Everyone has had to adjust to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some it’s been incredibly challenging, and for others it hasn’t, but everyone’s had to make changes.
Meet Dave Sobolik, a local real estate investor with Homevisor (website: www.homevisor.pro) whose work life was turned upside down when Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order went into effect in March. The order halted all residential construction, and limited how real estate brokers conduct business.
“In Washington, we can show houses, but we have to call a few hours in advance, because they don’t want people crossing paths,” he said. “I can show clients of a party of two, but one at a time. I can take one through the property practicing social distancing. There are notes saying ‘don’t touch anything, leave shoes at doorways, wear masks,’ etc.”
And, like so many others, Sobolik just stayed home during the quarantine.
“A big part of my time was spent connecting with people in my sphere to check in and see how everyone is doing,” Sobolik said. “I like to do whatever I can to help with their needs. I have offered to do grocery shopping for people. Anybody who needs something I pair them up. I did a lot of research for clients.”
Creatively, as a small business owner, he worried about tenants who weren’t able to pay rent so he reached out to local business owners and community members to record their experiences. It became a fascinating video series — available on his personal Facebook page.
“I call it the SOB Experience. I don’t want to offend anybody I just want to draw attention to what they’re doing. I’m doing 5-15 interviews with each of these people. I released an interview with Jeff Snell, Superintendent of Camas Schools. And, the whole purpose was to get behind the scenes. I’ve interviewed local fitness instructors and therapists. There are many people being creative on how to keep their doors opens. I hope to create awareness.”
The experience, and temporary change of pace, taught Sobolik a lot.
“I’ve learned lots of things,” he said. “Namely, the strength of the human spirit. I’ve had 175 people that I reached out to over three to four weeks.”
And, he found that people are in three buckets:
- People who are financially secure that are enjoying their home time, and enjoying this increased focus on family time.
- People with short-term income loss, or permanent income loss, who are determined to use this time to improve themselves and are very positive thinking.
- People who lost their job who have no savings and don’t know what to do next, and are in a fear and retreat space.
“Technology helps us cope,” said Sobolik. “Thank goodness for that. We have to help people, lift them up. Let me know we care.”