Is Your Home Office Costing You Money?

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The Lones Group, Inc.

Is Your Home Office Costing You Money?

When I first started my real estate career well over two decades ago, real estate agents did not work from home. They worked in cubicles in offices and shared work space. There wasn't even an option to work from home.

With the expansion of the internet, apps, email, and dashboards available from the coffee-shop down the street or across the globe, I have watched the industry change dramatically. One of the biggest make-it or break-it changes has been the work from home rage.

Initially I remember agents that worked for me talking about the new office in town and how they allowed agents to work from home. Next came the plea for me to add a work-from-home program which I eventually did to make a point. The point I wanted to make was that working from home was NOT for all agents.

While some agents thrive working from home where they can save time commuting and multi-tasking in the comfort of their own home, others discover they can't fully focus while working from home. There are always dishes in the sink, laundry that needs to be done, leaky faucets to fix, snacks to fix, dogs and cats that need attention, or personal projects to work on and countless other distractions that can keep any of from doing what we need to do. I have seen many agents do extremely well working from home but I have also told many agents that the distractions at home is costing them tens of thousands of dollars and they need to get back to the office.

So, what is it about working from home that works so well for some and is devastating to others? The answer to this depends a lot on your personality type, your home environment and your workspace at home.  It also depends on who is in your home while you are trying to get work done. Personally, on any day that I work from home I must make sure that no one is around to distract me. I even put my dogs in the garage while I am working because even their sweet little faces can distract me.

Is working from home for you? The key is to honestly assess where you are most productive. Real estate is a business that requires communication with clients, private phone calls, and lots of research and paperwork. Ask yourself where you are better able to focus and have private discussions.  I have many clients that work from home that realize their children and spouse can cause multiple distractions. These small distractions can slowly add up to a monumental loss of productive work time.

If you are working from home and are finding yourself not as productive as you could be, take a very close look at what happens during the day in your home while you are working. Count every distraction you experience. How many minutes are you losing in a given day to these distractions? Each minute costs you money. If working from home is costing you money, make a change. Make some rules about going to the office X days per week or going to another environment that is more conducive to your getting focused on what needs to be done.

If your office no longer offers a workspace option, there are plenty of co-working spaces that some agents find works for them. You may even consider renting a space for a small amount each month. The key is to find the best fit for you.

Don't let distractions cost you precious time and money!



By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA

still no working from a home office in our market.  A couple of agents tried it, but they all rely on office support staff too much.  Rural America isn't the same as a city.

Feb 18, 2020 02:49 PM #1
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

As a freelance copywriter, I work from home, and I understand your points. Home IS a distraction.

However, when I had an office in town there were also distractions, such as people dropping by to say hi, title co. reps and other sales people stopping in to pitch their wares, and agents who wanted to gosspip or talk about last night's TV shows.

You have to figure out where and how you can be most productive.

Feb 20, 2020 08:14 PM #2
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I work from home, however, I share an office at two locations when clients prefer to meet there. When I'm working at home, distractions are minimal, I keep my door locked and don't respond to distractions unless it's an emergency. Eventually, virtual offices will be the norm and with 5G coming soon, tasks will be faster to complete as efficiently and productively as done in an office. 

Feb 21, 2020 01:21 AM #3
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

I work from home most of the time. I find I am more productive at home than at the office. I can concentrate on tasks at hand better where it is quiet. I remember the days of having to go to the office to work because we didn't have access to the tools we have today.  If you needed to do a search and use a computer, you had to go to the office because home PC's didn't have the capacity they do today. When everything went online from searches to forms, it made it easier to work from home.   

Feb 21, 2020 06:45 AM #4
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Creating a dedicated, private, quiet, and well equipped office space was key for me.  Commercial office settings have many potential distractions.  Support from an outstanding office staff and colleagues is a telephone call away.  The only minus is working longer hours due to the convenience of having a home office.

Feb 21, 2020 07:31 AM #5
Susan McCall, Loving the Northwest
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

Just did a quick search and there are all kinds of co working locations in my area.  Thanks for the article.

Feb 21, 2020 10:11 AM #6
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I could set up a true home office and only work from here--would NOT like it! I enjoy going to the ofice, talking with co workers, getting scoop on upcoming listings, listen to problems, being social.  

Feb 22, 2020 07:04 AM #7
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Im surprised you don't have more comments on this post!  Having worked from home for 15 years I can relate to what you list.  My best strategy is to have all laundry done and the house clean by Sunday night.  There is zero excuse for distractions and interruptions unless I bounce from email to topic to industry reading, ie not managing my email and time blocking.  Living alone, I have the upper hand on working from home as I'm my only distraction!  I've learned to schedule events, and classes sporadically and meetings and follow ups with clients as well. 

Mar 01, 2020 02:00 PM #8
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CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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