The coworking phenomena has increased exponentially in just the past five years. In fact, companies have created whole multi-city businesses to capitalize on the boom. So is coworking something that you should consider as a real estate agent?
What is Coworking?
Coworking is working at an office or other working environment for people who are mostly self-employed or who are working for an employer remotely. You know those people you see at Starbucks at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, working on their laptops? This is the same concept. Only taking your workload from the coffee shop (or even your home office) to a coworking space has many more benefits.
Coworking Benefit #1: Great Productivity
If you are a real estate agent who finds him or herself working amongst the distractions of home, then coworking is a great solution. Most coworking spaces are set up to provide a comfortable environment that has everything you need in a regular office (printer, coffee, water, desks, chairs, etc.) plus the energy around you from other coworkers to be productive.
Coworking Benefit #2: Work-Life Balance
Sometimes during the week, you may find yourself wanting to sit in your pajamas for just a bit longer. Then the 2 p.m. rolls around, and you figure you’ll just stay in them.
Coworking motivates you to separate home life from work life so that you are truly ready for the day. It gives you a consistent place to go to perform all of your paperwork and other items before listing presentations or showings.
Coworking Benefit #3: A Great Meeting Space
If you want a more professional place to bring clients or to meet with potential marketing partners, then coworking spaces offer many options, often at a low price.
Coworking Benefit #4: Collaboration
This is the benchmark of most coworking spaces: to create a community among its members that invites new ideas and events. We’ve talked often about, for example, partnering with different local businesses for informative seminars to which you can invite potential homeowners. The beauty of coworking spaces is that their membership includes individuals from different fields and industries, so the possibility of working with any one of them (lawyers for a legal seminar on home buying or selling, providing your insight into particular best practices from a business perspective, etc.) is a great chance to get your real estate business in front of more people.
Coworking Benefit #5: Networking and Referrals
This is probably the biggest benefit for real estate agents who don’t have an office space of their own. If you make an effort to attend monthly social events and seminars that the coworking space hosts for its members, say hi and introduce yourself to members throughout the week and, in your own way, become an active part of the community, then you are meeting potential listing clients, home buyers and people who can refer you to friends and family who need a real estate agent.
The key is to establish a presence at your coworking space so that you build your reputation as a trusted member of its community. Most will also allow you to leave your business information at the front with other business’ cards.
Coworking spaces are cropping up everywhere in the U.S., so it should not be difficult to find one. Be sure to scope out the space before committing to a particular monthly membership. Most spaces offer a one-day pass for anywhere between $20 and $35 per day. With it, you can meet the owner, meet other members, check out the amenities and decide whether it is a good fit for you.