This is the 3rd post stemming from The Difference Between a CRE Broker and a Drug Dealer.
I started working with my dad in Commercial Real Estate the day after I was discharged (honorably!) from the Marine Corps. He is a CCIM designee and understands the value of that education. He had me in the CCIM intro class the following week. I didn’t have my license. I was as green as they come.
The instructor had us introduce ourselves and share with the class how long we had been in CRE. 27 years. 15 years. 35 years. 8 years. Me: “4 days and I don’t have my license yet.”
That was the first day I’d ever heard of a Capitalization Rate. It was a completely meaningless and nebulous term. The percentage linking Value to Net Operating Income? What is NOI? You’ve heard the term ‘dear in the headlights.’ That was me. This was the end of 2004.
Fast forward to yesterday. My 10-year-old had an assignment requiring him to interview someone who uses math at work. He chose to interview me. I taught him that the only equation in CRE that matters is V = NOI / Cap. Value equals Net Operating Income divided by the Cap Rate. At some point in the last 8 years, I had a ‘Light Bulb’ moment when these concepts clicked.
I’ve known for a while that the mobile/virtual office was the way of the future. I’ve inherently understood that this model increases efficiencies. It makes me more effective – from anywhere. However, I couldn’t quite articulate the why.
I had another Light Bulb moment yesterday during a fantastic webinar by ClientLook‘s founder Michael Griffin. He was able to clarify for me the value of being mobile.
Why You Should Consider a Virtual Office
- Your Office Moves With You – Do you remember the line in Spiderman 2 when Doc Oc says, “The power of the sun in the palm of my hand!” This is the totality of your office in the palm of your hand. To accomplish this you need to have a paperless office. I explain the steps to making that happen in my post – The 5 Steps to a Paperless Office.
- Beyond paperless, you must commit to moving your office online. This means using websites instead of software. You need a web-based email solution like Gmail. You need a web-based CRM like ClientLook (be looking for a review of ClientLook coming soon). You need to choose web-based solutions that work across all platforms. Mac or pc. iOS or Android or (what’s the name of the other one?).
- Drop the Legacy Technology Anchors – Michael Griffin calls desktop software Legacy Technology Anchors. What a great description for all the programs on your desktop that keep you anchored there. Cut those puppies loose and claim your freedom! And consider, you will have to upgrade every one of those programs. You will have to update the servers that run your office. You will have to update your desktop. I pay monthly licensing fees that are known costs. Do you know how much life your servers have left? Do you know how much their replacements will be? No, you don’t.
- You Need Less Space – This point will vary greatly depending on what kind of office you have. It will vary by the size of your office. How much rent have you paid in your life for square footage to store files? What about for servers and IT equipment?
- You will do it now or later – You may never do away with having an actual physical office. I do believe that you will have true mobile and virtual capabilities. I encourage you to be on the front end of that wave. Use it to your advantage. Make it a point of differentiation between you and your competition. The technology to pull this off has never been easier or safer. Your excuses are gone.