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Remote Work and Commercial Real Estate

By Garrett Spence   |    August 16, 2017   |    9:31 AM


How Remote Work Is Influencing Commercial Real Estate

The rise of the remote workforce has reshaped just about every business market, including commercial real estate. Here's how brokers can leverage this trend, while reshaping their offering to capitalize on the increasing preference for work flexibility.

Serving Clients

According to a Gallup survey, nearly half of all American workers spent at least some time working remotely in 2016. This growing trend is influencing just about every business sector, and companies have responded with new perspectives on what they need from their office spaces:

  • As long-term market trends turn against the traditional office setup, more and more businesses are looking to reduce the amount of workspace they lease per worker.

  • Modern commercial clients seek new location types that allow them to balance commercial real estate occupancy costs with serving their remote workforces.

  • The remote work trend has introduced brokers to a changing clientele with varying interests based on industry needs. It's important for modern brokers to be aware of shifting trends within a particular industry to better understand the need for specific types of properties.

As brokers become more aware of the shifting work landscape, they begin to understand that modern brokering depends on selling workspace, not just offices, along with flexible, scalable solutions in addition to traditional long-term leases.

At the same time, while the ongoing revolution in how people work is having major effects on the commercial real estate market, it's also affecting the way brokers conduct their business.

Serving Themselves

Just as commercial enterprises embrace the benefits of remote workplaces, so do the workers who serve them. In the eyes of many, the remote work model suits the commercial real estate industry perfectly for a number of reasons, including:

Location, Location, Location

While this well-known phrase has been a mantra of sorts for the real estate industry, commercial brokers haven't always applied it to their own companies. Each year, employees travel countless miles traveling from office to property and back again. As with many other industries, the real estate sector has discovered ways around this by embracing remote work concepts. The result? Less wasted time, lower fuel costs and increased agility, which promotes happier clients and more sales.

High Office Costs

For quite some time, businesses relied on impressive, large-scale office buildings as a mark of prestige which signaled unquestionable success. These days, practicality has won out over this blind acceptance of traditional corporate norms.

As workplace dynamics continue to evolve, it is becoming less and less necessary for a commercial real estate broker to maintain big offices in multiple markets. Since many clients target commercial properties via online resources, there's nothing to keep a broker from arranging to meet potential buyers and sellers at a property, coffee shop or other neutral site. When a professional, central meeting space becomes necessary, many brokers choose shared office spaces or virtual meeting facilities, which provide timely solutions that can be scaled to suit specific budgets and needs.

Greater Options

Just over a decade ago, the average remote workplace consisted of little more than a cubicle and computer. These days, they come with diverse services that can meet just about any professional requirement.

When they need to meet with clients, brokers can reserve beautifully appointed conference rooms or boardrooms. When they need to tackle key tasks, they can sit down in a well-equipped virtual office, executive office suite or shared office space. The right provider can even offer highly trained virtual assistants that come with a wide array of executive-level skills that help small brokers compete with larger enterprises.

Intelligent Office offers affordable, scalable business solutions that can help you become more agile and productive. Contact our office to learn more.

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