Where Your Office NEEDS To Be … 6 Things You Need To Do To Relocate It NOW

Posted by: Carl Medford on January 12th, 2009

I am frequently asked, “Where is your office?” It’s like the location of my office means something. And to many people, it actually means a lot. It represents, in their minds, the not-so-subtle idea that you are limited to working only a short distance out from the geographical location of your desk.

And so, when asked the “magic” question, my response is always the same: “Where do you WANT it to be?”

Truth is, as a virtual agent, I do have an “office.” After all, our license has to hang somewhere for us to be legit. Although I have a great office in which to work, I’m not interested in “impressing” my clients with the size of the building or the fountain in the foyer. Instead … I meet them where THEY are.

In fact, I’ve discovered that “bringing them home to meet the parents” can raise questions you DON’T want them asking. Such as:

  • “How much money does it take to run an operation like this?”
    • “Dang … this Realtor must be bankin’ BIG bucks … wonder if I can hit them up for part of their commission…?”
    • “If they have a building like this in this economy, are they in touch with reality…?”
    • “Why do I have to drive all the way over here when I live in ________?”

Virtual agents have virtual offices. In my “real” office I don’t even have a desk. Don’t want one. My “actual” desk, when meeting with clients, is any available table at the Starbucks closest to where my clients live. Or the table in their existing digs.

Here is why this is critical:

  1. Today’s home buyers and sellers want it to be all about them. And they are right -– they’re the ones buying or selling a house.
  2. They want to know you GET IT. They will most likely choose a Realtor who meets them on their turf and terms.
  3. They want as much anonymity as possible until they’ve decided who they are going to work with. This is especially true of internet leads coming from companies such as HomeGain.com.

There are more reasons, but I won’t bore you.

Bottom line: Savvy Realtors have already figured this out and are becoming virtual agents or at least becoming more mobile than ever before.

Here are six things you need to do to become more of a virtual Realtor and maximize your effectiveness:

  1. Make sure you have a good laptop.
    I know Realtors who actually don’t have one!!!! I cannot imagine it, but it’s true. Some Realtors have gone the extra step and purchased tablet pc’s with the capability of writing on the screen -– you generate a document, then your clients sign right on your laptop.
  2. Make sure you have a good laptop carrying case.
    Roller cases are cool and save your arms. Mine follows me everywhere. Costco has GREAT deals on good cases. Haul ALL your stuff down there, check it in at the door, then go find a case that fits everything. For less than $100.00 you are out the door and lookin’ fine! Put everything you need in it: cables, back-up batteries (laptop and printer), power cords, blank paper, extra ink cartridges, pens, highlighters, business cards, mouse (I prefer a “real” mouse, mouse pad for glass table tops, dental floss, a complete USB connector kit … etc.. Flying out of town? As a virual agent, my entire office goes with me and fits under the seat in front of me or in the overhead compartments … my clients NEVER know when I am gone.
  3. Make sure you have a portable printer/scanner that fits in your case.
    Canon’s BJC-85 Portable Color Bubble Jet Printer (buy a reconditioned one online) is a great option and you can get a scanner attachment for it. Get the optional battery pack so you can operate cordlessly when necessary. Throw away the color module and use the black BC-10 cartridges. It’s not like you’ll be printing brochures with this.
  4. Make sure you have wireless internet access for your laptop.
    Go to your wireless phone rep and figure out the best solution for you and your budget. There will be times when you won’t have Wi-Fi. I use Verizon’s AirCard. This is a bit slower than Wi-Fi, but it gets it done. And hopefully, we’ll all have Max-Fi before too long anyway.
  5. Make sure your clients can sign their docs wherever you are.
    Get a DocuSign account. As well as impressing the socks off your clients, this is a massive timesaver (ESPECIALLY if you have clients in Bangalore). You don’t need to print a thing – and you can write up an offer in a Starbucks, email it to your clients, have them access their email on your laptop while sipping their latte, sign it and then email it off to the listing agent – without printing a page. Time elapsed … 15 minutes MAX. Like, TOTALLY impressive, dude! And VERY green. Check with your local association for possible discounts. In addition, in my case I carry a portable signature pad by Ambir for short docs. It also helps to have Adobe Acrobat Professional so you can scan and edit docs if you need to before signing.
  6. Get a Starbucks Gold Card.
    THIS IS WAY COOL … in addition to getting discounts on everything in the store, you get 2 hours of free AT&T WI-FI EVERY DAY If you currently have an AT&T or T-Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot account (average $30 buckaroos a month), throw it away and, “Bob’s Your Uncle,” you just saved $360.00 a year! You OWE me for this one! And if you prefer to go to Peet’s or other coffee houses instead, often their Wi-Fi is free.

And then get out the door!! Your clients don’t want to come to you -– they want you to be where they are. Which is exactly where… your office NEEDS to be.

Visit Carl Medford’s website at http://carlmedford.com.



5 Comments on “Where Your Office NEEDS To Be … 6 Things You Need To Do To Relocate It NOW”

An Bui, DocuSign Blogger


Thanks so much for mentioning DocuSign! I think you’re right that making sure clients can sign their docs wherever, whenever can make you, as an agent, much more effective. How much time have you saved since you started using DocuSign?

Please feel free to reach out and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!

Carl Medford


I can’t even BEGIN to calculate how much time we save every month using DocuSign. Our team uses it every day – we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without it. We’ve generated as many as 20 offers in a single day – all sent out with DocuSign – while we sit in our office in jeans, t-shirt and bare feet and sip a latte …

Unfortunately, there are a few lenders and asset management companies out there who have not yet crawled out of the dark ages, but those are the minority.

An Bui, DocuSign Blogger


Thanks for the feedback. :)

I hope that the lenders and asset management companies out there who don’t yet know about the power of electronic signature and contract execution services such as DocuSign are reading your blog – they too could be enjoying t-shirt, jeans, bare feet and latte-filled days!

Portland Real Estate

“we’ll all have Max-Fi before too long anyway”…..I think you mean WiMax buddy. Right now WiMax is available in a few very large metro areas like DC, Chicago, and Portland. It’s alright, but its not nearly as good as they would like you to think. If you are on the ground floor of a building not near a window then good luck getting a signal. To get good speed, make sure to stay near a window downtown (suburbs are not well covered).


Carl Medford

Nope … meant Max-Fi.


The hope is that it will provide better serviceability than existing products, including WiMax. We’ll see.

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