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.

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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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. My wife and I had our own brokerage and one day in the late ’80’s (before all this “working from home” stuff) we had a fellow come into our office… he told us quickly he was gay. He said he knew of us because of the many files he had done AT NIGHT in the law office he was a steno at.

    He knew the business well and said a lot of people feel uncomfortable around him… so he would do our typing at night and also serve as security. He was a nice guy and we decided to give him a shot… great decision and he worked with us even that hardly anyone in the office (except the cleaning service) ever saw him… he was with us for a few years.

    Selling, listing houses… requires face to face although many years ago (about 1996) we sold a house off our brand new web site… no live viewing until after closing! Couldn’t live or depend on that ever happening again although we still have the same web site… it has never happened again!

  2. I’ve been a REALTOR® with eXp Realty for just over 2 years. Working from anywhere that has an internet connection is just a given. With full admin and tech support, extensive training, education, and collaboration available on our virtual platform, eXp has the recipe for success. It’s faster and easier for me to have real time virtual conversations and meetings, either scheduled or as needed, than it ever was in a traditional brokerage. During the pandemic, we have even been able to attend virtual conferences complete with keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and trade kiosks.
    I think that every REALTOR® owes it to themselves to become familiar with eXp’s business model and the opportunities it presents. As we say, “You can’t unsee it!” I’m happy to discuss at [email protected]

  3. I launched Optimum Realty Inc.in 2018 in Regina, SK based on the work from home model. My agents work remotely from wherever they’d like. We use secure, encrypted file sharing tech for documents, digital signatures, etc. Definitely they way things are headed I believe.

  4. If when typing your URL or email address at end of your REM comment, you insert a space bar stroke before you submit your domain name or email address the system will not accept, I discovered.

    Yet in the body copy of course you need a space bar stroke to activate as clickable either as a URL or as an email address. When I accidentally added a space bar stroke the system said my entry was not valid.

    Carolyne L 🍁

  5. PC275 Realty is a virtual brokerage. We were 100% virtual by March 18th 2020.

    We have launched a partnership with RBC to allow clients and realtor to drop off deposits at any branch in Canada.

    Our finance admin works 100% remotely. Our service team is flex time with some days at home and some at our one HQ office. Though that’s only because we have the space and it’s not needed.

    MS teams allows us to manage our logistics and team collaboration.

    Modern real estate brokerages can adapt and its easy (cheaper and more efficient) to go virtual.

    Myself I have experimented with 100% virtual listings, but I find most consumers still prefer in person apts to buy and sell.

    Happy to share more. [email protected]

  6. Today with the new technology and software available for deal handling, it is easy for REALTORS to work from home. I’m with a Red and White Realty Brokerage who only offer work from home. I find we have more interaction than when I was with the brick and mortar place I had been with for 11 years. No to forget a really great remuneration program.

    This is funny. my email add is [email protected] yet REM does not recognize it.

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