Do Most Real Estate Agents Really Need An Office At Their Brokers Office?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Stars Realty

Most real estate brokerages today are faced with an extremely thin margin of profit if they net any profit at all.  Brokerages are faced with the many financial challenges including their physical office space, the phone systems and the cost and contracts required, the utility bills for these large offices and obviously other general fixed costs.  The question is "What if the majority of the real estate brokerages could operate out of one half the space they are currently occupy today...would that help the brokerage become more profitable? 

With the current wireless technology and access through cellular broadband do most agents need an actual real estate office to meet clients?  Do most agents spend most of their time actually sitting in their offices or are most agents out meeting with buyers and sellers?  I have a feeling the brick and mortar real estate offices will be sizing down in the near future and more agents will become road warriors utilizing even more of the latest technology.  ActiveRain members...what do you think?

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
Tech Corner
Technology
Cyberstars
Real Estate Technology
Learn to be a Top Producing Listing Agent
Tags:
road warrior
real estate technology

Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the balloons to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,353,562
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio

Frank and Jodi - Is your office at home a place where you can officially meet clients? 

June 19, 2008 06:15 PM #55
Rainer
63,403
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

Same thing I wrote 6 months ago (I was looking to move).  Agents don't need the office, and mine is empty most of the time.  BUT, try recruiting without the fancy - private office.  If Realtors would only realize it's their split paying for that expensive office, not mine.  but convince them they don't need the high buck digs

June 19, 2008 07:37 PM #56
Rainmaker
1,353,562
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio

Greg - What you are saying is easy to understand.  What about the top selling agents who are spending their time with buyers and sellers and no in the office...do they have the same issue?

June 19, 2008 09:01 PM #57
Ambassador
883,319
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Exactly.  Having a couple of conference rooms and a seminar room along with a couple of offices and wifi would be perfect.  I actually have a model kicking around in my head...  You'd like it.  There could be a Vette parked there.

June 19, 2008 09:17 PM #58
Rainmaker
1,353,562
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio

Lane - There should be a new ZR1 638 horsepower Vette parked there. (really big smile)

June 19, 2008 09:19 PM #59
Rainer
43,293
John and Lisa Marker
RE/MAX Dream Properties - Northville, MI

Sam..As long as an agent is disciplined to be productive at a home office, it will work fine. However an agent that has young kids and the interruptions inherent with this situation, will find it difficult to pull off a productive home office IMO.

June 19, 2008 09:32 PM #60
Rainmaker
1,353,562
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio

John - I agree 100% with you.  If your home is more of a distraction than your office the odds will be stacked against you.

June 19, 2008 09:34 PM #61
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

John, I agree... we don't go to the office anymore...everything is worked at home now...and by blackberry's....Listings have increased since there is no office to BS and sit around the internet.....

June 22, 2008 09:45 PM #62
Rainer
3,791
Dale Chambers
Exit Realty Professionals - Portland, OR

Interesting comments all the way around. It sounds like most are comfortable with a mobile solution with the occasional need for a "nice" environment.  I think more and more brokers will be moving in this direction.

I've worked primarily out of a home office for almost 20 years. It is much easier now that the kids are in college! My biggest challenge is my wife who is a nurse and has always had to "go to work", doesn't really understand that being at home doesn't mean I'm not working!

June 24, 2008 10:24 AM #63
Ambassador
1,724,070
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate

You are right on the money! I am in our broker's office perhaps once a month - perhaps less! We fax in paperwork and get our leads via referrals and the internet! Having an office space for agents is wasted money! Having a conference room is not!

June 24, 2008 01:42 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,353,562
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio

Jack - I have gotten so many positive messages from ActiveRain members telling me the same thing.  With the latest technology including laptops with cellular broadband cards, Blackberry, TREO, Q, and iPhones...we can operate our real estate businesses anywhere there is cell service. 

Dale - I agree with you about most agents truly not needing a personal real estate office as much as having access to a conference or meeting room at their brokerage to meet with clients.  I believe you are not alone with your comments about your wife not fully understanding that when you are home at work...you are AT WORK even though you are not officially sitting in a traditional real estate office.

Barbara-Jo & Bill - I admire your ability to be able to operate your business mainly from an off site location but it also sounds like when you need the conference space it is available...sounds like you have the best of both worlds.  Congrats!

June 24, 2008 04:27 PM #65
Rainer
54,221
Beth Young
PropertyInfo Corp. - SureClose - Houston, TX

Sam, I think you are right on target.  This is exactly what I have been preaching to real estate brokerages for years now.  Pushing current systems to web-based programs and moving into the digital/paperless world will save the broker a ton of money and can actually make the agents far more productive.

June 25, 2008 10:47 AM #66
Rainmaker
1,353,562
Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Howard, OH
Knox County Ohio

Beth - I am seeing real estate heading in the same direction.  However, there are so many agents who are unwilling to accept technology into their personal business...I just shake my head in amazement like I am sure you probably do as well at times.  Some people just don't get it. 

June 25, 2008 12:26 PM #67
Rainer
4,207
Anita Ricketts
HER Realtors - Bellefontaine, OH

Sam,  I am a relative newcomer to ActiveRain who has fought the whole premise of the need for such a tool but as I came online this evening to peck around I thought "what is the big question of the day for me that maybe I can get some good advise on?" and typed in office space in the search bar and there I found your blog full of great information and advise on my most recent inter-office struggle.  My company is just shy of 5 years old and I have been giving serious consideration to "down-sizing" my current office space.  Amazingly, in the past 5 years I have watched an office full of agents who were in the office socializing and networking and meeting with clients constantly change to mobile agents who are only in and out a couple of times a week and consequently a lot of my company dollar seemingly wasted on bricks and mortar (not to mention utilities, underutilized equipment and everything that goes along with it).  With that change I also have an AWFUL time filling floor time space.  My thoughts are to downsize to a "customer center" that has a lobby, service desk and a closing/meeting room.  NO PRIVATE OFFICES....I would love to hear if anyone else has adjusted to this business model and get advise on what might and might not work for me.  By the way, I might just like this blogging thing! 

October 16, 2008 10:04 PM #68
Rainer
131,967
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

I agree.  I have all the technology I need in my home office and I prefer having the ability to work from home on a regular basis.  I go into the office when I need to and generally stop by to check my mail from time-to-time.  My office will call me when I get a fax and does a great job communicating through email and voice mail.

October 17, 2008 08:44 AM #69
Rainmaker
780,683
Richard Weeks
Waller Group - Dallas, TX
Realtor, Associate Broker - Manager Business Development

I think some people just need that decipline of getting up getting dressed and going to the office.

I have done it both ways, and enjoy the office atmosphere.

October 21, 2008 05:07 AM #70
Rainer
4,207
Anita Ricketts
HER Realtors - Bellefontaine, OH

Jon and Richard,

Thanks for your responses.  The majority of my agents share the ideas of Jon but I have one who prefers the atmosphere like Richard.  I really hate to lose that one agent.  Any ideas on how I can keep that agent happy with the change? 

October 21, 2008 11:15 AM #71
Rainmaker
180,852
Roberto Gonzalez
RG Realty Inc - Hagerstown, MD
Roberto Gonzalez

Good question, in my case you are right, the margin of profit is very narrow, in the other hand agents do not need an office, only to have a place to meet with clients, so to answer your question, yes, we need to cut down on square footage, phone lines, etc. my friend also owns an office 5000 sq., with 20 desk and 10 offices, only 2 or 3 are occupied most of the time, no need for all the space

October 25, 2008 06:31 PM #72
Rainer
24,385
George Tars
PalmHomes LLC - Palm Beach, FL

My office is 14x13 in a highrise buildingn in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida... it does not even have parking .... you got to pay the meters ... yet we are 5 agents all living within 60 miles radius using IM, text, email and phone... I have a web camera installed at the office to check my mail and I only go when there is mail to pick up or write a contract .... the web camera sends me IMs and records all activity when it detects motion inside the office ...

October 27, 2008 06:00 PM #73
Rainer
11,660
Kent Davis
Kent Davis - RE/MAX Alliance of NM - Albuquerque, NM

Things change, I thought "the office" would be economically obsolete by now. We all can work just about anywhere so what surprises me is seeing large offices with lots of empty desks and huge overhead.  But working from "home" is not exactly the answer either - lots of distractions and though home may be very nice, do you really want your clients and agents coming to your personal residence for those necessary meetings? What works for me is the nearly virtual office - professional phone screening service, an available conference room, a copier and Internet connection.  I'm not totally virtual yet, I do still like to have a couple of desks and file cabinets in a small but very efficient office suite.

November 02, 2008 08:50 PM #74
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,353,562

Sam Miller

Knox County Ohio
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the flag to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information