Remote Work for REALTORs: 6 Great Tips for 2022

Eric Bramlett, Aug 3, 2022

There's no doubt the real estate industry is changing, due to the ongoing evolution of technology and new expectations created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these technological and societal changes is a greater dependency on working remotely from home, with many REALTORs choosing to work 100% remotely. While working from home does offer a number of benefits, it's important to keep a few key things in mind when setting up a home workstation. Without an adequate workstation, it can be easy to stagnate as a professional, or even take a step backward in terms of professional growth. By keeping the following six tips in mind, you'll stay competitive in today's tech-advanced market, and set yourself up for the greatest amount of success possible.

Tip 1: Create a Dedicated Workspace That Includes a Second Monitor

Setting up a dedicated workspace allows you to work efficiently and effectively, and is a major key to success in today's real estate market. To accomplish this goal, you must first establish which area of your home you'll use for remote work activity. Having an area dedicated exclusively to work will help you get into the right mindset when it's time to get work done. In addition, a dedicated workspace will allow you to set up the space in a way that best aligns with you and your work needs.

While it's recommended you personalize your workspace, including a second monitor in your workstation is an absolute must. Not only will a second monitor help you better collaborate and communicate with others, but it will also increase your productivity. In fact, a Jon Peddie Research survey found dual monitors increase productivity by an impressive 45%.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a tech wizard to set up a workstation with dual monitors. In fact, most laptops and computers are preconfigured to support multiple monitors. Additionally, most applications are designed to remember which monitor you typically use them on. This means your computer will launch your programs on your preferred monitor when you start up your system. In other words, once you hook up your second monitor, your system should function seamlessly.

While purchasing a second monitor will add to the overall cost of setting up your workspace, the investment will be more than worth it in the long run. Some specific benefits of using a dual monitor system include:

  • Eliminates the need to use a split screen or switch between tabs when viewing multiple items or documents.
  • Allows you to use one screen for reference while writing or inputting data with the other screen.
  • Improves the fluidity of online meetings you are hosting, as you can present on one screen and complete behind-the-scenes tasks on the other screen.
  • Maximizes your time by allowing you to attend virtual meetings on one screen while completing other essential tasks on the other screen.
  • Contributes to your overall workspace comfort by increasing the size of your visual workspace and allows you to “spread out” work tasks.
  • Increases the accuracy of your work by making it easier to view multiple items and input information, rather than switching back and forth between them.

By saving time with the help of a dual monitor setup, you can utilize the extra time to build your business further or simply enjoy some extra time to rest and relax.

Tip 2: Embrace Virtual Meetings

As you work toward making the most of working remotely, it's also essential to embrace the benefits of virtual meetings. Rather than viewing these meetings as an obligation, think of them as an opportunity to collaborate and complete important tasks in a more efficient manner. After all, video meetings allow you to meet just about anywhere and at any time without the need to travel to an agreed upon meeting location.

Some of the most widely used platforms for video meetings include:

  • Zoom
  • Google Meet
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger

Since Zoom is the most widely adopted of these platforms, it is generally considered to be the safest. There is a free version of Zoom, but you'll ultimately get more out of the paid version. On the other hand, Google Meet, Facetime, and Facebook Messenger are always free to use. You'll need to consider the needs of your clients to determine which platform is the most appropriate to use. Ideally, you should become familiar with all four of these platforms so you can offer the greatest amount of flexibility to your clients, co-workers, and collaborators.

Tip 3: Use Noise Canceling Technology

To ensure your meetings run smoothly and you are effectively communicating with your clients and collaborators, you should certainly invest in high-quality, noise-canceling technology. With the proper earbuds or headphones, you will be better able to hear and understand other participants in your virtual meetings without being distracted by outside noises. Some of the best options for noise-canceling earbuds and headphones currently on the market include:

  • 1More Dual Driver ANC Pro
  • AKG N700NC M2 Wireless
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless
  • Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless
  • Apple AirPods Max Wireless
  • Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 Wireless
  • Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless
  • Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3
  • Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless
  • Wyze Noise-Canceling Headphones Wireless

Ultimately, you might want to purchase more than one type of noise-canceling earbuds or headphones. You'll likely find one style is best suited to your home workstation, while another is better for traveling.

Tip 4: Know That Lighting is Critical

Just as lighting is critical when taking photos of homes you are selling, it is equally important to invest in proper lighting for your remote workstation. After all, every time you participate in a virtual meeting, you are selling yourself to your clients and collaborators. As such, you will want to present yourself in the most favorable manner possible.

Having the proper lighting hardware will ensure you look presentable and professional when participating in a virtual meeting. Natural lighting is always your best option, but finding a good spot with natural lighting for your workstation is not always possible. With the help of the right lighting hardware, you can effectively compensate for a lack of natural lighting.

One option you might want to consider for your workstation is a ring light. A ring light will cast good lighting on your face and highlight your eyes, making it the most popular choice among vBloggers and social media influencers. Some good ring light choices include:

  • ESDDI 18-Inch Ring Light
  • Radiance Selfie Ring Light
  • ZAZE 10-Inch Ring Light

Panel lights are another option for your home workstation. These are flat light boards that hold multiple LEDs in such a way that the bulbs are not noticeable. They can be mounted to nearly any surface, which allows you to affix them wherever necessary to create the best lighting possible. Some of the best panel light options include:

  • Lume Cube Video Conference Lighting Kit
  • Neewer Portable LED Lighting Kit
  • Pixel G1 Rechargeable LED Light

An alternative to investing in new light fixtures is to simply change out the bulbs in the fixtures you already have in your workspace. This can make a major difference in overall lighting quality. For example, installing daylight LED bulbs in your fixtures will maximize the warmth and brightness of your video. You should also keep in mind that careful light placement will help you look your best. In general, you should follow these lighting tips:

  • Face toward your light source rather than have the light source behind you. This includes natural light from windows or light fixtures in your workspace.
  • Utilize multiple light sources from various angles to keep the lighting balanced and prevent shadows from forming on your face.
  • Avoid placing lighting directly above or below you, as both will cast unusual shadows and shading on your face.

Once you believe you have a good lighting setup, be sure to test it with someone you trust before participating in an important meeting. This will allow you to get honest feedback and make necessary tweaks, ensuring you look perfect for the real deal.

Tip #5: Get Comfortable with Video Recording Apps

To put together high-quality presentations or more effectively communicate with clients and collaborators in today’s world, it is in your best interest to get comfortable using video recording applications. These applications allow you to take screenshots, edit images, and record your screen while capturing your camera, microphone and desktop. Some great video recording applications currently available include:

  • Loom
  • Snagit
  • Jumpshare

Using these applications is a great way to provide quick feedback, demonstrate how to complete a task, create clear documentation, and even develop training materials. Video recording with the help of these applications also serves as a great alternative to disseminating information via virtual meetings, particularly if it is difficult to line up multiple schedules for a meeting. Short video clips help you communicate key ideas while also allowing the recipients to watch the videos at a time that is convenient for them. In addition, the recipients can go back and review the video message at any time for further clarification and understanding.

Tip #6: Prioritize Meeting in Real Life

Finally, while technology has many wonderful advantages, it should never be used as an excuse to avoid meeting clients, co-workers, or collaborators in real life. It is undoubtedly easy to become a hermit when working from home, which can have a negative impact on your mental health and your professional growth. For these reasons, you should always prioritize meeting in real life whenever possible.

To help ensure you are still networking and making a human connection with your co-workers, consider joining accountability groups and participating in industry happy hours and mixers. The face-to-face time you spend with other professionals in a real-life setting will undoubtedly prove to be valuable as you work toward growing your business further.

Setting up a remote workstation at home is a process that will take time to perfect. In fact, you may find you are continually making tweaks and adjustments as you become more familiar with your needs and preferences. With the help of these six tips, you will be well on your way to creating and maintaining a successful business from home that allows you to enjoy the work/life balance that you desire.

About the Author

Eric Bramlett is the broker and owner of Bramlett Residential, a mid-sized brokerage in Austin, Texas. Eric is a 19 year veteran in the Austin real estate market and specializes in building systems and technology. Bramlett agents pride themselves on their exceptionally high standards for client service and both industry and market competency. Eric lives in central Austin with his wife and son. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, climbing, and traveling to be in the mountains.

Last updated: 08/16/2022

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