Email Post to a Friend: Should Agents Be Working From Home?

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October
14

With vaccination rates flagging and an ambiguous timeline for the end of the pandemic, the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"

Of all industries transformed by the pandemic, real estate moved the fastest — because it was essential to protect agents, brokers, and their clients. Giving up with the finish line in sight doesn't make sense.

But there is a flip side. Research shows many supervisors are nervous about this new work-from-home world. If they can't see people doing their work, they worry nothing is getting done. It's affecting teams in all kinds of industries.

Luckily, real estate is a little bit different.

An independent streak has always been a big part of success in real estate. Even with perks offered by the largest agencies and brokerages, individual real estate professionals know they need to be true self-starters if they're going to reach the heights of their profession.

A lot of that energy comes from having personal goals. Nothing can replace it.

On the whole, it's not unreasonable to think real estate is near the top when it comes to industries that are well-prepared for working from home. A greater number of agents' daily tasks are done with digital technology than ever before, clients have come to grips with Zoom, and virtual tours are available.

But there is a flip side. Agencies and brokerages also need to be able to deal with the risks.

Not the risk their teams will be sleeping in until noon and checking out at three — rather, the very real ambiguities, complexities, and issues that come with moving to an all-digital workflow in a matter of weeks. Everyone needs to be sure they are taking the right precautions to succeed.

There are really two aspects to that:

  • The technology side
  • The productivity side

Let's look at best practices that should be communicated to everyone.

All Agents and Brokers Should Make Sure At-Home Technology Is Safe and Secure

Let's face it — although we all know not to give our bank details away to the Nigerian prince in our spam folder, not everybody knows the ins and outs of cybersecurity. In an office environment, all it takes is a little common sense. In today's remote work, though, things can be a lot more nuanced.

These tips will help you close the door on common home office vulnerabilities:

  • Secure Your Home Network
    Your router – where the internet signal comes from — came with a default password and username, but they should be changed to something unique as soon as possible. The network itself should also have a strong password. Optionally, a VPN can boost your security when accessing sensitive files.

  • Use a Separate, Dedicated Computer
    Make sure you're not using the family computer for work. Even if you set up a different Windows login, your files could still be compromised. A dedicated work laptop is the way to go, and it also means you have complete control when it comes to keeping your antivirus and Web browser up to date.

  • Back-Up Your Files
    Your agency or brokerage may have a solution for regular file backups, such as a cloud storage app. If there's a plan in place, follow it. If not, there are many reputable software programs that can enable you to back your files up daily, protecting you in the event you get hit by ransomware.

Remote Work Productivity Strategies for Real Estate

Working from home demands a whole new set of skills not everyone has. However, it can be easier than it looks if you get off on the right foot. That means holding yourself to the same professional standards you would at the office, and a few important cues can get you there:

  • Set Goals for the Day and Week
    While you might not have the exact same schedule you once did, it's still critical to set goals — targets for the day that will add up to a productive week. To pin down what your goals should be, start with what you want to accomplish by the end of a month, then work backward.

  • Find an Accountability Partner
    The latest psychology research shows involving even just one other person in an effort to keep yourself accountable makes it much more likely you'll reach your goals. Look around for a colleague you admire so you can work together to develop a support system based on healthy productivity.

    Establish a Workspace
  • Your workspace is one of your most valuable assets. That's not only because it keeps you organized, but because your mind associates it with your most productive habits. Eliminate as many distractions as possible and set an understanding with family or housemates so you won't be disturbed.

Contact us today to find out more about today's digital productivity best practices.

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