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AG Poll Results – Where You Spend Your Work Day?

Where do AG readers spend their work days?

work dayLast week, we asked AG readers, “where do you spend most of your work day?” The results were not surprising:

  • Home Office 62%
  • Broker Office 23%
  • Coffee Shop 5%
  • Other: 10%

Those who answered indicated that their time was spent either in the field, in the car and one person answered “on my butt” while another said they spend most of their work day on their boat (which I’m not sure is a facetious answer or not).

Why so many home office workers?

In the original poll, Justin Boland noted in comments his surprise that the bulk of those that took the poll work from home. Boland asks, “Question from a young know-nothing, though: is that because of technology advancements, or are most of that [62% of] folks who’ve gone independent and/or been laid off, post-bubble?”

First of all, with such a small sample (roughly 100 people), this in no way reflects the entire real estate industry and barely is the tip of the iceberg of AG readers. For people who are tech savvy enough to understand what a blog is, let alone read a blog and take a poll, chances of their having a laptop and trending toward virtual brokerage is high.

Is working from home on the rise?

Jay Papasan of Keller Williams University said that “The research [done by Gary Keller in the 1980s about this very topic] showed that only a fraction of the agents were ever at the office at the same time. So long before internet-based telecommuting, agents tended spent the majority of their time in the field, in their cars, in their clients’ homes and in their listings. Seller meetings took place at the proverbial kitchen table, although buyers did tend to meet with the agent in the office. Agents came to the office for training, coaching, floor duty, contract work and social occasions. At the end of the day, you’d have a modest percentage of agents (mostly top producers) working full time out of the brokers office. For the rest, “flex space” (working areas and conference rooms) was what they wanted and used on a need to basis.”

Some people say that working from home is on the rise but I would argue that despite the reason for being outside of the office, agents have always found a way to be outside of the office as a means of survival. Some people work better from home in the quiet, away from people while others find television and lack of accountability too tempting and distracting.

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Regardless, I would argue that where agents work does not impact their customer service levels, would you?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Dean Ouellette

    February 15, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Coming soon
    E) Work in a #RETT co-op space

  2. Daniel Bates

    February 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I’m a blog coach so I get to talk to a lot of different agents all across the US and Canada and I’d say that the numbers are accurate with what I find as well. Most of the folks that I talk with are working primarily from home or a team office. That does not mean that this is reflective of the industry though, because I think the clientèle that I reach and those reading AG are much more savvy and forward thinking and most of the industry as a whole is still reliant on sitting around in open houses and brokerage offices cold-calling and waiting on leads to walk in the door.

  3. Christi Borden

    February 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Where an agent handles their work is completely up to them and their working style. We all have different needs and chose our Brokers based on those needs. I happen to be the type of agent that keeps only one office (at the Brokerage) as I do not want the mess of a second office at home. I also enjoy the interaction with agents on a daily basis – but we have a very familial culture at our firm which lends itself to close relationships between the agents.

    I have a licensed assistant and a non-licensed assistant (both of whom also office primarily at the Brokerage). This works out well so that we have one hub for our files. That said, I have just purchased a Tablet PC with software that allows me to function paperless so my time at the office may lessen as I get comfortable with the new technology.

    Interestingly, you did make note that you found those that usually office at the Brokerage and spend the most time there are Top Producers. Do you think there is a correlation that needs investigating? I notice that the Top Producers in my office are the guys/gals I see the most when there. Hmmmm? I do think there is a connection and would love to hear comments from other agents and Brokers on this (coincidence?).

    In the end, it isn’t where you work but how well and how hard you work. Real Estate is hard work but very rewarding to those that give it their all.

  4. Chuck Rifae

    February 15, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I have never really understood why anyone would willingly get in their car everyday and go into an office when they can work from home? When was the last time you sold real estate to a Realtor??? I think the real question should be; What does my Broker’s office provide me that my home office doesn’t? Having been a Broker and managed a large office the answer to that question might be “Walk in Leads”.. Just saying, lots of old school Broker’s operate this way…

    • Renee Porsia

      February 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      I totally agree! I never fully understood why Realtors would go in every day either. Most of the time, all anyone ever did was complain about business.

      I never worked in the office. I have everything I need at home and get this, the Broker’s still wanted to charge me to work from my home. “Hello, you want to charge me to use my own printer, paper, internet, phone?” HUH?

      My current office does not do that but there are Brokers here that do.

  5. Grant in Nashville

    February 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I suppose that I am one of the last agents who actually maintain an outside office. I’ve found that I’m at least 50% more productive when I am not at home or at my broker’s office. When most people are at home, the distractions are all present, but in the office it’s go time.

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