Happy coronavirus holidays! Once again, the holiday season is upon us and the clock waits for no one, not even in a pandemic. Why then, pray tell, can everything else?
This morning, as I punched out the 18th day of my 24 days of Christmas socks advent calendar, I suddenly realized that I had not received the packages that I ordered for Christmas that were supposed to have arrived by Dec. 11. Each year, each of my three daughters receive exactly three gifts; a gift of want (wonder), a gift of need, and a gift of meaning (from the heart). As they continued to grow older, and all of them, as of this year, having embarked into adulthood, I continually ask them if they want to finally forgo this tradition. Each year it is an emphatic “we want to keep it,” from each one.
While this touches my tiny Grinch-sized heart just a little, that I have created one meaningful tradition in their lives, it also creates a serious diamond-crushing pressure to come up with a new idea for the last 18 years, for the gift of meaning. Just last week my most capitalistic minded daughter volunteered that of all the gifts she has ever received for Christmas, the gifts of meaning have been her favorite and have been the only ones she has remembered and still holds onto. No pressure there.
This is why, the day after Thanksgiving, when I arrived upon an idea for this year’s gift of meaning, I immediately set to work. After many early mornings and late nights at my desk, I had completed the daunting task and ordered arrival of the finished project.
When I made the call this morning to track my missing package, the robotic IVR (interactive voice response) informed me that, “Due to coronavirus, we are experiencing an unusually high volume of calls. Your call will be answered in approximately (pause) 92 minutes.”
Circling back to our aforementioned question ... if the calendar pages keep turning despite the coronavirus, how come all customer service has come to a screeching halt in service industries?
It’s a question worth pondering. Real estate is one such service industry. There is a lot of demand and very little supply. Throw in a pandemic and some holiday cheer and we have an instant recipe for Scrooge himself.
Yet, despite it all, people still need a place to live. This is why the holidays are some of the very best times for both buyers and sellers in a market such as this. While everyone else is bustling about with shopping and wrapping, decorating trees and cookies, and bothering with trimmings and trappings, Realtors are working. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years is ideal for both buyers and sellers. For one, people who list their homes during the holidays, are not doing so to just test the market; they are serious. They need to sell. It doesn’t hurt that the home is already staged with minimal (read: not cluttered) holiday décor and the sounds, scents and sights of festive good cheer.
Home buying can be an emotional decision, and involving all the senses can evoke a decision that otherwise may not have been made. For buyers, this is also a time where only the serious will be out and about looking at homes to buy rather than just killing time seeing how the other half lives. Besides, at this point, moving doesn’t need to happen until after the holidays are past and packed away. Truly the best of both worlds.
Meantime, let’s be nice to each other. We are all stressed and anxious and frustrated and want to be done with this year. We all have the coronavirus excuse; but 92 minutes is just too long.