By Michael Edlen | Special to the Palisadian-Post
Many people are familiar with the classic and delightful tale written by Spencer Johnson 20 years ago titled “Who Moved My Cheese?” It is the story of two mouse characters and two small-sized people who live in a large maze, and who all enjoy eating the delicious cheese always found in one section of the maze.
When a day came that there was no new cheese in the same familiar location in the maze, the mice and the little people each adopted different behaviors in response to the situation.
The mice immediately put on running shoes and set out to see if they could find cheese elsewhere. The little people simply kept coming back to the same spot and, while praying more cheese would once again appear, managed to find scraps of leftovers in nearby spaces until they too began to adapt to the change.
The present situation in the world is somewhat reminiscent of the cheese having been moved in the maze, although on a vastly greater scale. It is as if the entire maze has been relocated to another context, where none have any experience in foraging nor have many clues as to just how the context might look as it continues to undergo gradual but significant changes.
Many real estate agents are still feeling like deer in the headlights even after nearly six weeks of global pandemic ramifications have spread.
Some are hoping desperately for a return to how business was at the beginning of the year. Others are hunkering down and praying that this situation will be declared over before June. Many are relatively calm and confident that things will work out somehow, and for the moment, are making the best of their limited movement.
All of the real estate companies have taken emergency measures to cut back on costs, implement changes of operations so that business can be done mostly online, and begun to roll out training sessions and digital technology to continue being of service to clients and the industry in general.
Procedures have been modified to accommodate the required safety protocol for as long as is necessary so that risks to health are minimized and transactions are now being done almost entirely with physical distancing.
Legal forms have been rapidly created and put into practice that safeguard all parties as much as practical from liability standpoints, and everyone who enters a home for the purpose of viewing or inspecting the interior must first sign a waiver of liability to all other parties involved.
Properties are being viewed mostly by way of virtual tours, 3D tours and extensive slideshows. Often a more personal showing is done with mobile live views using such applications as FaceTime, either done by an agent or the occupant of the property.
Often buyers are not allowed to physically enter the home until after a contract agreement has been reached, and even then, it is both limited and structured with safety procedures in mind.
Indeed, the industry is undergoing a massive change on all levels and in nearly all aspects. Fortunately, the internet provides a structure for communications that enables accommodations to the rapidly evolving new normal environment.
For those who are already longing for the “good old days” of a few months ago, it may be very disappointing to discover that those days are long gone. They will never return, just as the cheese will never appear in the maze in the same familiar location it used to be. And, in fact, the maze itself has shifted to a new context entirely.
Michael and his team are still quite active in providing full real estate services to their clients, although with significantly different safety and communication methods. Feel free to contact Michael with any real estate questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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