To office or not to office? How virtual and brick-and-mortar brokerages make it work

Growing numbers of entrepreneurial brokers are setting up new businesses with no offices, but the industry is still giving the idea pushback
  • An increasing number of entrepreneurial broker-owners are trying the virtual brokerage model, convinced that there are more important things than offices for their agents.
  • Others say it is still vital to have offices to maintain the professional image of the real estate agent and to appeal to top producers and their teams.
  • Russ Cofano, president of eXp Realty, says there is room for all models in the market.
  • Inc. 500 lister Big Block Realty founders said they tried going fully virtual, but pressure from agents led to them opening offices anyway.
  • Virtual brokerages are achieving multistate expansion thanks to no-office policies.
  • Brokerages with brick-and-mortar locations are enjoying the good times and say offices bring in business if used well.

Brand-new brokerage Clockhouse Realty started business on January 1, servicing all of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Why the decision to be virtual? “We quickly realized that by not opening a traditional office, we would be able to offer a much higher commission split to our agents …”