We felt very strongly that our office had to have an open floor plan and without assigned seating. We want agents to come to the office, share information, collaborate: our thought was that agents are stronger working together rather than working against each other. What is the point of coming to an office anyway? Aside from being a place to work (which you can do anywhere), we felt the real reason for an agent to come to our office was to meet, see, and talk to others whether it is other agents, management or the staff. They are there to share information, to ask for help and to help each other. We want to encourage this behavior and therefore eliminated barriers to conversation – no walls. For those requiring privacy or quiet, we have several meeting and break-out rooms.
The elimination of walls and privileged offices not only allowed us to better utilize space (since the best agents we found were rarely in their offices), but it squashed the culture of entitlement, elitism, hierarchy, and exclusionary cliques so prevalent in many real estate brokerages nationwide. We found we could comfortably support 80-90 agents plus marketing and transaction management staff in just over 2000 square feet.
Apart from the floor plan and concept, the location is really ideal. Strategically located in Potrero Hill’s Showplace Square / Design District – an intersection of neighborhoods, industries and central to San Francisco’s fastest growing and most dynamic neighborhoods. To the east you have booming Mission Bay, a completely new neighborhood being built from the ground up for the past 8-10 years and still under construction. Thousands of new jobs from UCSF to Old Navy to Uber and the biotech hub of Northern California are located here. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Stem Cell) is located here. As of this writing (7/22/2015), the Golden State Warriors is also currently planning to relocate here. To the south, you have Potrero Hill, one of SF’s most desirable residential neighborhoods. The South East you have Dogpatch and Bayview Hunters Point. To the North, you have SOMA and South Beach, home to the world’s most influential tech companies including Airbnb, Pinterest, Uber, Twitter, Zenga, and countless other startups, a thriving restaurant/nightlife and arts/music scene. To the west you have The Mission, Noe Valley, The Castro and rest of the city. Showplace Square is home to San Francisco’s interior design and furniture industry. The merging of technology and interior design is really the perfect place to locate the modern real estate brokerage. Not to mention that the parking is ample and free and easy to get to from every direction.
In 2015 we have embarked on an office expansion taking over three adjacent offices and re-designing our office again! Stay tuned.