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2020 through the lens of a real estate broker

Lindsay Smith

By Lindsay Smith/Columnist

2020 started out with the promise of a high school prom. Lots of planning, primping in front of cameras and teary eyed parents… only to end up with the car on a tow truck and teens hiding behind a police officer. Then by graduation honours were given to most of the students.

Well, real estate was kind of like this – Boom, shut down, uncertainty followed by one of the busiest markets we have ever seen. However, real estate to a broker is much more than just bricks and mortar. Let’s spend a few moments reflecting on what has happened this year for Wendy Starr and myself in and around contracts, sold signs and competing offers:

  • Donating to a fundraiser on behalf of a friend who has an 11 year old daughter dealing with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  • Using some connections and then paying for a bed for a client who was forced to leave her belongings and apartment due to bedbugs.
  • Attending a funeral visitation for the brother of a client, only to have our client give regrets, waiting for a COVID test result. (it was negative)
  • Allowing the excitement to bubble over when one of my colleague’s sons “rings the bell” at Sick Kids and Princess Mary hospitals when he completed radiation and chemotherapy.
  • After contributing over $3,750 to Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre, having two of our friends make contributions in our honour.
  • Dropping off dinner to a neighbour quarantining with their kids and dropping our famous “Mac and Cheese” off to a client who tested positive.
  • Attending a funeral for an old friend, having to be in and out within a half-hour window and not being able to touch or hug his wife.
  • Picking up an elderly neighbour and driving him to the hospital. Then returning after surgery making sure he arrived home safely.
  • Creating and delivering a graduation sign with the grad’s picture on it for their front yard.
  • Helping to secure therapy resources for a client who lost their child to suicide and finding a very hard-to-locate book to help in their healing.
  • Fundraising with my office and raising enough to do full turkey dinners for 2,208 families.
  • Having a conversation with a volunteer of a charity, with her crying about our turkey drive and sharing how just a few years ago she relied on a church to supply her family Christmas dinner.
  • When our economy was shuttered in March, starting a Facebook group to support restaurants that has attracted 12,200 passionate, local followers.
  • Working with a late 70’s couple who had a desire to move to a smaller home and hand holding (socially distanced of course) them to move when our economy was beginning to reopen

Selling real estate is part bricks and mortar and part nurturing relationships. One of the parts I love of the career I chose over 30 years ago, is being invited into my clients’ lives. Births, deaths, lottery wins and financial challenges, health issues and children moving out and on, has added a depth to my life of which I will forever be thankful.

Thank you for your emails and calls with the articles I have written for The Oshawa Express this year, and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Yalda, Kwanza and Soyal. For all onserving end of year celebrations, I wish you a new year filled with compassion, health, happiness and all of the new beginnings a sparkly, fresh new start can offer.