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Hustle Twenty Four Seven | Co-Publisher Robert Zabbia

Why the Long Island Journal & Time for a change.

Many people have asked me, why did you get involved with the Long Island Journal. I feel that it is another way to help a community that has helped me grow over the year. The Real Estate Community has been an integral part of my business for many years, and I am always looking for ways to give back. There is no real voice out there for the stories that the realtors who I know so well have, and a way to highlight all the good that many of them do.

The Long Island Board of Realtors is a great community that I joined just a few years ago. I knew it was out there, but I never joined because I thought it was just for the Realtors to help them with the Multiple Listing Service and to have a voice like so many associations do for their members. A friend of mine suggested that I check it out, and I wish that I did much sooner. The Board of Realtors is a vibrant community that I have become very much a part of, even though I’m not licensed to sell real estate, so I’m not officially a member. 

I jumped in headfirst, got involved with the chapters, and became an Affiliate Member. Since I mainly write home, condo, and landlord insurance, working with the association was a great fit. I got to learn how realtors work and realized how much they are involved with their communities. Realtors are some of the most giving people you can know and are very involved in charities in their communities.  

Helping Realtors was my goal when I joined by providing them help in the closing process when it comes to the various forms of property insurance. There are many insurance agents looking to get referrals from the Realtors, so I make sure that I provide value to them, buy helping them in many ways that don’t involve me selling a policy. We do various things, like performing flood risk analysis, claims reports on homes they are selling or working with their buyers, and consulting with them when the insurance becomes a problem in the sale. 

We recently began to teach CE classes that are designed to educate the realtors on how to navigate the insurance for their transactions.  We also put together classes on how to be safe during a pandemic, and Risk Management for Realtors. These are topics that they can use to become more successful. 

One of the things that was brought to my attention by one of the Presidents of a LIBOR chapter, is that the Realtors are at risk of a lawsuit.  Most Realtors are independent contractors and are not employed by the companies that they are associated with. Because of this, they can be on their own when it comes to situations that may arise that leads to legal liability. The insurance that the company covers doesn’t extend to the independent contractors, and this can be very costly for an individual Realtor.

They asked me if I could come up with some way to have an affordable program to offer to the members. The reason they came to me is because of the involvement I have with the association, and they felt that I would look for a program that fit their needs. So, I approached a major insurance carrier that I knew would be able to put together such a program. 

At first, the insurance company turned me away because they were sure there would be demand, and they didn’t understand the risk.  After some convincing, by showing the carrier the many members that LIBOR had, what a well-run organization it is, and many phone calls, we came out with a program that met their needs. We leveraged the buying power of the 20,000 plus members to get a lower rate for them and have helped many of them protect their hard-earned assets.  

Much of what I have been doing, be it my charity work, helping my referral partners, or my networking in general, has been influenced by the book  The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different way to run their business, which is based more on the idea of looking to give to others, instead of always looking to get from others. It changes your perspective on what success is all about and is a great way to live. 

Thank you for taking the time to read the Long Island Journal, and I hope it is the resource to our Long Island community that John and I envisioned when we started building it. 

Time for Change

2020 was a year to forget. Between COVID, Impeachment, protests, shutdowns, and an election that left almost as many questions as answers, it is good that we are done with 2020, and into a new year. We have a new President and Senate coming into power, and the Democrats held a shrinking control of the House. With what we have still in front of us with COVID-19, the time for big government is here with a vengeance, so what better party to be in control when we do need the government to step in to continue our climb out of the depths of COVID.

The big question is, will the Democrats make use of their power to help the people who elected them into office, or will this be the same payback for their special interests, and payback to their political foes?  Unfortunately, the first step they have taken so far is that it is payback time.  The rushed Impeachment 2, although somewhat justified, was a clear first step to beat a man they already beat. Some of the rules that the House have come out with so far shows that they are looking to put in a far-left agenda, instead of working with the left-leaning middle that won them the election.

What the country needs right now is the meeting in the middle. The Democrats may have picked up the 2 seats needed to take back the Senate, but there is a 50/50 split, so they need the VP to break any ties. The House Majority has narrowed to 222-211, so there can be no claim to a mandate.  So why not put behind the last 4 years of political battles, and come together for the country?

With the ousting of the outsider, the Democrats and Republicans probably have more in common than they do differences. Yes, Big Government is the mantra of the Dems, but the Republicans didn’t do much cutting in the last 2 years of their majority and blew out the budget with the much needed COVID bail outs.  

Why must the first things that the Democrats work on is adding DC as a state, and picking up 2 more Senate seats?  Why the Impeachment of a President with only 7 days left? Censuring him would have had the same effect and would have had a more bi-partisan result. The soon to be former President destroyed his legacy with the claims that the Electoral College could have been overturned by Vice President Pence.  I have said in the past, no matter where you stand politically, we all must trust in the Constitution, and Pence did a great job of doing just that. 

Opening the economy must be the first job of the incoming administration. Bringing the country together is right up there with that. President Elect Biden could score points with the independent swing voters by calling for the end of the impeachment, just as Ford let Nixon fade into the past licking his wounds and being labeled as a low point in the office of the President. Trump should suffer the same fate, as his last days sealed his place in history. 

We are not a Socialist country, just as we are not a completely free economy.  We are somewhat in the middle. We drift right and left as the mood, and circumstances arise, so we should drift slightly left this time around. I don’t agree that raising taxes helps anyone, it just slows the economy, and reduces the revenue into the tax coffers based on history. But if we meet in the middle, just as former President Bill Clinton did, we can have another booming economy, even though he raised taxes. 

The people need a leader, one who can reach out to all the American people.  The likes we haven’t seen since Reagan and Kennedy. People who can speak eloquently, convincing people that if they follow, they will lead us to better times.  We don’t need the polarization that Obama and Trump provided over the last 12 years.

I’m hoping that President-Elect Biden can become that consensus builder that his reputation in the Senate leads him to office. He was never a hard-core leftist but tilted to the left all of his careers. I hope that he can put people around him that will work across the aisle, and not cause the turmoil we have had over the past 12 years. Biden’s track record has been mixed, as he has been on the wrong side of many issues over the past 40 years, and his only major accomplishments have been the Vice Presidency and now the Presidency. 

But like many have said, wishing him ill will is like hoping the pilot of the plane you are boarding fails. Our country is scarred, bleeding, and totally spent. We need a recovery, not just of the economy, and our health.  We need a recovery of our being civil to each other and finding common ground. The roaring 20’s was created by the Spanish Flu that preceded it according to many historians. Let’s hope that the incoming Congress and administration will recreate that in the current 20’s. 

God Bless America, especially our first responders, troops, and our incoming President. 

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