Are you setting up a new real estate business and want to work from home? Creating a fun at-home real estate office can help to make this experience more enjoyable but also put a strain on your expenses. Some people may not set up an office well or end up spending too much money in the process.
Thankfully, setting up a home real estate office doesn’t have to put you out of business if you’re smart about it. The following tips will help you create an office that makes sense and which doesn’t put a strain on your expenses. Even better, you can get to work with minimal challenges.
Find a Spot You Love
When setting up a home real estate office, you need to find a spot that feels comfortable for you and doesn’t take up a lot of room. You can set it up in many different places throughout your home and get great results. Here are just a few that will cut back on your expenses a little:
- Extra Bedroom – Put your desk and computer in a spare bedroom that rarely gets used. This option helps to ensure that you have a nice place to work but does create a rather casual mood for your business. Try this option when first opening up your business to save money.
- The Dining Room – The dining room is another area that rarely gets used in many houses and can work very well as an office. Try to find a spot off to the side where you can operate or put up walls throughout the area that help to protect you from getting too much attention as you work.
- Garage or Extra Room – When working with an office moving company, you may want to set up an office in your garage or an extra room you rarely use. The garage often works well because it provides you with a private place to work. Make sure your car is safe parked outside, though.
- A Home Addition – This step is only wise if you have money in the budget to afford a new addition to your home. Most people will not but, if you can add a little extra room, pay to do it. You may also find that a pole barn can be cleared out and used for your office. This step keeps your work and home life separate.
When setting up a home real estate office in this way, you may need to consider things like a private mortgage to help. A mortgage gives you a little extra money and makes this process smoother. That said, you will owe more money starting out, so be very careful about which options you choose here.
Know How Much Room You’ll Need
When setting up a home real estate office, you must take into account things like the overall size and capacity of your office. Doing so helps to give you the best results and minimizes your confusion. But just how much room are you going to need and how little can you use if you want to save cash?
Typically, you’re going to want room for things like your desk, a computer, any physical storage medium (like filing cabinets) you may need, a chair for you, comfortable seating options for your customers, and more. You’ll also need at least one extra seat where others can wait.
Just how much room will this be for your office? That all depends. You could potentially get away with a 10-by 10-foot area if you have a small desk and focus on one-on-one meetings. On the other hand, the desk could be no more than three or four feet wide, your chair wide enough for you, and the extra room set aside for things like your storage system and other elements of your business.
You may want to get a custom cabinet design to help make it easier to fit other elements into your area. However, you can also seek out more prominent spots if it makes sense for you. Some may be able to build an extra bit of room in their home, though this will depend on many different factors.
Thankfully, your typical real estate agent doesn’t need a vast office to do their job. Most of your work is going to be done on a computer, and you don’t require a ton of space for one. Some people even work off a tablet, though a high-quality desktop is probably a better option for a professional.
Beyond that, you also need space where extra customers can wait while you work with your current client. You might want to create an appointment-only design that minimizes additional people at the house. This step helps to cut back on these issues. However, an extra seat or two in another room allows if customers do end up showing up anyway.
Clean Up and Upgrade the Area
Next on the list when setting up a home real estate office is to make sure that your office looks and feels professional. A few simple upgrade steps will help to ensure that it meets your needs and attracts as many customers as possible. These steps include how you must:
- Keep Your Floors Clean – Your office must be a comfortable and clean area, or your customers will think you’re amateurish and inappropriate. Even if you work from home, you might need experts like an office tile rug cleaning service to keep your work area as clean as possible.
- Keep Your Windows Clean – A little light helps to make your home real estate office more homey and comfortable for your customers. Thankfully, you can keep your windows open and your blinds up to get a little sun. It’s usually best to put your windows on the north or south side of the room. Doing so cuts back on direct UV exposure but lets in light just the same.
- Upgrade All Utilities – Make sure your office has upgraded utilities to look and feel more comfortable. Don’t spend a lot of money but talk to a local plumber to check for leaks and other steps. Stay within your budget by performing simple repairs first and bigger ones later.
- Enhance Your Comfort – When creating a new office, you need to make sure that it is as comfortable as possible for the needs of your customers. A good AC company can come to make sure that the temperature control is reasonable and that your customers feel relaxed and engaged.
Take these steps to make your home office a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Make sure to think about your business parking, as well, as your customers need a place to stay when they visit. Expand your driveway or check your street-parking laws to see if they’re protected.
Put in New Furniture
Next, when setting up a home real estate office is to find the time to put in high-quality furniture. The type that you purchase and use will vary according to many elements. As mentioned, you definitely want a desk, two or more chairs, and a filing cabinet where you can store other items.
However, you may also need things like small tables for lights, a handful of different other chairs for customers to sit in, couches, love seats, and more. As a result, your office should feel comfortable and bring in more customers. However, when you buy a business set of furniture, it is vital to take budget in mind.
For instance, you may want to work with your business attorney to see what items you can write off when buying furniture. Mainly, you can purchase write off most of them if you’re using them for business purposes. However, if they’re used for home comfort, you may find yourself unable to use them for tax reasons.
Where can you find these items? Some people will turn to options like wholesale stores to find inexpensive furniture. These stores often have money-saving deals on their products, providing you with the ability to save a surprising amount of money on this investment.
However, you may also need to find a high-quality thrift shop where you can buy items. Do careful shopping and don’t just buy the first couch or desk you find! Talk to the people in the shop to see if they have any recent donations and look for any that feel more appropriate to your business needs.
Critically, it is also essential to consider things like your overall home design when setting up a home real estate office. For example, the new furniture shouldn’t get in the way of your home’s look and feel. It should complement them instead and produce a high-quality look that your customers will appreciate.
Decorate With Customers in Mind
After you’ve put in some furniture and taken care of your cleaning, you’ve just about done setting up a home real estate office. However, you still have a few steps that you must take to ensure that you get the best results for your needs. Decoration requires you to take many steps, including:
- Beautiful Paintings – Even if you’re not a big fan of realistic art, you should put up some comfortable and neutral paintings. These can include things like nature paintings and much more. In essence, you’re trying to calm your clients and provide a higher level of relaxation.
- Pictures of Your Family – Should you put up pictures of your family? That all depends. Some customers will like these photos because they make an office seem more homey and friendly. Others may find it off-putting. Decide what kind of brand you want to project to get the best result here.
- Real Estate Pictures – Try to highlight some of your best properties by putting up pictures of each throughout your office. This step not only helps to save you money but helps to reinforce your business excellence. In this way, you can get the best results possible for your needs as a business.
- Other Design Elements – Put up things like attractive lamps, comfortable rugs, decorative vases, and much more. Pay attention to all of these designs and add anything you can from your home. Doing so helps to cut back on your expenses and makes your home more comfortable at the same time.
Talk to your business tax accountant about these decorations to learn more about your tax situation. For example, you might want to bring in items you brought for your home for decorations. Can you write these off on your taxes? Probably not. But that may depend on many factors a tax expert can explain.
Upgrade Your Internet and Computer
Lastly, when setting up a home real estate office, you must make sure to add a new computer and better internet. Try to get business-quality internet and don’t use your home’s wireless. After all, you can always write off this second source of internet and save money on your taxes.
Just as importantly, you should have a computer that can handle spreadsheets and store a large amount of data. Video and picture displays also help because they minimize any troubles you might have showing off your properties to potential buyers on the market.
You don’t need the highest-speed or largest storage capacity for your computer. As a real estate agent, you can probably do with a mid-level computer. So don’t buy an entry-level option! But also don’t invest in the highest-cost option. Remember: all computer purchases and repairs can be written off.
As you can see, setting up a home real estate office isn’t a significant challenge if you understand what you are doing and take your time. These steps will cut back on your expenses, provide you with a unique array of benefits, and give you the best chance to work efficiently with your customers. You can either continue working directly from your home or eventually upgrade to a larger office if you like.