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Steve Everbach: Things I’ve Learned (So Far) During the Pandemic

This is a year for the history books; here are 14 lessons that the real estate veteran has picked up along the way.
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We all know this has been quite the year, not just in real estate, but in our everyday lives, impacting our families, our health, and society in general. More than anything, this year has given me perspective and allowed me to reevaluate my priorities. And I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

  1. Commit to a routine that includes getting outside every day.

What this looks like for me is a long walk or bike ride in the evening. Some days I’ll just take my coffee or lunch outside on the patio.  It helps break up the day and relieves my Zoom fatigue. Since we don’t have our normal social office interactions, it also reminds me to walk away from my computer and get some fresh air.

  1. Be more patient—with everything.

And I mean everything! From faulty technology to deadlines to family members that seem to need a little more attention, a little patience and grace go a long way. Things just seem to be taking longer now and if anything can go wrong in 2020, it has.

  1. Reach out to family and friends more frequently.

Depending on your situation, this year has been a time of too much togetherness or too much alone time. Regardless, friends and family need to know we are thinking about them. A text, a Facetime call, or a care package go a long way in keeping your loved ones close when you can’t necessarily be there in person.

  1. I can actually cook a pretty good family meal.

My new ‘specialty’ is baked spring pasta with asparagus but it is always more enjoyable when we cook dinner as a family. This is one of the new family traditions we’ve created during the pandemic and it is guaranteed to bring laughter and warmth into our home.

  1. Never compromise an opportunity to surround yourself with high-character, considerate and caring people.

I’m so fortunate and honored to say my colleagues over the years have been all of the above. Their values and integrity have especially had numerous chances to shine over the last several months. They say the true character is revealed in the midst of adversity and that’s proven to be true time and again.

  1. Exercise daily.

This sounds simple but it needs to be done. We are all dealing with more stress, more mental load, and more change. Committing to a daily workout can help us handle all of these issues better and it’s good for us too.

  1. Video calls will never replace in-person interaction.

Technology has been a blessing (and a curse) over the last few months. We’ve been able to continue business as usual for the most part but Zoom and Teams will never replace face-to-face interaction. We are a relationship-based industry and we need to have that personal touch to thrive.

  1. One can get away with wearing a dress shirt, suit jacket with sweats and sneakers on a video call—and still look professional.

We’ve all been forced to adapt to technology and doing things differently. It’s been interesting to see how at the start of the pandemic, many were still power dressing. Lately, that has relaxed a bit and I’m starting to experience more ‘top half only’ power dressing (including me), casual shirts, and baseball caps. But guess what? Work is still happening and transactions are getting completed.

  1. Students (especially teenagers) do not do well with virtual learning.

This is a little different for everyone and I can only speak from my own experience with my eldest daughter. But all the memes in the world can’t convey enough how thrilled she was to return to on-campus classes.

  1. The true value of our healthcare professionals and other first responders.

With COIVD cases surging again in Dallas County, we must remain mindful and thankful for our essential workers. Many will be sacrificing their holidays with loved ones to take care of others’ friends and family. Find a way to help and show you care whether it is bringing them doughnuts before a shift or writing a note of thanks.

  1. 2020 is best viewed in the rear-view mirror.

We are at 27 days left and counting on the longest year in the history of years. 2021 can’t come fast enough.

  1. The Dallas North Tollway has been a pleasure to use since March 14, 2020.

I’ve never gotten around Dallas so quickly. I can make it from my office in Uptown north to Plano in exactly 22 minutes…during rush hour.

  1. Change is Inevitable.

This is probably the best lesson 2020 has taught me. Change is an opportunity to innovate, pivot, improve, and reinvent. The more quickly we learn to adapt to change, the better positioned we will be for the future.

  1. All of the above (except No. 12) will hold true post-pandemic.

This has been a year for the history books. We’ve all learned a lot about ourselves, human nature, and how a virus that never existed before can upend the very fabric of society. But candidly, the best lesson 2020 has taught me is how grateful I am for the resilience, dedication, and flexibility my colleagues have shown during all of the challenges of the past year. I will ride through a pandemic with them any day.

Steve Everbach is a 30-year commercial real estate industry veteran based in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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