For real estate agents, the ability to work from home and remotely is often welcome. Here you'll find tips, ideas and resources to help make your time working from home as productive and comfortable as possible.
When you're comfortable and have systems in place to help you stay on track you'll find your productivity and enjoyment increases exponentially.
Be sure to get your Best Tips & Resource Guide BELOW. Life gets busy and this is a great checklist and reminder.
1. Have An Organized Work Area
I like all my pens, letter opener, paperclips in one area. This is also great to use when I move to various places around the house to work. I also keep this next to my desktop computer for quick access to my regular office essentials.
Another useful desktop organizer helps to store other items for easy access. It's too large to use as a mobile office organizer but I use it to easily organize miscellaneous office items.
Take a moment and see what you need to organize your work space. Carve out a half hour and organize your space. You'll be glad you did!
With each interruption you have, it takes 23 minutes for you to get back in the zone, to refocus, to where you were before the interruption.
These interruptions take more mental and productivity space than just the mere time it takes to deal with the interruption. Work interruptions can cost you up to 6 hours a day of work productivity.
1. Turn off the phone and text ringer for at least 45 minutes at a time and focus on work.
2. Turn off your email notifications on your desktop and laptop. I know as an agent it's important for you to stay on top of your email. Check your email every couple of hours. You don't need a notification interrupting your concentration when you're working on your computer.
3. If you have kids at home find something to help keep them occupied during your work focused sessions
4. Put a note on your door that states you're working right now and *do not disturb.*
If you don't have an area in which you work with a door than create some type of sign you can place near you so your family knows not to disturb you.
Training your family to not disturb you during your focused work sessions may take some time but it'll be worth it.
Use headphones to shut out external noise. You can watch online classes, listen to music or whatever else you'd like. It can be a great detterant for family members to leave you alone and helps you block out external noise too!
I use this headset. It's wireless, has an external noise cancelling feature and keeps a charge for a long time.
3. Move Around
Move outside and get some fresh air if weather permits. Below you'll find tips to help you work outside.
Perhaps you're like me and have some back problems. Moving to different areas and adjusting your seating can help immensely.
Changing your work *environment* sometimes can be very beneficial. I understand you're still in your home but moving to different places around your home to work can help recharge your brain and boost creativity.
Accessories For Working In Different Areas Of Your Home
• A Solid Laptop Tray
This laptop tray helps me be very mobile and it's one of the best investments I've made. I love it!
It has a slide out tray for my mouse and elevates my laptop slightly. It keeps my laptop stable on my lap and if I'm using it on a table it elevates my laptop slightly and helps protect it from spills or other items on the table.
• Stable Beverage & Accessory Holder
When you're working at home and you move to various areas of your home to work you'd like to be as comfortable as possible.
Having a cup of coffee, tea or refreshing beverage right next to you while you're working on your couch, chair or even your bed, makes work more enjoyable.
A beverage and accessory holder keeps everything right next to you and it's STABLE.
Keep your beverages, your phone and other devices in this for easy access and to prevent spills!
Check out the world's best cup holder here. Well, that's what they advertise but it is my favorite cup holder. In fact I have 2 of them.
• Long Phone Chargers
You don't want to stay huddled next to your electrical outlet, because you noticed your phone is about to die and it needs to be charged, while you're on an important phone call.
Keep plenty of long phone chargers around. This gives you more flexibility and freedom to sit wherever you'd like, charge your phone and use it even if it's about to die.
• Back Support Cushions
Some years ago I injured my back. It's challenging for me to sit upright on a chair for a long time. I've found many people have back pain when working upright too long.
This back support system has been wonderful to use and supports my back if I need to stretch out my legs and work or to simply get comfortable and read. If it's too spendy these pillows work well too.
4. Get Dressed/Or Not
How realistic is that? And, how comfortable is that?
Will you be most productive doing this? For some, yes. For others, no.
One of the reasons you're a real estate agent is the flexibility this career offers you.
Be comfortable when working from home and YOU decide what works best for you. If it's *suiting* up or getting *glammed* up, go for it. If it's shorts, yoga pants, jeans or whatever else works well for you, go for it.
The key is for you to discover what works best for you. There aren't definitive correlations between specific home work attire and improved productivity.
It differs for everyone. Find what attire makes you most productive when working from home and dress accordingly!
5. Establish A Daily Routine
Establish a daily routine that includes a specific morning routine and a daily work to do list.
Routines and a to do lists help keep you focused and on track.
A morning routine sets the tone for your day. In “Why Creating A Meaningful Morning Routine Will Make You More Successful” Lavery details mental, health and work benefits in starting your day off well.
A daily to do list helps create a framework for your day. It also helps keep you on track with your goals.
It's imperative your to do list is not overwhelming.
The key here is to ensure you complete the tasks that propel you to achieve your business goals. I go over how to identify your most important tasks and how to achieve your wildly important goals in the real estate agent planner.
Use the Realtor® Instant Download Planner to help keep you on track and focused.
6. Tips For Working Outside
One of the biggest challenges to working outside is viewing your laptop. Use these tips to help you view your laptop screen outdoors.
View laptop outside:
1. Make sure your night light option is turned off
2. Increase your screen's brightness in your control settings. I've found I need to have mine at 100% brightness. A higher brightness normally means more batter consumption so be sure your laptop is fully charged or you take your charging cord with you.
3. Increase the contrast mode on your laptop. You can usually find this in settings. Google how to increase the contrast mode or this may help you too.
4. Work in the shade. Shade helps prohibit the direct glare of the sun on your screen.
5. Wear a darker shirt. If you do this, combined with increasing your screen's brightness, you'll see a noticeable difference in your ability to view your laptop screen outside.
More Tips For Working Outside
1. Have a phone battery charger
If you're working outside you may not have an outlet close by to charge your phone. Make sure you have a good, portable battery charger. This one holds a great charge and is small enough to take with you anywhere.
2. Consider pop up shade and wind shelter
If you want to sit somewhere in your yard that doesn't offer shade or work at a park this is a great option. I love mine. It's so easy to use since it pops up easily and is small enough to transport in a vehicle.
3. Zero Gravity Chair
This outdoor chair is incredibly comfortable to work with my laptop, has a spot for my beverage and a holder for my phone. It's so darn comfortable and lightweight (to move around) it may become your favorite outdoor chair!
7. Mobile Accessories: Making Your Life Easier
Helpful Tips For Your ‘Office On The Go'
1. Keep a BPA free water bottle with you
Stay hydrated and save money by keeping a 32 oz water bottle with you. It's easy to get parched when talking and working so much. Here's the one I keep on hand and take with me always.
2. A rolling briefcase
This is just like a small rolling suitcase but it's a briefcase on wheels. I don't go anywhere without it. I keep files, pens, laptop, ipad, notepads…everything in this when I'm on the go.
It's professional and makes an impression. You're not scrambling around looking for various items when meeting with a client or even when you're just out and about working.
It's so nice to have everything with me always. My clients joke about it being my office on wheels and it is. It's so easy to work remotely and on the go when I have everything in one place always with me.
3. A fast car phone charger
The worst thing is to have your phone die when you're on the road and it takes a long time for it to have a charge. Keep a fast, solid car phone charger in your vehicle so you never have to worry about this.
Small things, like a reliably fast car phone charger, make our remote working life much easier and enjoyable
8. Remote Technology
Technology is here to stay and when used properly can make our work lives much easier. Below you'll find simple tools that can make remote working easier and more enjoyable for you.
1. Have a reputable, reliable online signing platform such as docusign or dotloop. I love the simplicity and ease of use of docusign and so have my clients.
2. Use Google Drive Docs or Dropbox to maintain your files, documents, spreadsheets, photos and whatever else you like. You can access these files anywhere.
It becomes frustrating when files are on one computer or laptop. When you use google docs or dropbox you can access your files anywhere. I use both.
3. Use screen sharing and screen recording technology.
Zoom is an online platform in which you can have face to face live meetings with clients or simply just share your screen with them. You choose.
It's a great alternative when you can't be in front of them but wish to go through some things and you can share your computer screen with them too.
Loom is a great online recording platform. You can record a screen share or a video of yourself talking and share your recording with whomever you'd like.
Loom provides you with a link and you can share the link with your client or your entire SOI if you'd like in one of your E-Zines (your branded Realtor® Newsletter).
I use both Zoom and Loom (they're free) and find both to be very easy to use.
The flexibility to work from home, work remotely and the freedom to not be tied to an office all day is appealing for many real estate agents.
The tips above are offered to help make your remote work as enjoyable and productive as possible.
Share your thoughts and additional tips in the comment section below!