March 31, 2020

Lesson 6: Unknown

This is part six of an ongoing series called “Lessons Learned at M&Co.” You can find lesson one here, lesson two here, lesson three here, lesson four here, and lesson five here.

Today marks the last day of Q1. It was, unquestionably, the best quarter yet. Our tiny team managed to close just over $9,000,000 — four times more than last year’s first quarter. I shared these numbers with the girls this morning in our group text. “I am so, so proud,” I typed. And I am.

But tomorrow is the beginning of a new sales quarter, and with it comes so much unknown.

Lesson 6: Unknown

My real estate journey began in 2014. It was October, and by then, the market had been steadily picking up steam since its crash in 2008. In early 2015, I experienced my first “multiple offer situation,” when several buyers (including my client) were bidding on the same condo. My client won, and just like that, I was hooked.

Over the last five years, I have been in dozens and dozens of multiple offer situations, both on the seller side and the buyer side. I didn’t notice when the downtown market hit a peak in 2017, but I felt a striking shift when 2018 led to fewer multiple offer situations. By 2019, I opened the doors to my own firm and held on for dear life as my team experienced a rockier market in which sellers were losing the upper hand on transactions. And yet, we managed to close $25 million (marking a career total of $71 million for me).

January 1st, 2020 arrived in all its glittering glory. This new decade meant Year Two of Melanie Everett & Company, and we hit the ground running. I got used to the DocuSign notifications coming through several times a week — a sign that one of us was writing an offer. Every Monday morning, I sipped piping-hot coffee and plugged numbers into our sales spreadsheet in Google Drive. M&Co. was on a roll.

I think that sky-high feeling of success is what makes the unexpected finale of Q1 sting so badly.

In a recent email to one of my team members, another agent shared his outlook on the future of our market. He wrote that he has been selling real estate since 1998 (through 9/11 and through the mortgage crisis) but he has “never seen anything that even compares to this.” The “this,” of course, being the coronavirus and its devastating toll on human lives and the economy as we know it. His words leapt off the screen and tied a knot in my stomach. If a real estate veteran is fearful of the future, then I, a newbie in comparison, should be running for the hills.

This is supposed to be a “lesson learned” blog post, I know. But the truth is that I don’t have any answers. I am anxious about the future of my commission-based small business. I am constantly thinking of my two team members, Courtney and Candace. I am praying for our clients (and their careers!) as we trudge forward.

The only place I can find solace right now is in my Bible. My small group has been studying Romans, and last week, we focused on this passage. It is bringing me encouragement today, on the last day of Q1, and I know it will uplift me tomorrow, on the first day of Q2.

“No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39