The “Hello From The Other Side” blog series was launched in response to COVID-19 to share what young professionals think and feel about the changes happening in our community, and how they are finding ways to navigate those changes. We hope that these stories give you insight, hope, encouragement and community as we move forward, together. If you are interested in sharing your own story, please contact us here.
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What’s your name, your involvement with AYC?
Tricia Tumlinson, Board Chair Elect and Casino Social Past Chair
How are you? Give us three words to describe your current state of mind.
Anxious, open and resolute
Are you currently working/WFH? How does your work day look different than it used to?
Yes, I’m currently working from home, though as a REALTOR I’m used to it. I’m fortunate that my team regularly uses video conferencing so we are used to that. Having to figure out open houses and showings virtually has been the biggest challenge for us. Real Estate was deemed essential but in person showings were not permitted for some time, now they are. We’ve had to just take it day by day as regulations continue to change. I’m grateful to have a team that is flexible and willing to make adjustments as needed. I’m very extroverted, so not being able to have in person human interaction has been a challenge. Leading a team virtually has meant transitioning all in person meetings with team members and clients online and developing new systems to continue to serve our community.
How has your industry or position changed as a result of COVID-19?
This pandemic has affected the Austin real estate industry greatly. I’ve been very impressed with how quickly the title companies and lenders we work with have pivoted to a fully virtual transaction process. I think that will have a long term impact on how business is done with these partners. We’ve been lobbying for some time for virtual closing for instance, this pandemic has created a need for those and therefore we’re finally seeing them done. Whether or not this has a negative impact on the real estate market in Austin remains to be seen. It’s just too early to tell. Right now homes are still selling (some with multiple offers). Austin was pretty insulated during the last recession. We may be again, then again we may not be. It really depends on how long this lasts. Personally, I’ve been in my new position of Director of Sales for 90 days so it’s been an interesting start to say the least.
What are you most afraid of right now?
The uncertainty. Uncertain how many people will die or be homeless or without a job when all of this is over – and who knows when that will be. I’m a person that likes habits and order and plans. When something like this happens, you have to shift your mindset to accept the uncertainty and you have to have the energy (or force yourself to) to pivot and make quick changes to how you operate.
What are you most optimistic about right now?
How the community has come together. It’s inspiring to see how we’re helping each other during this time. (Except for the toilet paper hoarders.)
What is keeping you sane right now?
Long walks with my dogs. They have no idea what is going on. They’re just happy that I’m home and it’s such a joy to have more time with them.
Are you finding balance in your new daily routine? If yes, what does that look like?
Yes, and likely because I’ve worked from home in the past. I’m most productive and I feel better mentally when I have a schedule to follow. Wake up early, work out, shower, get dressed, put on makeup, eat, be in my home office by 8am. Also taking breaks throughout the day is very helpful. I try not to have back to back video calls. I did that the first week and it was too much. Now I space them out and give myself 15 – 30 min breaks in between virtual meetings and calls. Then when the day is done I go downstairs and usually change into something else to really signal to myself that the work day is over. Creating these rituals has helped me create a sense of normalcy.
Do you find that you have more or less free time right now?
The first two weeks I had less free time, a lot less. I used to have “free time” or rather alone time, when I was driving to meet a client or to a networking event. Now I just hop from one meeting to the next. It’s exhausting. So I worked to create more boundaries between work and rest and that has helped. Time blocking is essential always, especially when you WFH, and even more so now. I have to build the “free time” into my day.
What are some of your favorite blogs, books or podcasts right now?
I love to listen to an audiobook while I’m walking the dogs. Right now I’m listening to Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. I’m also reading A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult at night before bed for fun. I’m a sucker for her books. I listen to The Daily from the New York Times while I get ready in the morning to stay up to date with the news.
What’s the strangest impulse purchase you have made online or at a store during COVID-19?
I don’t know if this is strange, but I had to buy nail polish remover for the first time in years! Also I’ve bought a lot of pants. I have nowhere to wear them but fashion is a creative outlet that I need right now.
What are some examples of community coming together that have inspired you or given you the warm fuzzies?
To see organizations like AYC rally around their members and support them through information, virtual programming and resources is very inspiring. Being a part of this organization has certainly helped me feel less alone during this time. Transitioning our Board meetings and our networking events like Let’s Talk to video conferencing has allowed me to stay connected with my friends and meet new AYC members. It’s great to see AYC hosting webinars with thought leaders in the community and providing online resources through our website. I’m just so grateful to be a part of this organization and this community of young professionals who are determined to support each other and Austin during this time.
What is the first thing you will do once the lockdown has been lifted?
Where to begin?! Rent a boat and have a party on Lake Austin. Volunteer in person somewhere like Community First Village or Dress for Success. Go to Mozarts,eat a pastry and sit outside around people. Meet my girlfriends at the dog park with our pups. Go see live music!
What advice do you have for other young professionals in Central Texas who are feeling scared, isolated, and anxious about the future?
Plug into AYC and the programs we are offering. We’re here to support you. Tell us how you need help and we’ll connect you with resources. You don’t have to go through this alone!
How can members get in touch with you?
Instagram: @triciasellsaustin or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org