Green Team Summer Social – A Time to Celebrate
It’s been a while since our Green Team family has been able to be together. The 2020 Green Team Summer Social was canceled due to the pandemic. The annual Awards Ceremony took place on Zoom. COVID-19 has had the world adjusting to a new normal. In addition to the physical effects of COVID-19, many small businesses and industries have been impacted negatively. However, the impact on the real estate market was just the opposite. Sheltering-in-place led many to reconsider what their needs were in terms of home. Remote learning, remote working, and the need for privacy as well as communal space had many urban dwellers seeking homes that would accommodate their needs. Many decided to move to suburban and rural areas, including here in Orange and Sussex Counties. Despite all of the regulations and restrictions governing the real estate industry in New York and New Jersey, business was booming and our Green Team sales associates rose to the challenges.
Now, it is a time to come together once again as the Green Team Family. On July 24 at 4 p.m. we’re gathering at beautiful Spring Brook Farm in Warwick, NY. We’ll have a chance to reconnect with colleagues and meet new members of the Green Team family, as well as some of our sponsors. Of course, we’ll get to meet their family members, too! There will be lots of food, and games, as well as fun with a purpose.
Team Up for Hope with us!
For those of you not familiar with Team Up for Hope, it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by Geoff Green and Amy Green. It is an all-volunteer organization with a team of Green Team Sales Associates and staff lending their time, efforts, ideas, and passion for its mission. TUH seeks to address the impact of mental illness, drug use, and suicide in our communities. We do that by raising funds for and awareness of the local non-profit organizations at the forefront of these crises. However, we also want to do our part in ending the stigma that goes along with mental health diagnoses, drug use, and suicide. We do this by collaborating with experts from organizations and private practice who share their knowledge and expertise through the webinars we produce.
The 2021 Summer Social is also a fundraiser for Team Up for Hope. There will be a 50/50 raffle – and the winner must take the cash! We’ll have t-shirts for sale. Perhaps best of all, there will be a dunk tank. And, Geoff Green has graciously volunteered to be dunked to raise money for Team Up for Hope. We’ll have representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange and Sussex County affiliates, who will talk to us about the important work being done by their organizations. Daniel McQuade, local artist, sculptor, photographer, and mental health advocate will also be joining us. Donations to Team Up for Hope are distributed to NAMI Orange and NAMI Sussex, as well as to other local organizations. So, come prepared, cash in hand, to support Team Up for Hope.
Thanks to our Sponsors
We would not be able to do events like the Green Team Summer Social without the generous support of our sponsors. They are:
Diamond Sponsor ($1,000 level)
Platinum Sponsors ($500 level)
Gold Sponsors ($250 level)
And thank you to the local vendors
It’s important to us to utilize the services of local businesses and vendors whenever possible. These are some of the vendors that we’re working with to make the Summer Social a big success:
Check back with us for our Summer Social Recap
We’ll have photos, stories, and a grand total of the amount raised for Team Up for Hope.
We’ll see you on July 24th!
Are people really leaving NYC for the suburbs?
Are NYC residents moving to the suburbs? Statistics show how Covid-19 has devastated New York City. The number of people with COVID-19 and the number of deaths is staggering. Social distancing is difficult. There is no doubt that crowded streets, elevators, and often apartments are not conducive to sheltering-in-place. So, are people really leaving NYC for the suburbs?
According to both local and national news sources, the answer is a resounding “YES!” The headlines tell the story.
USA Today‘s headline screams, “Get me out of here! Americans flee crowded cities amid Covid-19, consider permanent moves.” According to that article, nearly one-third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas because of Covid-19. On May 8 the New York Times described this phenomenon in “Coronavirus Escape: To the Suburbs.” Then, on May 16 they published “Where New Yorkers Moved to Escape Coronavirus.” According to CNBC, Wealthy New Yorkers flee Manhattan for suburbs and beyond.
Locally, radio station 101.5 WPDH posted two blogs on this subject. The first, “NYC Residents Expected to Move to Hudson Valley in Droves.” And “Sellers market driving Hudson Valley Home Prices Way Up.” Additionally, Straus News just published the following story in all its local papers for Orange County NY, and Sussex County NJ: “Pandemic-driven house frenzy hits local towns.”
Green Team Realty Sales Associates: Are they seeing NYC residents moving to the suburbs?
Current real estate market conditions and economic trends were major points of discussion during Green Team Realty’s monthly Housing Market Update. We asked several sales associates if they are seeing NYC residents moving to the suburbs as a result of COVID-19.
Green Team New York Realty – Warwick and Orange County, New York
Angela Murphy, Real Estate Salesperson, and Business Development Associate,
I have seen a rise of new buyers coming from all 5 boroughs of the city. Most of my clients want municipals verses septic, well or oil tanks, which has opened up many areas to view in Orange County. The pandemic has definitely pushed them to head north quicker than they might have, otherwise.
Nancy Sardo, Associate Real Estate Broker
I am seeing an influx of highly qualified tenants as well as an above-average amount of new buyers ready to move quicker than before. We are seeing many more cash buyers, many more full-price offers with less negotiation from a smart buyer. Experienced buyers to the area are more willing to do some elbow grease in order not to hiccup on the deal. Otherwise, they risk the seller moving onto the backup offer. Buyers and people, in general, are serious about the betterment of their surroundings. And, with what we are currently going through, they are now more apt to pay for it. We are in a seller’s market and here in Warwick NY and Orange County on a whole, there is an exaggerated upswing of interest in our beautiful Hudson Valley.
Interest is trending with buyers looking for a home that meets their needs both for lifestyle and working from home. They like the idea of self-sufficient living. Being just 60 miles from NYC makes the lower Hudson Valley, with its pricepoint, very attractive for primary and secondary homes. Everyone is coming to a realization that home has to meet both work and leisure needs. Also desired are adaptable living spaces. Living through this pandemic has redefined the concept of home for many people. Outdoor space has become a luxury, particularly for City dwellers. However, it’s not just City dwellers who are redefining what “home” means. There are local buyers who are also looking for that change in lifestyle, space and function.
Green Team New Jersey Realty – Vernon and Sussex County, New Jersey
I think that many buyers are coming to the Sussex area because we have had much fewer cases of COVID-19 up here. Most of my clients are buying second homes.
Keren Gonen, Real Estate Salesperson
I am seeing a LOT of NYC buyers. They are CASH mostly and looking to run away. Some are buying a second home, but plenty are moving in this direction to get away from the City completely and realizing the advantages of living in “The Country.” Those buyers have a much larger budget than our “usual” buyers and are looking for updated houses mostly. They are ready, willing, able and QUALIFIED buyers. They are all mesmerized by our charm here in Sussex county.
What makes Orange County and Sussex County so desirable to NYC residents?
After months of sheltering in place, many people are reexamining their concept of the ideal home. This pandemic has shown us that we can’t take for granted life as usual. New York City has undergone a drastic transformation. That ideal City life is on pause. Broadway shows, restaurants, boutiques, department stores, museums, vibrant nightlife, closed, Families living in cramped apartments, worried about catching the virus, long for privacy, more room, areas to work, and space for the kids. Furthermore, they’re looking for outdoor living space. And approximately 60 miles away is the beautiful countryside of Orange and Sussex Counties.
NYC residents are looking for homes that provide lots of room for their family’s needs, including work from home space. Covid-19 has shown us the possibilities that exist in telecommuting. People and businesses are realizing that it may not be necessary for people to go to the office every day. As noted above, there are also people looking for second homes, so that they have someplace to “escape” to, should another shelter-in-place be required. Even in a seller’s market, they know they can get more house for their money here. Finally, there are unique hamlets, villages, and towns that offer lifestyles and qualities that people have decided are just what they need in this day and age.
We are living in times that are unlike anything any of us have seen before. In the midst of a pandemic, home is now the place we shelter in. Whether we live alone or with family, our homes are where many of us spend most of our time. Schools are closed, as are non-essential businesses. Essential workers are putting themselves at risk just by doing their jobs, and we can’t thank them enough. Those of us sheltering in place are trying to do our part to keep the virus from spreading. Maintaining social distancing, we wave across the street to neighbors, FaceTime with relatives and friends. The health and well-being of those we love is our highest priority, even as we may struggle with stress, financial and emotional challenges. Here are some resources we’ve found to help get through these times.
Dealing with stress and anxiety
The CDC has important information on coping with stress and anxiety in daily life due to Covid-19. And Realsimple.com has some great ideas on how to stress less. Even though this is called a two-week plan, there are ideas you can use any time. Of course, kids experience stress, too. So here’s info from pbs.org on how you and your kids can de-stress during coronavirus. Childmind.org provides tips for supporting teenagers and young adults during the coronavirus crisis.
Managing Financial Stress
There is no denying the stress that comes with loss of income. And with so much uncertainty as to when it will be safe to return to work, that stress is exacerbated. Goodtherapy.com shares a blog post about how to cope with income loss and financial stress during Covid 19. Verywellmind.com shares advice on managing financial anxiety surrounding coronavirus.
Strive Global shares strategies for anxiety and stress relief for essential workers.
Working from home
Many of us are fortunate to be telecommuting these days. However, working from home comes with its own challenges. Wirecutter offers advice on how to work from home with kids. Real Simple gives you some tips on creating a makeshift home office. And Psychology Today provides productivity tips for working home under quarantine.
Take some time to boost your tech or other skills with free online classes. CIO provides a list of free online tech courses to take while you quarantine. Class Central has a catalog of Free Online Learning Due to Coronavirus. And it’s updated continuously.
You can’t spend all your time working. Billboard shares links to Livestream and Virtual Concerts to Watch During the Coronavirus Crisis.
Spring Clean… and then redecorate with what you have
Of course no April blog post would be complete without a mention of the annual tradition called Spring Cleaning. However, buzzfeed.com changes things up a little, giving us tips for cleaning now that we’re home and may have more time. So, here are 29 Easy Ways to Keep your Space Clean and 65 Things in Your Home to Clean while Quarantined. While doing your spring cleaning, you might also want to try some of these surprising things to clean with vodka, from bhg.com.
Sheltering-in-place may find you wanted to change up your surroundings a little. A few websites we found provide some tips on decorating and redecorating – without leaving home. Housebeautiful.com suggests that you rearrange furniture as a way to redecorate for free. In addition, housebeautiful.com has ideas on making your bedroom more relaxing during these stressful times. Bhg.com has 23 totally free ways to decorate with what you have. And realsimple.com helps you to decorate your home without leaving your house.
Don’t forget to start taking care of the exterior of your home, too. Realsimple.com has some ideas on getting your yard ready for summer now. And don’t forget your car! AAA Northeast has some good advice. If you can’t drive your car, clean it! AAA also advises that you keep your car maintained during a driving hiatus.
Teaching and Having Fun with the Kids
Housebeautiful.com has 23 creative ways to entertain your kids at home. And, if you’re in need of a little magic, wizardingworld.com introduces Harry Potter at Home! Livescience.com shares activities and online resources for homebound Kids: A coronavirus guide. New Jersey Family has Free Resources to Keep the Kids Learning and Entertained During Coronavirus Shutdown. Forbes.com shares 101+ Ideas to Keep Your Kids Busy during Coronavirus Closures.
Harpercollins.com has an extensive At Home Resource for Kids and Family during Coronavirus 2020. And take your high school kids on some of the virtual college tours listed here by AAA Northeast.
Guide to Grocery Shopping and Cooking
Grocery shopping these days seems like an episode of the Twilight Zone. We’re all wearing Face Masks, whether employees or customers. Here’s a Guide to Face Masks from the New York Times. BGH.com has advice on grocery shopping during coronavirus
Once you’ve navigated the grocery store and safely unpacked your groceries, here are some recipes to try. Southernliving.com has spring crock pot recipies. And bhg.com has some quick and easy dinners from pantry staples you can make.
And, if baking is a stress reliever for you, try these 56 Healthy Baking Recipes from popsugar.com.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong.
It’s an annual “start the year off right” tradition for Green Team Sales Associates. And so Green Team Realty’s Launch 2020 is about to take off . Launch is a “friendly little competition” designed to enhance skills that will lead to excellent client service throughout the year. Therefore, even for those not on a winning team, it’s still a win-win situation.
It’s a new kind of competition this year!
This year Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, has created a totally new format. There are still two teams in each office (Warwick and Vernon) battling it out for first place. However this year’s Launch requires team members to attend training sessions, one a week, for ten weeks. After each session there will be a ten question quiz. The team in each office with the highest cumulative score will earn a place on the Launch perpetual plaque. In addition, they’ll receive a prize budget to be spent on a team event of their choosing. Of course, we’ll also have a blog post and press release created for our winning teams.
This year’s team captains and names are:
Green Team New York Realty
Karen and Tiffany are first-time team leaders, and both are very enthusiastic about the upcoming competition.
Green Team New Jersey Realty
Keren and Cathie’s team’s had a tight competition during 2019 Launch, but Witte’s Wonders took the prize. We can expect another very close race and great results from these teams.
Five… four… three… two… one
Launch 2020 is taking off, providing Green Team’s Sales Associates with up-to-date knowledge about the industry, marketing, social media, technology tools and training and more. And that is definitely a win-win situation. For our Sales Associates and for their clients.
7 Main Street, Warwick NY – Before the Renovation
Raising the roof at Green Team New York Realty was just one of the improvements made to its building at 7 Main Street in Warwick, NY. Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, would walk around downtown, admiring the beautiful buildings and the renovations taking place. Then he’d glance over at the Green Team building, knowing it needed a major face lift. In addition, there was the issue of the four roofs. Yes, the building basically had four separate roofs just slapped together over the years. Geoff took aerial photos with his drone which show the poor state these roofs were in.
Making It Happen
Geoff relays the story beyond the renovation below:
I would have done it 10 years sooner, but I simply didn’t have the money. My wife Laura and I saved for many years to make this renovation happen.
There are aerial shots I took with my drone showing the poor state of affairs for the roof. The solution that you see now is all credited to our Architect Christopher Collins. I am extremely grateful for Chris’ work on our building. We originally had a different plan from a different architect and it just simply wasn’t as good of a plan as what we now have. The building would not have looked nearly as good as it does now. Chris was a God send.
Up on the Roof
Geoff talked about the team put together to put Christopher Collins’ plan into effect.
Russ Tellier was the contractor who did the large majority of the work on the 7 Main St building along with his friend Wayne Cosh. Russ was good enough to let me GC the project so that I could save some money and ultimately make it happen. Russ and Wayne did a fine job. As one would expect with a restoration job of this size it also required an electrical upgrade of sorts. All of the electrical work was done by Ralph & Tommy Edwards. In fact, one year after the major portion of the exterior renovation, Ralph and Tommy just finalized a new service line to the building. The building was painted by Christopher Colin, d/b/a “Chris The Contractor“. Chris also did a fine job, and he continues to do all sorts of jobs here and there for us on this building and many others that we are involved in.
A Labor Of Love
Geoff’s love of construction and renovation started in childhood. And it continues to this day.
I am not really sure why, but my history has been to purchase older properties in need of repair. Pretty much every building my wife and I own has undergone some major improvements at one point or another. Early on in my career I would be on site swinging the hammer. By way of building tree forts with my Brother Matt as a kid, I learned enough about construction to be able to maintain our investment properties. However, at this point I have built a great team of contractors who allow me to pick my spots, oversee what I need to in order to cut cost down, etc. . .
I have to say this is a labor of love for me. It literally goes back to my childhood days of building tree houses and skateboard ramps. It was fun waking up early in the morning, putting on a tool belt and going out to build something. But now after about 1 hour of labor I now get aggravated and say to myself, “what the heck am I doing”. So I now tend to leave the labor to the guys who do it best.
7 Main St, Warwick, NY After the Renovation
One thing is certain. Now, when Geoff walks through downtown Warwick, he can take pride in the Green Team New York Realty building at 7 Main Street. Because it is now one of those beautiful buildings he so much admired.
Green Team Realty receives NAMI Orange Appreciation Award
Geoff Green proudly accepted NAMI Orange‘s Appreciation Award on behalf of Green Team Realty at their 15th Annual Meeting. The meeting was held on November 25 at the Orange County Department of Mental Health in Goshen, NY.. Dhanu Sannesy, President of NAMI Orange is pictured here with Geoff Green and Susan Wynn. She spoke passionately about the work being done. And inspired us all with the work yet to do.
Presenting the Award
Green Team raised both awareness and funds for NAMI Orange through its Team Up for Hope initiative. I am a member of NAMI Orange. But I am also the Green Team’s Content Marketing Manager and part of Team Up for Hope. Therefore, I was asked to present the Appreciation Award to Geoff Green. And it was an honor to read the following inscription to him and all those attending.
NAMI Orange Appreciation Award presented to Green Team Realty – a real estate company that cares what happens in its community, represented by Geoff Green.
Besides their Team Up for Hope’s very successful fundraiser which benefited NAMI Orange, Green Team Realty also organized a webinar to increase public awareness featuring two NAMI Orange members who discussed how mental health issues impact the family as well as the individual – and who educated people as to how they could get the support and the services that they might need. An excellent public service! We are honored to have had Team Up for Hope select NAMI Orange as a recipient of their charitable good works.
What is NAMI?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, “NAMI,” began at a kitchen table in 1979. A small group of families whose lives had been impacted by mental illness got together. And they decided to take some action. Now, 40 years later, it is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States. There are 48 NAMI State Organizations and more than 600 local affiliates.
According to NAMI’s website, the organization “envisions a world where all people affected by mental illness live healthy, fulfilling lives supported by a community that cares.” Their mission is to provide “advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.”
Mental illness. Let’s talk statistics
These statistics are posted on the NAMI website And they’re frightening.
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
Mental illness. Let’s talk reality
Imagine someone you know and care about becomes one of these statistics. Family members and friends suddenly find themselves in a world turned upside down. They don’t understand what has happened to their loved one. Furthermore, they don’t what to do or say to help that person. And the stigma surrounding mental illness can make it difficult to discuss the challenges with friends and family. As a result this further isolates both patient and family.
My family has lived this reality. My youngest daughter, Andrea, was diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders at the age of 14. There was nothing that prepared us for the journey we suddenly found ourselves on. No guidebook to explain the mania, then the plunges into deep despair. There were prescriptions for lots of medications in lots of combinations. In addition there was therapy. However, there was nothing that helped us all to understand what was happening within her brain. No advice on how to communicate or set limits. No one telling me it wasn’t my fault. Chaos ruled our lives, exacerbated by loneliness.
NAMI Orange. Making a difference
I was introduced to NAMI Orange by a friend whose child was also struggling with a mental health diagnosis. We both signed up to take NAMI’s Family-to-Family class. This is a “peer education program for family members of adults living with mental illness.” Andrea was in the recovery stage of her illness at that time. I didn’t really need the course, I thought. But maybe I could pick up a few helpful tips. Instead, what I experienced was life changing.
People with a common goal made up our class. We wanted to learn how to better understand and help our loved ones. NAMI gave us the tools to better understand the science behind mental illness. Further, we learned about symptoms and changes to behavior and personality. In addition, we were taught communication skills, crisis preparation plans and so much more. Finally, we became our own support group. We shared our stories and the challenges we were facing. Most importantly we understood what everyone was going through.
NAMI Orange is an all-volunteer organization. Family-to-Family teachers are peers who also have an adult family member living with a mental illness. Furthermore, they go through specialized training. So do facilitators of support groups and presenters of in-school programs. The dedication of these volunteers cannot be overstated.
Team Up For Hope – Teaming up with NAMI Orange
The Green Team believes in giving back to the community. Money was raised through Light up the Holidays for the Warwick Valley Humane Society and Warwick Playground Dreams. After a few years of doing holiday lights contests, it was decided to change to a basic fund-raising effort. The name suggested was Team Up for Hope. And we decided we would team up with NAMI Orange and NAMI Sussex.
As a result, we arranged a meeting with representatives of these organizations. The information they shared with us and their passion for NAMI made a lasting impression on us. Together we were determined to raise not only funds, but awareness. That included the webinar mentioned in the award, which you can view here.
In addition, Andrea told her story of living with mental illness and her journey to recovery in a second webinar. Andrea concluded her story by performing an original song she had written about living with Bi-Polar Disorder. Sheila Sutton represented NAMI Orange again. She spoke to Andrea’s story. And Sheila also relayed the help that NAMI offers. Moreover, Geoff announced that Team Up for Hope had raised over $3,100 for NAMI Orange and over $1,500 for NAMI Sussex. To view that webinar, click here.
Andrea is a believer in sharing her journey with others in hopes of helping end the stigma surrounding mental illness. And I share her story with her permission. Further, we both share our thanks to Geoff Green. He first met Andrea during the webinar. However, knowing her diagnosis, he never hesitated to interview her for a position at the Green Team. She is now Agent Service Manager at the Warwick Office. Above all, Green Team shows that we are always Teaming Up for Hope!