Let’s face it, being mobile is a necessity for a real estate agent who plans to be around in the future. There are still some agents who believe being mobile still means carrying a laptop around with them, but it is so much more than that, and customers know it when they meet you.
The industry is definitely all about being mobile, but really, how functional are you on the road? Do you long for your personal computer at your comfy home office to finish the contract, scan checks, email it over and do your paperwork?
Clients don’t want to drive very far from their home or where showings are taking place, and frankly, there is no need for them to.
What is good customer service?
Providing better customer service means being more available, being super responsive to questions and being a great communicator.
After the home showing, it means being fully functional wherever you are, so that you can negotiate that contract before the next agent.
This is the age of working on the fly, being mobile in all aspects of your job, running virtual offices and ultimately not losing the home your client desperately wants.
When I am on the road, I never have plans to finish the deal at my office, especially because my office is any Regus facility in the country.
When I leave the office to go out with clients, I’m out until we get the home they want, and that means knowing the areas I’m servicing and the locations where I feel comfortable finishing the deal, even if it’s my home.
There are a few select places that have everything we need: a bathroom, food and drink, workspace — and most importantly — high speed Wi-Fi.
Before I list my favorite places to get the job done, I should say first:
- Make sure your laptop has access to your Dropbox or other shared files
- Charge your computer, or have your power cord with you
- Know how to connect to any and all Wi-Fi, and ask for the password when you walk into the joint (unfortunately, there are still agents who don’t know how to add a new Wi-Fi network to their own devices — embarrassing in front of clients)
- Have a link on your desktop to the forms for your state, and have your association dues paid so that you can access them
You might laugh, but you would be surprised what happens when you are out and ready to write a contract. Your clients’ minds are on one thing: the house and how they can get in for as little money as possible.
Thank goodness their agent is prepared to make the deal happen.
Best public places to write an offer
- Quiet hotel lobby
- La Madeline French Cafe
- Starbucks or any coffee shop
- Regus Office or WeWork shared office space
- Home office
Whether or not you have these places in your area, you’ll need to think about where you can go in your city — with or without a client. I never ride with clients anymore; they always want to drive separately, and usually after showings, they typically just want to go home.
I am usually writing up the offer on my own, but if they are with me, I choose a restaurant, and the first on my list is a local Panera. The ambiance is nice, and there’s little noise, so you can freely talk and be heard.
The Wi-Fi is always a strong signal, there’s a variety of food, and the bathrooms are clean and available.
My no. 1 concern is finding a place that feels comfortable, safe, friendly and has a great Wi-Fi signal. A quiet hotel lobby with great Wi-Fi and a coffee shop is my second choice because the environment is professional and business oriented.
Where is your favorite place to write up an offer, and why? Please share in the comments section below, so that agents in all career stages can get new ideas.
Cheryl Spangler is the principal broker and co-owner of FORBZ Real Estate Group located in Alexandria, Virginia (serving Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland). You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.