While a lot of property transactions are handled entirely online, there’s still a need for real estate brokerages to have a physical presence in order to cater to clients who prefer in-person service and interactions.
Your business premises must represent you effectively, and create a strong first impression which prospective customers will be impressed by.
That’s easier said than done, of course, so let’s talk about the elements of interior design you’ll have to get right when prepping your brokerage for the big time.
Plan for the long term
Firstly, you have to remember that your premises must reflect the needs of your business not only in its current guise, but as it grows and changes over the years.
The layout has to accommodate current team members while giving you room for expansion as you bring more people onboard.
The design also has to be practical as well as beautiful. There’s no point choosing furniture which looks good but isn’t especially comfortable, or of creating spaces that are stylish but don’t give occupants the privacy they’d like.
Durability of materials comes into play here as well. You want to use products that are hard-wearing in the high traffic areas so that they will continue to look good even after daily contact with staff and site visitors.
The flooring is particularly important in this context, and you can’t afford to skimp on the quality here. Using a reputable supplier like Empire Today flooring will allow you to get the best of both worlds in terms of aesthetics and longevity.
Work with the light, not against it
When starting a real estate brokerage, another asset from an interior design perspective is whatever natural light is able to enter the interior spaces of your premises.
Orienting furniture around the presence of natural light, rather than trying to block it out or interrupt it with internal divisions, will be better for the atmosphere and for employee morale.
It’s also useful to think about how you control light from the outside, so that bright days don’t dazzle team members and render dimmer displays illegible. Adjustable blinds, perhaps even those which are electronically operable, will save the day here.
Make clever use of color
Color is a complex and often controversial subject in interior design circles. Some believe in a maximalist approach, where high intensity hues and stark contrasts or even deliberate clashes are held in high regard. Others prefer a more neutral approach, with a color pallet that doesn’t overwhelm but instead gives you room to experiment with adding points of interest through furniture, foliage and so on.
For real estate brokerages, neutrality is arguably the better option, although you also have to remember how certain color combos will reflect on your brand.
If you’re targeting a more affluent clientele, for instance, you want this to be reflected in your color choices. Powerful, bold tones like black, blue and gold will be more striking for this audience than softer whites and pastels.
Knowing your audience is therefore key to selecting colors, and should also instruct every other aspect of your business’ interior design.
Create a place for clients and employees to relax
Another practical arm of interior design which can also be stylish revolves around spaces that are not designed explicitly with business in mind, but rather cater to those who are having some downtime.
This might be team members who are chilling out on their break or killing time before meeting a client. It might be for clients themselves who are on-site for an engagement with an employee and are a little early for their appointment.
Lounge areas can be any shape or size, so long as they are comfortably appointed, cozy and equipped with access to refreshments.
Ask employees for their input
Whether you’re redesigning an existing office or moving into a new space, you can always get feedback from team members on the type of interior design features they’d like to see in the workplace.
After all, they’ll be the ones who have to inhabit it day after day, and you don’t want to push ahead with a decision that ultimately doesn’t gel with employee expectations.
If you’re still stuck for inspiration, don’t be afraid to see what competitors have done with their interiors. You could get ideas for your own office, or alternatively uncover mistakes that rivals have made and thus know what to avoid yourself.
The main thing to remember when designing the interior spaces of a real estate brokerage is that practicality should come first, and any decision you make which compromises this is not the right one. Think through the small details and you’ll be rewarded with an office that ticks all the boxes for employees and clients as well.