Many real estate professionals find it convenient to keep a home office. But during COVID-19, a home office has become many people’s only office. With stay-at-home orders still in effect in many areas, your home office may have transformed into your business command center.
Whether you’re working from the dining room table or a dedicated office space, getting your workspace organized during this time is key, both for your productivity and your sanity.
But keeping things organized can be a challenge, especially when you’re not used to working from home. It’s important to take a few minutes each day to get organized. You will feel refreshed, reduce stress, and save hours per week by keeping your space neat and organized.
Here are five tips that can help you stay on track and look like a pro with your tidy real estate home office.
1. Keep Your Desk Clear
One of the biggest challenges of organizing a home office is that the job is never done. New work piles up on top of old and if you aren’t careful you can get buried.
The benefits of a clean desk are well known, including:
- Better focus
- Less stress
- Increased efficiency
- Higher productivity
- Better security
Take out only what folders you need and refile when finished. It keeps documents from getting lost and keeps work out of the way during meals, homework, and playtime with kids and pets.
Ending each day with a desk that’s clear of clutter feels amazing and makes you look like a professional, even under difficult circumstances.
2. Keep Your Physical Files Organized
Real estate business generates a mountain of documentation and everyone has their own method of organizing it. The key is to find something that works for you and stick with it.
Vertical files, shelves and storage boxes are all good storage solutions, and with a home office the choice is up to you. Any of these will work, as long as you prioritize what’s important and cut out what isn’t.
For everyday documents, it makes sense to create a ready-access folder that is close at hand with all these handouts, forms and documents.
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For long-term filing, keep backups of what’s most important in a different secure location for emergencies.
And know when to cut back. When it’s time to discard sensitive personal information, make sure to do so safely and use a shredder.
3. Keep Your Digital Files Organized
Keeping digital files of your real estate transactions greatly cuts down on stacks of paper, but organization is still crucial even at home.
Make sure to create and maintain systems for digital file naming, folder organization, and storage so you don’t lose access to important files.
Include key info when naming your digital files, such as client name, property address, document type or date. This makes it easy to search for what you need.
Manage your files with a few key folders, such as contract forms, listings, and clients. Then organize specific documentation into subfolders under each heading.
Use tools to make home office data storage easier. Try Adobe Scan to make fast, high-quality scans of important paperwork, then store your documentation securely in the cloud with Google Drive or DropBox.
4. Keep Your Team Organized
With everyone working from home, coordinating with your team can be a challenge. There’s still a need to check in, and with everyone out of their usual element, your team may have questions about sharing and accessing documents and forms.
Cloud sharing tools like Google Drive and DropBox not only allow you manage your own files, but to share documents and folders safely and securely with your team.
Take advantage of Adobe Scan to digitize any hard copies and then use DocuSign (a Folio partner) to get all your transaction documents securely and digitally signed.
5. Keep Your Inbox Organized
Whether at the office or at home, a deluge of emails can be a massive drain on your time, productivity, and sanity. When tidying up your home office workspace, don’t forget about your inbox.
With Folio’s AI-powered approach, you can keep your email inbox neat and organized, saving you from hours of extra work every week.
Both Folio for Gmail and Folio for Outlook integrate seamlessly into your inbox. Our algorithms understand how to identify and sort emails into workflows that make sense for your real estate business.
Keeping your real estate home office organized will save you a lot of time. Just a few simple steps every day can help you keep your desk, files, team, and inbox organized and your business on track. It’s a great way to reduce stress and remain focused during COVID-19.
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