and digital platforms would rise to new prominence as the country was hitting the depths of the fastest recession ever?  Or that huge amounts of stimulus would flow into the economy while people struggled to reorient life towards staying home?

Could anyone have guessed how many people were about to start working remotely? Or how quickly the market would rebound from the shutdown even while other crisis’ of social unrest, devastating fires and election-year erosion of American ideals added more misery to daily life?

Could anyone have guessed that with all of it, home prices in Santa Cruz would rocket to new heights above a million dollars? Or that interest rates would stay below 3%? Or that the entire world would start rethinking its definition of “quality of life” in ways that resulted in a huge surge of new buyers coming to the Coast?

The best of times and the worst of times. It all looks remarkable in the rear view mirror doesn’t it?  Next week, turning our sights towards 2021.

And who could have guessed that our industry would be shut down for its busiest spring months?  Who could have guessed that traditional open houses would become a thing of the past?  Who could have guessed that virtual meetings and digital platforms would rise to such new prominence so quickly?.  And who could have guessed that the market in Santa Cruz would jump to record new median and average highs or that interest rates would fall below 3% or that the entire world would begin to rethink its definition of “quality of life” in ways that resulted in waves of buyers coming to the coast?

Like me, you probably partied in the new style, like it was 2020, all hunkered down And after partying like it was 2020, staying hunkered down and quietly trying to bring a little perspective to the train wreck of the previous 365 days  we all have a better appreciation for the oft-used but under-appreciated euphemism:  “Hindsight is 2020”.

Shock and awe and astonishment. Lots of gratitude. A healthy dose of irony and humility.  We’re already

For  real estate, this has been “both the best of times and the worst of times” At the beginning  of 2020, who could have guessed that our industry would be shut down for its busiest spring months?  Who could have guessed that traditional open houses would become a thing of the past?  Who could have guessed that virtual meetings and digital platforms would rise to such new prominence so quickly?.  And who could have guessed that the market in Santa Cruz would jump to record new median and average highs or that interest rates would fall below 3% or that the entire world would begin to rethink its definition of “quality of life” in ways that resulted in waves of buyers coming to the coast?

This has been a truly remarkable time!  2020 was a profound experience for all of us as individuals and as agents just as it was for Sereno as a company.  It  has been hard but it has also been meaningful.   I hope/think we can all be better because of the struggles we’ve endured and overcome and that somehow all the hard  lessons will continue to inform and reinforce our individual and collective “why” in the days ahead.

The challenge for 2021 is to continue to change and adapt and find more and new creative ways to be present in a rapidly shifting landscape that’s still being impacted by the long arc of COVID.  We did it last year and we’ll do it again this year and I’m happy and humbled to be continuing the journey with most of you as we write a new chapter that will reveal some amazing days and remarkable new developments ahead.

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