Home-Based Stigma? Agents Respond

Last week’s story on a survey that revealed many home-based business operators are less than forthcoming about their home-based status led us to ask the question: Is there a stigma to being a home-based agent?

“When I began my home-based agency in 1990, I didn't mention I was home-based, as it was seen as unprofessional,” wrote Karen Quinn. “I still do not advertise as such. However, I do have a lovely home office, and I do meet with clients in my home office. Most are quite impressed with the professionalism of my business. In fact, many express how ideal my setup is.”

Rich Walton added, “Home-based may be seen by some as being unprofessional. I have operated a CruiseOne franchise out of my home for 15 years, and meet with customers at my home office at their leisure. Most often I can take care of issues or questions over the phone, but I am always available to meet at any hour.”

Walton pointed out some of the advantages of dealing with a home-based agent by comparing it to his other business. “I am also a wedding photographer,” he said. “I have met with customers out of my home for 30 years in this business. In fact, it is accepted that most wedding photographers do work out of their home studios. Photography clients recognize the advantages of a home-based enterprise: low overhead saves them money, easy parking and a come-as-as-you-are mentality. There is no pressure in this setting. Folks can relax, ask questions and not be disturbed by people waiting in line to speak with an agent or by the noise of other conversations going on around them.

“Mostly, I believe the modern customer wants good advice and a good price, without waiting. If the home office can provide this, the customer will buy!”

And that’s the bottom line.