Wendy Cole is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.
In the Trenches: Sitting Apart, Pulling Together
Like you, the REALTOR® Magazine staff figured out on the fly how to make virtual work a reality.
July - August
Our back page is usually devoted to recounting your extraordinary moments in the real estate trenches. For this issue, we’ve captured even more of your unvarnished stories—inspiring tales of how you’ve adapted to working in the pandemic.
So here, we thought we’d offer you a glimpse into our trenches, the process that goes into producing a magazine and dozens of stories online each week as an all-remote operation.
While we miss the in-person collaborations that were part of daily life at the National Association of REALTORS®, we’ve persevered to keep you informed about COVID-19’s fast-moving impact on real estate, your business, and your life. From our home offices, which might be a dining room table, a kitchen counter, or a closet tucked away from restless kids, we’ve stayed focused on the stories you need right now: the prospects for a swift economic rebound, government relief efforts for homeowners and the self-employed, the safest ways to reopen a brokerage, buyers’ longings for more space (and maybe a second fridge).
In addition to producing (so far) two print magazine issues during the pandemic, our team has published more than 200 stories online related to COVID-19’s effects on your business and the industry at magazine.realtor/covid19.
We’ve established new routines. The magazine team starts each morning with a meeting via the Slack platform. We’re collaborating with staff throughout NAR to bring you engaging and relevant content—and to promote and support all the ways NAR is serving you, including through Right Tools, Right Now; the virtual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in May; and a hotline to answer your COVID-19 questions.
Challenging times require difficult decisions, and we’ve had to make compromises we’re sad about. In early March, we were planning an amazing photo shoot near the U.S. Capitol building to spotlight some of this year’s advocacy-minded 30 Under 30 honorees. Though we had to scrap the cover photo, we’re excited to introduce you to this incredible group. They are the bright lights of the industry’s future who won’t be deterred by the crisis.
We’re also tuned into the need for joy and personal connection, though we can’t compete with the REALTORS® in California we interviewed who are surprising neighbors with pink flamingo yard displays on their birthday. But we’re buoying each other’s spirits with words of kindness and regular online happy hours. We don’t know exactly when we’ll be back in the office. But one thing’s certain: Serving you through this tumult has strengthened our sense of purpose as we navigate to better days ahead.