During the last several years I have personally visited over 100 commercial real estate brokerage offices throughout North America. In addition, when I wrote my second book, Commercial Real Estate Teams Built to Dominate, I audited scores of working spaces of highly successful teams.
Most of the offices I visited or audited were designed to create communities of communication, while offering attractive amenities to attain and retain top talent; or, are minimalistic in design, with shared space to reduce overhead and increase flexibility. There were even some that fell somewhere in between.
Every so often I visited a space that made me stop and say “Wow, I wish I worked here when I was brokering!”
Some of the most attractive attributes that maximize productivity I have seen, include:
Open work space – The days of the closed private office are dead. Open work space (or bullpens) reign supreme for maximum communication and collaboration. Prime window space was reserved for bullpen areas. All staff, brokers, agents, admins, everyone has window views.
Private work spaces made of glass – When there are private, enclosed work spaces – these are designed with glass walls. One such office I visited was Cushman and Wakefield’s space in Boston, MA. The conference rooms were in the center of the floor, and again constructed with glass walls.
Community work space – Couches and glass whiteboards located throughout the office for teams to meet comfortably and collaborate on projects.
Adjustable desks abound – No more being a slave to the seat, adjustable desks allow staff to remain focused and comfortable. Whenever I stop in to visit a client at Marcus & Millichap in NY, I know he will be standing behind his desk, on his CRM, making his calls.
Eating In – Fully equipped kitchens, with bistro seating create a café like atmosphere. Again, providing for more collaboration and comradery among team members. If you get the chance, go check out the space of the Linville Team Partners in Winston Salem, NC.
Fun space – Pool tables, ping pong tables, and even a bar. All work and no play, who wants that? No doubt one of the coolest offices I have ever visited is Bull Realty in Atlanta, GA (see picture). This office layout consists of a large “rec room”, plus many of the amenities outlined above.
Do you work in a cool office space? If so, please share what makes your office cool in the comments.
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