The Best Agents Led the Way Through 2020

What a year. From a pandemic to  countless natural disasters, an uncertain market to a new definition of ‘home’, social distancing to political shifts, 2020 has proven to be one of the most challenging years many of us have faced in our lifetime. But, as 2020 comes to a close, we’re reflecting and feeling so incredibly grateful for the Side community. 

The grit and determination we’ve seen from Side partner agents is nothing short of amazing. The tireless efforts being made to elevate this industry — even during a time of unprecedented change — is truly remarkable. 

And, as we look back, we’re grateful for the incredible network of agents who rallied together to make this year one that is still full of silver linings. 

The Importance of a Quick Pivot 

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold in March, being flexible and creative became paramount — not only in the real estate industry but in all industries. Work-from-home became the new norm and potential buyers and sellers saw the need for agents who easily adjusted to the constantly changing environment. 

Partner agents shifted many of their typically “in-person” business practices online — getting creative with new styles of marketing and adding additional virtual services for both sellers and buyers thus never missing a beat in their white-glove service. 

Kelli Griggs, Founder at Navigate Realty, shared how her team implemented videos that walk around the property, look at the roofline, and give potential buyers an in-depth home tour so they can take it all in through a screen. They also implemented a jot form, which had potential buyers putting in a nonbinding offer before a property showing. 

“On a particularly hot property in Folsom, California, we had something like 3,000 hits on the initial three-day website lunch. When someone wanted to see it, they needed to verify that they had toured the property virtually... that their client read the entire disclosure package, all the reports, all the inspections.” 

Because her sellers had a child with asthma, it was critical that Kelli did not do any in-person showings unless a buyer was serious and pre-qualified. Once requirements were met, she’d schedule an appointment. She received three offers from only four showings of the home. 

Supporting Each Other Through it All

From wildfires to an uncertain economic market and a pandemic, the strength of the Side community, who banded together to support their agent teams and communities, really hit home for us. 

David Oliphant, Founder of Ocean Blue Real Estate, had opened an office on Main Street in Half Moon Bay just three weeks before COVID hit. Thankfully, they already had great local brand recognition via David’s branded 1968 Volkswagen bus. 

Left: Karina Ballantyne and David Oliphant with Ocean Blue Real Estate. Right: the infamous 1968 Volkswagon bus.

“We started a little campaign that if you see the VW bus around town….put it on social media, tag it, and we'll give you a $50 gift certificate to any one of our local services that were still open.” 

Not only was the promotion fun and timely, but it also reinforced David — and Ocean Blue Real Estate’s reputation — as an active, supportive connector in the community. “Half Moon Bay is a small little town...people trust people that are part of their community,” says David.

This is just one of the many examples of Side partner agents banding together to support each other — and their communities — throughout the year. We couldn’t be more grateful and proud to see this type of support emerge through such a challenging year. 

Through all the ups and downs 2020 brought to the table, Side partners facilitated over $8 billion in total transaction volume this year. We couldn’t have even imagined reaching this milestone as we battled a pandemic, but here we are, and we’re so grateful to all those who contributed towards making it happen.


As we close the chapter on 2020 and lean into the New Year, we invite you to join us for Side X Side 2021. We’ll help you hit the ground running with actionable strategies to grow your business. Our speaker lineup is stacked. Our content is unmatched. Let’s make sure you’re registered!

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