A few weeks ago when SAR staff and leadership made the difficult decision to revert back to conducting association meetings virtually, I received lots of communication from our members both to thank us for taking that step, and to express frustration. For those who thanked us, that gratitude came from a place of wanting to feel safe while at the same time still being able to engage with the association and fellow members for education, forums, and committee meetings. For those who expressed frustration, that frustration came from a similar place and desire to be able to engage with the association and fellow members.
I hear you. We hear you. We all crave normalcy and to be able to connect with our association and our peers. Zoom fatigue is real, and while I am thankful for the technology that keeps us connected, a screen is no equal substitute for the real thing.
We realize that there is a wide spectrum of comfort within the pandemic environment we operate in; that many of our members desire to meet, do not fear COVID19, and may not want to wear masks or show proof of vaccine or a recent negative test, while conversely there many other members who fear for their health, are concerned for the health of family members, and will not meet in person no matter what safety precautions SAR takes. And there exists everything in between. No matter what decisions we make at SAR relative to in-person meetings and other gatherings, we will make some members happy, and we will upset other members. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, and so is irritation that gatherings are taking place virtually. And let’s face it, hybrid meetings are the worst of both worlds. So in this environment, whether in-person or virtual, a subset of our members will be unhappy.
This issue is not unique to SAR. The California Association of REALTORS too just cancelled a week of in-person statewide committee and Board of Directors meetings and switched everything over to Zoom. Your 20+ local C.A.R. Directors from Sacramento (myself included) just completed about 30 hours of Zoom meetings last week to keep our state association policies on track for the beginning of the year.
I would just ask all of you to be patient, give our associations a little grace, and I am cautiously optimistic that in the near future we will be in a place where SAR will resume in-person meetings. Because trust me, I want to eat my body weight at the CanTree Crab Fest.