No real estate professional or business should be without virtual assistants today. Here’s why you must be using them, where to find them, and smart tips for hiring and managing them.
Whether you are a solo investor or Realtor, or are a tech startup or reasonable sized business already, you just can’t afford to be without real estate virtual assistants. They offer essential help and great value when hired and managed well. If you are serious about success, then they are the next step to get you there.
Why Use Real Estate Virtual Assistants
You really can’t afford not to have them today. These team members and independent contractors are crucial for getting ahead and staying on top of your game. Most important, they enable you to hack and leverage time. They multiply your own time in getting things done, leaving you free to work on more important and more valuable tasks, or just to actually enjoy more free time. This is just as valuable whether you are still working a regular job and are trying to make the leap into real estate full time, or you are super busy doing deals already.
These assistants can keep your business running and keep progress happening 24/7, 365 days a year. They can make sure your pipeline is full and things are happening and your customer service is awesome. That means never slacking or suffering a hit to your income while you get a good night’s rest, go on vacation, allow yourself a sick day, or take time with family and friends when they need it most.
The other part of this, and often the most overlooked advantage of good real estate virtual assistants is leveraging expertise. They allow you to tap right into years of experience in different areas of your business and field. There is already so much to learn and master in real estate and business. Assistants can instantly give you the advantage of professionals who have dedicated their lives to mastering everything in their part of this field. Use that.
Why virtual? With very few exceptions, there is really no need for physical offices and in-house staff any more. That’s a luxury, waste, liability and bill that can sap your profit margins and time, and give the advantage to the competition. Today, Amazon, Apple, top real estate websites, hospitals and governments run largely on virtual assistants. So, you can certainly run your business with them too. Even though you may not save a lot on their hourly rate, going virtual eliminates an enormous amount of static overhead, office space, physical storage, set salaries, and all the insurances and liabilities, and inefficiencies that come with an old school office.
What to Use Real Estate Virtual Assistants for?
There really isn’t any task that can’t be outsourced to a virtual worker, contractor or agency.
Here are just some of the roles you can use a VA for now:
- Recruiting other team members
- Data entry
- Database management
- Graphic design
- Phone answering services
- Customer services
- Social media
- Email handling
- Scheduling appointments
- Personal shopping
- Screening real estate deals
- Managing real estate transactions
When not to call a ‘VA’ a ‘VA’. Job titles matter. You wouldn’t hire a top gun salesperson for your office and call them an assistant, right? The same goes for hiring virtually as well. If you just want a real assistant to do typical assistant level tasks, a ‘VA’ is great. If you want to get a website designed that is going to beat your competitors, SEO that will rank you well on Google, or awesome content marketing, then don’t advertise for or call them an assistant! You are not going to attract the level of talent you really want.
Where to Find Real Estate Virtual Assistants
Referrals are obviously the best short cut right to quality, reliable help. Of course, not everyone is going to want to share the great help they’ve found in this arena. Good help is incredibly hard to find, and harder to keep. They can’t afford to lose it.
You can post jobs on Craigslist and other classified sites, though it can mean a lot more work trying to find and evaluate good quality help.
There are also specialty services such as MyOutDesk which specializes in VA roles such as Sales Coordinators, Marketing Assistants and Transaction Coordinators.
Upwork has really emerged as the site to find outsourced help. There you’ll find millions of freelancers and virtual assistants to pick from. You can easily screen them, hire and manage their work.
However, since going public Upwork has changed a lot. They charge freelancers up to 20% of the amount you pay them, plus fees for accessing their money. In May 2019 they instituted a new fee for freelancers to bid on jobs. So, posting a job and waiting for bids may no longer be the way to go. The best talent gets lots of offers every day. They are unlikely to pay to bid on your gig. Instead consider using a proactive approach and reaching out to the top fitting talent with offers yourself.
Once you find them, manage them well by setting clear expectations, creating systems, and get out of your own way so they can do their best work for you.