What a year it’s been! It all started when somebody ate a bat…
Just kidding. Sort of.
This is a post about all the things that happened this year behind the scenes, personally and professionally. Like a bit of a journal entry.
2020 was considered by many to be a real dumpster fire, but I thought it was a really IMPORTANT year. Possibly the most important year of my life.
You can read more about our experience of coming in LAST PLACE right here. That was definitely an interesting end to the business year, but filled with great lessons, too.
Let’s start by talking about what was good.
Time offRealistically, we all worked about eight months in 2020. There was a LOT of time off. Some of us got to take a break that we haven’t taken in many, many years. We got things done around the house, some of us began exercising and walking more consistently, and got back to hobbies and projects that gave us a ton of joy. Considering how hard some industries got nailed, we were pretty fortunate that real estate was considered essential, and it still continued through the worst times.
House values skyrocketedIf you own a property, there’s a good chance that it gained a significant amount of value this year. Most of us made more with our real estate than we did at our jobs. Things don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.
Low interest ratesWe’re now starting to see historically low rates in the 0.99% to 1.49% range. It’s unbelievable. If you’re wondering why #2 happened above, this is a big reason. It’s very likely they will stay low for most of 2021.
Convenience and virtual real estateWe saw an acceleration towards convenience this year, in ALL industries. The front porch and the trunk of our cars became legitimate shopping experiences. Rather than coming into the office, we would attend Zoom calls with each other and with our clients. Virtual showings and a push towards putting MORE information online were all positive benefits for buyers and sellers. This will continue, and our goal as a team is to make everything as “friction-free” as possible, using technology to empower and assist clients.
Lots of great communicationOur emails were opened more than 300,000 times this year, and we had millions of eyeballs on our social media posts and ads. We added thousands of new contacts and sent out hundreds of virtual Buyer and Investor classes. When we went into lockdown, we weren’t afraid to interpret the data, make predictions, and get out in front of what was happening in the market. Plus, we created some really fun Trivia Nights for our clients, complete with some trash talking on Zoom!
It was NOT an easy market this year. About 70% of all listed properties went into multiple offers. Buyers had to play to WIN with record-breaking offers, and there was a huge shortage of inventory. Often, our best advice was to hold off and wait for the next opportunity.
Get ready, because there are no signs of things slowing down in 2021.
Other things I’ll personally remember include the initial struggle followed by the kids’ embracing of virtual school, taking EVERY afternoon off in the summer to go for a swim, working on the laptop on the front porch, learning how to paint WELL without using tape, watching my favourite DJ’s re-create their business on Twitch, getting myself back into DJ’ing after nearly 13 years away from it, walks with my wife to Starbucks, and the Food Drive at No Frills for Food4Kids Halton we did just before Christmas.
Personally, I really woke up to the fact that life was happening every day, and I was going to miss it unless I stopped to look around more. That was the most important gift for me this year… balancing my life.
We were also reminded of the small gestures, like ordering food from a local restaurant, or shopping for Christmas gifts LOCALLY, that made such a huge different in the community. Expect more support of local businesses from our team in the New Year.
Plus, we added many great clients, and welcomed two very special new agents and one admin on the team. Systems were built, our Home Styling department added even more inventory, and we SURVIVED and helped others to survive.
The other thing is to take an honest look at the things that DIDN’T go the way you wanted. If you could rewind and do it over again, what would you change? There are always lessons in failure, if you take the time and have the courage to look at them.
That’s the fun part right now, as this gets written a few days before the New Year. It’s enjoyable to take a step back, feeling good about the progress we made, but also getting back to work on the things that need to get better. There’s no end to that project.
But take it easy on yourself. Nobody’s perfect.
The setback is nothing more than a SET-up for a come-BACK.
Thanks for taking the journey with us in 2020.
What were your best AND worst parts of the year?
We’d love to hear them!