One Realtor® who rebuilt after Hurricane Andrew gives advice to brokers and agents devastated by Hurricane Ian.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall and is remembered as the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the state of Florida.
Nancy Barreto Hogan, Broker Associate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, had just built a new 9,600 square-foot office when the storm rolled through. In just a few days, that office was devastated as were many of her agents. Following Hurricane Andrew, 14 of her agents found themselves without homes.
Hogan rallied together with her neighbors and agents to provide as best they could for those in need. She turned her garage into a depot and served Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hershey’s chocolate kisses on her lawn. The community came together by grilling out in backyards and bathing in swimming pools.
When asked what advice she has for Realtors devastated by Hurricane Ian, Hogan said, “Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. The value of the property will come back. It’s essential to be there for your customers as they look to you as a professional.”
Hogan weathered the storm in 1992 and has advice for agents and brokers devastated by Hurricane Ian as they begin to rebuild.
What to tackle first:
- Call your agents and customers—verify their safety and let them know that you are there for them.
- Get in touch with your insurance company to see where you stand and what is covered.
- If need be, determine where you will live while you rebuild.
Advice for agents:
- Get in touch with your clients.
- Familiarize yourself with force majeure clauses along with the assignment of insurance proceeds.
- Take the high road and don’t get caught up in corruption or fraud.
Advice for brokers:
- Get in touch with your agents and verify their safety.
- Be a leader and help your agents rebuild—they will make it through!
- Talk it through—have a sounding board or a shoulder to lean on. As Hogan says, “Brokers need an attaboy every now and then too!”
- It may seem overwhelming now, but know that you can handle it.
Avoid fraud by using a licensed contractor:
When it comes time to rebuild or repair homes and offices, be careful which contractors you trust. The Department of Business & Professional Regulation recently activated the Disaster Contractors Network to connect homeowners needing emergency repairs with Florida licensed contractors.
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone handles trauma differently. And it could take months, and in some cases, more than a year to recover—rebuilding physically and emotionally is a journey.
In the wake of disasters like Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Ian, communities will come together. We will learn to adapt and we will see, now more than ever, the kindness of those around us.
Natalie Kizer is Florida Realtors Marketing & Engagement Manager
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