According to a study conducted by Goldman Sachs, working productivity of business employees increased by 3% during the pandemic. This is because, due to the lockdown, they were forced to work remotely with a more flexible schedule and greater time saving. However, larger firms—especially the real estate companies—require cooperation and collaboration among realtors and the managers in a well organized manner. For this, a definite work space was deemed essential. A more flexible solution— the virtual office spaces—were introduced even before the pandemic to give realtors a chance to work remotely, cut the overhead costs for the real estate business owners, while at the same time providing a physical office-like professional environment for business operations.
Virtual office spaces has seen an uptick in demand 2016 onwards because of innovative technologies that made working from a virtual office easier. A virtual office is a web and tech-based setting that enables both real estate owners and agents to work remotely, while still enjoying all the benefits of a physical office. Virtual offices are amazing in the sense that they provide new startups to register their businesses with a famous location without having to bear the sky-rocketing expenses associated with such locations. Making sense why virtual offices are witnessing a spike in demand, right?
To make it more clear, let us have look into the main drivers of increasing demand for virtual offices in the real estate industry.
Economic Considerations of Startups—Cost Effectiveness
The emerging importance of virtual offices has proven that it is the best business office model in terms of cost-effectiveness. Launching and operating a startup can be much easier with a virtual office than a physical one. Hence, new real estate startups may think of averting the strangulating costs of maintaining a physical office, and a virtual office might make a valuable option. Most importantly, those real estate startups that are not intending to make long-term commitments or suffer any costly leasing rates, virtual office solution makes the most sense. It provides a decent working space, on affordable rates, in a desirable location.
Productive Co-working Environment
Collaboration and effective networking are very important for a company’s operational coherence. An open and productive co-working atmosphere is an inherent feature of virtual offices. Real estate agents and admins can interact more effectively with each other, and with other area experts instantly, no matter where they are present at the moment. In this way, a cross-pollination of creative business ideas occurs, leading to productive innovation in the working of the business.
Moreover, social interactions among agents and clients via virtual means may increase customer confidence without the need for traveling long distances to make such interactions possible. Such interactions may create lasting relationship with clients which may prove professionally valuable in the form of repurchases and personal referrals.
The Quest for Professional Prestige and Business Credibility
Most of the business startups crave for an enhanced corporate image to gain more customer confidence. However, not all of them have the required budget for it. Virtual offices provide such startups the opportunity to register themselves with a high end office location, and a well-known virtual mailing address. This address is displayed on the business website and other documents and cards, giving an enhanced corporate stature to a business. It improves customer perceptions, who start viewing such a startup as a serious real estate company. This is the reason why most of such startups are switching to a virtual office space.
Access to Reception Courtesies—the Virtual Call and Mail Reception Service
Most of the virtual office operators provide call and mail reception service. Even in case the business owner is not available, the virtual office operator may receive any business calls or mail and send it to the personal account of the owner to be received at some other time. Therefore, there is no need to hire a full-time staff to address ones business phone calls or mail, further lowering financial burden. No wonder why virtual office spaces are increasingly becoming real estate favorites.
Quick Business Expansion
In case of a physical office, further business expansion would require construction of new infrastructure to handle the additional workload, hence more expenses. However, with a virtual office, it will only need a few more working personnel and a strong online presence. Further, it will require a little more technology integration to address a larger customer-base. Yet, expansion of a business working from a virtual office costs may times less than that with a physical office space.
The Pandemic Times
Though the transition of real estate industry to virtual realm started many years ago, the coronavirus pandemic has given an unprecedented boost to it. With a global lockdown in place, more and more real estate firms are adopting virtual reality and adapting their agents to remote working. In April 2020, a Gallup survey showed that three out of every five respondents preferred to work remotely as long as the coronavirus is not controlled. Viewing this trend, businesses are quickly shifting to the virtual realm, due to which the use of virtual offices for business purposes has increased.
Real estate is a rapidly growing business sector with lots of competition. Because of this, new startups have to find ways to enhance growth and lower costs, and virtual office space seems to provide the perfect solution for that.