While many real estate agents spend hours commuting to and from the office, you could start working remotely right away by using these tips!
Imagine the hours you’ll save each month, and what you can do with them!
Working remotely from home – or other nearby locations, like a cool café – is a trend that has been sweeping the globe for years now. It would have picked up steam 100 years ago, but it just wasn’t possible without the tools and technology we have available to us today.
Us Ninjas have been pioneering this movement from its early days. We ditched the traditional office model over a decade ago and moved our business entirely online – and we haven’t looked back once.
A few major benefits of ditching the office and going remote:
- Skip the commute & traffic! This could mean reclaiming 30+ hours spent in the car each month!
- Work from anywhere with internet! Travel the world and still put in your 8 hours (… or 4…)
- Watch your productivity skyrocket! Without the distractions of an office, you will get more done, faster.
When RealtyNinja first decided to shift to working remotely, it was a decision mainly based on the benefits listed above. However there are many other benefits that show themselves along the way. For instance, the current state of our world requires many of us to work from home… not a problem for the Ninjas, we’re already doing it!
While working remotely is just second nature to us Ninjas at this point, the thought of switching your business from brick-and-mortar to remote can be daunting and confusing.
That’s why today we wanted to share some tips to help Canadian real estate agents take at least a few confident steps towards working remotely… even if it’s just for a couple days a week to start.
Please review the tips below, and feel free to contact us via email if you have any further questions about how to implement these ideas into your own business.
Tip #1: Live Video Open Houses & Property Showings
Hosting an open house or property showing can eat up a lot of your day. Usually an open house lasts around 2 hours and happens once every week or so. If the property doesn’t sell in a month, you’ve dedicated 8 hours to open houses for it that month alone…
And what if you have 4 properties for sale!? It adds up…
Consider showing off a property that is for sale by implementing the use of virtual tours, videos, and live video streaming software. Consider hosting a LIVE tour of a property via:
By going live, you can invite visitors to join you from the comfort of their own homes and even ask you questions via the comments section of the social network of your choice.
In your live video, you can walk around the property, showcase the space while answering questions live – not unlike what you would do at a physical open house or property showing.
Once your LIVE video is complete, that video gets saved to your social media page, profile or channel for future viewing by visitors. That video can be shared again multiple times in the future.
A link to that video can also be added to the “Open House Comment” or “Virtual Tour URL” field of your MLS® Listing as well. This way your live video link will appear on your listing across the internet.
Ninja Tip [-_-]~~~> If you’re a RealtyNinja Website customer, you can also embed that video directly into your listing on your website. Here’s how you would do that.
It’s easier to watch a live streamed open house video from home than to get dressed, jump in a car and drive to a property to view it. Food for thought.
Tip #2: Digitally Signing Contracts & Documents
While most real estate agents in 2020 are probably aware of tools such as DocuSign, it’s such a pivotal part of real estate agents going remote that we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it in this article.
In some rare cases, clients may want to meet with you face-to-face in the office to negotiate their closing price and sign documents. That being said, most of the time if you provide clients with the option to just have a call with you and sign the documents from their home – saving both of you anywhere between 1-3 hours – most people will go for it.
By simply introducing the option of digital signing, not only do you save valuable time but this modernization speaks well to your brand and helps increase recurring business.
If you haven’t already, please take the time to sign up for a digital signing tool that will allow you to send and receive contracts via email. Here are some popular options to consider:
Tip #3: Virtual Team Communication & Project Management
While working from home if you’re just a solo agent will be easier, taking a real estate team or brokerage remote is a bit of a bigger process. The physical office provides real estate teams with some strengths that can only be achieved virtually by carefully planning and implementing the right tools.
In order to be an effective remote team, your team needs a variety of tools to facilitate aspects of your business that typically rely on the physical office. Let’s start with…
Team Communication Tools
Strategic conversations at the water cooler or coffee machine do not need to be in-person any longer. At RealtyNinja we use a tool called Slack to communicate with our team. It’s our virtual water cooler and it keeps us all in touch throughout the day, even though we’re 15 people from five different countries and many more cities.
You don’t have to use Slack if it’s not right for you, you can choose to use tools such as
There are various online chat tools you can choose that might suit your real estate business, just do a quick google search to find the right options.
Video Conferencing Tools
Sometimes you need to get your team together for a meeting. When everyone is working from home, you can’t just ask them to meet you in the board room in 5 minutes. You can, however, ask them to join you on a video call!
At RealtyNinja we use an app called Zoom for our weekly team meeting.
We love Zoom, but it might not be right for you. In which case you can try alternatives such as
Again, the right tool for your upcoming virtual real estate meeting is out there, just do a quick search online to find it.
Project Management Tools
While many agents and teams already use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to manage their leads, clients, suppliers and associated pipelines, the CRM is not enough to manage your projects, ideas, plans, and notes.
There are tools out there built to help you and your team collaboratively work on internal tasks. These tools keep everyone on task and on schedule with assignments, due dates, comments, and so much more. Even if you do work in an office together, these tools are much more effective than a filing cabinet.
At RealtyNinja we don’t have filing cabinets or folios. We use – and have used for a decade – a tool called Basecamp to manage our projects, tasks, and calendars. Basecamp has been the leader in this field for years, and they are now – after years of honing their software – on its 3rd version.
Not a fan of Basecamp? There are many other similar tools for you to consider when implementing virtual project management that you can discover by doing your own searching online.
Take a look at tools such as:
Cloud Storage Tools
One of the downfalls of working in an office are that we tend to save files directly to our computer or laptop – at the office. When we ditch the office and start working from home, how do we access those files?
If you’ve been reading The Dojo for some time now, perhaps you’ve already implemented the use of cloud storage such as Google Drive. If you have, lucky for you! Since you save all your files to the cloud, you can access them from any computer anywhere in the world – including from your home office.
At RealtyNinja, all of our files are saved on Google Drive so that our remote team can access everything from anywhere. We even have the ability to assign permissions so that administrators can have different access to files and folders.
Cloud storage can be added as a drive to your computer as well so that every time you save a file from an email, you can actually save it directly to your cloud drive rather than your local hard drive. No more need to save and upload, it all happens in one swift click.
The only cloud storage tools to even really consider are:
Bonus Tip: Eliminate Background Noise at Home
This one is for all the agents out there who’s response to this article is something to the effect of “There is no way I can make phone calls from home with my kids screaming in the background.”
Background noise can definitely be a pain in the butt when you’re working from home. You may not be the only one at home…
- maybe your spouse wants to watch TV while you’re working…
- maybe your dog has a barking problem…
- maybe there’s construction right outside your window…
- maybe your kids are running around banging pots and pans over their head (kids do that, right?)
Whatever the cause of the background noise, we have two solutions for you, and they work in tandem to stop background noise for you and for anyone you’re calling.
The first solution is a good set of noise-canceling headphones. If you need to block out the noise so you can work in peace, just turn on the noise-canceling function and it will eliminate much of the background noise even if you’re not also listening to music.
The second solution is an app called Krisp. Krisp will mute background noise during your phone calls for the benefit of whoever you’re calling.
Next time you’re making an important phone call from home, don’t go hide in the closet. Just turn on Krisp before you make your call, and it will eliminate all the background noise so that all your client or prospect hears on the phone is your voice!
We don’t know how they do it, it’s kind of magical… but it works. Our team uses it every day to eliminate background noise during our calls, and we give it 5/5 stars.
We hope these tips have inspired you to take your real estate business remote – even if it’s partially or temporarily.
If you have any questions, we Ninjas are experts at working remotely and we’re more than happy to answer them for you. So don’t hesitate to email us!
Have an awesome day!