Can real estate brokerages replace offices with Facebook?

  • Workplace, Facebook’s business-communication platform, may have made virtual offices possible for more brokerages.
  • Boco Realty -- which claims to be the first to use Workplace in place of a physical office -- underlines the growing momentum of virtual-office brokerages.
  • Skeptics of virtual brokerages say that agent supervision can be questionable, but supporters argue that they can improve training and collaboration.

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Can brokerages replace offices with Facebook? Ross Hair is betting on it. The founder of two real estate marketing training programs, Hair recently launched Boco Realty, a virtual brokerage that will use Facebook's new business-communication platform, Workplace, as a substitute for a physical workspace. Promotional image for Facebook's Workplace Going virtual The company's debut highlights the growing momentum of virtual-office brokerages. Hair left one of the pioneers of this business model, eXp Realty, to found Boco Realty. Boco Realty will use savings on overhead to offer high commission splits and tech tools at a low cost -- and can reinvest as much as 10 percent of the company’s gross commission income into supporting its agents, according to Hair. “A traditional physical brokerage simply can’t afford to do this, and it’s the reason that most of them pay lip service to training, technology and marketing or lead support for their agents,” Hair c...