The Virtual Real Estate Office - A "Live" Tour and Update

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy

Some of you will remember my post awhile back about the "Future Real Estate Office or Brokerage."  This post and video received a ton of attention and though many of the comments reflected a controversial and expected response, others agreed and saw this type of technology and office being the future of Real Estate in regards to the traditional "Brick and Mortar" office.

Last month I wanted to follow up with this particular company to see personally, where they are, what they've done, how it's working, and most importantly, is this new "Virtual Office" technology really working for them and their clients?  It's easy to get excited about this type of technology and many will see why after watching the video below, but the REAL question is always DOES IT WORK? 

Come join me and a few others as we explore the "Virtual Office" concept, and interview some of the Brokers and Top Agents using this technology effectively in the *NEW* on-line world of Real Estate.  We'll be doing an update from our last interview back on December 11th, 2009, to see where this is all going except this time we'll be doing it "Live" at ActiveRain University.  You can come along and join the ride for FREE.

I have always been fascinated with this type of technology, but it's the service to the client that I see as an even greater value and a reason you may want to know more about this and join us for this class/webinar.  I'm giving everyone plenty of notice so there's no reason you should or can miss this.  Believe me, my first interview with these guys was amazing, I can only imagine where they have come with all of this by now.

The "Virtual Real Estate Office" Live webinar is scheduled for Thursday, July 22nd at 10:00am.
You'll want to "virtually" be there, the seats to this one will be gone fast.

REGISTER HERE NOW

Be sure to check out the AR University Calendar for other upcoming classes.
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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 07/06/2010 01:14 PM
  2. Pam Hockensmith 07/06/2010 09:36 PM
  3. Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team 07/19/2010 12:12 AM
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Rainmaker
1,009,261
Michael J. Perry
RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster, PA. - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Relo Specialist

Very Interesting ,I'll be watching for this to make it's way to PA. !!!!!

Jul 09, 2010 08:38 AM #16
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Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Melinda - it was great meeting you, the pleasure was all mine.  If you ever need anything at all, my door is always open to you. Thanks again for coming to RainCamp Portland, hope to see you again soon. 

Jul 09, 2010 10:59 AM #17
Rainer
8,644
Brian Culhane
eXp Realty LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

With regards to doing away with bricks and mortar....The idea is that the "National Brokerage" isnt going to put all its capital into providing more than the state by state Bricks and Mortar requirement...but if agents want to get office space then thats up to them and that would be part of their own individual business model. As it is...there are all kinds of solutions. Partnering with an executive office suites, utilizing title and mortgage company relationships, etc.etc. I am with eXp and I use a beautiful conference room over looking the Biltmore here in PHX and I pay $10/hr for it. I use it once or twice a month...to meet with those clients or agents who like to meet up in the office. I can also use daily office space, or if need be, weekly or monthly.  Its much more efficient than paying for a huge call center, filling it with equip, staff, utilities..

When I was with my old brokerage...that had 8 offices around the valley.. I still was meeting most of my clients at Starbucks or Paradise Bakery or somewhere with free wi fi...usually even with 8 offices the locations were still never very convienant.

 

Most agents I work with now...use docusign, efax, laptops with air cards, mobile printers and so forth....and are basically "offices of one" or a true mobile office. That way we are not tethered to any particular location or area.

 

Just my two cents...

 

 

Jul 09, 2010 01:49 PM #18
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Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Brian - that's some great input, especially the last paragraph, it's what intrigues me the most about this type of technology.

Jul 09, 2010 02:03 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,347,774
Vickie Nagy
Vickie Nagy, Broker Associate Realty ONE Group BMC Associates | BRE#01363932 - San Ramon, CA
Broker for San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton

I've been enthralled by the idea presented in a virtual office and followed EXP online, but it seems like they're getting a really slow start in CA.

Jul 10, 2010 11:05 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,183,229
Evelyn Johnston
Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Super Agent, Probably the Best Agent in the Galaxy
I love the idea of being tether-free! I need a portable printer and scanner and I am on my way!
Jul 10, 2010 11:43 PM #21
Rainer
8,644
Brian Culhane
eXp Realty LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

@ Vicki

 

The deal with CA is that there are all kinds of regional MLS boards that require joining before we can go live in that particular market , so we need courageous agents in those new sub-markets to step to the plate and get us going. Right now we are in N.California/Eureka/Redding area. We have some agents in San Fran who are showing interest and also in San Diego and LA County. 

 

For more info you eXp Cali you can email 

linda.disiere@exprealty.com our eXp California Broker

Jul 11, 2010 05:59 PM #22
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Debe Maxwell
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Brad!

Very interesting and this is definitely how I see the real estate business going in the very near future.  I work remotely about 95% of the time and I agree with you that the gas savings is HUGE!  Not to mention, for me, it's more efficient, time-wise, because I don't waste alot of time gabbing with other agents in the office!  Saving drive time, gas and work time definitely helps me to be more productive. 

I have often thought of starting my own virtual RE company but, thanks to this video, I don't think I'm quite ready!  Lots more technology than I have the skills to master at this point--but, I'm definitely working on it!  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks and I'm going to prove it--eventually!!

Thanks for sharing this!  Keep us posted on their success and new technological developments too!

Jul 17, 2010 12:05 PM #23
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Richard Weisser
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale

Brad...

I see this as more fad than the future. Every piece of real estate is unique, and you really have to be "there" to experience it!

Jul 21, 2010 08:42 AM #24
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Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Richard - you may be right, this is why we are going to see the progress live of an office like this.

Last December we interviewed them and got the personal tour of their new Virtual office. Tomorrow we will tour it again, see the changes after 6+ months, and find out if they're actually selling real estate and making money this way. 

Real Estate is unique and this has nothing to do with that, it's a virtual office, not virtual homes for sale. I think you'd be the perfect candidate to attend this free webinar so you could walk away with a true understanding of how this technology works, and then really decide if this may or may not just be a fad.  Hope to see you there my friend, it's the consumers buying real estate (at least some that I've spoken to) who would prefer to conduct some of the Real Estate transaction this way in order to save time, money, and the expenses incurred when buying or selling their homes. 

Come check it out, you got nothing to lose and only knowledge and insight to gain. :-)

Jul 21, 2010 09:30 AM #25
Rainer
8,644
Brian Culhane
eXp Realty LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

Keep in mind when we talk about being virtual, its the agent to broker/brokerage relationship we are talking about. Not the client to agent.

Agents should still know their market intimately as you said Richard. All the skills and knowledge of the agent are still going to exist. Its the training, the meetings, the interaction between agent and office..that is changing.

I can imagine there could be a time where we invite clients to interact in the virtual office environment...and that would mostly be for those out of state buyers, that typically cant get to your market for 3-6-9 months.

But that is still a ways off.

Im fairly confident that efax, docusign, smart phones, are here to stay.

Another word for virtual office...could be...

"Smart Brokerage"

Jul 21, 2010 09:51 AM #26
Rainmaker
525,716
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

This is the direction we're trying to go in, but we still have a long way to go. Can't wait to see how far they've come!

Jul 21, 2010 10:17 AM #29
Rainer
66,546
Mario Jannatpour
RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville, Colorado - Louisville, CO
Author of the Book, "The Honest Real Estate Agent"

Interesting post and good discussion.  Virtual offices are definitely here and will continue to grow.

Jul 21, 2010 01:43 PM #30
Ambassador
1,464,213
Anna Banana Kruchten
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

I like this - we're headed in a some similiar direction but they're way far far out there.  I'll be online for this one Brad.  That's pacific time, correct?

Jul 21, 2010 01:45 PM #31
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Brad Andersohn
Zillow - Nat'l Outreach Mgr & Dir. of Zillow Academy - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Anna - yes, that is pacific time and i look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks everyone for signing up for this, we have quite a list of attendees coming, I'm really excited to see this myself. :-)

Jul 21, 2010 02:41 PM #32
Ambassador
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Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I think the future will see virtual offices as the basis for most real estate.  The brick and mortar offices will most likely go away and replaced with meeting rooms rented by agents as needed for meetings, etc.  Most agents are heading in this direction with the proliferation of smartphones and laptops.  The only other thing thing would be to have team meetings once a week (as most offices do now) but with rental conference room space.  That could be done with a conference room anywhere.

 

Jul 22, 2010 12:08 AM #33
Rainer
20,545
Dale Kreiser
Washington Broker - eXp Realty, Bellingham, WA - Bellingham, WA

That's the way we see it also Bryan.  As far as conference or board rooms, most title or lenders have these rooms that they would be willing to allow an agent borrow from time to time if it means that they get additional business.

As far as the weekly meetings, I'm the Washington State broker and hold my meetings in the virtual training center which allows me the flexibility to share screens or play relevant videos for agents across the state.  Since I started holding them virtually, my attendance has increased.  

Let me know if you ever want a live tour.

Jul 22, 2010 02:27 PM #34
Rainmaker
384,102
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
I was on the road and missed this. Would love to know when it's available again!
Jul 23, 2010 07:54 PM #35
Rainer
8,644
Brian Culhane
eXp Realty LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

Hi Eric,

Not sure when the next Activerain tour will be. But we do an XCamp every Monday morning at 9am PST inside our virtual office that we open up to guests and friends and its a great. Non-recruity way to get to know the space. Its our Virtual Version of a BarCamp.

If your interested, you can request an invite here. 

http://exprealty.com/xcamp-invitation/

Jul 23, 2010 08:06 PM #36
Rainmaker
94,668
Evan Russell
The Russell Realty Group - Boston, MA

This was a great event, we had some great questions about how eXp Realty works, and we had some good rebuttals as to how this benefits agents and brokers.  The ability to speak and share a document in real time with agents and brokers across a a territory opens to agent up to more calls, letters and general focus on the business.  That is just one of the many benefits of this model.  

I am curious how the video of the class turned out and would love to see it posted for those who missed the tour.  

- Evan Russell, eXp Realty New England

Jul 23, 2010 10:25 PM #37
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