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I Sell Real Estate in My Pajamas

Exaggeration? Hmm…

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little. But I get up in the morning, head downstairs, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down in my office. I check email, and start to write. And my clients find me. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and despite having built a comfortable online presence and a good client database, I’m treated as an exotic creature by my brokerage firm (and by most other agents in my area.)

Windshield, or Bug?

Someone I respect very much says that as the real estate business model continues to change at warp speed, you are either the windshield or the bug. I really don’t want to be the bug, but I don’t have to be driving the car –I just want to make sure I’m at least in the passenger seat! I wasn’t at the NAR conference in Orlando last week, but got to virtually ‘sit in’ on the panel discussions I wanted to see, courtesy of the Real Estate Zebra, Daniel Rothamel, and his live streaming videos. I could even chat with the other folks who were watching, and get their thoughts on the discussions taking place. Conferencing in pjs; priceless!

Now, I understand that I can’t show houses in my pjs. And that there is a tremendous amount of face to face interaction that comes into play when my clients are ready to meet in person and conduct business. But I can meet new people, establish relationships, and engage in some amazing conversations, all from the comfort of my home office. The tools are changing, the rules of engagement are changing, the overall business model for real estate brokerages is changing (hello, virtual office?). With a background in writing, I can use those skills to put my business expertise out there in a way that folks will appreciate.

You Do It Your Way, I’ll Do It Mine

The most fantastic thing about this business, in my opinion, is that you can run it the way that you want. What I do to be successful isn’t going to work for someone else, and that’s okay. There are clients that are a great fit for me, and folks that I would never be able to work with successfully. I have a huge mount of respect for an agent in my office who asks every single person that he comes in contact with if they want to buy a house. Really. And it works for him. I tend to think that my style probably wouldn’t appeal to his clients, and his style wouldn’t appeal to mine.

So I’m going to keep on writing in my pjs to reach out to my clients, and use that to grow my business. And just maybe, at some point soon, that won’t seem like such a strange way to work.

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Written By

Heather is a Realtor with Century 21 Redwood Realty in Ashburn, Virginia. She's also the 2008 VARBuzz Blog Brawl Champion, mom to four fantastic kids, and the wife of a golf professional. If she had free time, she'd probably read a good book or play golf. You can find her on twitter, @hthrflynn, or writing on her blog,



  1. Mariana

    November 11, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I am right there with you Sistah!

    Funny – I spent the entire day (yesterday) in my jammies, and managed to get 5 home buyers closer to the point of action.

    Also, I never bring my clients to an office anyway. We always meet for lunch or at a coffee shop.

    Since I don’t have to have a huge wall-to-wall office, I can spend my money on better serving my clients.

  2. Jim Whatley

    November 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    You get Dress? bad thing is Google just added video and voice to chat. How I will have to start combing my hair. (the precious few i have)

  3. Mike Price

    November 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Your style of work isn’t an anomaly in most major markets. Walk into any major mega broker office at any given time of the day or day of the week and you’ll hear that music from The Good The Bad and The Ugly. Tumbleweeds blow by the reception desk and the distant sound of crickets can be heard.

    Does that mean business is THAT bad? No. It just means that the independent business entrepreneurs that make up that office have figured out how to maximize their time and cost of doing business by using their home offices, mobile devices, laptops and digital signatures to get things done. The agent desktop has shifted to Starbucks, well maybe Panera bread, last time I checked Starbucks charged for an Internet connection.

    I really like your windshield and bug analogy 🙂

  4. Stacey Lee

    November 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    What is important to me is the result. I can be as effective in my pjs as in my suit.

  5. Candy Lynn

    November 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    You mean you have to get up to go to work? PJs, purring cats, coffee, computer & sunrise over the Blue Ridge is how I start my day.

  6. DebOnTheWeb (AKA Deb Agliano)

    November 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Absolutely!! The other day I got up from breakfast and walked into my office. My husband asked “how was your commute?!” from the other room.

    I stopped working out of THE office 5.5 years ago when a family member was ill. I found I was so much more efficient working from home I never went back. I love working in my pjs 🙂

  7. Brian Block

    November 11, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    What? No pictures of your in your jammies? I sometimes blog in my boxers. I might don a bathrobe for showings, though.

  8. Mana Tulberg

    November 11, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I’m there right next to you.
    My husband says I’m in the Pajama industry!! LOL

  9. monika

    November 11, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Jay and I work that way too. We do have an office to go to if needed but we work virtually and like it that way.

  10. Danilo Bogdanovic

    November 11, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    My office is my loft at home and it’s the best and most productive “office” envirtonment I’ve ever had (including previous jobs outside of RE).

    Personally, the virtual office brokerage firm with no overhead and great broker/fellow agent support and training that lets me keep more of my commission than most is what makes me happy.

    That’s the great thing about RE and having your choice of business models and brokerage firms. There’s something for everyone!

    Now, where are my sweats?

  11. Elaine Reese

    November 11, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Oh,I’m SO glad you posted this. I’ve been working out of my home for 2 yrs now and there are days – especially in the cold winter – that I don’t leave my warm, snuggly housecoat. I wake up … nuke my coffee … turn on the laptop … and start work around 7:30. Now, I no longer have to feel guilty about working in PJ’s. Feels good to know I’m not alone.

  12. cin

    November 11, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    I loved this post. I take a lot of grief about not going into the office enough but w/small kids and being enslaved to drop off and pick up school times, my schedule is strict. I find I focus better and get more done at home. And when biz slowed down I started Mommy blogging for a little extra cash. I am so glad to hear that out in the big world there are others just like me! 🙂

  13. Erin Snyder Oakley

    November 11, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    On a cold snowy day I am right there with you too! But I think that image is really important. So most days I get up, make myself look nice, and head out into the world to interact with people face to face. Maybe I am old fashion.

  14. Missy Caulk

    November 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    If I don’t have an appointment then I am home in my sweats or PJ’s too. I get so much more done, hate office politics and folks sticking their heads in my door to chat.

    If I am in there I am less productive as are my buyer agents but to each his own. Some folks have the opposite success.

    Heather, this is one reason why I have not got into the mug shots, seesmic. I don’t want to go get dressed and put “my face on”, that’s Southern for make-up.

  15. Ray Carman

    November 11, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    With you on this one! Been running my office/brokerage from home for 2 1/2 years! Amazing the comfort level you get with people! Best part, More time with my family and helping raise my two girls!

  16. David Beattie

    November 12, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Hi Heather, I’m doing the same thing selling Real Estate and Businesses in Adelaide, South Australia. Here I am a rarity as I only turn up in the office to drop off contracts and on the odd occasion meet with clients. I live in my jeans and only get changed into suit and tie for formal meetings and open houses. It is good to see it is a worldwide event. All the best. David

  17. Teresa Boardman

    November 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I just put on a coat over my PJ’s when I need to show houses. Sometimes the ears on my bunny slippers get dirty but they clean up just fine in the washing machine. No one understands me but that is OK because I don’t understand them either.

  18. Paula Henry

    November 12, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    The face of real estate has changed dramatically. I love my PJ’s and sitting at my home office. I can communicate with my clients, vendors, my office, and everyone else from the comfprt of my home. Can’t think of a better life in business.

    I hope the dress code here will soon catch up to the one T enjoys in St Paul, cause I could see myself trotting off to a showing in my PJ’s, but my dog keeps taking my slippers. Only one though, so I may be able to find a mismatched pair.

  19. Barry Bevis

    November 13, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I’m working through the home office / broker office right now… I’m adding the concept of starting my own Brokerage out of the house.

    These thoughts were helpful!

  20. Heather Elias

    November 13, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Wow..did I strike a nerve? Thanks for all the responses!! I had no idea that I had such great company in my pj wearing biz model.. (the fuzzy slippers are a great idea, though, will have to try those out..)

    Think any of the big brokerages will take note of how many people seem to be working this way, now? Blogging or not, working out of the home office space seems to be where the industry is moving…

  21. Judy Orr

    November 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I also work out of my home in my pj’s. In fact, if I don’t have an appointment, I only change right before my husband is due home. He teases me if I don’t (and I’m sure he’s jealous).

  22. Peter Santiago

    November 15, 2008 at 12:43 am

    I get up in the morning make a cup of coffee, walk my schnauzer along the bay where I live in Miami, then become one with my mac for about 12 hours 🙂

    Wouldn’t have it any other way.


  23. Ro Troia

    November 16, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I didn’t know I had a twin! I’m always working in my PJ’s and love it but it never fails I frequently get a call for an appointment and I’m scrambling to look presentable and like I didn’t just wake up with the bed hair! ugh… and the biggest trick is to get rid of the racoon eyes like ellen degeneres, those will scare anyone! Want to buy a house? NOT…today!

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