The past year has changed so much of what we used to know. The pandemic forced many of us to shift the way we live, learn and work, arguably for the better. Not to be dismissive of the many who are negatively impacted by the virus or the dissolving state of our economy, it’s important to note that there are many positive lessons as well.
One major impact of the pandemic is on the workforce and how it now operates. So many industries swiftly transitioned to their teams working from home and we think this aspect is here to stay. Traditionally, the real estate industry requires more staff to be in the office, in order to keep in close contact with employees, given the fast-paced nature of the industry. The question is: should the real estate industry adapt to remote work options as well?
We speak with hundreds of candidates regularly, and our newest and most popular question is: “Can I work from home?” Currently, the answer is more often than not: no. So why is the real estate industry still stuck in the past? We see so much talent fall through during the hiring process because of their desire to work from home. Especially with admin positions, is the industry adaptable to work from home? We think so.
Conventionally, the real estate administrator, assistant, client care co-ordinator, marketing specialist or deal processor sits at a desk all day in the office, while handling the day-to-day of their position. We understand Realtors want their staff in the office to be able to drop things on their desk that need attention, have an impromptu brainstorm session when an idea arises or to easily delegate the daily task list, but this can all be done remotely. It just requires a little adaptation.
Most of our staff at AGENTC come from a background in real estate administration. Our office manager worked for a high-level agent but needed to work from home. She did so for an extended period of time, but the Realtor insisted she needed to have an in-office assistant and decided to part ways with her. Our marketing specialist was also on a top one per cent Toronto team, and had to leave the city for personal reasons. She would have stayed in her role with the Realtor but again, the Realtor insisted that she needed an in-office assistant. Had they both been able to work from home, they likely would still be with their teams.
Aside from having to meet trades, dropping off lockboxes and marketing materials and other related errands, the bulk of the work can surely be done remotely. Short-sightedness on the Realtors’ part has worked in our favour. We hired both these candidates for our own team.
We have always had remote teams and it has always worked very well for us. We start the day with a team meeting to motivate, discuss current projects and requisitions and delegate daily tasks. We are also in constant contact with each other using a business communication platform that allows us to feel supported and connected at all times, should we ever have questions or need clarification on anything. We use a cloud platform for sharing documents and really take advantage of the ever-changing technology to run the business smoothly.
Our employees find they are more productive and less distracted while working from home and have a much better work/life balance. There are so many tools, and surely many more to come, to assist teams in working from home.
As this era of running your business remotely becomes more popular, we urge Realtors to adapt to the change. Finding great administration staff is already a feat in itself, and we see so many candidates rejecting positions that require them to be in office. This is definitely something we think Realtors and brokers need to consider as we move more towards the digital lifestyle.
If you’re ready to make the move to allowing your team to work remotely, reach out to us for input on how to transition your real estate positions. We don’t want you to miss out on talent because you are stuck in the traditional model.