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A Year We’ll Never Forget: 3 Lessons The Brick & Corbett Team Learned in 2020


Remember the start of 2020? We had a lot of expectations for this, the final year of the decade.  When it began, it wasA Year We Will Never Forget - Brick & Corbett a year of great anticipation. Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s; all weekend days. Cinco de Mayo – ON TACO TUESDAY. It was shaping up to be the largest year of economic growth in the US since the New Deal. The real estate market was poised to continue its significant climb in terms of prices and demand.

Many of us had vacations, weddings, plans for promotions at work; a whole cadre of things to look forward to and plan for. What could go wrong?

And then; COVID-19. 

The novel coronavirus turned everything we thought was going to happen in 2020 on its head, and even the best-laid plans have been thrown on the scrap pile, that doesn’t mean the year itself has been a waste. It’s easy to feel like we made no progress or made on our goals, but that simply isn’t true. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, about the things that are important to us, and about what we’re looking forward to in the future. We can use these lessons to advance our goals, to get us closer to where we all want to be. 

The Brick & Corbett group learned a lot about the real estate industry in Northern Michigan; things that position us to better serve the residents and soon-to-be residents of our community. Here are three examples:


Real Estate Expertise and Experience Are More Important Than Ever

When the pandemic really started to hit home, people were panicking. There was such a high level of uncertainty, people didn’t know if they should go to the grocery store, much less continue with the sale or purchase of a home. We’ve always known that our team’s wealth of experience was an asset to our business, but never was that more apparent than in 2020. 

The founder of our team and real estate hall-of-famer Bob Brick has some experience in uncertain markets, and we’re not just talking about the 2008 housing crisis. He also served clients through the uncertainty following 9/11, the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, and even the oil embargos of the 1970s.

Obviously, the challenges of 2020 are unlike any we’ve seen before, but the knowledge and strategies our team has in place to deal with market conditions of any kind helped us weather this storm and actually position our clients to be more successful than they would be otherwise. 

Bottom Line: Now is the time lean on those who have been there before. If you feel like you don’t know which way is the best way, a real estate professional who has a plan for success (and not just a plan to react) is the way to go. 


Northern Michigan Fall with Brick & Corbett Real EstateThe Desire to Move to Northern Michigan Has Never Been Stronger

Coronavirus has the largest impact on areas of high density, reversing the flow of people to major metropolitan cities and instead driving them to smaller communities with more room, a higher quality of life, and a lower cost of living. The Brick & Corbett team has always been a popular starting point for people moving to Northern Michigan from places like Chicago, New York, and Indianapolis, but never as popular as this year. 

The phone calls and emails usually start the same way – “We’ve come to Traverse City for vacation for years. We’ve always loved this area, we’d love to call this place home and not just our favorite spot to visit in the summer”. 

But, when you unpack your suitcases and start getting mail somewhere, there are new challenges. 

For instance, many of our new residents from larger cities have never snow-blowed a driveway, winterized their underground irrigation, or treated their septic system. Many know where the best restaurants in town are, but not the best grocery stores. Transitioning from a walking lifestyle to a driving lifestyle can be tough. 

Bottom Line: If you’re moving to Northern Michigan, make sure the real estate team helping you with your transition will do more than just put the paperwork in front of you. When you’re a B&C client, you’re part of the family; we’ll make sure you’ve got all the tools, knowledge, and connections you need to not just move here, but to succeed here.


When Inventory is Tight, Days (and even hours) Count

The historic shortage of inventory in Northern Michigan was a problem before 2020, but the issues this struggle has created have been exacerbated by stay-at-home restrictions and the near desperation on the part of buyers for more square footage and a safe space to call home. 

We’ve been seeing buyers making offers on home sight-unseen, only walking through their new home once before closing. We’ve also seen sellers nervous to even allow showings out of concern for public health and safety; all factors that are creating an extra layer of inventory scarcity on top of the already short supply of available homes. 

The Brick & Corbett Team saw this trend early and implemented specific protocols to not only keep our team and our clients safe, but to promote safe real estate practices throughout the community. We also stepped up our buyer-agent game, working tirelessly on the part of our buyers to make sure they had a chance to consider every property that met their needs as a possible purchase by setting them up with automatic property alerts, phone calls and texts when we heard of something new hitting the market, and of course, advising them to write the strongest offers possible so that they have the best chance to get the home of their dreams. 

Bottom Line: The more competitive the market, the more valuable the competitive advantage of a skilled team becomes. If you want to have a shot at the best homes for the best prices, you need to work with a team that gives you the tools for success.


Your Family's Home is Our Family's Business - Brick & Corbett Real Estate

It’s no secret; the Brick & Corbett team is a tight group. We’re a family – literally and figuratively. But, our family table has room for more than just the professionals on our squad. When you buy or sell with the Brick & Corbett Group, you become part of the family as well. We are fond of saying that we don’t have clients, we have clients for life. When you have questions, we have answers. When you have needs, we’re here to help. 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that being there for each other, especially in times of need, is the most important thing. Whether you have questions about buying, selling, or just living in Northern Michigan, our team is here for you.


What can the Brick & Corbett Group do for you? 


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