- Having an office is lovely (and costly), but for me it was also pointless.
- I care only about what my clients think and want, not other agents' impressions of me.
- By the time I set an appointment to meet at an office, my buyers' dream home could be gone.
I recently got some major attitude from another agent about not having office space. “But where do you go when your clients want to meet?” she exclaimed.
“I go to them, wherever they are,” I responded.
I might as well have told this lady I didn’t have a real estate license.
The thing is, I have had offices in the past. In fact, I’ve spent thousands, month after month, on fancy office space on the most exclusive and expensive street in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale — Las Olas Boulevard. And it was lovely, but for me, it was also pointless.
My clients, who buy and sell million dollar homes, don’t want to meet me in my office — or any office, for that matter. They are comfortable and fully adapted to the very millennial-esque meet-them-where-they-are culture, where major business deals go down over sushi, in shared workplaces, Starbucks and other third spaces that are not quite home not quite office.
My clients, who think of my team and me more like personal luxury real estate concierges, demand this type of service. Others might bring an attitude about it, but I care only about what my clients think and want, not other agents impressions of me.
I’ve written up contracts at midnight, in my home, over takeout, at the end of a very long day. I’ve negotiated huge deals and important details over text.
Let’s face it friends, we live in a 24-7 world, enabled by modern wonders of technology such as Netflix, online MLS and virtual document signing apps. In this fast-paced new reality, by the time I can set an appointment to meet up with a buyer at an office, their dream property could be out of reach.
Working without an office allows me to reinvest more money in my business, be productive and connect more closely to provide better service to my clients. The trend I’m seeing is high-net-worth individuals expecting personalized service that doesn’t include office space.
This might be an urban, “South Florida” thing, and maybe your community and clients expect to meet you in an office. I respect that – and what’s important is that you understand what your clients want and need, and take care of them on their terms — no matter what the haters might say.
Sam DeBianchi is Estate Agent and founder of DeBianchi Real Estate. Follow @SamDeBianchi on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.