Time to get real. This week has not consisted of any Covid shining moments for me. Yesterday, I managed to get into a knock-down, drag-out fight over Little Red Riding Hood with my 6-year old. It ended with me literally tearing his assignment into teeny-tiny pieces right in front of him. All because he wouldn’t do his homework when told. Definitely not my shiniest mom moment. Good thing he was able to complete the online backup. His tearful, kicking and screaming response to my actions then led to a phone call to my husband as I tried to pawn my eldest off. Of course, my husband was in BFE spending day three getting a certain planter running. And so continues the Covid saga of the work/life/school/mom/friend/wife/what the hell day is it balance. My apologies to my co-workers for the consistent gnashing of teeth they have endured throughout the past month.
The Red Riding Hood Covid Showdown is only the icing on the cake for this week. Is it really only Wednesday? I’ve been hearing from friends and colleagues about the stimulus money they have all received. I’m not going to lie; I threw in on the Emergency Income Disaster Loan money that the SBA was offering. All I got back in response was a measly email saying that my business is too small to support. I employ fewer than three people. My company doesn’t contribute enough to the economy to matter. (I made this part up, but that’s how it made me feel). Nevermind the millions of dollars of yearly stimulus local real estate provides for the local community through home sales, property tax dollars, support of local lenders, and housing for people in our community who will, in turn, shop locally and support the businesses in our community. I admit, my application was a long-shot. I’ve only been in business four months now, and I have no history on the books. I’m glad to know that I’ll have to figure this out on my own without any help from the Feds.
Speaking of the Feds, they provided me another not so shiny moment this week. Most of you might know that a good majority of the loans that lenders provide are sold on the secondary loan market to some government secured entities known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since the government controls these entities, they hand down the rules for how those loans are packaged and sold on the secondary market exchange as mortgage backed securities. It just so happens that the powers that be have now allowed appraisers to conduct drive-by appraisals if the loan is projected to be sold to Fannie or Freddie. That was great news two weeks ago when I was sweating bullets as to how we would be able to get houses appraised in this new environment. Fast forward to Monday. I receive a text message from an appraiser with a link to an internet portal where I, as a real estate agent, can enter data and photos to assist the appraiser and keep the appraiser safe from entering a property. Guess what? That data portal has a location tracker that has to be linked to my phone’s GPS coordinates. Now guess who has to be physically INSIDE THE PROPERTY to upload those photos needed for the appraisal? So, the appraiser’s life is valuable, but mine, not so much. I asked the appraiser if a drive-by of the property would be completed as part of the inspection. Said appraiser did not see the need to drive to Wayne to do that when I’m right here and can do it all. My overload circuit went off at this point and my response was not so friendly or professional. Guess what, the appraiser doesn’t care, big banks don’t care, Freddie and Fannie don’t care, and the Feds don’t care. They are in it to win it, and they are doing a bang up job of taking advantage of those of us who are “too small to support.” Let’s face it, WE THE PEOPLE, those of us right here in Wayne, America, are the only stakeholders who are going to take care of Wayne, America when it comes right down to it.
Today is a new day. I’m pulling up my boot straps and putting on my homemade face mask to figure out how to keep my business and our economy strong. Let’s be smart about what we do, how we do it, and who we do it with. Keep your business local. If you want to support the financial powerhouses of the world, more power to you. However, I’m tired of putting my ass-ets on the line to fuel the establishment. Let’s take care of us right where we need to be taking care of business. Right here, right now. We have everything we need in our community to survive. Let’s do good for each other, be good to each other, and stop giving away our most valuable time, energy, and financial resources.
That being said, I am grateful to be a business that is too small to support. It means that we have the fortunate opportunity to continue to function under new standards on a daily basis. My heart aches for those who are not so fortunate. My staff has been a Godsend as we have adapted to changes seemingly overnight. How fitting that today is Administrative Professionals Day. I have one stellar office manager who has been through the good, the bad, and the ugly of real estate with me for 16 years now. Becky Brudigam, this shout-out is for you. (This feels like one of those Bud Light commercials promoting “Real American Heroes.”) And I can’t forget Marie Janke who helps out with the real estate sales and property management at our office. Both of them have stepped up their game to keep things going smoothly in a not-so-smooth environment. As I’ve said before, 2020 is a year like we have never seen before in our real estate careers! Thanks especially for tolerating the last four months of flying by the seat of my pants and learning that there is no plan like the one that changes every hour. Life isn’t all real estate and roses, but we are going to order some local take-out for lunch, support a local business or two, and forget about the fact that I lost my mind yesterday over Little Red Riding Hood. Welcome Home.