This past week I heard and read several statements by “leaders” in the real estate industry who tried to assuage agents’ fears by proclaiming that things would soon be “back to normal.”
The real estate industry is notoriously slow to change and adapt, and suffers from a death of forward-thinking leadership, so these comments were not surprising
And who knows, maybe they will go back to normal. We tend to have short memories. Perhaps when this blows over we will simply go back to the way things were.
That would be unfortunate.
Seeing the Broken Places
Disruptions come with a gift. They show you what parts of the system are broken. That doesn’t always seem like a gift in the moment. Right now we are seeing daily how much of our infrastructure and our systems, as a society, within individual industries, and our personal lives, needs to be redesigned.
The real threat of COVID–19 is the lack of hospital beds for patients who might need them. Our healthcare system is overloaded because we didn’t invest in it.
The real estate industry in New York State is scrambling to lobby for changes to laws that would allow remote, digital closings and submission of paperwork purely via electronic platforms. I’ve run a paperless business for years, and it’s inconceivable to me that the industry is still so far behind on this.
Based on the emails I’ve received lately, many stores and fitness studios never really cleaned and sanitized with care previous to this pandemic.
Most of us have learned that our hand washing techniques were hardly adequate before, and that we touch our face way too much.
These are only a few of the examples. Systems are broken. We are living the effects of this.
To return to normal would be to miss the lesson in this. COVID–19 is showing us where the fault lines are. It’s our duty to learn from this and repair those fault lines before the next disruption. And there will be a next disruption.
While we are sitting in the stillness of quarantine on home lock-down, it’s worth asking:
What is this revealing to be broken?
How can we change the system to shore it up for the future?
Returning to normal is not an option.