ZOOM-ing with Leaders and Members

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 we held our first virtual general membership event via Zoom. (Zoom is a free online platform for audio, video and text communications via computers and other devices, including phones. See: www.zoom.us for more info.)

Thank you to the 40 members who took time to join us. We were honored that Representative Tyler August, Speaker Pro Tempore, made time to join us hours after the Assembly passed the COVID-19 Response Bill eliminating the unemployment waiting period, ensuring Wisconsin will receive $2B in federal assistance, expanding SeniorCare to include vaccinations, prohibiting co-pays for COVID-19 testing, and allowing pharmacists to extend prescriptions. In the historic session, all 99 representatives voted, and for the first time 55 of them participated virtually through Skype. Tyler assured us that our legislators are working tirelessly and committed to providing relief in every way possible to Wisconsinites struggling as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

Chris DeVincentis, 2020 LARA President reminded us that “unique times present unique opportunities” and those committed to the professional career of being a Realtor will find ways to come out of current challenges successfully.

Julie Morse, 2020 Director shared her “Four R’s”: Reach Out – Respect – Respond – React Accordingly. Julie encouraged our members to communicate with customers, past clients and prospects. “Be Creative. Keep Trucking,” she added a fifth “R” of: “Regrading” prospect lists to reach out to everyone during this unique time.

Tracy Sallee, 2020 President-Elect provided an overview of several important new forms available through the WRA (Wisconsin Realtors® Association.) Be sure you are aware of the NEW CVCA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Commercial Addendum; REVISED CVSI: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Showings & Inspections Safety Commitment Form and REVISED ADDENDUM CV – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Provisions. Tracy reminded all members of the timely and critical information available through the WRA Legal Department, including a webinar that was record and now available. All of these resources and more are available at: www.wra.org/coronavirus

Bernie Weiss, 2020 Director discussed virtual showings. Because she specializes in relocation, Bernie is accustomed to virtual showings and has been doing them regularly since before today’s challenges. Bernie recommends Duo – a free phone app for video conferencing, for convenient live virtual showings. She has also used WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger’s video chat option. Bernie reminds us that which tool is not as important as reaching out, connecting with customers and clients and using the tool that best works for each situation  (and connectivity/availability.)

Brad Brewer, 2020 Director demonstrated the virtual backgrounds available in Zoom for those that would rather not show their current surroundings on business calls. (There are many resources for best practices during virtual meetings, but overall we should all be kind, patient, empathetic and realize everyone is doing their best during these unexpected and challenging times.) Brad reminds our members to EDUCATE AND SERVE, not give opinions. He provided examples of ways to provide information to our communities and customers/clients rather than direct marketing or selling. Brad reminds us to check on our branding and especially any automated or scheduled messaging that may not be sensitive to the challenges we are facing today. We need to be cognizant of the many ways people are affected by COVID-19 and the far-reaching effects.

Sue Miller used the chat feature to remind members about the many free and reduced cost education and designation opportunities available through NAR (National Association of Realtors®) RIGHT TOOLS, RIGHT NOW  Be sure to check it out.

Bob Webster reminded all about the MetroMLS Town Hall Zoom sessions. There was a very informative one following our call. Be sure to watch your e-mails an/or the MetroMLS Facebook page to participate in upcoming sessions.

There are more free opportunities to learn online every day. Please do yourself a favor when feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or reading too much on social media and take advantage of personal and professional development opportunities. Prepare yourself for the busy market ahead when orders are lifted and everyone is ready to MOVE. 😊

NEXT OPPORTUNITY: Let’s Connect. Let’s “ZOOM out of April” on Friday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m. All members will be able to participate via audio, video and/or just listen in as we connect and move into a new month.
Meeting ID: 861 8717 6924
Password: 566489