Letter from our President

This is not a procedural note to Property Managers or Industry Partners regarding best practices or a COVID-19 update. This is simply a note, from the heart, at a time where I really feel the need to connect with you all. So here it is…

As a self-admitted absolute realist but anti-alarmist, I found myself finally accepting the reality of this situation we are currently in. A situation that none of us foresaw, none of us planned for, and candidly none of us welcomed.  Yesterday, within the same hour, my son’s spring break turned into SUMMER break; the two gyms that are a huge part of my life finally closed their doors; all kids’ sports were postponed indefinitely, and just like that routine was pulled out from under me. The ability to do the things I and my children love changed instantly. In the midst of all that is changing in the world right now, I’ve found myself asking “What is Success to You” in a completely different context.

Yesterday, success to me was making it to 5:45 PM before pouring my first glass of wine. I truly felt a small victory in that! Success was setting up game night with my boys and making a kid charcuterie out of marshmallows, deli-meat, and goldfish. Success was calling a friend, rather than texting, to offer support as she began to really worry about the economy and her paycheck. It was sending a note to a colleague who had to postpone their wedding and trip to Italy. Success was brainstorming today with the other regional IREM Presidents about how their companies are adapting and strategizing ways to keep tenants afloat. The notion of success has temporally shifted to perspective, survival, and tiny little wins wherever I can find them. However, one thing that hasn’t changed: success, for me personally, is still based on relationships.

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that human interaction is a core psychological need. In fact, many studies show that social interaction between humans actually results in increased physical health and immunity.  Yet here we are in the middle of a true crisis where the only cure is social distancing and isolation. So what can we do to lift each other up, support one another, and cultivate as positive of a dynamic as possible during all of this?  We improvise and get creative! For the first time ever I’m participating in a virtual happy hour. Six of my closest friends and I have set a time tomorrow to all hop on Facetime, from our homes, and have a glass of wine (or three) together. I’m making phone calls when I would have normally emailed or texted. I’m calling tenants to check in with them and let them know I’ll be in to support their businesses the best I can over the coming weeks. Most of all, I’m finding tiny areas where I can offer a little more grace for someone else who may be in a trying situation. In other words, I’m focused on kindness and showing just a little more love. That is what success is to me right now.

None of us know how the next several weeks are going to look. It is scary, unprecedented, unpredictable, and all parts of life as we know it has changed overnight. What I do know for certain is that we have a choice in how we handle ourselves and one another. We have a choice to make the best of what we can control. We have a choice to support and foster becoming stronger, together, as we navigate through this. And I have no doubt that with time every one of us is going to come out stronger and with a much greater sense of perspective.

I speak on behalf of our entire IREM Board to say that we are here to help where we can. We look forward to seeing you all soon, and in the meantime, stay safe and healthy.




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