BRIAN BUFFINI: Well, top of the morning to you, and welcome to The Brian Buffini Show. Typically, you’ll have heard our producer, David Lally’s voice, come in by now. Typically, our podcast goes out, religiously, every Tuesday. To be a voice of value in the marketplace at this time, we’ve made a commitment to provide at least two podcasts a week, and at least one Facebook Live that I’m going to conduct from either my office, here, or my home for the foreseeable future. We want to provide real-time information, real-time value. Replace fear with facts, and help folks navigate a very difficult time for our country, for our world, and, specifically, for our marketplace. We want to provide value, through you, to your customers and to your communities.
Today, in order to kick off this accelerated program of podcasts and broadcasts, I really only had one person I asked my team to go get. That’s Dr. Lawrence Yun. Now, for those of you who are not as familiar with Dr. Yun, he’s considered one of the top economists in the world in any field. He just happens to be our guy in real estate. He is the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®. They are providing commentary on real estate market trends for its 1.4 million members, and are a remarkable organization.
Now, Lawrence is responsible for NAR’s existing home stats, the affordability index, home-buyers’ and home-sellers’ profiles. If you’ve listened to me with any of our Bold Predictions, Lawrence is probably the person I quote more than any other as a source and resource of information, so to have him live, today is fantastic. Lawrence is very connected. He’s involved in forecasting panels among the Blue Chip Council, the Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
He participates in the industrial economic discussion groups at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. I can go on, and we could take up our whole time today giving you his resume. He’s a very humble man, but a very brilliant guy. If you’ve turned on any news outlets, over the last couple of years, and they want to talk about housing, Lawrence is often the voice and the face doing that. Lawrence, we got a chance to connect, for a couple of days, just six weeks ago and have some great meetings and plans for the future but it seems like six weeks ago was a different lifetime ago. Welcome to the show.
LAWRENCE YUN: Brian, thanks for having me on the show. When President Trump gave his State of the Union address listing up all the positive economic indicators — the record low unemployment rate, stock market just touching another new high, but quickly, things have changed dramatically from this unforeseen event. Essentially, an economic quarantine was put into effect. I’m here, based in Washington, D.C., a couple of blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Right now, the senators are trying to come up with the stimulus plan to fight off this economic shutdown that’s been happening, so big changes.
BUFFINI: It is big changes. It’s a new world, but also, for me — we faced many different crises in the past as a country, and I think it’s important — I’ve watched every press conference that the White House has held, and one of the things I find interesting, there’s a lot of young people who are the reporters asking questions, which is great and exciting, and so forth, but sometimes, they don’t have a broad breadth of perspective of the different crises we’ve been through many times before. And I just think it’d be good for us, right now, to roll up our sleeves…
This is an unprecedented situation we’re seeing, and it’s affecting things in an unprecedented way, but I’d love to dig in. We have many — hundreds of thousands of people all over the United States and the world listening to us today, and I would like to dive in a little bit and talk about what we’re seeing and what we’re witnessing. February 29th, the leap year day, America showed 279,000 new jobs. It was 100,000 more. We had record unemployment. The economy is super strong, a bunch of cash — all these things we mentioned, and, now, here we are, less than three weeks later, and “all heck done broke loose now,” as they say. What are you seeing in regards to the data, in regards to what’s happening and the changes you’re seeing right now in the marketplace?
YUN: Related to the home sales, one looks at what is actually reported. We’ve certainly received a lot of data from the multiple listing surveys, trying to compile — as of February, housing market was solid. The home sales comfortably above one year ago, home prices rising for a 90-plus consecutive month on a year-over-year basis. Home prices, unlike the stock market, do not move in a quick one way or the other. It tends to be much more stable. In fact, 12 years ago, when we had that Great Recession, the housing market was not on very solid fundamentals. We had overproduction, builders were building way too many homes.
Today, builders have been under-producing, so we have been running into that housing shortage, inventory shortage, so a completely different situation. And also, we don’t have that easy, subprime, loosey-goosey mortgages that were prevalent 12 years ago. Housing is on very solid ground, yet we are running into this economic quarantine — that’s how I like to phrase it, that is shutting down the economy temporarily.
BUFFINI: Obviously, that’s going to have some impact in regards to jobs, and the trailing effect of that will be more influential in real estate. As you said, we’ve been having some discussions and we’re preparing to do some messaging ourselves, but the banking industry is in a completely different spot than it was going into the last recession. We know that the banks, across the board, they’ve been asked to constantly have these annual stress tests and quarterly stress tests. They have much stronger balance sheets than they had going into this last recession. I’d like to tell our staff, here– When we went into the recession, our company experienced it earlier. It was January of 2007, and we came out of it and started to see light in January of 2013.
We are already seeing, in places like Korea and China where the coronavirus is starting to get into a mitigated state, where their economies are already starting to come back. There’s a lot of movie to play and a lot of story to play out here, but no matter what, this is going to be a shorter-term situation than what we faced with the last recession. Would you agree?
[00:06:44] Dr. Yun: Absolutely. First, even if we were to face an economic recession — and when I say “economic recession,” one can be very technical to say two consecutive quarters of GDP decline, but for most people, your situation is when their neighbors lose jobs. They lose jobs, they will consider that a great depression, but the stimulus plan, the bipartisan measure, is that people who are losing jobs — you are looking at bartenders, flight attendants, hotel service workers — these are people who are hardworking people, due to the effect that has nothing to do with their work efforts or the economy, what it was before.
And therefore, the stimulus plan is to say, “Look, if you’re losing a job, losing income as a result of a virus-impacted economic sector, you will be made whole from that.” If the stimulus plan provides the income, and just as you mentioned, in South Korea, the virus situation is now coming down greatly. They are restarting their professional basketball league in South Korea. If it is of short duration, one can anticipate quite a strong real estate rebound after, say, one or two months of somewhat lackluster activity. And actually, we have to remember, we had that housing shortage going into this virus situation, and if the duration of this virus’s negative impact is short, say, a couple of months, we’re going to run into the housing shortage right away, again.
BUFFINI: You bet. I had a conversation, recently, with a pretty outspoken, very public figure in regards to the stock market. He was making his reports on TV, and I had a conversation with him. I said, “Just so you know, the people I represent, represent homeowners, and homeowners haven’t lost 30% of their value in the last 19 days, which may have happened in the stock market and so on and so forth.” Which, by the way, I remind people, all the time, if you don’t sell, you haven’t lost anything. Okay? It’s just numbers on a screen.
If you own the stock in a really good quality company, a really quality fund, you haven’t lost anything if you don’t sell. I shared with him, I said, ”Number one, our folks haven’t lost 30% of their value.” And I said, ”Number two, isn’t it interesting that in this time of crisis, the one place that people had to go to for their safe haven was their home.” Their homes became their shelter, their comfort, their lifeboat. For many people, as we know, now, there’s 15-days of intense lockdown and people self-quarantining and so on and so forth. I think, on one hand, people are falling in love with their house again, and on the other hand, they might have all their kids home from college, then they’re going, “Man, I got to get a bigger place,” and all that. ”These guys are driving me nuts.”
One of the questions we’ve been asked, repeatedly, and I’ve been asked to ask you by our Members is, do you think the spring selling season — which is normally a big push, especially in the Eastern seaboard states, and the weather gets a little better, and here comes spring, and we see that big push — do you think it’s more likely that that spring season is going to get pushed out into summer? Late into fall? Or is that season going to be gone, and we’re going to see a precipitous drop-off in home sales this year?
YUN: It depends on the duration of the economic shutdown. If it is short — and it could be very short. I mean, people are working on the vaccine, some people who are recovering from the coronavirus — currently, about 80,000 people have recovered. While about 8,000 people certainly have died from the virus, but 80,000 people have recovered, and, consequently, they are working on those recovery plasma situations.
If it is of short duration, it will be just a delayed spring buying season. It could be in August, September where we see that normal spring buying season occur because there’s always changes in family circumstances. People have additional child in the family or people who are in the elementary school, suddenly, they are going into middle or high school and they want to have a different school district.
There’s people constantly moving, and the job market had been very strong. Once you create jobs, there’s a need for relocation. If it’s a short duration coronavirus impact, then one will just see a very robust, late summer, going into fall home sales market.
BUFFINI: You bet. Obviously, it’s almost impossible to project at this stage because you’re having to analyze data, and data is a rearview mirror. You have data through February which looked like, “Hey, we’re heading for a fantastic year. Everything’s looking great, prices are good,” and so on and so forth. It seems to me that as we get ready, there will be a pent-up demand. That seems to be obvious.
In the other areas, it’s not like, “Okay, I want to go back to the restaurants in June, and I’m going to eat five meals a day.” That’s not going to happen. “I planned to do a cruise in March,” boom, that’s not happening. There will be areas that, obviously, we’ll see effect. There will be other areas in the economy that we will see, probably, longer-term unemployment, and so on and so forth, that take a while.
In the housing market, specifically, it seems like because we were at the center of the storm so many years ago, we’re in really good shape. It seems like the banks are in good shape, the actual fundamentals of supply and demand are very strong, still. We’ve got a limited supply, based on our population. It seems like the real estate business is a huge sector of the economy — is actually poised to still perform pretty well. What say you to that?
YUN: Absolutely. One looks at the early 1980s recession when unemployment rate climbed to 12%, what happened to real estate? Well, home prices were rising. Even throughout the recession, home prices were rising. One looks at the 1990s recession, home prices rose. Aftermath of that tragic September 11 event? Economy went to a recession of a short duration, home prices increased.
People who held on to real estate, they did well, even during these very difficult economic times. The only exception is, really, that the 2007-2012 housing-induced recession because of that easy subprime mortgages and builders building over two million homes. Just to give you perspective. Today, we are barely building a little over one million homes. That has been the case for almost a decade, which is the reason why we had that inventory shortage, and builders simply cannot ramp up to two million, even if they wanted to. We are running into this housing shortage. Housing is on very solid ground if we were to go into a recession.
BUFFINI: Right, and what we’ve also seen in the past is when there were major economic downturns, many people feel the queasiness of how quickly the stock market can move. And people have said, “I’m putting my money back into housing, even into rental properties or second homes,” and so on and so forth. It seems like, right now, that’s probably the logical thing, again, depending on your age and your risk tolerance. What percentage of your portfolio should be in stocks anyway? Obviously, is something to be discussed, but it seems like real estate is always going to be this safe haven where people are putting their investment.
YUN: I would like to see more homeowners participate in the wealth gain over the long-haul. And maybe for one or two years, then the prices really do not rise all that much, but right now, given the housing shortage, prices would rise for one area. Real estate investors, they’re doing quite well. The rental income is coming in, even through this — if there’s a downturn of some longer duration, their rental income will continue to come in as long as there’s a stimulus plan to provide for lost income for those people who are impacted, and at least that’s the intent of the White House, along with Congress in passing the stimulus bill. Real estate investors are in very good shape, but I’d rather have homeowners participating rather than the real estate investors.
BUFFINI: For sure. I was just listening to Larry Kudlow, who’s the White House Chief Economic Adviser, and he was saying, “Look, our currency is very strong and our credit is excellent, and money is so cheap right now. At some point in time, deficits need to be addressed,” and so on and so forth, but right now, they have many options to continue to support the economy because credit is so cheap. At a country level, we can borrow a lot, we can infuse a lot, we can direct a lot. In many ways, we’re well set up for this crisis on a major level. I want to throw a couple of very tactical things in here that many of our constituents and members are asking. With the impact of the Fed cutting the rate to zero, how does that actually impact mortgage rates that will be passed on to the consumer?
YUN: Well, the headline news when the Fed cuts interest rates, what they control directly is something called “Fed funds rate.” That is actually guidance of what a bank — the borrowing rate from each other because there’s always cash flow issues. You have to meet the payroll, you need to borrow money for one week, and then, repay. Fed funds rates are not mortgage rates. The mortgage rates do not necessarily move one-to-one with that funds rate, but, generally, the fact that we are in a very accommodating monetary policy means mortgage rates will be at a historic low.
The most recent data shows about 3.3%, I think it could even go down to 3%. We took a survey of REALTOR® members about their clients to say, ”You have a stock market crash, clearly a negative, but then, we have a record low mortgage rate. How are your clients reacting to these opposing forces, negative stock market versus positive mortgage rate?” And most realtors indicated that their clients are very attracted to the low-interest rate over the stock market.
To some degree, that’s not surprising because half of Americans don’t have any exposure to the stock market, so they’re just looking at the low mortgage rate. And once the rate goes down, they’re saying, ”Well, fantastic time to enter the market.” But simply, right now, at the moment, I think people are being cautious. People are taking the advice of social distance or maybe, if they want to search for homes, they’re doing more online, rather than doing actual physical visits. Once the “all-clear” signal is addressed to say, ”The virus situation is over,” I think you’re going to see a great, robust rebound in people searching for homes.
BUFFINI: For sure. We’re hearing anecdotal stuff from our clients, right now, which is, ”Hey, we’re getting multiple offers, still, on properties,” and things like that. However, in certain areas — Northern California, New York, they’ve shut down the government buildings that can record the deeds and so on and so forth. They’re having to deal with a lot of extensions or going back to the customers and saying, “Hey, can we file extensions?” And so on and so forth.
There are some challenges like that in the short term. I know we’ve heard of appraisers not wanting to go into houses, some people not wanting to have their house on the market for a period of time. And I, really, fully feel Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci have been doing superb work. I watch these press conferences and I feel good. I’m like, ”These folks are really on it.” They’ve really pressed it down to say, “Can we, for 15 days, do this strong isolation? Get the millennials acting like they’re not free and clear, and get people not going to bars and not going to restaurants? Stay at home, and that we can cut this curve down radically. Then, we don’t overwhelm the medical system.” And it seems like so many people are doing the right thing, right now, and so many people are doing good things, it does have a chance of really working and forestalling the situation. If I can, Dr. Yun, I would like to get your input here. We’re giving advice to our members, the people that we’re coaching. During 9/11, we encouraged our members.
We said, “Call everyone in your database. Write personal notes encouraging people in your database.” And in those cases, we wanted to pop by and go visit people face-to-face. We said, “Look, don’t talk business. You’re not talking real estate. Just be a word of encouragement, be a settling force.” We just encouraged our folks to be a voice of value and just bring calmness and strength to your customers. The byproduct of that, which we weren’t expecting, is once people settled down following 9/11 — as you remember, 9/11, we were expecting a lot more attacks.
We saw an increase in referrals for our members that was precipitous, two to three times what they ever received before. We’re encouraging people to, right now, be a voice of value. Maybe you don’t pop by everyone in your database, but if you could find a way to provide some resources to, maybe, some older folks and do it in a very sanitary way, leave it at their door, those kinds of things. We’re also telling people to get trained. If you’re stuck in, at home, now is the time to up your professionalism. Get trained. We offer many of these great training programs to help people become more professional, more skilled.
At buffiniandcompany.com, we’ve facilitated, now, our training programs that used to have to be done in person, are now able to be all done online. People can take these courses at home. Many brokerages are doing their training programs with us through Zoom, where they’re getting people in their office, through Zoom, to do this live. Then, the last thing we’re telling people is, ”Be prepared, then, in nine months of work to get 12 months of revenue.” When this all shakes out, there’s this pent-up demand. We want to get after it, you want to encourage people.
All that stuff you’ve been doing to call people now, then it’s time — this pent-up demand, let’s go and let’s go get 12 months of revenue in the next nine months and get 12 months of production in the next nine months. That’s what we’re sharing with our clients and the people we have. What do you think of that advice? And where would you fall in line with that?
YUN: That’s terrific advice, Brian. I think people need to be reminded to be resourceful. Naturally, real estate business is highly entrepreneurial. We see it in the data that shows that about 15% of REALTOR® members — 15% make six-figure commission income, but 30% make less than $30,000 a year, which means that some really view it as an entrepreneurial business, while others may be just trying it out and maybe it doesn’t really fit into their personality or “get up and go” attitude. What you are providing is absolutely critical. People stay at home, but if you’re staying at home, how can you be resourceful? Well, why don’t you get some training? There’s much to learn from it, so great advice.
BUFFINI: No, that’s good stuff. Let me ask you, what advice do you have for our real estate community? We have tens of thousands — possibly hundreds of thousands of people in the real estate community, and even some homeowners listening-in to this broadcast today. What advice do you have as the lead economist of our industry?
YUN: Well, for every decision of buying a home, that is a major expenditure, which requires careful decision. I think last year and early part of this year, some people had to make hurried decisions because of the multiple bids. I’d like to see more homebuilding activity come on to the market once we go past this crisis. What this all means is that one has the position that the market will become a little more balanced market condition. When people ask me, personally, “Would you buy in this environment?”
Here’s the advice that I would say. If I was fearful that my job could be at stake because of the potential economic downturn, I would pause. If one feels that their job is secure — and many jobs are. People working in the healthcare industry, people working in education. There are many jobs where jobs are very secure. Take advantage of the record low mortgage rate, and also, the fact that maybe there are less buyers out in the market during the crisis, which means there’s less competition and better price-negotiation potential.
BUFFINI: No doubt. Well, we’ve done this. We’ve been prepared, at Buffini & Company, and we’ve been telling our staff we built up big financial reserves, we’ve taken all kinds of investments to be able to do work remotely and use all the different technologies to continue to provide all the services we currently provide for our Members. They’re out contacting their customers at a rate that they haven’t, even before. My advice to some of my own staff is like, “Hey, we’re not going anywhere. You’re not going anywhere. That house you were looking at in Carlsbad that was getting 15 offers, well, you might be the only drop of water right now. And you might be able to get a fair price and a fair deal, and not have to overpay.”
I do think it gets back to, what is your profession? What is your situation? What is the glide path of the industry you serve? And like you said, if it is a time when you feel insecure about your job, insecure about your income, hit the pause button, and when all this clears, get back in the game. There’s still going to be a housing shortage, there’s still going to be low-interest rates.
And buying a home is going to become an even bigger deal than ever before because, right now, the home is the only safe place that you know you have. You can clean your home, you can take care of your home, and people are being asked to take care of their homes. I listened to the President the other day and he said, “Enjoy your living room.”
YUN: One thing that will lead to permanent change from this coronavirus situation is that I think there will be more people working at home, which means that many people will suddenly realize that their home does not have that office space that they really require. We may actually begin to see more people wanting to search for different homes that fit their lifestyle a little better.
BUFFINI: That was going to be my question, is what do you think — because there will be some changes, societally, that come out of this, and I think they’ll be subtle. Obviously, we see the gig economy with Uber drivers and stuff like that. They’re feeling some insecurity about their work, but we’ve been hearing about this work-from-home dynamic and this tsunami of work from home for a long time. We have 240 employees, we’ve had about 15% who’ve worked from home. Well, right now, it’s 90%. Now, I know full well, when this crisis is over, that a lot of these folks are going to be coming to me, going, “Man, I’d like to keep working from home if I can.”
I think a lot of people are experiencing that and seeing that, and I do believe that will be one of the effects. What other long-term changes do you see coming? As best you can, your crystal ball, what else do you see coming out of this once this is all settled down and we’re back to some semblance of normalcy?
YUN: The housing market has a huge potential for growth. We have had under-production for a decade. Even if the builders ramp up, they are having trouble finding the skilled construction workers. That’s another topic to address, America needs to get more people into vocational training rather than trying to send everyone into the four-year college. Things like appraisers, home inspectors, currently, they do not want it — but they are very elderly.
The average age of appraisers is in the 50s or even reaching 60s. We need a young set of people going into real estate to provide that pipeline. We will see a steady and, possibly, a long-term growth in housing start, meaning new home construction. More new home construction means more inventory available in the existing homes market which will allow the customers to feel more comfortable about making that transaction without the hurried decision.
In other words, when a large broker asked me, “How should I plan for my business?” This was my answer. ”Over the next five years, probably four of those five years will be an improving year.” I usually give one year for a little caveat. Maybe 2020 because of that coronavirus, just a little slight pause that occurs, but people who are planning for the future, long-term, in real estate, they will do well.
BUFFINI: My wife has a phrase she reminds me of all the time, “this too shall pass.” And you just mentioned something, I think, that’s very important. At Buffini and Company, we’ve been spending a lot of time working on our five-year plan, and when you have a bit of a longer-term perspective, it seems to take you out of the short-term panic. Now, there’s things we need to be cautious about. We do need to be careful. We need to practice the social distancing and all the health issues.
We need to be washing our hands and being careful and going to every length possible, but if we have a long-term perspective — I have a long-term perspective of the stock market. I’ve got to be honest, I’ll be candid with you. I’ve bought stock, every week, for the past three weeks, and I intend to buy more. Now, I’m positioned for that. I was planning on that, and I have positions in good companies that I’m taking bigger positions in. That’s all I’m doing because I’m looking at the stock market in 2025 and 2030, and not the stock market and where it’s going to be in May. I just want to give that out because that’s what I’m doing. I prepared for that because of how hard we got hit with the previous recession. Somebody might be getting hit hard now, this will prepare you for the next one, and, oh, by the way, they come pretty regularly. It’s not the end of the world.
YUN: Well, 1987, the biggest stock market crash that occurred before the prior one, people who purchased at that time, they’re pretty much a millionaire now. And even back in 2007 during the depths of the subprime crisis, job losses, people who went in when everything was fearful of the stock market, they have come out very well. Even accounting for the recent stock market correction, they’re well ahead of that low point. I have a son, a college student, who’s investing in the stock market, a small amount. He’s not afraid. He said, “Oh, this is another good opportunity to buy,” because he has a very long-term horizon.
BUFFINI: You’ve trained him very well, Lawrence. You’ve trained him very well. As Warren Buffett said, “When people get fearful, I get greedy, and when people get greedy, I get fearful.” And I know that not everybody is sitting around on a pile of cash to invest in stocks or whatever else, but we are talking, here, about the home. Here’s a question I have for you specifically. NAR is very powerful in regards to its influence with politics and the legislature. For example, a friend of mine, he owns a piece of property around the corner here, wants to build 16 homes.
He wants me to finance it and do a partnership agreement. We’ve done many construction projects in the past, but the requirements that are being asked basically make it not worth anybody’s while to go dig the dirt and build the houses. Do you think there’s a possibility — in order to stimulate growth, in order to come out of a short-term recession, do you think there’s a possibility we might see a relaxing of the restrictions that have held back new construction that, possibly, could help with the housing shortage in the years to come?
YUN: Well, many of the development issues — zoning laws, the land use regulations are at the local or state level. Nonetheless, NAR President, Vince Malta, was recently at the White House with President Trump to relax some of the regulation from the Federal level, to the extent that the Federal level could be due, but also, with strong moral suasion to the state and locals to say, “Look, you are hindering local economic growth.”
One study that we have found is that in places like San Francisco where it is almost impossible to build, if it was not for the technology company clusters, it would be in terrible shape. Another part that we are finding is that in areas where there is a stringency about the growth — putting too much barriers to building new homes, people are fleeing out of that region into other areas. That’s why we’re going to see such robust growth in places like Arizona or in Florida or in Texas, compared to, say, New York or in California. California, unfortunately, it’s very difficult to build. It’s good for existing homeowners because it keeps the prices up due to the housing shortage, but it limits future economic growth prospects.
BUFFINI: You bet. Well, it’s a gyroscope that’s going to continue to spin. I think my goal today was to provide people with some clarity, to hear from a respected man, like yourself, who’s watching the day-to-day. You’re right there in DC, you’re blocks away from the center where all the action is. And, hopefully, today we were able to bring some encouragement to some real estate agents and to some homeowners to know that the sky is not falling, this is a difficult time.
In many ways, this could be our finest hour. We’re seeing just amazing stuff going on at community levels. I just saw a North Texas Facebook group that mobilized 4,000 people to go and get packages and care packages for the elderly. Did it in a sanitary way. Everybody wearing gloves, bringing stuff, leaving it at people’s doorsteps. Calling the person and saying, “Hey, we left a little package for you outside.”
We’re seeing remarkable stuff take place, and I think this could be our finest hour in regards to what we’re doing. Then, also, the housing market itself is on such solid footing. The banking is solid, the values of the homes are solid. There’s a pent-up demand that’s going to continue on, and people in the real estate community, take the time to get trained. Take the time to get better, take the time to be a voice of value to your customers. And when this is all said and done, come out the door and make 12 months’ revenue in nine months.
YUN: Yes, absolutely. It’s going to pass. This short-term virus’ negative impact will pass, I hope, quickly, but even if it takes a little longer to contain it, there is such a solid fundamental for the real estate market. Things will play out very well, over the long haul.
BUFFINI: You bet. I really appreciate your time today, and I hope this helps a lot of folks in our real estate community and in our homeowner community. Thanks so much for being on with us today.
YUN: I enjoyed it very much, and thank you for having me on the show.
BUFFINI: You know, as I listen to Dr. Yun, and I know a lot of what’s going on behind the scenes there of how NAR is working with the government — working on behalf of builders, working on behalf of residential agents, working on behalf of homeowners, I’m reminded of 9/11. That I always had a healthy appreciation for firemen. My best friend, Joe Niego, has two brothers who were fire captains.
After 9/11, I had a different level of appreciation for firemen, after that whole experience. Watching, right now, what NAR is doing — I’ve always appreciated them. I’ve been a member of NAR for 30-some years, but I’m watching, right now, what they’re doing, how they’re digging in, and I’ve never been more proud of that association than ever before, and very thankful of what they’re doing behind the scenes, much of which you’ll hear about in months and years to come.
I just want to thank Dr. Yun, again, for being on our podcast today. We’re going to continue to make great professionals available to you to give you the facts, to give you the insight. We understand the seriousness of the current crisis we face and the coronavirus that’s affecting, not only the United States and Canada but all over the world. We understand this is a day-by-day case. I understand that — by the way, listening to Dr. Birx — because they’ve sped up the testing, they’re about to do five to six days’ worth of testing in 24 hours. We’re going to see a precipitous peak in the number of cases in the United States.
Again, that’s going to happen in the next couple of days, and it’d be very easy to get very nervous and very scared, when, in fact, it’s a structural piece of what’s taking place. The truth of the matter is nobody really knows how long, how deep, and how intense this virus is going to be, but we do know that, at some point in time, this gets to be reduced. The effects get to be mitigated.
The medical community is coming hard after this with antivirals, all kinds of different dynamics. Shots and vaccines, and whatever else, and we know that it’s trying. We also know that a lot of our media is coming out of places that are actually the most affected. The biggest hotspots in our country is also where a lot of the people who are doing the broadcasting — and those folks are feeling the pressure and the tension the most.
I’ve been watching a lot of this stuff and those folks have been spreading a lot of tension. Some of it, absolutely well-meaning, some of it, absolutely factual, but sometimes, it’s done in a spirit of a little more panic, I think, than I care for. I will just say this, this too shall pass. We’re going to continue to be a voice of value. We encourage you to be a voice of value to your customers. For the most part, stay in your homes and call them.
Call through your entire database, write personal notes to everyone you’ve called. If you do a Pop-By, bring a little gift, especially to someone who is maybe an elderly person that can’t get out as much. Do it in the most sanitary way possible, please, or don’t do it at all. Also, let’s do this, as a community. Let’s make sure that we’re practicing the social distancing, the cleanliness, the handwashing, and all the things we need to do to suspend the growth of the virus. If you’re sitting at home and you haven’t been trained in The Pathway to Mastery™? I cannot imagine a better time to do this. Get in the game. We’ve set it up now so you can take this training at home so that when you come out of this, you’re ready to rock and roll.
Get trained, get prepared. Keep your mind good, keep putting the good stuff in, while you also are taking sensible precautions and listening to the media and seeing what they have to say. At the end of the day, let’s make sure that we take a longer-term perspective to a short-term crisis. I want you all to stay safe. I want the road to rise up to meet you, I want the wind to be at your back. And I hope you know that in the midst of all of these challenges, that God has us all in the hollow of his hand. We’ll be seeing you real soon, you’ll be hearing from us a lot more. Tomorrow morning, on March 20th, at 10:00 PST, I’m going to be doing a Facebook Live.
Any questions you have, any feedback you have, I’ll be doing a Facebook Live. We’ll be doing at least one Facebook Live a week for the foreseeable future. We’ll be doing at least two podcasts a week for the foreseeable future. Let us know — send us emails, send us messages on social media. We want to hear where your concerns are, where you’re nervous. What we can do to help, and we’re going to continue to provide great content to shore up your character, shore up your confidence, and shore up your business. Until next time, God bless. We’ll talk to you soon.