Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people have been working from home. No field is exempt – including real estate agents. Though their jobs entail showing homes and communicating with clients, they can still work comfortably from just about anywhere.
People spend around one-third of their lives at work, so why shouldn’t they be comfortable? After all, real estate is based on face-to-face contact and grows through online communication and social media, meaning it can be done from anywhere.
Your real estate career offers a lot of flexibility, but can you make it work based from home? Is it vital for real estate agents to work in an office?
Are There Benefits to Working in an Office?
First, know there are some potential advantages to having an office space. By working at an office, you have a set quitting time, which can help you put your work away. Real estate agents need to be available for their clients when they have a question, but they can still set boundaries on how often they take calls if they struggle to manage work hours in their homes.
Research varies on how productivity improves or worsens at home, so agents really have to know themselves and their work habits to make a good decision. Real estate agents often set their own hours and have different schedules depending on the day, so it may be more normal for their productivity to fluctuate as they adapt to changes in their schedules.
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Some real estate agents also value the professionalism of an office environment. They can direct client calls and interactions to the office rather than masking their home address.
Finally, an office space provides an element that agents have to work harder to access in a remote role — collaboration and mentorship. If you value facetime with other agents and brokers in a formal space, it’s easier to access this benefit every day if you spend some time with them in person.
Office Work is Less Popular Now — Agents Are No Exception
With all that being said, the reality is that a lot of a real estate agent’s work takes place in the field. Paying for a dedicated desk might not be worth the benefits if you’re able to manage your time, plan out networking opportunities and create a good work-from-home setup for computer work.
Also, many businesses are eliminating their brick-and-mortar locations to keep costs low, especially in instances where digital interaction is taking over. Real estate brokerage offices may be traditional, but it’s becoming increasingly likely that other professionals will maintain work-from-home routines that will make a real estate office uncommon.
Real estate agents can work from anywhere with good discipline and motivation to succeed. Next, we’ll explain the advantages of an office-free real estate career.
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Why Working From Home Works For Agents
Working from home undoubtedly has its perks, especially when you’re a real estate agent whose schedule may vary from day to day. Nearly half of all American workers are working from home full-time now. Agents have access to technology, advice, and changing norms to help them create the optimal work-from-home environment.
One of the biggest ways working from home can help a real estate agent is in commuting minutes. In total, Americans working from home save 60 million minutes every single day by eliminating commutes. When you’re a real estate agent, removing that extra stop to an office can be a huge timesaver when you have to drive to multiple properties in a week, sometimes in a single day.
The flexibility of remote work allows agents to adapt to a career where hours fluctuate based on client needs. With a solid work-from-home setup at your fingertips, you can block out time to handle online marketing, emails, and phone calls as needed throughout the week. Then, you can coordinate your physical visits and take control of the hours you work — even if they don’t align with a traditional 9-to-5 routine.
Plus, you should consider how much more comfortable you feel when you work from home. Comfortable clothes, access to your kitchen, and more time for family interactions are all quality-of-life bonuses remote workers appreciate. Master distractions and commit to a consistent schedule, and work from home can be an enjoyable, customizable experience.
Real Estate Agents Don’t Need to Work From an Office
You will have to decide for yourself which environment is more feasible and productive for you. Any place you choose to do work can be considered your “real office,” whether it’s at home or in a building 30 minutes away.
Most real estate agents are likely going to continue opting for work-from-home routines, especially as remote work technology tools continue to improve. Building a routine that helps you navigate the flexibility of a real estate career and stay focused — no matter where you are — will be the key to continued success.
About the Author: Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, an online resource for the real estate market. Her freelance writing has been published by the National Association of REALTORS®, Insights for Professionals and other prominent industry magazines.