In many industries, successful professionals spend their time in corner office suites, sending out commands from behind big mahogany desks. They might leave for lunch or take a brief business trip every couple weeks, but the office is home base. This isn’t the case in real estate.
Successful real estate investors, agents and property managers typically don’t have headquarters — at least not in the traditional sense. Their offices are usually a combination of cars, coffee shops and boardrooms.
If you’re a mover and shaker in the real estate industry, you probably aren’t spending a lot of time at your desk. In all likelihood, you spend the majority of your workweek driving, traveling and visiting properties.
If you spend most of your time on the go, it’s important that you develop a system for staying safe, secure and productive. Here are five tips for agents on the move.
1. Ensure connectivity
The very first thing to consider is connectivity. If you’re always on the road, you have to make sure you don’t have any lapses in internet or phone coverage.
Here are a few things to think about:
- Choose a reliable cell phone provider with the best coverage in your area. While most areas in the U.S. now get comprehensive coverage across all major providers, there are still plenty of roaming areas out in the Western and Midwestern United States. Keep this in mind if you work in one of these markets.
- In addition to reliable cell service, it may also be worth the investment to purchase a mobile hotspot that gives you Wi-Fi wherever you have a data connection.
- Always have ample charging cords and batteries to ensure you never find yourself in a situation where a dead device holds you back from closing a deal.
Little things like these can have a big impact on your ability to perform at optimum level. Don’t neglect the significance of uptime.
2. Prioritize security
It’s also important that you think about security — of the physical and cyber variety. Physically speaking, never leave important files and devices in your vehicle in plain view (when parking in a public space). Always lock doors and enable location tracking on important devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops.
From a network security perspective, you must be cognizant of how you’re safeguarding your online presence. In a business world where you’re constantly jumping from one device to another, a cloud-based SD-WAN is a fantastic solution that lets you stay secure while interacting with other mobile users across a variety of locations.
3. Develop a mobile office
In all likelihood, your car acts as your mobile office. But if you truly want to be productive, you have to treat it like an actual office. This means creating a systematic setup that allows you to optimize productivity.
For one, you need some sort of filing system that allows you to quickly store and access paper documents while on-the-go. There are a number of different products on the market, but you can see a few of the best here.
You’re also going to need a way to access your laptop or tablet quickly and safely. One option is to install a police-spec laptop desk that rests on your center console. While you shouldn’t use it while you drive, this allows you to stay connected while parked.
4. Pull over, and park
Speaking of parking, it’s extremely important that you practice safe driving habits. Although it’s fine to field hands-free phone calls while driving, you should never text, send emails or retrieve documents while operating your vehicle.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to do one of these things, just pull over! Not only do you put yourself in harm’s way when driving and multitasking, but you also run the risk of making critical errors. It’s simply not worth it.
5. Find locations you like
Although you might be able to perform most of your work in your car or on location, there will be times where you need to meet a client or partner in a different setting. It’s smart to have a feel for some of the best meeting spots in your area.
Whether it’s a coffee shop, coworking space, library or quiet cafe, public meeting spaces are great for interacting with clients when you don’t have a traditional office.
There’s something freeing about being on-the-go. When you aren’t tied down to an office or cubicle, you’re free to get out and explore. Having said that, you must take productivity and security seriously.
Hopefully, the tips and suggestions outlined in this article will help you thrive in each of these areas.
Larry Alton is the CEO of Alton Enterprises in Olympia, Washington. Follow him on Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.