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Working from home - how it can make or break you in the tech world

If you are one of the millions of people working from home at the moment, chances are you are using Zoom, Skype or Facetime.

While these platforms have played a key role in the continuance of business as usual for some, it does bring another element of professionalism we need to address.

With lockdowns and restrictions set to go on for some time yet, the sentiment is, not everyone or everything will be going back to normal once we open back according to Nic Fren. We've totally embraced all the technology and I've no plans to go back on the road and lose days at a time, where I can speak with more people in a shorter space of time which is convenient for both sides. That's not to say we are doing away with Face to Face meetings 100%. That will never happen. We are simply restructuring our communication with how our clients wish to be communicated with.

As more people adapt to the conditions and embrace the technology available, there are some mishaps we are seeing on the increase in recent weeks.

Most accept that working from home isn't the ideal settings for business meetings, pitches and conferences, however, let's look a at few ways you can still work from home, be a parent and "live" in peace.

Those with a great understanding of tech will, in my opinion come out of this much better. Agents are not only being judged on their ability to sell properties for the highest price these days, they are also expected to show property using the latest tools available, and we have some tips on how using tech could make or break you in your pitch.

1) A designated area - pick a room of your home & make that your "workspace". For two reasons. Firstly, you need to seperate yourself from your homelife. When you are in this zone you are "at work", when you are not, you are home. It can be extremely difficult for parents trying to homeschool at the moment. However it is essential to remember to switch on and off mentally. Employers also need to be mindful of the fact that just because employees are at home, doesn;t mean they are on call 24/7. While we are at home, it's a good idea to set up your designated area to appear professional. Nice artwork, flowers and good lighting is essential.

2) Zoom meetings - Business at the top, party at the bottom is fine. We've all been there. However, I've seen examples where it can go horribly wrong when someone has had to jump up all of a sudden. It's also a good idea to think about your surroundings, and what others can see in your frame. One recruitment agency was telling me recently an employer was conducting a virtual interview with a prospective employee and it in a mirror reflection he could see an unmade bed and beer bottles on the bedside table. While you are entitled to a private life, we are being judged for more than just our skills at the moment.

Think about what a homeowner/landlord would see in your background.

Pro Tip - consider the artwork in the room that might need replacing

3) Try before you login - With technology moving so quickly, it's best to do a few trial runs before the actual meeting. Your basic Zoom plan has a 40 minutes time limit per each meeting with three or more total participants. You will get a warning prior to your time expiring, however, if you are in the middle of a sales pitch or conference. It could be quite hard to wrap up and take questions in this time without coming across rushed. So, considering a plan would be a good idea. One other form of communication is Google meet. Another form of virtual chat where you can call through the app. If you are unsure how to use this feature, try it with a friend or family member prior, so you are confident when your appointment comes.

Secondly, take the time prior to know how to turn your camera and microphone on and share the screen. Knowing how to see all participants and share a screen is a basic recommendation.

4) Strong internet connection - There's nothing more frustrating than a slow internet connection where you keep freezing or the call drops out. From a client point of view, if the experience with them is going to be interrupted and slow, what effect would that potentially have on interested buyers? If you are competing against multiple agents and your connection keeps failing on you, it could be all that's needed to lose you the listing.

Wrapping up.

Designate yourself a "workspace & time" at home.

Think about what other participants see in your Zoom frame and the things that could go wrong.

Get familiar with the platforms before you have to go live on them.

Make sure you are in a position where you have strong internet connection.

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