Is there a way for small businesses to reduce costs, keep up with the changing consumer landscape and better match the way workers are working? Definitely.
And we’ve seen it happen successfully in real estate.
The business of real estate is increasingly being done outside of an office. Clients and agents meet over coffee, documents can be signed remotely and agents can access their MLS from anywhere. As business goes mobile, many owners are finding that they don’t need as much office space.
But how do you keep the people who work for you happy, while at the same time reducing the overhead associated with office space? The answer seems to be making the move to a “café style” office.
With high top tables, plenty of plugs, wireless access – and don’t forget coffee, café style offices match how agents are interacting with clients and how agents are working on their own. Flexibility is the key, so the ERA companies that have put café style offices into practice keep some cubicle type workstations to give agents the option to work the way they want – and gives clients the way they want to conduct business.
These upgrades are improving both the office environment and the bottom line. For example, Latter & Blum Inc. ERA Powered reduced their space by about 900 square feet, resulting in a 29 percent expense reduction while still providing a great place to work. Plus, they found that more agents are using the upgraded technology in the space which creates synergy and energy that affects everyone.
At Napier REALTORS ERA, they dropped 3,500 square feet from their lease costs, and now they have a flexible office with unlimited space for recruiting additional agents, technology that lets agents deliver presentations with their iPhone and display on a large flat screen, and have a space for current and past clients to grab coffee, use WiFi or make copies – vital for their relocation clients. Check out what their office looks likes in this video.
It is a win-win for all involved. Another way to look at it: better business through caffeine!