Where We Are Now: April 1, 2020

Work From Home – Day 17

Competitors, Instincts and Confidence

5:09AM PST

Team –

Looking forward to The Path Forward Thursday, April 2, 2020 @ 11 AM PT [password to come from invite]. 

Please organize your life around it – really, what else do we all have to do?

We have received a few questions as a result of my earlier writing about being in the “people business” vs. the real estate business. Some were straight forward and others curious about what qualities we look for in people.

First, no two people are the same. Second, no two people react to the same situation in the same way. Especially now as everyone handles risk, stress and adversity differently. Personally, I have a high degree of risk tolerance and a minimal reaction to stress. You?

Back to people and hiring practices. We look for three characteristics in anyone we hire. They are somewhat rigid, and when we make a mistake it’s expensive. Why? Because the opportunity costs and replacement costs of hiring the best versus not is very expensive.

Here are the criteria:

  1. Competitor: Requirement vs. nice to have! During an interview we really want to see/hear that you have a competitive stripe in your background. Did you contribute to/play a role in a victory/championship or personal event? It could be any sport, instrument or talent. Bring it and tell us about it. If the competitor’s intensity and pride show through, step 1 is done.  
  2. Instincts: We want to know in life about a key decision you made based not on facts, but on instincts. Why did you do what you did? What was the attraction or motivation? Were you running from something or running to something? These are very different!
  3. Confidence: Some people exude confidence…think it through, it could be a disguise. Peel it back! We want to see confidence that the competitor had the instincts and confidence to execute and follow through. If they possess all three, our instincts are they would love our team and contribute in an amazing way!

In a humble way, I think our team operates to these standards. We aspire to be a flat organization without hierarchy. We empower people to be their best, to follow their instincts, take risks, and make decisions. We also expect accountability – think about accountability as the scoreboard for a competitor.

So, good morning! Hope the coffee, tea, yoga, walk, run, ride, or pillow is just as you want it.

This is Where We are Now.



Mark A McLaughlin

Work From Home – Day 17 — Closing Bell

Financial Relief & Home Prices

5:20PM PST

Team –

The two most popular questions I receive daily are:

  1. What financial relief benefits are available to me?
  2. What is happening with home prices?

We have experienced a deluge of news on federal and state fiscal relief programs. They seem to be for both independent contracts and employees.

These relief programs are in the headlines daily. The details, as well, are rapidly unfolding. From this morning at 8AM to this afternoon at 4PM, websites went through significant content upgrades. We expect government agencies to continue to expand details, and to update websites, staff hotlines, and the like. We will talk about this through the lens of Jamie Fulbright, HR Director, and Ira Gold, Sherman Oaks office on tomorrow’s webinar, The Path Forward @ 11AM, Thursday April 2, 2020.

On pricing, we do not yet have enough data to present empirical evidence of pricing trends – a little too early. Anecdotally, I have observed the following from week-over-week reports.

  • Multiple offers are limited to clean, well-priced, affordable homes.
  • Pricing pressure below $2 million seems to be between 3 to 7 percent.
  • Offers at the high-end of the market [>$2 million to $3 million] are slower for now.
  • LA County had 1,000 new listings and 900 price reductions in trailing seven days.

Please send me success stories, meaningful events and any other market dynamics you have at your fingertips.

We will stay on top of both the relief programs and pricing. See you tomorrow at 11AM.

This is Where We Are Now.



Mark A McLaughlin