A Virtually In-Person Milestone1/12/2021
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter on a road trip to check out two potential colleges. Guided tours don’t exist in the time of Covid, and we considered ourselves lucky if we found an unlocked entry door on any campus buildings, allowing us the potential to glean any helpful information. We were looking for any crumb indicative of the campus culture not fed to us by carefully curated virtual tours to help us determine if one of these options had the potential to be her "home".
I’ve often thought about how fun this process would be, combining my love of finding people homes that fit their lifestyles, with my status as the world’s leading expert on my three girls. Our experience did not match my daydreams, but I was able to dig deep into my realtor skills to help her find the information she required to make a sound decision.
We saw an announcement for a movie night on March 14th (2020) scrawled on a glass door, banners hung from abandoned porches declaring the affiliations of their inhabitants, the shuttered restaurants that gave her peace of mind that the town attracted the talent that a foodie like her craves. Thankfully, the fitness centers at both of the schools were open. Physical fitness is a passion of hers, and if we listened closely, we swore we could hear the echoes of well-worn shoes on the track and referees’ whistles on the basketball courts. The flyers hung on their bulletin boards gave us so much information that I know we would have overlooked, if we were not so focused on the little clues in the absence of the big ones.
I have given many virtual home tours to out-of-town buyers. I always report on the intangibles that videos don’t convey ~ the smells, any drafty spots, the way the light hits the sunroom at a certain time of day. Almost everything about our tours were the intangibles: does this quad make her feel overwhelmed or energized? Does the fact that we see campus police making constant rounds make her feel protected or curious about the general safety of the area? Is the peace she feels in the empty chapel a sign that she would have a spot to go to recharge, or is it merely a welcome respite from the cold?
I feel like this experience was akin to losing one sense, only to find your others have heightened in compensation. You can see endless pictures of rooms, communities and amenities at the click of your mouse. Being awoken to the fact that the often-overlooked crumbs can be the entire meal is a gift I will treasure always.