We hear it all the time, “The physical real estate office is dead. You can work from home (or Starbucks, or your car) just as easily.” While that may hold true for a few real estate professionals, we believe that many still crave the office experience, which is why we’ve focused a lot of time and attention on each of our 13 CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty offices to ensure our agents always look forward to and enjoy their experience. Instead of continuing to wax poetic about our amazing offices (like Reston, Montclair, Arlington, and Ashburn), we reached out to those who matter most – our agents – to see what they love about working in a real estate office.
Real Estate Offices are Great for Client Meetings
Having an office you’re proud to visit isn’t essential just from an ego standpoint; it’s also a crucial part of REALTOR® safety to be able to meet clients in a safe place.
Dave Pard, a C21 Redwood agent from Frederick, says, “I find it useful to meet buyer clients in the office to conduct property searches and display my laptop on the conference room screen. This way, we can review properties together, discuss, and research additional info together, as opposed to back and forth emails.”
Tracey Barrett, an agent from our Fairfax office, agrees:
“The office spaces themselves are incredible. They are comfortable, efficient, professional and homey all at the same time. Clients love to come and meet there to discuss strategy and pull together offers. I call networking meetings frequently, and the office atmosphere raises the bar on my legitimacy as an agent. My referral partners want to refer me more because they know there is an environment they want their referees to come too. I recently threw a client appreciation event and again, the setting was complimented over and over by my clients.
Lastly, the technology available in each office make presentation and collaboration a breeze. Large TVs in conference rooms, dropdown screens, Sonos throughout the office give both appearance and practical legitimacy to our real estate practice.”
Real Estate Offices are Opportunities for Learning from Fellow Agents
“By far the most beneficial aspect of coming into the office and working is what you learn by just being in the environment of real estate,” says Stafford agent Daniella Serven. “Agents are discussing say a problem with a water heater, and you are there hearing about the problem, who to hire, why it is an issue or is it home inspector being a little too aggressive in their report. You learn by hearing conversations, by asking questions and learning new resolutions. The most important part of being a new agent is the desk duty [some of our offices offer desk duty opportunities] and being in the office to observe and learn from the experienced agents.”
It’s a similar story from Fairfax agent Tracey Barrett, who comments that “In general, going to the office gives me an opportunity to connect, network and glean advice from my colleagues, EVP and OC. No two transactions are ever the same, so learning how colleagues are working with their trouble spots has been invaluable second-hand experience. Redwood has so many talented agents, and they are all open to sharing and helping. It's an unquantifiable resource.”
Agent Cameron Shosh says having access to a broker and other agents to bounce ideas off of, ask about new experiences, and to use as a sounding board are all positive reasons to come into his DC office. And, if things get a little too distracting, he finds a quiet desk and uses headphones to make sure he can fully focus.
The peer learning and educational aspect aren’t the only reasons to come to the office, however. Locust Grove agent Ruthan O’Toole shares a different perspective on why her office is so important:
“The office workplace has its own dynamics day to day-- and no two days are the same; they have their own synergy.
There are some great words that are byproducts of working in 'the office': energy, inspiration, motivation, discipline. For us all to work more effectively, efficiently and to make better choices and priorities and to bond as a professional team serving our clients. Plus, morale is higher when one feels part of a larger purpose and supported by colleagues and management.
We are in a people business where burnout can occur periodically. Agents need to feel they matter and that someone cares; they are loyal to a workplace over a paycheck since it is the workplace that ideally nurtures & stretches their abilities and talents and accepts them as peer professionals.”
Real Estate Offices Help You Focus
Sometimes, working from home can be detrimental to your real estate business. Unless you’re incredibly disciplined, other things may take or capture your focus: laundry, cleaning, yard work, pets, or family may take more of your attention than you intended and soon you’ll find your day is done.
Having a place that’s dedicated to work can be important. That’s what Fairfax agent Laurel Chinn has found: “For me it has been wonderful because I can come in and set up, close a door, and have privacy. I can work in an environment that works for my little ADD brain and still have company around me in the sense of staff and agents coming and going. I love our open, spacious feeling office and everyone there.”
Agent Jeanne Cooper notes that belonging to a broader community and feeling that camaraderie is probably the most crucial aspect of her Leesburg office, noting that the office is a valuable asset that allows her to focus on her real estate business, giving her a place to invite clients and chances to attend a variety of trainings.
Real Estate Offices Just Work
Agent Gina Chatham who is new to our company and works out of our Leesburg office offered that our offices are one of the primary reasons she chose to be a CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty agent. She says, “The locations are good. The offices themselves have great meeting spaces. The technology is fantastic and makes it easy to work in the market area where I happen to be doing business on a particular day. I recently met with a new buyer who was interviewing multiple agents. I had my laptop linked to the larger screen in the conference room for our meeting. We reviewed his favorite listings as well as the listing for his current home which is on the market in Texas. By the end of the meeting, he informed me that he was canceling his other interviews and wanted me to represent him.”
That’s not the only positive story we heard about the power of a positive office environment! Alexandra Allen, from our Fredericksburg office, shared this anecdote:
“Just last week, I was assisting an agent in the office with her short sale file. Her sellers needed a place to rent, and we're three days away from closing. We had to find a place that would work with their new financial status as well as process/approve them, AND get them moved into the new place by Friday as their buyer would also be homeless due to their lease expiring. To say it was tense is an understatement. We were going to close on a house yet both parties would be homeless - HOW do we fix this?
Well - I came in on Wednesday to two agents talking about their latest listings, and they both happened to be rentals. One was perfect for the sellers, and when their agent came in, I told her to get in touch with the other agent as he had a perfect property for her. They saw the property within the hour, and after a few hours meeting, they were signed into a new lease and moving in that afternoon!
The closing occurred, and everyone is happy in their new places! Three Redwood agents came together to make it happen, and it wouldn't have happened had we all not been present in the office!”
Overall, our real estate offices offer the full package. Ruthan O’Toole, from Locust Grove, shares that she uses them “to meet clients, definitely to enhance our professional identity, for safety protocol, for the higher efficiency tools on offer (copiers, computers, binding machines, industry pamphlets & literature for buyers, sellers, affiliate businesses, etc.) AND that our office is the place our networks support our charities as drop-off locations for cereal & diaper drives, as well as the place our customers, clients, networks, enjoy our community shred events and client appreciation events. It’s also decidedly a place to attend training, especially as the collective experience of peers adds to the learning & understanding of all. For the camaraderie-- coworkers are second families who more fully understand the mental and emotional ups and downs of dealing with our clients in the industry, and they are valued both for professional and personal support, are less costly than a psychiatrist and fabulous sounding boards when thinking out loud!”
Now if that’s not a ringing endorsement for offices, we don’t know what is! With 13 CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty offices to choose from across Virginia, Washington, DC, and parts of Maryland, we’d bet there’s an office for you. Want to take a look? We'd love to show you around.