Do Realtors Need an Office in 2020?
The idea of working remotely started as a forced measure for most businesses in the early weeks of the pandemic. Most business owners, even those who work in online products and services, were initially positive that they will sooner or later return to offices.
However, the reality has become quite different, and even traditionally office-based industries now consider going fully remote. Amongst these, we have real estate offices. Essentially, agents and brokers need an office to hold meetings with buyers and sellers. Given the health concerns now, the idea of a physical office has become somehow irrelevant.
To answer the main question, we need to have a look at some of the main implications the year 2020 has had for the real estate industry.
What Are the Main Implications of the Year 2020 for Realtors?
The year 2020 was already a special year for realtors. A presidential election and a healthy economy were signs of more real estate deals and revenue. However, the novel Covid-19 coronavirus became a worldwide health crisis and turned the tables.
There is a lot of controversy over the impacts of the pandemic on real estate, but one can inarguably claim that early days were filled with uncertainty and desperation. In some states, real estate was considered essential and in some cases, it wasn’t.
Open house showings are still banned in some areas, and changes in demand and inventory has affected the prices. The government and banks offer some assistance to keep the economy from collapsing, but even that will not provide reassurance for all investors and buyers.
Why You don’t Need an Office Anymore?
To give a clear picture of why we NEED an office as a realtor, we cover the main functions of it:
- Hold meetings with potential buyers or sellers
- Hold meetings in order to sign contacts
- Show and discuss listings with clients
- Maintain a working and cooperation environment for agents and brokers
- Hold in-company meetings
- And more
Given the circumstances, most of the above are not an option for most people. Most employees prefer to work from home and have fewer contacts with the public. Even most clients prefer to conduct a zoom meeting rather than to hold face to face sessions.
Another driving factor away from physical offices is the cost. Maintaining a real estate office with relatively lower number of deals is not cost-effective. Some companies that moved to remote work were able to save a lot of money by handing back their office.
What Happens to Commercial Real Estate?
Most real estate experts have begun to worry about what will happen to the CRE market. There is a general belief that CRE will experience a sharp decrease in value and revenue.
However, I certainly believe that with new trends come new opportunities. Just like online shopping didn’t break the brick and mortar market, commercial real estate can look into new ways to innovate given the circumstances.
There might be little need for luxury offices, but warehouses and industrial areas are in demand.
Just like other industries, real estate is changing to meet the needs of realtors and clients. One of these inevitable changes is the shifting of businesses to a fully remote and online working environment. Therefore, the answer to the main question of the article is Maybe Not!
If you need More information about how you can turn your real estate business into a fully remote one, check out the following blogs: