The Digital Mayor

I try something wild in this video! I invited all of you to join me, literally LIVE on video, as we discuss what it means to be the Digital Mayor of your online community.

What happens in this edition of LiveTime with Alec:

  • We have a town hall on the creativity of our current climate with a virtual world
  • Technological problems you can face.
  • How you need to reflect, adapt, be creative and not fear change.
  • The importance of connecting with each other virtually.

Episode Transcribe

Alec:
(silence) Hey, what's up, everybody?

 Oh, man. I want to do something crazy today.

I've been thinking about a lot of stuff. I've been thinking about a lot of stuff, and I've been talking to a lot of you guys and a lot of my community. So we're just going to do it. I'm just going to do it. Welcome to the first digital hangout. I have some really fun things I want to talk about today, about being a mayor digitally, but I'm going to invite all of you guys, anybody out there, to join the stream and come up here live with me.
I know it's a little wild, but I think it's time, because if we're going to connect to other human beings and if we're going to be great influencers with our communities and earn a place to be able to be that trusted advisor, we've got to be willing to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions, and we also have to be willing to be vulnerable and connect to other human beings. So I'm doing that right now by inviting you all into the stream, and how you can join is I'm going around right now and I'm going to be putting the link to this in the comments. Hold on a second, because I'm doing it on Facebook, and you can hear me talking, so that's weird. I'll get out of there, and I'm going to go to LinkedIn here. I'm going to throw myself in the comments.
Hi, guys. Hi, Melissa. You're going to hear an echo. Don't worry about it. Just ignore that. I want you to literally click that and come join me. Come hang out. When you click it, you're going to enter a little studio, and I'm going to bring you on. We're going to talk, and you're going to be part of the conversation here, because, to reiterate, if we're going to be sales leaders, if we're going to have impact and influence, we're going to have to have human connection, which means we're going to have to be vulnerable.
In a world right now where we are locked out and locked down from that connection time, we've got to figure out new ways to do it. So for you that are joining me on LinkedIn, the link is in the comments. Click it. People are freaking out right now, because they're like, "I don't know if I want to join there." Hi, Trisha. Thanks for watching. Click the link and come into the room, and let's talk.
I want to share a topic about ... Someone's coming in right now. Hi, Leann. Welcome to the stream.

Leann:
Hi. Thank you.

Alec:
Leann works with me, guys. I did not ask her to join me, which is funny. So she just did anyway. But I could have six people in the room hanging out and talking. So, as we grow, I'll keep people coming in and out, and here some more people come. I love it. Al, welcome. Hey, buddy.

Alex:
Hey.

Alec:
Then I can't see who ... This is Andrew? Who's Andrew? Well, he's kind of there, kind of not, so there. Alex, where are you joining us from, dude? Can you hear me, Alex? I don't think he can hear me. Leann, can you hear me?

Leann:
Yeah, I can hear you.

Alec:
All right. Oh, Al, you've got to put your audio ... [inaudible 00:03:24] your audio. You're lagged, which is no fun. Steven. I don't see you joining the feed, but I'm sorry, buddy.

Alex:
Where am I coming from? Is that what you said?

Alec:
Yeah.

Alex:
Sorry, one second. Hey.

Alec:
There you are.

Alex:
Can you hear me?

Alec:
Yeah, you're live. This is the best part about technology, is we're all figuring it out together. No problem, Alex. I'll put you on mute for a sec. I was on my kids' Zoom call this morning, helping them get connected to each other, and they don't know what they're doing. The teachers don't know what they're doing. It's all a brand new environment, and I think that we have a chance, as leaders in our industry, to be the digital mayors. So Scott's coming on. Let's see if I get him in here. What's up, Scott?

Scott:
How you doing, Alec?

Alec:
Yeah, buddy. We got you. Good to see you, man.

Scott:
Good to see you. I was just getting beat up by my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter. She threw a little tantrum, so I figured it'd be a good break.

Alec:
Isn't that the truth, dude? Alex, are you up on audio now? Can you hear us?

Alex:
Yeah, I can hear you. Can you hear me?

Alec:
Yeah. Great. Excellent. So it's so fun. I love that you guys just pioneered and jumped into this. This is like the equivalent of just an open door neighborhood block party now, like, "Come on in. The door's open," and I think we can do a great job leading this. I was talking earlier about ... I'm going to add Brian here.

Brian:
Hey.

Alec:
What's up, Bryan?

Brian:
How's it going?

Alec:
It's awesome, man. Where are you joining us from?

Brian:
Bend, Oregon.

Alec:
There you go.

Alex:
Nice.

Alec:
I think this is our opportunity to create these digital connections, and I think as great salespeople and great mortgage originators or, gosh, any business right now, right? So I was having a Mastermind internally with our sales team. I thought, "We need to have this externally," and I'm going to add Nikki here, because I knew she would join. I knew you would join. I knew you would join.
So what I'm streaming here live, and you guys, feel free to kick out anytime you want and add some commentary, because I'll ask some questions here. I know everyone's life is busy and you might have kids run in and tackle you like me. So I've locked the doors. But how many of you guys have seen now the digital happy hours? Have you guys seen those popping up?

Nikki:
Yes.

Alec:
Have you hosted them? Have any of you hosted one yet?

Nikki:
I'm hosting every day at five o'clock, happy hour.

Alec:
What are you doing, Nikki?

Nikki:
I do a dance party for four minutes.

Alec:
That's hysterical. I have watched ... I mean, isn't this digital space transforming our world? Have any of you five people seeing that poor gal who is ... I think we lost Scott, so I'm going to move him so we can add more. The poor gal who [crosstalk 00:06:34]. You're in, buddy.

Troy:
Hey there. How you doing, Al? [inaudible 00:06:38].

Alec:
Good. Where are you're joining us from?

Troy:
I'm from Burlingame. Well, let me tell you, right now [inaudible 00:06:43] California.

Alec:
Go ahead and mute whatever else you're watching us on, maybe [inaudible 00:06:48] feedback [inaudible 00:06:53]. You hear it? Someone's got the feedback. All right. It's Troy. I'll give them a second to ... When people join and they're still watching, you hear the lag version of this stuff. So it's a funky world.
But have you guys seen that poor gal on the Zoom video who goes to the restroom while she's on the call?

Nikki:
I heard about that.

Brian:
Yeah.

Alec:
But, I mean, this is like we're going into new, uncharted territory, and it's like now she's viral. It's the new world that we're in for some period of time. We don't know how long. But I'd like to ask you guys on ... So we've got Nikki, Brian, Alex. What are you seeing people do that's creative or interesting? Share something.

Nikki:
Oh my gosh, somebody has a Survivor episode going on.

Alec:
What do you mean?

Nikki:
They are just going out into the wild and doing two minute ... The key here is keeping it short, I feel like, because people have a short attention span. So that was the coolest thing that I saw today so far.

Alec:
That's awesome. Troy, I tried to unmute you real quick, but it's getting that echo again. So I think either the computer or a phone or someone else is playing this stream, so it's echoing. Who else? What else? Alex, you were going to say something.

Alex:
Yeah, I haven't seen, personally, any crazy things, besides like some challenges going around.

Alec:
We love challenges.

Alex:
I know with me and my team ... I'm from Santa Clarita, California, and I really feel like, with everything, the whole world kind of slowing down right now, we have a chance to capture everybody's attention and start putting out the content and the messages that we want people to hear and also associate with us. We want to be the people that people look to as a positive influence and want to kind of capture that attention and put a message out that, "Hey, business is still going on. This is not a time to necessarily be scared, but just a time reflect, and let's talk about where we see everything going and how we can position you to be best prepared for what's going to happen." So we're just trying to get that message, get the content out, and kind of take advantage of the lack of people posting live videos at open houses and going out and doing things. I actually have seen a large decrease in overall videos coming out.

Alec:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, what about you, Brian? What have you seen people do to connect digitally?

Brian:
Oh, well, so I do Brazilian jujitsu. I've been doing that for about ten years now, and our gym is actually doing a live broadcast of what a normal class would be, but it's just our instructor and his wife. But the intent is for all of us to kind of join in and do the moves and still participate. Their daughter is there, responding to Q and A and stuff.
So it's actually been quite a bit of fun, and we've created kind of some challenges for each other to help each other stay engaged and that sort of thing. So it still builds community, but it's not the exact same as being there. Obviously, you're not sweating on each other, but, otherwise, it's still a good way to connect, and it's been a lot of fun so far.

Alec:
Hey, Leann, I'm going to just pull you from the stream for a second and add some people. Hi, Jessica. Can you hear us?

Nikki:
What's up, Jess?

Alec:
We don't have your audio yet, I don't think.

Jessica:
There we go. All right. I got it.

Alec:
All right. Yeah. So, Brian, I was going to make the comment, it's so funny. So some people don't know I've owned a CrossFit gym for 13 years now. It actually started in my garage behind me, and we have the same issue, right? We can't be open. So the team that runs that, Max and Gee, they're wonderful people. They do to a live stream at six AM. They go over the warmup, the workout, and we've actually started giving all of our members packages of our gear. That's better than sitting in our warehouse.

Brian:
Oh, that's cool.

Alec:
They take it home, and then we send out the programming with the gear we gave out that week. We're just trying to stay connected as humans, right? So we're tagging each other and showing us doing the workouts. It's hard, though. But what you're doing, that's the kind of leadership that we need to show, and that's my challenge for everybody. So, Troy, I think we got you on audio. What are you seeing, man?

Troy:
Yeah. I mean, we're, I mean, kind of like everybody in California. We're in the shelter in place mode, and so getting really creative in terms of meeting with our realtor teams, doing virtual meetups like this, and then, also, we've even done some virtual happy hours, which is kind of fun, especially by the end of them. They're kind of entertaining.

Alec:
Yeah, I bet they get more interesting as they go on. The longer they go on, I'm sure they get more [inaudible 00:11:43].

Troy:
Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, it's actually fun. We're kind of making the best of it. Obviously, it's a situation that we don't know when it's going to end, but, at some point, we're going to come out of this, and have to feel like we're in pretty good shape, going in. So yep, there's some optimism there, trying to come out, but it's a good opportunity, I think, for us to get more acquainted with our tools and meeting virtually and stuff like that.

Alec:
Yeah. Abeer's asking if she can join my CrossFit. Yeah. She wants the free gear. So, Jessica, I'd love to ask you the same question, but I want to share something real quick that I think is just so fun. I think that the people with optimism right now are going to lead the way to help everyone come through this, and I think that, as sales professionals or business professionals in any of our creeds, it's time to be that leader.
One of the things that we were brainstorming and had an idea with, which I'd love to share with everybody, is just leveraging technologies like Zoom and inviting people in and creating digital connections. I mean, I was imagining an environment where there are wineries out there being impacted. Can we order a case of wine or get all of our friends to order the same bottle, and can we invite the winemaker on to the Zoom call to talk about their wine and how they made it and what to think about it? Things like that, or finding the local restaurant and the chef who can give you the food to make at home and host a Zoom experience, where the chef's actually talking to you about how they use the ingredients to make that meal, and we could be making it together.
This is the stuff where I think we have an opportunity to grab hold of this and really make an impact and be a force of optimism and connection at a time when it's hard. So curious for you, Jessica. What have you experienced or seen that has been amazing?

Jessica:
So one of the really cool things ... So I'm [inaudible 00:13:46]. We've been doing virtual meetings, and those people originally were just very against it, like, "This is never going to work. This is never going to work." Then, now that everybody's actually staying at home and doing this, they're like, "Oh, wait, this does work. It is a way to connect." Just by seeing someone's face, it's so much different than having just a phone call or a text. I think, as a generation, just kind of in this day and time, we tend to hide behind emails and text messages and not really get that face-to-face, where that's so important in this industry, because they'll remember you if they see your face, and they'll remember who you are. They connect with you, and you connect with them the same way.
So we've been doing that, and even my daughter is doing Zoom meetings with our classmates. She's, well, almost 15. She's in a class that is a college-level course they have to continue, because they have to be able to pass the final to get the credit. She's like, "I kind of hate it, but I kind of love it, all at the same time." I'm like, "Yeah, well" ...

Alec:
Well, and Scott, I want to ask you the same question, what you're seeing, but I just want to make a quick observation. I had the crazy idea to just go live and invite everybody in, the whole world, just, "Here's the link." I love to see that you guys were the first to just dive in to increase human connection. I mean, that's the kind of leadership and fun stuff we need to see, and I think if we open the door more, we're going to find more people who are willing to digitally hang out.
To your point, Jessica, we're doing Zoom calls all over the country right now, and I was talking to our Denver branch today. A bunch of people weren't on video. I was chatting them all, being like, "Guys, you need to start turning on the video. Get out of your pajamas. Get out of your depression, whatever you need to do to make this work. Do you. Then get on video so we can see each other and connect," because you're right. The head nods, the visible ... When you're on a conference call and no one can see each other, it's terrible, and we all know that. So, Scott, what are you seeing? What are you seeing people do? What are you leaning into?

Scott:
Thanks. Can you hear me?

Alec:
Yeah. Loud and clear, dude.

Scott:
Yeah, yeah. Sorry. Let's see. No, I think it's great. I mean, I think ... and thanks for including me on the ... I actually have, tonight, my college is starting to do class Zoom calls.

Alec:
Nice.

Scott:
So it'll be very interesting. So I don't go to a huge ... It's not University of Michigan, but there's 400 to 600 people in the class. So that'll be interesting. They're doing happy hours. I've been invited to various, and I think that's just from being [inaudible 00:16:19] a bunch of people and lucky enough to have some good relationships over the last 20 years. So I think it's great, and I think it's interesting. It's almost like a case study-

Alec:
Totally.

Scott:
... because, Alec, I love the 100 Video in a 100 Days, right? No, I do. I think it's great, because I think people always had ... In the last couple years, it's great to see this sort of thing evolve, because whether we're forced to do it now for some period of time or not, I think some people were really reluctant to do it. I think they were worried about what sort of background they had and what sort of camera they had. Then others were just old and out there and saying, "Hey, just do it. It's better than sitting there and not doing it," right? AI really do. I love the 100 video. I didn't watch every one of them.

Alec:
Me, neither.

Scott:
[crosstalk 00:17:10] 100 in 100. Yeah.

Nikki:
I watched them all.

Scott:
I know, but I think it was great, and I think it's interesting that the connection ... Like everything else, "We've got too many people." First it was emails, right? You hide behind emails. Then it was hide behind texts. I thought it was great the other day that I had ... Not great in terms of me, personally. I thought it was really good in terms of calling some new clients, some that I knew and some that I didn't. I wasn't doing Zoom. I was FaceTiming them. So I thought they were going to think I was [inaudible 00:17:44], but it was great. It was laughing with people, telling jokes, yelling at their kids. It was stuff that I don't think I would have ever come across, getting on an email or a text.
I think it just increased our chances, because it makes you more human, if you put a face, and I don't have the prettiest face in the world, as you can see, but you put a face behind the name, and I love it. I love people like you, Alec, and others who have kind of trailblazed. I think it's just a good thing, and you don't have to be perfectly spoken and say everything. You've just got to not say the wrong things, right?

Alec:
Yep.

Scott:
Whether you're wearing a T-shirt or a tie, just wear something, right?

Nikki:
Right.

Scott:
[crosstalk 00:18:28] as well.

Alec:
Yes, at least up here, because the video is right here. Down there, I don't know what's going on. [crosstalk 00:18:33].

Jessica:
I'm not going to lie. I'm probably in yoga pants. It's fine.

Scott:
I looked into Zoom a little more. I've always had it to be in meetings, whether it's my days back with you guys, Alec, and then before, just being in meetings, but I've looked into the Zoom Rooms and everything and how much their technology has developed. It's amazing. That's amazing.

Alec:
It's amazing.

Scott:
It's amazing, and I think it's under-utilized technology. I think people are using it more, because, like I said, we have to. I just think people that are good at it and not so good at it better get good at it, because it's just one extra thing that we all could be doing to help ourselves out.

Alec:
Hey, Troy, I'm going to punch you down for a second and bring in ... You're still with me, but you're just downstairs. Now here, we've got to bring Sean in here. He's been waiting patiently. What's up, big guy?

Sean:
Oh, what's happening, man? How are you?

Alec:
So, Scott, I want to go off what you said. I think leadership right now is going to be defined by vulnerability, by our ability to make ourselves uncomfortable, to put ourselves out there, and you can't hide on video. You're there. People are staring at you. Everything's there. I always laugh hysterically, to a degree, because I'll use the mortgage background as an example. So many local mortgage pros love meeting with clients face-to=face. They say it all the time. "I just want to meet with people. I love it." Then those same people are like, "Well, you can meet with 1000 if you just turn this thing on your face," and they're just like, "Nope, can't do it." I'm like, "You don't bring a stunt double in when you're meeting someone face-to-face and doing an application."
So it's time. It's time to get vulnerable and put ourselves out there for our businesses. Brian, your business is going to evolve dramatically, being digital for a period of time. [crosstalk 00:20:24]. It's hard to do jujitsu without a buddy.

Brian:
Yeah, yeah.

Alec:
So, Sean-

Sean:
Virtually, you tap out.

Alec:
... [crosstalk 00:20:36]. Yeah.

Sean:
Virtual tap. What is that?

Alec:
By the way, and I'll go a little bit off the Richter here, but my wife's 40th is coming up, and, obviously, the 85 people that were coming, we're not going to have it. I was talking about the virtual reality world. There's somebody right now who's using Oculus Rift [crosstalk 00:21:05] to figure out ... Oh, there's our kids coming in, to figure out how to create a virtual hangout where we can go and put on the goggles and, all of a sudden, we're in a room with people and we can look around and see them and walk around. We don't know how long this is going to last, and that could be a potential reality, but we'll never replace [crosstalk 00:21:27]. I think that's going to be a miss, the thing that defines this period of time for all of us. So, Sean, what are you seeing people do digitally to connect?

Sean:
Well, I'm telling you right now, for those of us that do have kids, any of the kids that have been playing Roblox, they're winning right now. They're winning. They're just so much better at this than we are, and that has been a big realization. I watched my 13-year-old and my 7-year-olds [inaudible 00:21:55] and play Roblox on the Xbox. I'm like, "What are you doing?" They're like, "We're building the city, and we're going to go visit our friends." Now this is my real life. This is what I do.
Washington State, we now have a stay at home situation. It's pretty much a shelter in place, and you have real estate agents who ... The Northwest MLS just recently said, "You can't do business the way that you would normally like to do business," and that has been eyeopening. I'm helping numerous realtors right now with just doing video. I think that, as being in the mortgage industry and outside of it, there's a lot more avenues than what I thought would actually be available to help us. To quantify that, I'll say things like Mortgage Coach. I'm a huge subscriber, a huge friend, a huge follower of that. What Dave Savage has been putting out in that community has been amazing. He's had Phil Hillestead on there recently, incredible stuff, as well as some other loan officers who were just talking about how they're using video.
At Loan Depot, we're pretty fortunate to have Vidyard, which, also, we're retargeting. So retargeting is another way to stay social [crosstalk 00:23:05] whole another level. It's kind of like that box where, on Amazon, like, "Oh, I just looked at that," and now it's-

Alec:
Now it's following you.

Sean:
... on your Instagram. It's on your Facebook. Now my face comes up on there whenever I use Vidyard. So I went full board, man. I went and got the backdrop, the light ring, the Yeti microphone. Yeah. So we got that [crosstalk 00:23:26].

Alec:
There it is.

Sean:
So all of that, just in order to make sure that things are great, but right now I just started interviewing multiple professionals. I've got one coming up later today, and just talking about different things that add value. I saw that right now, for Facebook paid promotions on your business page, what a lot of people are saying they're getting are between one to two pennies per paid boost for a view. So you spend 20 bucks, right now, you're getting anywhere from 1000 to 2000 views. That's pretty dang good. I don't care what [crosstalk 00:24:09].

Alec:
I want to add to that, Sean, for other people that whether they're into Facebook posting and boosting specifically or not, there's another area of opportunity for us as local professionals, which have to do with our local restaurant owners. Those people are massively impacted.

Sean:
I'm taking elderberry, but I'm totally with you, dude.

Alec:
Yeah. You triggered me, because the reality is those people-

Sean:
Terrible. Go ahead.

Alec:
... are having a hard time, and your ability and all of our abilities and anybody's listening ability to find those owners, to interview them, like, Sean, you said you're doing with some of your realtors, to interview them and let them tell their story and encourage people to come pick up from them on a certain day, like, "Hey, Thursday, we're all going to go pick up food from this guy's sushi place" or whatever.

Sean:
Yeah, I'm doing one of those for someone, and I'm just saying, "Look, I'm going to buy the next three people that comment or want it Uber Eats from that restaurant. My treat," something like that. As long as Uber Eats is around, or we'll do a gift card or something, I am very, very grateful, because especially being in the house, I've got four kids and-

Alec:
God bless you, man. I've got two.

Sean:
Yeah, it's incredible. So I'm just like, right now, when all of the restaurants that were allowed to deliver alcohol, I was like, "Gosh, thank you. Thank you so much. You are listening. You are." That was exciting for me.

Scott:
Hey, I want to [crosstalk 00:25:41]-

Alec:
Jump in, Scott.

Scott:
... the best, Alec, and sorry for jumping in. I've got to jump out. I've got [crosstalk 00:25:45].

Alec:
See you, buddy. Thanks for hanging.

Scott:
Thanks so much. Best of luck, everybody. Be safe.

Alec:
Thanks. You, too, buddy. Yeah, and if you guys ever want to jump out, don't worry. My feelings won't be hurt if you disconnect. This is just like an open door neighbor ... You're walking by the neighbor's and hanging out. By the way, Sean, tag Savage. Let's see if we can get him to come hang out for a minute. That'd be funny. That's the other thing with digital that's crazy, is we can just tag people right now and pull them into our digital open house.

Nikki:
[crosstalk 00:26:11] would jump in on my sip and stretch. I'm doing Facebook Live yoga with a glass of wine.

Alec:
Yeah, Nikki, you're terrible. All right. Steve, can you hear us?

Steve:
Yeah. Can you hear me?

Alec:
It's a little lagged, but yes, you're there. I love that you joined, dude, and I want to hear your perspective, because, for those of you who don't know Steve, this guy has been a connector of people forever. Yeah, Sean, I just muted you a little bit. You had a little background noise, but I love you. So don't worry. You're not going anywhere. You've built a career on connecting with other people. Fair?

Steve:
Yeah, absolutely, just all [crosstalk 00:26:56].

Alec:
But you've done it, typically, over the phone. I mean, because they're all over the country. So Steve's been a massive recruiter and connector humans for forever, almost, at least for as long as I've been in the business. So you were a connector of people over the phone, and now we don't get to see people physically. What encouragement would you give to people who used to connect physically, don't have that anymore, and are trying to connect with referral partners [inaudible 00:27:23] customers? What are you seeing? What would you do?

Steve:
Hey, this is all uncharted territory for me as well. I've been here for a month, and I have jumped in to the deep end, luckily with guidance from you and Shane. What you guys have done at Loan Depot in just leveraging Vidyard and online is just significantly different than I've ever been exposed to. But it's neat, being able to pull people in and do the video calls and just have that same connectivity as you would, I'm sure, with borrowers or realtors when you're engaging with them, and it just feels natural, because we've been locked up for the last few weeks. It's almost like people are open to and willing to do that. It feels like it's the right thing to do right now.

Alec:
Yeah. Yeah, it's great. Nikki, I'm going to put you in the background, but don't leave. You're still here. I just noticed that Troy can hang with us. So you're back, dude.

Troy:
Hey, welcome back to me.

Alec:
I'm trying to figure this all out myself. Oh, my dad's posting. Click the LinkedIn. I'll pull you in here. Oh, no, he's probably still in his pajamas, although I had a hysterical comment that Anthony has ... Sorry. He has changed out of his morning pajamas into his afternoon pajamas, though. He's ready to get going.

Brian:
It's about that time. Yeah.

Alec:
Yep, it's about that time. So, Troy, kind of going back to you, explain how your business is affected, what you're doing, and how you're navigating this crazy new world.

Troy:
Well, I mean, we're affected in a lot of ways just because of the geography here in Northern California, and also in Southern California, you guys are affected, too, by the jumbo space and all the uncertainty there, just [crosstalk 00:29:10] for investors. So we're kind of having to rethink how we address the jumbo loan amounts, what's first and second combinations, stuff that a lot of us haven't done for several years, both high balance first loans and a second to get to a solution for those lower down payment or even jumbo loans that were available a week or two ago.
Then that's changing, as you know, day to day and hour by hour, in terms of what we're seeing there. But we are pressing forward with our traditional mortgage business, the conventional, the govie business. That's still very, very busy. It's very busy. So I think we have to focus on the things that we have available in terms of opportunities, and I think the other stuff is going to come back in time.

Alec:
Yep. Yeah, it is a time to be flexible and figure this stuff out. Brian, I'm going to put you down for a second, and I'm going to bring in Dan, who figured it out and pushed the button. Dan, can you hear us?

Dan:
I can.

Alec:
Yeah, you're loud and clear. So I had this crazy idea that I was just going to go live and just put the link out, invite anybody who wanted to come in to come in, and talk about how we're managing this crazy world, but also in the frame of now's the time for our sales leadership and our salespeople to lean into new technologies, to figure out this new digital world and start to create human connection, because we don't have it physically. How do we open the door and say, "Well, come on in," in a digital world? So I just tried to see what would happen today.

Dan:
Yeah. I still have no idea who your actual father was.

Alec:
I can ban you from this stream.

Dan:
Oh my God, that would be the end of my life.

Alec:
So, Dan, can you share your perspective a little bit? How are you managing this new digital world, this new shelter at home place? Not all states are shelter at home, but more and more people are just self-quarantining. How do you see the world coming through this? What's your perspective?

Dan:
Well, obviously, everybody has their own set of circumstances. On one hand, I have a very good friend of mine who got the coronavirus and has spent the last 20 days suffering with this thing. Trust me, he's not an old dude like me. He's younger, and he's going to persevere through it, but it's been a rough siege. So you have people who really, unfortunately, were unlucky and contracted this virus. So people who don't take it seriously, he's making sure people understand they should. That's obviously the most unusual thing of it. This is not the first time the world has had viruses and bugs. Every year, influenza kills 50,000 people a year.

Alec:
Yeah, and we just kind of ignore that.

Dan:
Yeah. Those 50 are okay. We can just keep the economy going. But this is a serious problem, and social distancing and lockdown is the only way to really stem the infection from becoming viral. We're going to have to adhere to it as much as we can. On the business side of the world, this reminds me so much of 2007, 2008, which I unfortunately enjoyed as well, which the whole world-

Alec:
Enjoyed.

Dan:
... financial world collapsed. This is actually worse, because that was really relegated to the financial markets, which impacted businesses for financing and such, but it didn't really impact people personally and close businesses like this one does, I was talking to a guy yesterday who owns a daycare center. Can you imagine a guy who owns a daycare center? Business is not good. Who would have thought a daycare center would be without kids, right?
I mean, so this is a very, very difficult thing, and the government has passed an unbelievable stimulus package that is an attempt to help all those that have businesses that just, for no fault of their own, ended up in this environment. On the mortgage side, the good news is ... and I think that the guy just before me said the right things, which is, look, the only place that has liquidity now are the banks, because they have your deposits and they can do jumbo loans, and the federal government, which is the GSEs, Fannie, Freddie, thank goodness.
So the mortgage bankers like ourselves are going to be destined to be using those tracks, because that's what [crosstalk 00:34:01] and the banks ... By the way, the banks have a myriad of issues. If you think it's bad for us, the commercial market is getting decimated. They don't have federal liquidity in many respects. Besides Fannie and Freddie doing apartment loans, commercial loans are all private sector capital, and that is a scary place to be today.
So I don't know what's going to happen there, but, obviously, I think this is a great idea, son, because people are going to have to learn how to share their challenges. I just got a note, and I won't dominate this conversation any longer. I just got a text from one of our restaurateurs here in Newport who's closed, of course. Basically just said to everybody who was one of his customers that he and his staff are available for home delivery, taking food to loved ones that they can't reach. Whatever they need to do, the restaurant staff is available, which I thought was pretty cool. Maybe we'll all be better neighbors when this thing gets passed through.

Alec:
Yeah. I know. Jessica, I'm moving you around here, so sorry, but you're still with us. Hi, Nikki. You're back. You've been patiently waiting. So I think that, Dan, you're totally right. Our opportunity now is to connect and support our restaurants, support our small businesses. Brian, who's in the background, jujitsu gym, it's hard to roll around with another person virtually. At least my CrossFit gym could send gear home.
But we're all trying to adapt and survive, and I think that our opportunity is to lead with human connection. If we figure out the technologies and lead in that space, we can absolutely start to create more connection. If you're in business of mortgage, any type of service industry, you need human connection now more than ever to continue to create your opportunities for yourself and for your business. So I think that's what we're facing.
So I'm going to wrap us down here, guys, and I'll bring Brian back for one second, because he'd been patiently waiting and I want everyone to know that you should call him for jujitsu lessons virtually. This is our opportunity. I want to thank you guys for being bold and just joining a random link and sharing a conversation, because the more we do that, the more we create human connection, and the more we have an opportunity to serve other people. I think, coming through this, when we can go give hugs and handshakes, they're going to be very welcome. So thank you guys for jumping in here.

Dan:
Amen.

Alec:
Everyone have a wonderful day, and I'll see you online.

Dan:
Stay healthy.

Nikki:
See you soon.

Alec:
Stay healthy, everybody.

Nikki:
Bye.

Alec:
That was a really fun experience for me. Thank you guys that were willing to be bold and jump in in an uncertain time and an uncertain place, because I think that's what leaders need to do, and I think if you are in sales today ... I'm just checking any more LinkedIn comments for let you guys close this thing down. I think if you are in sales today, there is no better opportunity than for you to make human connection. I'm just going to leave it right there. Master the tools, play with it all, and we're going to rock and roll. I hope you guys have a wonderful end of your day. Shane, you can be here for two seconds. I'm finishing up.

Shane:
That's the best part. That's the best part.

Alec:
You were here. You were here, and I can't leave you hanging. I was like, "Okay, I'll let them in for one second."

Shane:
Oh, that's so nice of you. That's so nice of you. You're a giver.

Alec:
I am a giver. All right. Good luck, Shane. He's out. I'll call him later to apologize. It's been 37 minutes. God bless you guys. Stay safe, stay digital, and I'll see you online.


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Want a reminder next time I go live? 

No problem. Drop your email below and I'll ping you before I start the next Live Time with Alec

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