Do You Need an Office to Be a Real Estate Agent?
Whether you’re a newly-licensed real estate agent or you’re making your first foray into independent agency, there are many factors to consider as you’re first getting started. What types of clients do you want to find? Are you going to specialize? Where will your office be located? These days, many agents eschew an office altogether in favor of working from home – or entirely online. Before you decide whether or not you need an office, there are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself:
- Who are your clients? If you’re working with people who are buying a home, you may find that you rarely use your office. After all, you’re primarily meeting with them for house showings and occasional paperwork. Most of this can be accomplished with a laptop that has a wireless Internet connection. However, if you’re working with sellers, they may want to see that their real estate agent is more established. An office can help create that perception.
- Do you have the right equipment? Should you choose to save some money by not renting an office, you should be aware that there are other expenses involved. You’ll need special tools that work on-the-go, like a laptop and a mobile printer. You might even consider getting a device that allows you to connect to the Internet wherever you are, whether or not Wi-Fi is available. For example, if your clients are buying a home, they may want to see additional listings while you’re already out looking at properties. Are you ready to meet their needs?
- Where will you conduct official meetings? Some parts of buying a home, such as the closing, require a space that accommodates multiple people and has relative privacy. If you choose to work without an office, you’ll need to consider where these meetings will happen. Many coffee shops, libraries and other places offer conference rooms that you can rent for a few hours.
Going digital is a big trend in the real estate agent community these days, but ditching an office requires you to make choices about how important a physical location is to you and your clients. While ducking into a coffee shop with clients may work for some agents, others may want the stability and functionality of an office. Make your decision wisely.