It’s 2023. The age of morning commutes is over. Now, the extent of your work travels is from bed to computer. Being able to work remotely has become a staple of our society post-pandemic. If you’re on the hunt for a new career, the possibility of remote work may be a priority. Most jobs have become applicable, but do real estate agents work from home?
Believe it or not, 2023 is looking to be a great year to break into real estate. In fact, Zillow predicted that the market would grow by double digits this year. This bold conjecture, like a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, will lead to an increase in people jumping into the industry. In 2023 fashion, this will lead to an increase in real estate agents working from home. But is it a proficient way to go about the career?
Simply put, yes, being a real estate agent from home is possible. In fact, it may even be more beneficial. If you’re thinking about starting your real estate career, here are some pros and cons of working from home as an agent.
Positive: Flexible Scheduling
The biggest positive of working from home, if applicable, is setting your own schedule. Real estate agents are one of the positions that can benefit the most from this flexibility.
At the end of the day, most agents make their income entirely off of commission. So with the lack of hourly pay, the lack of regular working hours increases efficiency. You no longer have to abide by the hours established by your office. Need to run and do a task after business hours? Go for it.
Working in real estate can be an extremely demanding (and rewarding) responsibility. You may need to file paperwork outside of brokerage hours. You may need to do a showing during a holiday. Being able to separate yourself from office hours can be beneficial if you’re responsible.
Positive: Reduction of Business Expenses
If you’re planning on opening your own brokerage, creating a home office is financially advantageous.
According to FastCapital360, office spaces can cost anywhere from $5-$60 per square foot. Let’s say you’re looking at a smaller office space, averaging around 1,200 square feet. Even at the lowest rate of $5-per-square-foot, that office would be $6,000 a month.
For a new business, that can be a pricey investment, especially in a field that requires clients to function. So, at least to start, working from home (where you already own or pay rent) is a plus. Being an agent is already a stressful experience. Take a little bit of the edge off by avoiding paying for rent.
We can take the time to calculate other business expenses, but you get the drift. Gasoline, electricity and food (we all treat ourselves to take out eventually). Working from home can save you from an array of unnecessary expenses. Mostly all real estate agent tasks, sans things regarding properties themselves, can be done remotely.
Positive: Going to Clients Can Increase Relationships
Put yourself in a client’s shoes. Going to a broker’s office just to fill out paperwork can be a pain. In fact, if you’re like me, going anywhere can be a pain. So, as a real estate agent, why not create a customer-friendly relationship by going to the customer?
While traveling to clients can be an option if you work at an office, working from home makes it a necessity. It may not seem like an advantage to you, the worker, but it will be in the long run.
Real estate work is entirely based upon client-agent relationships. There’s no business if there’s no business, you know? So foster a more personal relationship by meeting with the customer on their terms.
There are drawbacks to this, sure.
Negative: No Walk-in Clients
Having no office means having no clients stumble upon said office. An actual location can lead to a plethora of clients based on word-of-mouth and Google maps views. Consequently, it’s always advantageous to have a physical storefront.
In the current age of 5G and at-home work, a lack of business location is not as detrimental as it used to be, but it can still lead to a loss in profit. Sure, you could use your home as a physical office client can come to, but who wants to do that?
Not having an office is not a dealbreaker, but it is something to ponder.
Negative: Less Work Mentality
Let’s be honest, working from home is harder than you’d imagine. Sure, working in your pajamas sounds great on paper, but can be detrimental in practice. Working from home takes an extreme amount of self-discipline. Having to actually dress up and report to an office not only increases working mentality but leads to an increase in efficiency, too.
As Deion Sanders once said, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.”
We all want to get paid good.
Can a real estate agent work efficiently from home? Yes, this is less of an issue regarding real estate, but an issue involving remote work overall. Having to report to an actual office can only increase efficiency.
If you’re one of the lucky few that does much better working at home, disregard this and continue being wonderful.
Negative: Less Colleague Learning
Real estate agents work from home. In fact, this is not a new concept post-pandemic. Real estate agents have been working remotely forever. As stated, it’s one of the careers that benefit from it.
Becoming a real estate agent is tough. The learning curve is high, though worth it. Learning from colleagues is crucial in any field, especially real estate. By interacting with and viewing coworkers, newer agents can learn how to speak to clients, analyze market trends and navigate compliance rules.
Ultimately, being around established professionals in a new field is pivotal to becoming proficient. Working from home, especially at the onset of your career, can increase the curve of an already-difficult profession. Remember this when making your decision.
Can Real Estate Agents Work from Home?
Nevertheless, a real estate agent can work from home. It may even lead to more positives than not. But, if you’re thinking about entering a career, it’s important to look at yourself as a worker. Do you believe it would be more efficient to start with peers in your midst? Do you think it will be more financially beneficial to have an office clients report to?
Remember, nothing is permanent. If you attempt to start out at home, you are not locked into that decision. As long as you’re starting, you’re moving in the right direction. Just make sure to be honest about your work ethic and self-learning ability.