Realtors – what does your office space say about you? When prospects and/or other agents come to your office are they hit with the smell of stale cigarettes or greeted with the soft scent of jasmine?
Is there visual clutter everywhere – stacks of paper cluttering your desk or dusty award shelves lining the walls? Or perhaps your office is clean and smells pleasant, but it makes visitors feel like they’ve stepped back in time.
The Modern Real Estate Office
Business owners know that to stay relevant in their industry, it’s important to understand the needs of their target demographic. As technology continues to advance, and continues to be made accessible to a wider audience, the more that realtors need to embrace the use of it in their businesses. In fact, more and more, technology is becoming an integral part of what it takes to be a real estate professional.
Advances in technology have allowed for more paperless – or at least reduced paperwork – transactions for agents, changing their office needs and by extension changing the “definition” of what a realtor’s office should be.
Mark Woodroof and Marilyn Eiland, owners of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Houstin, Texas understand the needs of their clientele and have changed their business strategy to suit.
Discussing the changes, Eiland noted, “We are in a different market now, and that’s where the consumer is. The changes in the industry demand that we adjust the way we do business. We want our agents to have all the tools they need for the future of the industry – and that includes the best possible space to work.”
“Our new office spaces are highly functional and centered around technology,” said Woodroof. “This allows agents to be more mobile and to work more effectively with clients and other agents.”
Creating a Stimulating Environment
One example of the real estate “office of the future” involves an open floor plan, with no boxed off workspaces, encouraging collaboration and a transparency among co-workers.
Better Homes and Gardens Cypress, Texas conceived of a non-traditional workspace that was open and inviting rather than “shut-off” and “boxed-in”.
Office manager Rich Guderyon describes the concept behind his office, which opened in January of 2010.
“We just don’t need a lot of private office spaces,” Guderyon said. “This is a boutique-style real estate operation.”
“There is an openness to our office,” continued Guderyon. “There are more conversations and more interaction. The bottom line is agents are learning more from each other – from the most experienced to the rookies. And I like that.”
Transparency is a key concept which is certainly facilitated in Guderyon’s workspace. “It’s not the culture of a closed-door office – everyone is more accessible and more accountable,” he said.
Smaller, “boutique-style” offices can change the way realtors do business. “Instead of one large agency, we split into nice pocket offices that cater to specific neighborhoods,” Guderyon said. “Offices may be in adjoining subdivisions. They are not far from each other.”
Realtors – do you agree with this idea? Please share with us – what kind of workspace do you have?
Involved in real estate for more than 15 years, Anita Cooper is a freelance writer specializing in writing for the real estate industry. Her articles have appeared in the trade magazine “Real Estate Wealth”, as well as a variety of online venues. Cooper owns and operates a writing business geared towards assisting small business owners craft their own, unique message.