How to Create a Home Office You Can Actually Work In
March 21, 2018 |
One of the great things about working in the real estate industry is being able to work when and where you want. While you may have to put in hours in the actual office – which is the best place to hold meetings and present offers – working out of a home office can help you be more productive and flexible with your schedule.
Before embarking on your work-at-home experience, take the following into consideration so your space is comfortable and conducive to work.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
There’s a lot to think about when you envision working from a home office. Before you wander off into a fantasy of a large executive suite with leather couches and antique furnishings, you need to ask yourself some questions to keep you grounded.
- Will you entertain clients in the space?
- How much room do you have in your current home?
- What kind of budget are you working with?
- What furnishings are needs vs. wants?
Define the Space
If you are just starting your real estate career, you may not need much room for an office. However, you still need to have a designated space both for tax purposes and your sanity. If you have a spare bedroom or furnished attic or basement, this type of segregated space is best. If not, a corner of a living room or even a converted dining room works too.
If you plan to meet clients in your office, keep in mind where they will enter and exit your home. If you are lucky enough to have an in-law suite, congratulations; you have the ultimate setup for a home office.
Limit Your Distractions
Distractions come in many forms and are productivity killers. Some are unavoidable, such as children and pets, but others are well within your control. To limit your distractions, first you need to figure out which ones are the most dangerous for your productivity. For some people, the internet and social media are time consumers. For others, binge-watching televisions shows is the guilty pleasure. Here are a few suggestions to help you fight distractions.
Physical Barriers – Things like walls and a door can help keep household noises and distractions at bay. Let other people know that if your door is closed, you are working and should not be disturbed unless the situation is urgent. If Netflix tempts you, don’t put a TV in the room.
Set Personal Limits – If social media is your nemesis, set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes; when it goes off, shut down the personal Twitter and Facebook notifications.
Furnish the Space
That mental image of leather and antiques is nice; however, if you’re still working on your real estate education or are just starting out, your budget won’t allow for those extravagances. You need to determine which items you actually need and which items can wait until later, while still allowing you to be comfortable and get your work done. Here are some to consider:
- A decent desk and comfortable chair
- A good computer setup, probably a laptop
- Reliable and strong internet service
- A copier that also scans and faxes
- File and supply storage
- Adequate lighting
Once you have the necessities under control, and once your budget permits, you can add on extras like guest seating, wall art, other decor items and yes, even that leather couch. You can also replace the furnishings you start with, such as upgrading to an antique desk or an executive chair.
Working from home is a dream for many people, and as a real estate agent, you have the ability to make that dream come true. Start with the basics and limit your distractions so you can increase your productivity. This is the way to business success.