Are you a Real Estate Agent that works out of your home?

Without proper planning and organization, your home office may do more to hinder your productivity than enhance it. Here are some tips from the experts on how to setup the perfect home office.

SELECT THE RIGHT SPOT: The area in your home should be well lit, with enough room for furniture, file cabinets and other items you use on a regular basis. Windows are great for natural light but can be a distraction. You may want to configure your workspace so windows are behind you or on the side.

GET CONNECTED: Equip the space with enough electrical outlets to support your office equipment, telephone, fax machine, and internet access. Any costs incurred to add outlets or even heating and air conditioning to your office space are tax deductible.

FURNITURE REQUIREMENTS: Determine what furniture you will need ~ desks, file cabinets, printer stand, storage units and office supplies. Measure the furniture and compare to make sure it fits before you move into the space. Layout the locations of each piece of furniture and try several floor plans ~ on paper first.

ORGANIZE: Keep business files in your home office. It's very tempting to take them with you to another room while working out of your home, but avoid the temptation! That way you won't waste time looking for files all over your home. Keep the office as neat and clean as possible as you will be more productive if you are organized.

TAX DEDUCTIONS: The IRS will let you deduct expenses only related to that part of your home that you use exclusively for your regular business. This includes your mortgage payment, utilities, furniture, computer equipment and supplies. Be sure to keep records on exactly what you have purchased for your business and you might even want to consider a separate credit card to use exclusively to easily track your expenses.

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