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Catskills - Sullivan County - Ulster County Real Estate -- Catskill Farms Journal

Old School Real estate blog in the Catskills. Journeys, trial, tribulations, observations and projects of Catskill Farms Founder Chuck Petersheim. Since 2002, Catskill Farms has designed, built, and sold over 250 homes in the Hills, investing over $100m and introducing thousands to the areas we serve. Farms, Barns, Moderns, Cottages and Minis - a design portfolio which has something for everyone.

December 29, 2021

Reduced screen time on a Southern Holiday

Killing time in Gainesville.

It’s always hard to gauge big-picture progress.  There are just too many small picture operational fixes and issues to deal with to a lot of the time to fully appreciate what has been built and accomplished, in the grand scheme of things.

It’s also hard to really put into words how hard I personally worked over the last 20 months in order to take advantage of the business opportunities that came our way. It’s one thing to sign people up for homes - by no means a small task of sales - it’s another to actually rise to the moment and get the work done, in an environment where every task is complicated in a new way by the pandemic and aftershocks of the disruption.

Sometimes I look at all the house keys sitting on a key rack and their sheer number is visually telling about our efforts.  Sometimes its when I’m changing up the website, and are navigating through the multitudinous pictures.  But recently, on a micro level, a metric has become more analagous to my efforts than others, and that’s my screen time reports, which show a marked decrease in my phone use.  It has dropped from 7-9 hours daily, to under 2 hours.  Which makes sense, as I reflect on it.  For nearly 2 years, in order to keep this Catskill Farms barge moving in the right direction, I have woke at 4am, started sending organizational texts out before 5, and continued all day long until I went to sleep,  7 days a week.  I eliminated all artificial boundaries on my work day and work week - I was on, never off.  Considering I drive on many days 3-4 hours to jobs sites, etc…, and out of service a fair amount of time, it shows me that when I was in range, I was on the phone managing the operations that resulted in a doubling of our revenue and an increase in net profits of 400%, with little accompanying increase in fixed costs.

I know my business well, and what was true over the last 20 months is that I understood what it was going to take to take advantage of this opportunity and provide our best to our clients - and that was my effort, leading, from the front, tackling the hardest problems, clearing the way, - and my effort was needed everyday, every hour.

Honestly, without the pandemic lockdown, such an effort would have been impossible.  There would have been vacations, and school events and parties and just enough distraction to cause slack in the line that needed to be taut.  There was no room for error, and for a guy who likes to work and is good at what he does, I really got to flex over the last 20 months.

Lucas and I are on a holiday, with stops in Charlotte to see Brady and Gronk play the Panthers the day after Christmas. The next day we got caught in the Covid flight chaos, and woke to our 9am flight to Miami being cancelled, with an alternative 'kindly' booked for us to Gainsville for a 5 hour layover, where we sat in the tiniest of airports on pins and needles hoping our flight to Maimi in the last afternoon wasn't cancelled. Since from Gainesville, you can only fly to Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami, and those only once a day, it wasn't the type of connection you hoped got sidetracked. it didn't, and while we lost 5 hours of surf, all and all, just fine.

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