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What the CEO says: 'This global pandemic is showing how right they are.'

Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below, his letter from April 3, 2020. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE People who know what’s important I want to share with you just some of the things a certain group of big-thinking businesspeople are doing for their clients, while the world spins in wild new directions around them. One of them grabbed some hedge trimmers — just before some photographs were about to be taken — and had a go at the bushes herself, so a house would look its very best. One of them is calling 30 clients a day, to check on them. He has set his own goal of calling 1,000 folks in 30 days. (He’s at 400 and counting.) One of them held a meeting through the open window of her car, parked side-by-side with a smiling client. (We’ve seen the selfie.) One of them held a closing over the hood of her car, with everyone in masks and standing well apart! One of them couldn’t have a house photographed professionally — a bouncing new baby girl lives there, and we don’t take any risks — so the house was shot using someone’s cellphone, instead. (The pictures aren’t half bad!) This is how the agents of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty roll. They are creative. They are caring. They know that this business — and this world — is all about relationships. That’s how they’ve always been, and this global pandemic is showing how right they are. They are virtually out there, as busy as they can be. They are showing homes via videos and virtual tours. They are having meetings via video apps. They are sharing all the great properties and content we have on briggsfreeman.com. They are taking continuing-education classes, remotely. And, they are checking on their own clients, day and night. (So many clients become lifelong friends here, you know.) Meanwhile, our staff is hard at work, too, making sure our agents have everything they need, remotely. In addition to the capabilities we already had to do business in the digital realm — document signing, transaction management, web conferencing — we are arming our agents with a virtual playbook. It is a one-stop source of easy steps for video meetings with clients, productivity suites, virtual showings and much more. We’ve stepped up our own digital marketing, too, and our own technology. All of this is helping the best agents in the business become even better — in a world that has dramatically, almost suddenly, changed. And, now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some phone calls to make. I’ve got some valued folks to check on. Robbie Briggs President and CEO Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty rbriggs@briggsfreeman.com

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