Our Role Going Forward

April 24, 2020

Since my last post, our team at Long & Foster has been doing our part to flatten the curve by staying home and exercising social distancing. We’re leveraging technology to do business virtually and thanks to our integrated network of services continue to help buyers, sellers and renters.

Recent weeks have seen the conversations among medical professionals, government officials and business leaders shift to exploring “plans to reopen.” Developing protocols that relax some restrictions and allow for more business activity are the primary objective, so our economy and our nation can start to mitigate the extreme losses we are experiencing and begin the recovery process.

In light of this, I wanted to share my thoughts on our responsibility as an industry and the importance of our role moving forward.

Real Estate is Beyond ‘Essential’

One of the few advantages of living through this crisis is that we have more time to reflect. Recently, I’ve taken time to consider and appreciate Long & Foster’s and our agents’ unique role in society and the overall economy. Real estate is one of the primary driving forces of the U.S. economy, contributing 15% to the GDP in 2019. This is one reason why real estate is among the key industries considered “essential” in most states.

Simply by serving the needs of consumers, we help fuel the economic engine, saving and retaining jobs for the good of our clients, our communities and our country. Unlike 2008 when housing caused the financial crisis, housing can help stabilize our economy and lead us back to prosperity.

Prior to the pandemic, many of our friends and family members were considering a move. Now, some of them urgently need to sell or find a new place to live, but they are concerned for their health and safety. They undoubtedly have questions about how selling or buying might affect their financial situation. Many are on the sidelines due to these fears and uncertainties.

We’re here to help, providing expertise, guidance and assurance throughout the process. Activities can be put on hold, but lives cannot. Fortunately, through virtual technology, we can help buyers buy and sellers sell, all from the safety of their homes.

Strong, Stable & Here for You

As the CEO of The Long & Foster Companies, I have a responsibility to serve and protect the interests of our team members and our clients. Our company has been doing this for over 50 years and will be here for you in the future, continually evolving and improving with the times.

Part of that commitment to our clients includes delivering services that provide a superior experience throughout the entire real estate transaction. We are the only company that can deliver a full-service experience because we invested in, created and built a family of real estate and financial services businesses, each designed to add value to the excellent service our agents provide their clients.

Our all-inclusive approach has proven invaluable during the pandemic. Long & Foster’s real estate, mortgage, title, insurance and moving divisions have worked hand-in-hand to get transactions closed, as others in the industry have watched deals fall apart. In fact, over the coming weeks and months, we expect to see some mortgage and brokerage businesses fold under the financial stress of Covid-19. These inevitable failures will create even more stress in the already challenged real estate process.

This, Too, Shall Pass

During my career, I have lived and worked through eight financial crises. Each time, I witnessed the pain and sacrifices many endured. As I observed the emotional rollercoaster we were subjected to, I learned a lot, promising myself every time that I would use those experiences to better prepare for the next one. This crisis may become the biggest of our lifetime, certainly the most unique, but I know that every one of us is better able to respond and move forward with certainty about the future thanks to the challenges we faced in the past.

The fact that we are all living through this experience together provides us with some level of comfort. But it is my belief that how each of us responds to the challenge is what will separate us in the end, making us stronger and more able to move ahead in a positive way. Let’s grow forward and go forward together.