By Jef Conn
The world is on fire—at least that’s how it feels. Concern over the coronavirus (along with overwhelming, 24-hour media coverage) has resulted in long lines at grocery stores, empty shelves, and general feeling of “what’s next?” Here are 11 things you can start doing now to remain healthy, run your business, and help others.
1. Wash your hands. The best way to prevent getting and spreading this virus is to wash your hands. Oh, and don’t touch your face. Simple and effective. Don’t forget to use those Clorox wipes (when you can find them in stores) and clean off your phone. It has a ton of germs on it.
2.Social distancing. Keep yourself away from others—at least 6 feet if you’re in public—and say no to attending large events where there’s potential for exposure. Don’t become a hermit; just be smart. We’ve heard the media talk about “flattening the curve.” Help end this pandemic by keeping your distance.
3. Tip well. People are eating out less. If you go out to eat or get take-out, be sure to tip more than normal. Your servers need the income as they are hurting like everyone else. I was at a local brunch spot Sunday and the restaurant was only about one-third full when normally they have a line is out the door. This is happening everywhere.
4. Order to-go. If you don’t feel like sitting in a restaurant, order food to-go or delivery and eat at home. You can still support the local businesses and eat a meal you didn’t have to cook yourself.
5. Buy gift cards. Buy gift cards from your favorite local stores and restaurants so those small business owners continue to have income. When the pandemic ends, you can go cash in those gift cards.
6. Gym protocol. I love to workout. It helps me feel good and stay healthy. Make sure you wash your hands when you get there and again before you leave. Wipe down equipment before and after you use it. It adds a little time, but just be smart.
7. Look out for neighbors. While some people have the opportunity to work from home, others may be left without work or paychecks due to coronavirus measures—especially in light of school closures and lack of childcare options. Be on the lookout for your neighbors and see if you can help provide groceries. A discreet way to do this is to invite your neighbors over for a meal and tell them not to bring anything. You’ll be able to have a good conversation and serve them without it being over the top obvious.
8. Donate food to your local food bank. Some people are going to face tough economic times. When you’re shopping for food, buy a little extra and drop it off at the food bank. Families around the country will need to tap into this resource soon.
9. Spring cleaning. Some of you may find that with cancellations and social distancing, your schedule is a little freed up. Don’t just Netflix and chill all day. (The Netflix release of Outbreak last week was an ironic timing.) Use this time to be productive. Take the next week or two and spring clean your house. I’m talking a couple of hours a day after work—you don’t have to miss your favorite rerun of The Office to do it. Tackle one room a day. It’s a great time to get your office organized as well. Get rid of clutter, make digital copies of what you can, and get rid of paperwork. You’ll feel accomplished and able to focus better on work.
10. It’s all going to be okay. You can’t fix it, stressing won’t help, and over-buying toilet paper is not the answer. Try to go about life as normally as you can while taking precautions along the way.
11. Continue to work on being the best REALTOR® you can be. The world may be in a panic, but our clients need a voice of calm and reason. Ultimately, people still need homes to live in, places to lease, or commercial properties to lease or buy. That won’t change. Communicate well with your clients and assure them you’re still working hard on their behalf. Skip the hands shakes and take precautions, but don’t give up doing your job. This is our livelihood, after all. So stay calm and be the guide our clients need all the way to the closing table.
Life will go back to normal—or a new normal. You can do this without stressing out to the max. Just focus on these 11 steps and continue on.
Jef Conn, CCIM, SIOR, is a commercial agent specializing in industrial, office, and investment properties with Coldwell Banker Commercial in Lubbock, Texas. Jef served as the 2017 president of his local association and currently serves as Region 1 vice president and executive board member for Texas REALTORS®. Connect with Jef on LinkedIn or via email: JConn@CBCWorldwide.com.