Lessons from Lockdown

After 57 years on this earth – 39 years working, 26 of those in real estate, and five weeks in Level 4 Lockdown – I’ve learnt some things about myself and the community I’m part of.

I can’t imagine there’s anyone who hasn’t felt the effect of the tumultuous times we are living in. There’s enormous challenge on both health and economic fronts, but there have also been some deeply special and enlightening moments. As we move into the new Level 3 COVID-19 protocols, I thought I’d share some of my personal thoughts and lessons from the journey so far.

  • Bubbles. Who would have thought this simple word would come to mean so much? Mine was a bubble of seven, including my parents, husband, youngest son (who after much persuasion came home from his crowded student flat), sister and niece. It changed everything about living in our previously two-person household in a heartbeat, but it provided memories I don’t think I will ever get again. It also confirmed my belief that intergenerational households have their place, and it’s a good one: family meals, with everyone cooking, an early morning cuppa (and I mean 4am early) with a parent that doesn’t sleep much and extra time with our son reacquainted all of us with what it means to live and work together. 
  • We also appreciated the requirements of looking out for elderly neighbours who lived quietly in bubbles of one and were grateful for meal and medication drop-offs. I wouldn’t have experienced that connection with them without the lockdown.
  • Business and working from home. Trying hard to run a dynamic business rendered mostly inactive has been challenging. Going from 130 to 150 sales a month to just 23 over the lockdown period has given us hope that despite every obstacle you can still make progress and our entire team of 120 remain connected and committed to getting back to the task of listing and selling houses after getting through their own ‘bubble moments’.
  • Mental health. The stress of not knowing the long-term consequences of seeing your business/employment affected by the restrictions of the COVID-19 response has touched every part of our society, and the mental health repercussions could be significant. Knowing large numbers of people and having friends in many different industries has meant I’ve been aware of their issues and challenges too. I can only hope that they will emerge and adapt to accommodate the nuances, financial and physical, of this new world. 
  • We had a secret weapon and it, or should I say ‘he’, helped more than I can say. Gilbert Enoka – mentor and mental skills coach – talked to John and I every week, and that precious hour would renew our confidence and our resilience, whilst providing us with the skills needed to lead others and to prioritize. We’re deeply grateful for that expertise, kindness and care.

Our industry in Level 3 is still highly restricted, as it must be for social distancing and health protocols to be maintained, but with only two viewings per property per day, it’s going to be a challenge to deliver results expediently. Offsetting this, however, is my belief that the immediate period will be busy as those that must transact real estate choose to do so ahead of a potentially difficult winter to come. 

Essentially, it’s a new reality: life, work, industry and mindsets will all be in a process of adaption. Some things will go, others will flourish. There is always a way forward and I’m choosing that path.

Good luck with the path you choose.

Should you ever need sound, accurate real estate advice, I’m only a call away.

Lynette McFadden, Harcourts gold Business Owner

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