• How Real Estate Agents Can Leverage VAs

    Professionals in all fields will reach the point in their careers when they can only think of one phrase—help me! For real estate professionals who have their hands full, parceling out some responsibilities will free up your calendar to focus your attention on clients, generate more leads, and maybe even give you the chance to get some peaceful sleep.

    Luckily, a virtual assistant answers who will help. The next questions: How will you find them and delegate work effectively?

    You Spend to Save

    Before any real estate professional dashes to freelance websites or Craigslist to hire a virtual assistant, there are some things that need to be considered. First of all, what tasks are you tired of juggling (or worse, drowning in) and need help with? This will determine if you’re looking for a part-time, project-based or dedicated VA. It might be hinged on your budget, but you can find virtual assistants charging anywhere from $5 – $40 an hour. The price tag may seem steep, but you’ll actually be saving by paying. A seemingly expensive, yet skillful VA is more cost-effective for your business than bringing on a salaried employee.

    Do you need a real estate specialist? While they may have experiences with the ins and outs of the business, you’ll probably have to train them the same way you would any other experienced VA, and a VA may be able to take care of more general duties.

    Communicate to Clear Your Calendar

    As a real estate professional, the “communication is key” cliche is such an obvious part of working with clients and partners, but you might forget to chat it up with the people who are working to keep your boat afloat. The odds are your VA will be a total superhero, but that doesn’t mean they are a mind reader. Right from the beginning, you not only want to communicate the task you want to be completed but you’ll need to share your thoughts for the overall goal and desired outcome, the process that should be followed, and the expected turnaround time.

    The Scope of Work and Assignment Sharing

    You’re a real estate professional calling in for back up. Do you need assistance responding to emails, scheduling appointments, and answering phone calls? Or do you want to beef up your blog content and get your business to shine on social media?

    Handing over assignments such as listing research, updating the website, and data entry will give you more time to accomplish your professional goals. But to get the most from your VA, you need to sort out the scope of work even before you hire someone. Some of the best tasks to delegate are:

    • Scheduling and Calendar Management: Your virtual assistant can reschedule with clients, buyer’s agents, or listing agents to keep your calendar conflict-free. Instead of a curt or frantic text sent from a parking lot, you want your client to receive a call like this: “Hi this is Jillian’s assistant Sam. I just got your email saying you need to reschedule. What day would work better for your schedule?
    • Graphic Design: You might be able to fiddle around and figure it out on your own, but you shouldn’t waste your time. Someone with design skills can whip up amazing postcards, flyers, and signage in a fraction of the time.
    • Improving Online Presence: Everything from blogging, link building, and managing social media networks can be done by someone else. Cough up the passwords and leave it to your creative and trustworthy VA.

    Talk and Review

    You might be getting awesome assignments completed and on time. Your calendar is constantly updated and last week’s poster-printing crisis was taken care of in a snap. You owe it all to your VA. Even though you don’t see them on the regular, virtual assistants form part of your real estate team and it’s up to you to let them feel connected. Regular check-ins to answer questions and hammer out concerns will increase productivity and build a strong relationship with your right-hand (wo)man. This can be as simple as a daily phone call, a quick email, or regular messenger conversations.

    The bottom line is hiring a real estate virtual assistant is something agents of all levels can benefit from. Virtual assistants have many advantages and, when leveraged properly, can provide a big ROI. How will you use a VA to help your team?