Real estate is a fast-paced and competitive business. You need a lot of hustle to stay on top of your game and grow a thriving business. From cultivating new leads, meeting with clients, generating marketing strategies, running comps and property due diligence, and closing deals, there’s a lot on your plate.
You may have the drive to do it all, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to succeed. Finding skilled, cost-effective, and flexible support can be the key to your success. But, how do you do that? Simple. Hire a real estate virtual assistant (VA).
WHAT ARE THE TOP REASONS TO HIRE A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT?
THE ANSWER LIES IN BALANCING A FEW FUNDAMENTAL PILLARS OF WORKING LIFE:
Pillar One: Money
HIRING A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT IS COST-EFFECTIVE
Business solutions are not solutions if they are not cost-effective. Real estate virtual assistants are independent contractors, so when looking at the expense of hiring one, you need to weigh the cost of hiring a regular in-house employee with that of hiring an independent contractor. An overseas VA has the skill set of a 40k-60k employee for an average hourly rate from $4 – $20/hour. In addition, there are other ways a VA, whether overseas or domestic, reduce overall costs. Here’s how.
Since a real estate VA works remotely from a home office and not in-house, you save on bottom-line office expenses, including:
In addition, there are many direct employee costs you do not pay when hiring a real estate virtual assistant. With independent contractors, you do not pay:
- Payroll taxes
- Unemployment insurance
- Health benefits (medical or dental insurance)
- Vacation pay
- Sick pay
When all these savings are calculated against the higher initial wage cost of a VA, it is much more cost-effective to enlist real estate virtual assistant services as opposed to hiring a full-time employee.
Pillar Two: Time
EXTEND YOUR TEAM, EXTEND YOUR TIME
By extending your team through hiring a virtual assistant, you effectively extend the time you have to not only tick off laborious tasks from your list but to have the time to concentrate on fostering client relationships, negotiating contracts, and closing deals.
FLEXIBILITY MEANS EFFICIENCY
Finding a way to get staff support during peak times quickly is crucial to keeping your business running efficiently. A skilled real estate virtual assistant offers you the flexibility to keep your business running smoothly when you need it most.
TRAINING IS TIME (AND MONEY) (AND SKILL)
Finding experienced support professionals in your area may not always be easy. One benefit of contracting a virtual assistant is that the talent pool extends beyond the reasonable commuting distance to your office.
You get the benefits of having professional real estate virtual assistant skills brought into your office from anywhere in the world. And you don’t need to take the time or expense to train someone to have these skills. They come to you well-trained, skilled, and experienced.
Pillar Three: Skill
WHAT DOES A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DO?
You may be asking what tasks need to be completed for a real estate virtual assistant to make your business run better. The answer is varied according to your business needs, but the list of what a real estate VA can do is long.
Real estate virtual assistant services can support real estate investors, real estate agents, or property management companies. They offer focused support with the administrative and marketing areas of your business and although administrative support is a good place to start the to-do list, there is much more beyond that. By integrating a skilled real estate VA into your team you have the opportunity to improve that team with a value added employee.
Real estate virtual assistant tasks in the area of administrative support run the full gamut.
EMAILS, EMAILS, EMAILS
Emails drown our inboxes, but you don’t have to let them drown you or your business in a time-consuming deluge. A real estate VA can filter, sort, and answer your emails and keep your inbox clean and efficient every day.
SCHEDULES, SCHEDULES, SCHEDULES
How many colors does your business calendar hold? If you’ve run out of color choices, you’ve run out of the ability to keep on top of your daily schedule of meetings and tasks.
A real estate virtual assistant not only maintains your calendar but also manages it efficiently and effectively. This keeps you efficient and effective every day too.
PAPERWORK, PAPERWORK, PAPERWORK
Face it, real estate is full of transactions that generate a lot of paperwork. Keeping your agreements, documents, and contracts orderly and timely also keeps your business orderly and timely. Taking that responsibility off your plate allows your plate to be full of the responsibilities that grow your business.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Updating your CRM, tracking leads, and managing your client pipeline is imperative to not just running your business but critical to growing it also. Effective CRM is foundational to your business success as are both lead management and data management.
A real estate virtual assistant has the skill to strengthen these foundations so your business has the strength for successful growth.
RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
Every industry has trends that ebb and flow. Real estate is no exception. However, keeping up with the trends in your industry can eat up a lot of time.
Hiring a real estate virtual assistant who can conduct industry research, analyze trends, and summarize it all in a report for you can be invaluable. Real estate VA research skills can also help you prepare marketing collateral and stay on top of your competitors as well.
LEAD GENERATION MANAGEMENT AND SALES CONVERSION
Understanding how to generate new leads is a fundamental skill for both the real estate agent and the real estate investor. Managing those leads is also important. Often time is imperative.
According to research by the National Association of Realtors, 74% of real estate transaction closings are with the first agent a seller talks to. With a percentage like that, acting on a lead quickly is the crucial difference between a prospect becoming a sales commission.
For investors, follow up is key and following up quickly is the master key. On average it takes 17 touch points to close a deal. When you are trying to grow and scale up your company you do not have the time or resources to call, text, email, or visit that many times with every lead.
An experienced real estate virtual assistant can help with your timing, whether as an agent or as an investor, by managing your lead generation and following up with prospects quickly and consistently.
Strategic real estate digital marketing is imperative to the success of your business. A real estate virtual assistant can assist with:
- Maintaining a relevant and up-to-date website
- Building a stronger and more consistent social media presence
- Writing and distributing an e-newsletter
- Creating videos to increase your digital footprint
- Managing e-mail communication with clients
Your listings make up the core of your business. A real estate virtual assistant can create and manage your listings with skills specific to your industry, including updating descriptions, site pictures, and pricing.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING
Your business relies on client referrals. A real estate virtual assistant can manage your client feedback and referrals on both the front and back end of your business.
Improving your client experience with a well-run and efficient office also improves client referral rates. Collecting those referrals through social media and other digital channels on the back end is just as important. A real estate virtual assistant can help with both. It’s a great way to improve something your business relies on for successful growth.
How to hire a real estate virtual assistant?
The go-to thought is that a virtual assistant is hired to offload simple tasks to free up time for others to do the important work. But just because this is the go-to thought doesn’t mean it’s accurate or useful.
When you hire outsourced workers, keep in mind that you are looking for someone to complete a list of tasks and be a productive member of your team. When you focus on the virtual assistant skills that an individual brings to your team, you unlock a fundamental solution to reaching your business goals.
To grow your business your focus needs to be on revenue generating responsibilities. A real estate VA can concentrate on covering your business’s non-revenue generating duties.
One way to determine what roles and responsibilities you need assistance with is to write down all your “Oh, shoot” moments. Those times when you say, “oh, shoot I forgot to reply to that buyer,” or “oh shoot, I forgot to pull that list for my next marketing campaign,” or “oh, shoot, that meeting conflicts with a family event.” This list most likely includes responsibilities that:
- Take up a lot of your time but do not generate revenue
- Prevent you from focusing on growing your business
- Could help you grow your business
Once that list is made, determine if you need assistance short-term or long-term.
- Do you have work to delegate consistently throughout the year?
- Is this a short-term or long-term project to boost the growth of your business?
- Do you need a dedicated person to concentrate solely on this work?
Finally, think about what the top skills of a virtual assistant are:
- Effective communication
- Strong research, writing, and analysis
- Exceptional organization and time management
- Data entry and basic bookkeeping experience
- Cold calling know-how
- Deep level proficiency in database management
- Understanding of real estate industry
- Microsoft Office expertise
Thinking through the real estate VA tasks needed and the skills needed to complete them helps you shift your thinking from hiring a real estate virtual assistant to complete tasks to someone with skills and experience to work with you to support your business.
Less Hustle, More Focus
By utilizing the qualities and skills of a virtual assistant, you improve productivity within your business. You end up spending your time hustling less and focusing more. By freeing up your time and allowing you to focus more on growing your business, hiring a real estate virtual assistant is a solution for long-term growth. You stop working IN your business and start working ON it. It allows you the time and flexibility to thrive in your fast-paced, competitive industry for years to come.
Learn more about hiring a real estate virtual assistant to support the growth of your success.