Let’s start with what we know so far
Locally, we know there is a shelter in place order for Dallas County. Collin County is seeing new cases, including among children. Tarrant County is currently on a “common sense” model.
The broader national picture is a bit cloudier. As America has become more polarized in recent years, there is currently partisan fighting about a coronavirus stimulus bill. One of the notable issues is buybacks, especially for airlines like DFW-rooted AA. We still don’t know exactly how long this entire pandemic might last, with 18 months still being the far-end. At the top regulatory ranks of the federal government, we are still saying “no recession,” even though real-time data would indicate otherwise. We do know that layoffs are commencing. It might not hit your industry for a while, or hopefully ever, but they are starting to happen. The initial wave will be in the millions.
Housing-wise, there is likely to be a crash, although there is some argument that first-time home buyers might be winners in all this chaos. We wrote a little bit about the state of the market bach on March 13th. That is only 10 days ago, but feels like a literal lifetime. That’s where we’re living now.
What does this all mean for you?
It will vary by your specific industry, financial position, and broader health context -- you, your parents, grandparents, etc. How you experience the coronavirus is a completely unique and individual thing relative to your life in this moment. That said, there is something universal.
Life needs to go on and we need to avoid stasis
As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune noted: “We duck, we cover, but life goes on.”
If this does go on 18 months, that’s a relatively long time, give or take. No one wants to look back at a year and a half of their life and think “Whoa, I was just static, doing my job in my living room and going to IG Live dance parties.” That’s not a bad life, per se -- globally it would rank in the top 10 percent, for sure -- but there’s more to it.
We don’t want to see you out there in the club possibly infecting (or being infected by) others, no. And we don’t want to see you profiteering on LinkedIn offering your “Pandemic Sales Playbook.” (We actually saw that yesterday.) But we don’t want you to just hide and be static either. This is a scary, confusing situation … but life still needs to be lived.
Our part of it
Most people do tend to sign 12-month leases in the summer, meaning they’re up in the subsequent summer. It’s very likely that coronavirus might move into the early stages of the summer, if not the entire summer. As a result, it’s very likely you might need to either (a) stay in your current spot or (b) move in the next 3-5 months. Thankfully, DFW apartment complexes are stepping up with virtual tours and new move-in options (to flatten the curve). We will keep seeing more of this with technology and drop boxes and even potentially some specials and deals, depending on where the occupancy shifts occur.
Our big message here is: don’t be overwhelmed by stasis. If you don’t love your complex or neighborhood right now, don’t think to yourself “Well, everything is just so overwhelming right now, so I’ll do another 12 months…” That’s an easy and logical way to think, but what if you resign and the curve is flattened? Now you’re in a situation you don’t desire for a year, or you’re breaking it with financial consequences (as we might be in a recession). It’s no bueno.
Rather, realize there are options and choices out there, even with confusion swirling around us. It is possible to be decisive in this moment.
And if you need anything, holler.