Commercial Property Brokers: Life In Lockdown
Commercial Exchange director Lisa Crossley and our head of operations, Jenny Carazzo, talk about life in lockdown.
Lisa: The first thing that happened was to move our weekly Monday meetings to Skype and for the first time ever – they started promptly at 8 am. We also decided to introduce an operational meeting on Friday mornings at 8 am.
Jenny: The big buzzword that I heard in the industry last year was DISRUPTION! If only they all knew what we were in for! There is no way I can explain the absolute frustration of not being able to finalise deals or assist your clients because there is just nothing you can do to change the situation.
Lisa: Instead of seeing my colleagues everyday, my new office space was the dining room – shared with my husband. I have my own study at home – but I somehow just gravitated to the dining room so I could sit with somebody else in the office. It’s weird to think that I would be wanting to sit all day with the one person I get to do lockdown with 24/7 but that’s how it is. Rob, myself and the dogs with my stepson wandering in from time to time, and I like that.
Jenny: I have been through every emotion possible since the shock of lockdown, I know there are all these gurus out there saying, it’s ok to feel whatever you are feeling right now, let it be. I do not know how to put into words exactly how I am feeling because it is completely foreign to me.
Lisa: With the extra time I do have, I have scheduled a number of training webinars (there are plenty out there) and I try to book one virtually each day. I’ve learnt so much.
Jenny: I have used this time to catch up on things I usually put at the bottom of the list. I have tried to stay positive and focused on what needs to be accomplished and honestly, I have had my moments of distraction. Most of the predictions for the property market have been all doom and gloom and this is expected, given the circumstances, but the eternal optimist in me is still says that even in the worst times there is always opportunity.
Lisa: I’ve kept up the gym routine I started at the office. At night I go through Pinterest and choose my workout for the next day. When I get up, I don’t think about it – I just do it (a bit like have our in-office trainer – they show up – the put the workout on the board and you just do it). My home gym has some weird equipment. Some concrete blocks I set up as my step- up, an old piece of scaffold has become my deadlift weight and I have a very old doorstop which weighs 15 pounds (my kettlebell) and some dumbbells and yoga mat.
Jenny: I know that every part of our everyday interactions are going to change, we are going to have to find new ways to operate and go about our day. A simple handshake for example, think of all the things we’ve learnt about the dos and don’ts of this greeting. We are going to have to find a new etiquette in a respectful bow from a distance, which I think is more powerful actually.
Lisa: Of course, I read. Not books – but articles – on social media, about the virus, the country, the world, property and about the daily lives of South African’s everywhere. There is a never-ending conversation in our house, about all of this stuff and about life in general.
Jenny: I will get through this, I will find new and effective ways of doing business in our new normality, I will continue to close deals and make my clients happy. I have learnt that I don’t actually need pressure to get things done (I always thought I worked better under pressure). I have found that calm productivity is not all that bad.
Lisa: My priorities have changed. It’s not important anymore to be overwhelmingly successful. It’s more about doing well enough to get by and helping out where we can. When we get out of this, I expect the next big word is going to be Resilience.
Jenny: My biggest hope is that South Africans dig out all their talents and we start manufacturing and producing locally. Local has always been lekker, let’s make everything lekker again!