Some real estate agents work at brokerages that don’t provide office space, opting for what’s likely to be a higher commission split over a designated work area. These folks might sometimes long to escape the monotony of their home or the shouts of baristas.

  • United Kingdom startup Spacehop lets hosts convert their homes into short-term workspace rentals.
  • Agents could use service to rent temporary offices.
  • Agents can obtain free workspace and leads by hosting open houses for vacant for-sale properties on behalf of those homes' listings agents.

Some real estate agents work at brokerages that don’t provide office space, opting for what’s likely to be a higher commission split over a designated work area.

These folks might sometimes long to escape the monotony of their home or the shouts of baristas.

That’s where a service like Spacehop might come in handy.

The United Kingdom startup lets people list and book makeshift offices in homes. It builds on the concept of short-term rental juggernaut Airbnb by allowing hosts to convert their homes into work spaces, rather than vacation rentals, and empowering freelancers or entrepreneurs to temporarily set up shop in low-cost offices.

Spacehop currently only lists home offices in the London area, but it’s hard to imagine the startup or a similar service won’t touch down in the United States sooner or later.

Beyond providing a way for agents to find low-cost, temporary office space, a service like Spacehop also might offer an opportunity for agents to connect with homeowners who are clearly seeking a way to generate supplemental income — potential future home sellers.

Screen shot showing Spacehop listing results page.

Screen shot showing Spacehop listing results page.

Then again, some agents already have a free way to tap empty homes for workspace and leads: by hosting open houses at vacant for-sale homes on behalf of homes’ listing agents.

Newer agents and those who sit in cubicles at their brokerage’s office are particularly likely to benefit from this approach, says Andrew Gavin, a San Diego-based Realtor. Between greeting visitors to an open house, they can perform tasks like calling contacts, preparing marketing materials and completing contracts, he said.

“The open house office has much more potential to meet new clients than sitting in an office cubicle,” he said, comparing this approach to renting a temporary office through a service like Spacehop.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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