What are your biggest business concerns surrounding COVID-19?
My biggest business concern is the loss of jobs. There are so many amazing people who have lost their livelihoods overnight. The job reports show we are reaching unprecedented levels of unemployment and it is extremely unfortunate.
What is your current business strategy for dealing with the situation?
Our business strategy is not changing on a weekly basis but rather on a daily basis. Initially our focus was immediately shifting to a remote work plan and empowering our agents to use the technology and resources available to them via ONE Sotheby’s and our global network including video conferencing and virtual property tours. With digital content being more vital than ever, we also pushed up the launch of our new website. While these initiatives are ongoing, we are currently focused on how we can help agents receive additional support during this difficult time through the SBA programs in place from the CARES Act. The efforts are great so far, but my main concern still lies in the $2T amount not being sufficient.
How do you think things will look in your industry a year from now?
I believe our industry in one year will be right where it was just before COVID-19 hit. Right now is an opportunity to get organized and do the things that are most difficult when we are busy. We are encouraging virtual meetings, organization of databases, implementation of new tools in CRM systems just to name a few.
What have you learned from other difficult times in the past?
It’s very difficult to say that past times will dictate what we will do this time. This is a time that nobody ever expected or prepared for. We have always had a recession plan, but not this. This pandemic and the economic impact across the globe is completely unprecedented and unexpected. I never really worry about making mistakes because all the decisions I make, I make with my heart and based on the greater good of everybody that surrounds me. I would not be able to get through this crisis without my entire team and I am extremely grateful for their help.
Safe–and entertained–at Home: What business leaders are doing with their downtime
It’s been harder to keep a routine, especially with the kids running around at home, but what I’m doing is waking up at a certain time every day, going for a jog, and getting dressed to make myself feel like I’m not just lounging around the house all day. I believe the act of getting dressed and putting gel in your hair like you would on a normal work day makes a huge difference.
I’m not a big show guy.
I’m currently reading a book called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. I’m using this time to build a stronger bond with my kids than ever before.
What are you doing to spend quality time with those you’re sheltering with?
I taught my son, who isn’t yet three, how to ride a bike without training wheels. That was pretty spectacular, and now he has the world at his fingertips.
What are you doing to stay healthy mentally and physically?
Eating at home has really helped out with my health and how I feel. In my day-to-day life I eat out a lot. Being home has really shown me the importance of eating cleaner, homemade meals. My mental wellbeing is also based on my active health so I’m making sure to stay active and exercise every day.
Where are you dreaming of visiting?
My next trip will be the one I have planned in September to Napa Valley with my wife. I’m going to appreciate every moment there and definitely every glass of wine.