Your office is a battle-station of sorts. It’s where you field business, launch your communications, and make the magic of your enterprise happen on a daily basis. While you’ll certainly need to have all the functional elements of an office in order to get your work done—desk, chair, internet—have you really considered the physical environment you’ve cultivated in the process? Think of it this way: working all day in a windowless, poorly lit room wouldn’t exactly inspire productivity or morale, would it?
The fact is humans take all sorts of social, behavioral, and emotional cues from our environments. And as a real estate professional, you likely already understand the power of the visual and the benefits of making a good impression. With all that in mind, how can you redecorate or retool your office space in a way that will boost your mood, productivity, and client relationships? For inspiration, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you consider the ambiance and environment in which you conduct business.
Redecorating your office space doesn’t have to break the bank. Style and décor are often about tiny details adding up to make an overall impression. For instance, paint color, plant life, and lighting are all straightforward ways to rejuvenate a room without spending a fortune. Have dark, drab walls? Consider springing for a lighter, fresher color that will breathe new life into your space. Have bare window sills or empty corners? Buying and potting a few low-maintenance plants like ferns or succulents can add freshness and pops of color to a sparse room. Rely on fluorescent lighting? Consider sprucing up your space with a few well-chosen floor and table lamps that add accents of taste while warming up the tone in your office. A few intuitively placed items can inspire renewed energy.
One way to make a big change in your office environment without spending a penny is to declutter and reorder. Let’s say you have rows upon rows of crowded, bulky filing cabinets. Try digitizing your records and cut the clutter, opening up square footage in the process. Maybe your desk has faced the same wall for years. Have you considered rearranging your existing furniture and décor? Just by reorganizing the flow of your workspace, you can give your office the cheapest face-lift possible. You can also make work areas flow more intuitively, based on the processes and collaboration you’ve adapted to over time.
Imagine you’re walking into the office for the first time. As a client, what details would stick out? What red flags would come to mind? While you’re used to working in the same space every day, clients are coming into your office with no set expectations. With that in mind, complete a walkthrough of your office area to address eye sores, clutter, and whatever feels unprofessional or amateur. Half the battle of redecorating your space is finding opportunities and seeing things anew, instead of being content with the status quo.
Redecorating your space is about aesthetics, but it’s also about creating a unifying setting for your professional brand. If you’re catering to luxury clientele, it makes sense that your office space should appear elegant, high-end, and sophisticated. If you’re selling second homes out in the country, perhaps a more rugged but well-curated ambiance would set the right tone for your services. Maybe you’re courting the Millennial market or touting your tech-forward approach to real estate. In that case, a modern, sleek, progressive layout would speak to your company’s values and culture. Whatever the case may be, think of your office environment as an extension of your brand that communicates with clients, motivates your team, and sets the tone for your day-to-day operations.
Even if decorating isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse, there are plenty of simple and philosophical shifts you can make to your space that will maximize your presence and productivity. What’s more, real estate is a business built on relationships—so it doesn’t hurt to create an office where clients are comfortable and confident in the environment you’ve built.