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Missing Regular Life – 4/3 COVID UPDATE

Date: 4/3/2020

Dear Bienstock Group Family,

Like everyone else, I miss regular life.  One day, in the not so distant future, we’ll look back at this difficult time and we’ll feel proud that we pulled through and it made us stronger + wiser + more grateful.  For today, we’re working to pull through with grace + kindness + smarts one hour at a time. Our packed days are spent praying for our neighbors & clients to recover and to stay safe, preparing for Passover next week, checking in on people who are homebound, entertaining kids who have no school, and doing lots and lots of Zoom meetings and work from home in between.

Real estate in our neighborhood is always very much needs driven.  During every market, in our area we see limited supply and larger demand.  Today we’re seeing the same. A buyer who removed contingencies is moving forward with their purchase because they want to “stay at home” in Los Angeles and not in New York.  A prospective buyer is looking to buy a house now because they want to “stay at home” in a larger space and not in their smaller apartment. An investor must identify a property to satisfy his 1031 exchange because he’s at the end of his IRS mandated identification period.  Sellers who already committed to buy a new house, now need to move forward and sell their old house.

The difficulty for everyone lies in the uncertainty.  There’s uncertainty about our health and safety, about how long the “stay at home” order will last, about the economics through the “stay at home” period and after it ends, about the federal stimulus package and how it will impact the recovery, about the ramifications for everyone both short term and long term once we get back to regular life.

With the uncertainty, there’s lots we do know about the local real estate market.  We know that our area is hugely desirable and we always have limited supply and higher demand.  We know that this Covid -19 period will be finite and it will come to an end. There was high demand when we started to “stay at home”, which will translate to more demand when we go back to life.  Our area boasts some extraordinarily special properties that are uniquely desirable and those properties will always command a high price no matter the market.

I miss regular real estate life.  I miss open houses and talking to all the fascinating people I get to meet and connect with.  I miss the eager, excited, forward looking, fresh faced anticipation of people buying and selling a property during good times.  I miss phones ringing off the hook because so many people can’t wait to get in to see a brand new property that just hit our market that always has limited supply.

Real estate during Covid-19 is bringing me back to 14 years ago when I first started working in real estate. This is a time to slow down and go back to basics.  It’s a time to get more human, more connected and more personal. Everything happens 1-1 and with so much thought and deliberation. I like the connection and diving deep to understand and fill the needs.

The lesson from Covid-19 for today is how much everyone and everything matters.  Every human is so precious. Life, and everything regular about it, is such a gift.  Our homes are such an important part of our lives and the space in which we live is so personal and so integral to our daily experience.  Getting out and going to work is such a privilege and an honor.

May all the yearnings of today translate to a more grateful, compassionate, grounded world tomorrow.  I can’t wait to connect in person as soon as we’re allowed!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!