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CRE Brokers are Leading the Way Back to the Office

CRE Brokers are Leading the Way Back to the Office

October 01, 2021

This post by CRELIX's Cary Brazeman originally appeared on the Apto company blog on September 22, 2021.

The nation’s workers may be crawling back to the office, but commercial real estate pros are leading the return to in-person work.

The latest Apto National Broker Buzz Poll shows that 88% of brokers are back at the office grinding it out. More specifically, 42% say they are back full time, 19% are working a hybrid schedule, 8% never stopped going to the office, and about one in five say their home office is their main office — so work has never stopped.

Still, for many people there remains uncertainty: 11% of brokers say they are not sure when they’ll be going back into the office with their co-workers because their companies haven’t established return-to-work plans or protocols.

The Apto poll was conducted in August in the weeks leading up to Labor Day. Thousands of brokers, mainly in the U.S., were invited to take the poll.

Additionally, almost half of the respondents (47%) say their co-workers are back in the office full time, with 26% following a hybrid work schedule.

Commenting on the poll results, Tanner McGraw, himself a former CRE broker and founder of Apto, said, “Most brokers don’t make a living unless they’re grinding it out, and sure enough, the vast majority of them are hard at it getting deals done for clients. I daresay commercial real estate brokerage is an essential service, but for the wheels of the economy to turn, it’s up there.”

Productivity Declines While Broker Teams Work from Home

Worker productivity has taken a hit with commercial real estate pros working at home versus in the office with their team members. 31% say their productivity decreased as a result of remote work during the pandemic. 22% say productivity increased, and 47% say productivity remained the same.

Brokers say their teammates’ productivity declined even more than their own. 39% report a decline in team member productivity, with 15% seeing an increase and 46% saying teammate productivity has been about the same.

Brokers Miss the Human Contact of Their Co-Workers

Brokers are “people-people,” as we know, so it’s no surprise they miss interacting with people in person. When asked if they agree with the statement “I miss being around more people in person,” 76% of brokers said yes, while 24% said they prefer the solitude of being at home.

Should brokerage teams be together in a workplace for at least a couple of days a week? 58% say it’s very important, 29% say it’s somewhat important and 13% say it’s not important.

Vaxxed to the Max

Asked straight-out if they’ve been vaccinated against the Coronavirus, 79% of brokers say they have been, 12% say they have not been, and 9% decline to answer the question.

CRE Brokers are Leading the Way Back to the Office