A Message from Sellstate CEO Art Darmanin
As the world around us continues to change with the COVID-19 outbreak we wanted to share some positive news concerning our industry.
As many of you are aware, a historic $2 trillion stimulus package has been created to aid our economy in this unprecedented time. We feel that this is a great step to help those who have been affected by reduced hours, business closures or being laid off. The sooner everyone can get back on their feet, the better, and this package could play a vital role in that.
As more details of the stimulus package are revealed we are able to get a better idea of who will be assisted and to what extent. Today, some encouraging news related specifically to our industry was reported by RIS Media in an article “COVID-19 Financial Relief Stimulus Package Passes Senate: Industry Responds”.
With regards to independent contractor status:
“A concern among real estate agents has been their self-employed, independent contractor status. However, with the help of the National Association of REALTORS®, the package includes a provision that would allow independent contractors to apply for unemployment benefits. Gig-economy workers and freelancers will also be eligible, with payments increased by $600 weekly for four months.”
The article continues to say:
“The National Association of REALTORS® is grateful that the U.S. House and Senate have come together to craft this extensive, bipartisan economic relief bill,” says NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “Over recent weeks, NAR has worked tirelessly with Congressional leaders on behalf of our members to ensure small business owners, the self-employed and independent contractors have been included in the three relief packages Congress has passed to date. With over 9.5 million jobs in the real estate, rental and leasing industry, and every two home sales generating one job in this country, the real estate industry will represent a key component of our national recovery.”
A quote from realtor.com Chief Economist
“Provisions in the stimulus package will help put money in the pockets of consumers who have lost income or are facing increased expenses as a result of COVID-19 disruption through direct payments, as well as increased unemployment benefits. Loans for small businesses and affected industries should help them keep more employees on payrolls and meet other payment obligations despite loss of revenue. These measures will help homeowners and renters better meet their obligations, and prop up consumer spending, which drives roughly two-thirds of the American economy—but this stimulus will likely not be sufficient for everyone to meet all obligations. Fortunately, Fannie and Freddie and private banks have rolled out mortgage forbearance programs for individual owners as well as owners of multifamily properties who agree to suspend evictions. The hard pause and cooperation to fight the spread of COVID-19 is essential. Creativity and cooperation from individuals, corporations and institutions to minimize damage to credit and confidence is a necessary precondition for a quick post-crisis snap-back.” – Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com®
We encourage you to take a moment to read through the article in its entirety as details of the stimulus package are laid out and accompanied by several quotes from economists about the positive impact this will have on our industry.
We will continue to monitor the information closely. We wish you and your families safety and good health during this unprecedented time.