Internet-capable handheld devices are deploying typical office functions in the field, allowing real estate professionals to be increasingly less reliant on a brick-and-mortar brokerage building.

Today’s real estate office can be a car, a coffee shop or most any location within reach of a signal tower.

Internet-capable handheld devices are deploying typical office functions in the field, allowing real estate professionals to be increasingly less reliant on a brick-and-mortar brokerage building.

Today’s real estate office can be a car, a coffee shop or most any location within reach of a signal tower or Wi-Fi hot spot.

An increasingly virtual brokerage office can serve many purposes. Shifting from paper documents to electronic documents can create greater efficiencies and improve tracking in the transaction process. There is also the simple "greening" effect of curbing paper waste.

The increasing use of Web applications and Web metrics allows brokers and agents to better measure productivity and their bang for the buck in marketing while keeping up with instant updates in property status.

This month, Inman News is focusing coverage on rethinking the traditional brokerage office and new innovations in "virtual" brokerage operations.

It’s part of a series of monthly topics that Inman News will be highlighting in our coverage throughout the year. This month, for example, we are focusing coverage on issues related to real estate compensation, including percentage-based commissions and alternative pay models for the industry (click here for details).

We invite your continued participation in the discussion about these focused topics.

We are accepting guest essays related to mobile real estate technologies and rethinking the traditional brokerage office.

Guest essays should range from 500 to 1,000 words, and we are rewarding the author of each essay published in full a free pass to the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference, which runs from Aug. 5-7 in San Francisco. Please do not use these essays as a marketing tool to promote your company or product — such entries will be disqualified.

You can send all essays, letters to the editor, story ideas and tips to future@inman.com.

Click here to participate in the "Beyond Brick and Mortar" reader survey. A survey participant will be selected at random to win a $200 Amazon.com gift card.

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