Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Virtual Agents: Can you really work without an office?

There is a romantic idea of working as an iAGENT, without an office, and spending days lounging in coffee shops with your laptop. However, is this a realistic notion? Can you really get all the work you need done in Starbucks, libraries or at your clients houses?

The Virtual Realtor certainly does work out in the field, however, it is not practical to expect all work to be done in such locations. A quiet space at home is usually where the grunt work will take place. The daily grind such as calling databases, creating budgets and business plans, doing taxes and all of the other uncreative, necessary aspects of running a real estate business still need to take place and public locations are not necessarily appropriate for such.

For some, home is the ideal location for these tasks. For others, their residence is simply not conducive to work, and that is why drop-in space is available for our mobile agents at our iREALTY office.

However, the desirable work lifestyle of having the local café as your office is effective for other aspects of an iAGENT’s operation. For agents utilizing tablet computers, it is very effective to write and respond to offers with clients, paperlessly, at these public locations. Public meeting spaces tend to have a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere as well as often having wireless internet so that it is expected that work meetings will take place at that location. Plus there are always choices of different meeting locations near your clients, allowing the iAGENT to provide superior service by coming to your clients, instead of requiring your clients to go out of their way to come to you at your office.  

The local coffees shop is an excellent venue to inspire creativity, and is a great place to write blogs (I am in a Starbucks as I write!) advertising, website updates and other creative work.

 The last benefit to working surrounded by the public instead of in the office, is the daily and constant contact with people you may never have had met. It is a rare occasion where I work in a local café without chatting with someone I know, or even better, meeting someone I don’t know. It seems that coffee shop etiquette allows and even encourages conversations with strangers and what better environment for a real estate agent to meet potential contacts, clients and friends!

You don’t sell real estate in your office, so get out of it!

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