Categoriescommunity service, emergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

How to Maintain a Positive Mindset During a Pandemic

My business partner and Designated Broker at Metropolist, Chad Zinda,  takes a deeper look positivity in these trying times:

When the quarantine first started, I was determined to be available to the whole Metropolist team; from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., I was making sure everyone else was okay and had what they needed to succeed. But then the stay-at-home order was issued, stretching us into unknown territory, and my routine was no longer sustainable. Flight attendants tell us the same thing before every flight. Put on your own oxygen mask first. I was struggling to find a new routine because I was too busy making sure everyone else could breathe.

You know those rumble strips on the road for truckers that wake them up if they begin to drift off? I was hitting those every day, earlier and earlier. Something had to change.

I turned to the most valuable activity, my trusted companion, exercise–of the body and of the mind–and I turned off the news. In the beginning, I was watching the news constantly. My screen time notification told me I was looking at my phone 30% more. And that time was spent consuming all bad news. I needed to reset if I was going to achieve a positive mindset.

Best Practices

  1. Notice how you are feeling. Identify your emotions.
  2. Ask your family and friends how they are doing. Listen. Ask how you can help. The state of our collective mental health deserves our attention.
  3. Learn something new. Remind yourself of your purpose.
  4. Be a good neighbor. Help your community thrive.

Resources & Activities

    • Brian Buffini is a Broker Coach and he has a great podcast.
    • Brené Brown leads with vulnerability and courage, and she can help you do the same.
    • I create and share weekly videos with my team via Mailchimp
    • I attend weekly classes to garner new business ideas and refine my skills to assist my productivity and keep me accountable.

In her podcast, Brené Brown says that when we are in crisis mode we either over- or under-function. I over-function. The key is self-care; to start with yourself. This pandemic is scary, and sad. We are experiencing a loss. We are all grieving “the way it was” and we are all dealing with it differently. It is okay to mourn. But I also have to remind myself that we won’t always be isolated and we won’t always feel this level of disconnection.

If you need a reminder of your purpose and new connections to motivate you, you are welcome to join us for our weekly production meeting every Wednesday at 10 am. We have tools and support to offer you to help you survive and thrive during COVID19 and beyond. Email me at [email protected] and I will send you an invitation so we can get back to business together.

By Chad Zinda

Photo by

Categoriescommunity service, emergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle neigborhoods, Seattle schools, Washington real estate

How to Help Home-Bound Teenagers Cope

Stay-at-home restrictions are challenging for everyone, especially teenagers.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, teens – who would normally just be starting to enjoy life as independent beings in the world – are suddenly back under the purview of mom and dad. To make matters worse, many teens have had something extremely important to them suddenly ripped away: a lead in the school play, a varsity spot on the team, prom, graduation, a part-time job, etc. On top of that, their all-important social life is now off limits as well.

What’s a parent to do? While nothing will come close to replacing the life your teenager had been living, here are a few strategies to help your teen cope:

Make sure they’re informed. Teens are masters of disguising their true feelings, so don’t misread their cool demeanor as apathy. They might be getting the bulk of their information through social media, which is not always accurate and may be causing undue alarm. Be sure to calmly keep them apprised of the developments surrounding the coronavirus, explaining why the restrictions are important. Don’t withhold information out of fear of worrying them. Listen to a trusted news source together so that the information is coming directly from the experts, not their “overreacting” parents.

Give them a social outlet. It’s critical that your teenager is still able to connect with friends during this time. Encourage social distancing activities they can do with a friend, such as hiking, running or biking. Let them take the car to a nearby scenic spot and hang out side-by-side with a friend in another car. Give them privacy to use the family computer to host a Zoom “meeting” or Google hangout with multiple friends. At all costs, make sure your wifi is up to snuff so that your teens can easily text, use social media and Facetime to stay connected.

Help them earn money. Your teenager may be depressed about losing a job, but you can easily come up with some jobs around the house for your teen to take on to earn some money. Have them help you with some small tasks related to your job while you’re working from home, or a project that will get them outside, such as spring yard clean-up. While the financial incentive is a big plus, the real benefit is getting their minds focused on something other than the situation at hand.

Keep student athletes in shape. While staying active is essential for all teens in this situation, it’s particularly important for your student athlete who is used to a rigorous work-out schedule, and could respond negatively to suddenly being sedentary. Check in with coaches to see if they’ve put a work-out schedule in place or are perhaps hosting online group workouts. Remind your athlete that keeping their fitness level up is essential so that they can return to sports without missing a beat.

Embrace family time. While the hectic pace of life before the pandemic might have made you and your teenager ships that pass in the night, you’ve now got lots of time together, so make the most of it. Eat meals together, binge watch a series together, play cards, get the old photo albums out, etc. The idea is to make sure your teenager doesn’t stay holed up all day in his or her room. So make some interactive time mandatory.

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

Categoriescommunity service, economy, emergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

These Days We’re All Staying In – But We Can Still Show Up

By April Critchfield

I interact with a lot of real estate teams and their coaches on a daily basis. I see what they’re doing to stand out in their respective markets, and I see how they are always coming up with new and exciting ways to implement the working basics of real estate into their businesses.

That’s why, when our country recently started dealing with the most unprecedented changes due to COVID-19, I was anxious to see what they would do to keep their momentum, while staying safe and practicing social distancing.

It was no surprise to me that it was almost an effortless shift. The team leaders, coaches and clients of Workman Success Systems have always had the ability to work remotely, and for the most part, do work remotely. So, when offices started to close and people were starting to keep their distance, the social connection and client communication never stopped.

New “best practices” for virtual open houses and listing appointments started to emerge, and it wasn’t lost on me that the people I have been working with put immense thoughtfulness into every action they took, from hosting virtual walk-throughs to putting their own clients at ease and genuinely listening to their concerns about the next steps to take with their own real estate decisions.

At a time where communication could be so easily lost, I have heard about more tips, tools and opportunities to connect than ever before. We live in a digital world, and it’s sometimes so easy to just send a text message or “like” someone’s status update, but today, and especially now, it’s not enough. Adding the “extra touch,” sending a handwritten note to dropping off some toilet paper and hand sanitizer on someone’s doorstep, is showing that you’re actually thinking of that person.

The common theme so far has been to keep moving forward—keep working, and keep your focus. Have compassion and empathy for those whose opinions differ from yours. (We are still all entitled to our own opinions, after all.) With the shifting world around us, we just need to be creative to keep our communication lines open.

If you’re wondering how to move forward with your own real estate business, or you have questions about coaching, I invite you to connect with us! We’re all in this together. What has been working for you? Please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below.

Please stay safe and here’s to your health!

April Critchfield works with real estate team leaders and coaches and is a team member of Workman Success Systems in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is also a REALTOR® in Utah. Contact her at [email protected]. For more information about real estate teams, or real estate coaching, please visit

Categoriesemergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

Productivity Tips for Working From Home

Whether you’ve been working remotely for years or are new to a work-from-home scenario, there are important strategies for doing it successfully.

Many have the misconception that working from home is easy and will automatically lead to increased productivity. In reality, the opposite is usually true. There are often more distractions at home, and not having the office resources you rely on readily available can hamper your ability to do your job.

If you want to improve your chances of being productive while working from home, do the following:

Create designated space. Don’t try to do your job from the sofa, or worse, your bed. If you don’t already have a designated office space in your home, create one. Set up a table and comfortable chair in a room—or corner of a room—where you’re likely to have the most privacy. Use a decorative screen to help section off your workspace if need be. Take over a guest room, if you have one, or claim the dining room as your new office, relegating meals to the kitchen instead. The idea is to have a space that’s as private as possible, where you can leave your work materials out at the end of the day.

Get up on time. Working from home doesn’t mean it’s time to sleep in. Be sure to maintain the morning schedule you had when going into the office, and if you now have more time due to not having to commute, use it for exercise or to have breakfast with the family. Giving in to sleeping longer may reduce your energy level and make it harder to focus.

Establish a communication system. Working from home can often leave you feeling cut-off from your coworkers and managers, which can quickly stymie productivity. Make sure you have a system for effectively connecting, using both chat programs and video conferencing to stay in regular contact. Don’t just rely on email, which can lack details and intent. The idea is to avoid isolating yourself, even though you’re not physically present at the office.

Work during work hours. When working from home, it can be tempting to try and sneak in some domestic tasks or social engagements. Try to avoid this during designated work hours, as the distraction factor will quickly mount, and you’ll find it hard to keep switching between work and home life. Take a lunch hour and a couple of breaks for your personal tasks, then focus on work during the times you would while at the office.

Honor quitting time. One of the dangers of working from home is that your work is always right there with you. Be as productive as possible during work hours, then end your day as you normally would when at the office. Shut your computer down, organize your papers, turn off the light in your home office space and call it a day. Taking the necessary time to detach from work every day will ultimately make you more productive.

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Categoriesemergency preparedness

Are you ready?

In light of the recent and ongoing disaster in Japan I thought it might be time to visit the subject of emergency preparedness. Maintaining and improving our homes is very important. But let’s be honest. How much of a safe haven will your home be if everyone who lives there isn’t safe and prepared when something goes wrong?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and browsing the internet about home emergency preparedness this week.   The best site I came across has a setup guide to help create a plan to make sure you are well supplied and prepared in the event of an emergency.

I encourage you to spend some time preparing your home for such an emergency while the issue is close at hand.

And of course I’ve been thinking a lot about how to help.  The American Red Cross is always a very good option for donations in situations like these.  With the Red Cross’s long history of effective aid and integrity you can’t go wrong.  I didn’t come across any local and accessible volunteer opportunities in my searches.  Let me know if you hear of any, I might be able to join you.

My heart continues to go out to everyone affected by this catastrophe.
I wish you all peace and safety!