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Your Guide to Professional Real Estate Virtual Assistants
Your workload is rapidly growing. This is obviously great news for your business, but can be very stressful and taxing on you. If this is your situation, it is time for a change. Hiring a professional real estate virtual assistant could be the change that you are desperately searching for. Hiring an assistant, while it may seem excessive or expensive, is a great way to get the extra help needed to skyrocket your business. Before making a decision, keep an open mind and seriously consider the pros and cons of all your options. Why a Professional Real Estate VA Would Benefit You As a real estate agent, your long-term main objective should be to grow your business. Growth is how business is sustained and how profits are maximized. To stay competitive and relevant in the real estate industry, you will need to be continuously growing your business by implementing new marketing strategies, taking on more clients, learning new technology, and so much more. Focusing on the growth of your business becomes time-consuming and overwhelming quickly. Especially when you have all of your minuscule, tedious everyday paperwork and tasks to get done before you can truly focus on growing your business. There is a way to achieve it all, though. Hiring a professional real estate virtual assistant is exactly what you need to do if you are struggling to complete daily tasks while trying to achieve long-term goals. Hiring an assistant could change the way you do business for the better. Your business will be more organized, efficient, and productive with the help of a virtual assistant. Hiring a professional real estate VA will allow your business to grow faster and in ways you have only dreamed of. They take mundane everyday tasks off your plate, and give you the time needed to focus on accomplishing the goals you have for your business. Types of Professional Real Estate Virtual Assistants Professional real estate VAs are experienced in the real estate industry. They know how the industry operates, how important deadlines are, and how to effectively interact with buyers and sellers. These experienced virtual assistants will make an amazing addition to your team and become a vital employee faster than you can imagine. Transaction Coordinator A transaction coordinator focuses on all the paperwork involving your transactions. They make sure all requirements for transactions and deadlines are met. To make sure you and the transaction coordinator are on the same page, it is best to look into a transaction coordinator checklist. Transaction coordinators are extremely helpful in freeing up your time to focus on more pressing matters, such as providing clients with a great experience. Once you hire and work with a transaction coordinator, you will wonder how you ever conducted business without one. Outbound Sales Assistant Outbound sales assistants focus on growing your clientele. They generate as many leads on potential clients as possible for you. They utilize cold calling, contacting expired listings, and other methods of lead generation. Taking this necessary duty off of your hands allows you to dedicate as much time as possible to working with clients you already have. If you are as attentive and invested in their business as you can be, you will receive exceptional reviews and generate positive word of mouth. Therefore, creating an amazing reputation that will draw clients to you. Inbound Sales Assistant An inbound sales assistant primary purpose is to nurture leads. They continue to contact and provide information to potential clients that have expressed interest in your services but are hesitant. They focus on warming cold leads until they are finally ready to sell or buy. Inbound sales assistants achieve this by using marketing material, email drips, and by providing excellent customer service to clients that may call with questions. General An assistant who performs a multitude of tasks with special experience in the real estate industry falls under this category. Tasks performed by them include warm and cold calling, client follow-up, lead screening, and more. They help you cover a little bit of everything instead of taking over one set of tasks completely. General professional real estate VAs can help you get a grasp on what it would be like working with a virtual assistant, before allowing one to take over a part of your business. Where to Find Professional Real Estate VAs There are many companies that offer professional real estate VA services, but we have a couple that we recommend. Look into all your options and you will find an assistant that is sure to be a perfect fit. Transactly Transactly offers a multitude of transaction coordinators based all over the county. They are all highly qualified and efficient, with tested experience in the real estate industry. When you use a Transactly transaction coordinator or Transactly's technology, you are promised a positive experience. Transaction coordinators are reasonably priced and the technology is free to use. Transactly's technology provides a seamless and transparent experience that you and your clients will love. If you have any questions or concerns, you will always have the option of talking with a real person during normal business hours. Transactly can help you achieve the growth in your business you have always planned for. MyOutDesk MyOutDesk is a respected and reputable platform in which to hire a professional virtual assistant. Many real estate agents use their services and have positive experiences. They offer both general professional assistants and transaction coordinators. If you hire one of their assistants, they will work full-time for your business. Compared to other similar platforms, they are reasonably priced. It is important to note that professional real estate VAs will be more expensive than a standard general VA. The significant price difference is due to the expertise you are getting when you are hiring a professional real estate VA. Are You Ready to Hire a Professional Real Estate VA? Hiring a professional real estate virtual assistant may seem costly and extensive. Based on your situation, though, it could be exactly the help you need to push your business to the next level. You can not achieve everything your business is capable of without some help. Your future self will thank you for having the vision and foreshadowing to hire a professional VA. What your business can accomplish with a little experienced help will shock you. It is now time to truly consider how your business can grow if you have a professional VA helping you get there. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Is a Virtual Real Estate Assistant the Right Fit for Your Scaling Strategy?
Taking the leap from real estate agent to broker isn't easy. If it was, everyone would do it and succeed. Scaling a real estate business takes time, energy, and money. It'll take time to assess your business to find opportunities for growth, it takes energy to vet and hire staff, and it takes money to purchase new technologies to support your business's growth. 1. Is the Timing Right to Hire A Virtual Assistant? Timing is everything. So before you start hiring staff and buy new software, you must determine if it's the right timing for you. Let's take a look at Valorie Ford's Agent Insights post. In this post, the real estate agent from Richmond, Virginia talks about the perfect timing for hiring a virtual assistant. Here's Valorie: This isn't the first time that I've discussed the importance of having virtual assistant as part of your staff. The amount of time you can save can make a huge difference in your daily life and provide you the opportunity to do more important tasks like meet with clients. It has occurred to me, however, that hiring a virtual assistant at the wrong time can be a big mistake. Why do I say this? Here are three reasons: 1. Have a Game Plan One thing that many people overlook when hiring a virtual assistant (VA) for the first time is the fact that you must have a game plan for them to follow from day one. Without proper planning, your new VA will not know what to do and you will end up paying for a lot of wasted time and energy. Assuming that your VA will simply "jump in" and start performing miracles is not very realistic. Remember, most VAs are telecommuters and will not be sitting next to you in the office. You need to provide them with a definite strategy and details on exactly what they need to do. 2. Have a Proven System in Place This means that you must have a proven system in place before hiring someone to take on those particular duties. It's time to hire a VA when you are already doing their job for them. If you are spending too much time answering the phone, posting blogs, placing ads, doing administrative tasks and so on, that is the time to hire a VA. Your new assistant can be taught exactly how you want these things to be done and you will then have more time to deal directly with clients and do the things that you do best. More time with clients can translate into more business, and isn't that the ultimate goal? 3. Don't Expect Miracles You need to give your new VA the time to adjust to your specific needs and goals. Be picky when hiring your new assistant. You wouldn't hire any other employees based on a five minute Skype interview, right? Then why do this with a VA? You might be surprised to hear me say that, in many ways, a virtual assistant is the most important person in your company. Does that sound strange to you? It shouldn't. A well qualified VA can do something that other employees can't—they can increase your productivity time. What is more important than having enough time to keep your clients happy and to respond to their concerns quickly and efficiently? I can't think of a single thing because even the most efficiently run business is obsolete without clients. A VA can literally change your life if you take the time to hire the right one and train them well. 2. The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Virtual Real Estate Assistant? If it's the right time for you to consider a virtual real estate assistant, then you must consider the pros and cons of hiring one. Pros of Hiring a Virtual Real Estate Assistant Saves Time - What's more precious than time? Delegating tasks to a third party gives you time to manage face-to-face elements of your business while still being able to enjoy friends and family. This balance is critical to a healthy work-life balance. Decreases Your Workload and Stress Level - Hiring a virtual assistant can reduce your weekly workload by 25-40 hours—time you can reinvest into building your business and nurturing relationships. Having more free time also decreases your stress level, which has its own set of health and relationship benefits (just ask your friends or significant other). Saves Money - In many cases, virtual assistants are significantly more affordable than in-house administrators. Costs vary widely by a contractor and company, which gives you the freedom to seek out a real estate virtual assistant who meets your budget and requirements. Just keep in mind, the most affordable option is not always the best option. You're often better off investing a little more for a well-qualified employee. Reduces Learning Curve - Do you find yourself constantly frustrated with ever-changing social media, marketing or tech trends? The truth is, it's not possible to be awesome at everything. Instead of putting hours into trying, stop spinning your wheels and hire someone who specializes in areas you struggle with to lend you a helping hand. It'll save you time (and will be good for your sanity!). Provides Flexibility - Virtual assistants often have flexible hours and work on a contract or month-by-month basis. If you hire someone and realize a few weeks in that their performance isn't up to par, you can easily replace them with someone who is a better fit for your business. Cons of Hiring a Virtual Real Estate Assistant Challenges with Industry-Specific Tasks - One of the biggest challenges with hiring a generic virtual assistant is that many tasks you tackle on a day-to-day basis require at least a basic knowledge of the real estate industry and how transactions work. Because your work is so highly regulated, it can cause challenges when bringing new people on board, especially when they are remote. Your best bet is to have a well-defined job description and a training packet ready to go for your new hire to reference so you can reduce the learning curve. Work Monitoring is Difficult - You can't glance over at your assistant's computer screen and see them typing a blog post or updating contact info in a CRM. If you're someone who likes to have control of every task, this may be a deal breaker for you—but you have options. You can require that your contractor use a productivity tracker that shows you what they're working on or you can ask them to submit an itemized time sheet. If you decide to do so, track your own hours on various tasks and add a buffer to accommodate a learning curve before you hire an assistant. Unable to Meet Face-to-face - Some meetings and conversations are just better face-to-face. You can use tech tools like Skype or Facetime to work around this issue, but lunch meetings just aren't quite the same over a tablet screen. Connectivity Can Be an Issue - If your assistant's internet goes down and they're tasked with handling urgent projects, it can cause big problems. In many cases, you can take the reigns and make sure whatever task is at hand gets done, but you need to be able to communicate with your assistant. Make sure you have a backup plan in place so they can communicate with you if this ever becomes an issue. You Must Trust Your Assistant - Chances are, your assistant will be interacting with your most precious asset—your clients. Before you start introducing lots of client-focused tasks, have your assistant start out with more administrative duties and see how they do. Getting a feel for the way they communicate via phone and email will build trust. The bottom line is, there are lots of things you need to consider prior to pulling a trigger on a virtual assistant hire. If you decide it makes a good financial sense to bring a helper on board, make sure you have a clearly defined role in place before you put an offer on the table so you get the most out of their time and your money. 3. How to Hire the Right Virtual Real Estate Assistant A. Determine What Level of Experience Your Assistant Needs to Have The saying, "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur," definitely holds some clout. That's why it's so important that you spend adequate time defining what "type" of professional you need in terms of experience before doing anything else. If you're looking for someone to help with basic administrative tasks, a college student looking for part-time income could be a great fit. On the other hand, if you need someone who can help you manage closing paperwork, it's time to seek out a licensed candidate with industry experience. Once you decide what you need, list specific experience requirements and detailed responsibilities (particularly those that require unique skill sets) in your job description to attract the right type of applicant. Pro Tip: Consider automated solutions when available - More often than not, a software or app is going to be less expensive than in-house labor. When it's reasonable to do so, consider implementing automated systems to take care of busy work that doesn't need to be managed by a person. (We've got some of that – learn more about our automated lead conversion software.) B. Be Prepared to Provide a Reasonable Income As you decide what level of experience you need your assistant to have, be sure to consider whether or not a competitive wage is something you can afford. Underpaid employees typically have lower job satisfaction and less motivation to do well—and for good reason. It's frustrating to work hard and not feel like it's paying off. To avoid this pitfall, research average pay rates for your area and be prepared to offer a competitive income before you post a job opening. C. Phone Screen First Don't start your vetting process by spending time coordinating a bunch of in-person interviews. Instead, narrow your applicant pool by phone screening your top five to ten applicants. Set aside 20-40 minutes and have a list of key questions ready to go that will help you decide whether or not this person will be a good representative of the business you worked so hard to build. Doing so will allow you to choose your top two or three favorites, who you can then bring to the next step of the process with in-person interviews. D. Always Consider Business Needs and Cultural Fit As you determine the best fit for your role, make sure the business pains you want to address with this hire are at the forefront of your decision making. If you are established but are so busy that you're drowning, experience is critical—because even if it comes at a cost, the long-term payoff will be well worth it. On the other hand, if you are just getting started and have plenty of time but not as much income, a fast-learning self-starter with lower salary requirements could be your perfect assistant. The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to spend enough time with your potential assistant to determine whether or not they fit your culture; that is, whether or not you will enjoy working with them day in and day out. Bad cultural fit is not a fixable problem. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Onward and Upward! 8 Tips for Growing a Thriving Real Estate Team
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How to Build a Successful Partnership with Your Transaction Coordinator
When growing your real estate business, one of the first set of tasks that you'll likely want to delegate is transaction coordination. This is an awesome strategy for leveraging your time and creating space to focus on making more sales. However, it's not as easy as just handing over the file and collecting a check at the end of the deal. While your transaction coordinator (TC) is there to handle the heavy lifting and help move the deal to closing, they still need your help to be successful. There's nothing more important than learning how to build a successful partnership with your transaction coordinator.
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How to Find a Transaction Coordinator
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Do You Need an Assistant or a Transaction Coordinator?
As your client base grows, so should your overall operation. It's the nature of business, and trying to do everything alone could actually hurt you, and your business. Hiring a general assistant or outsourcing virtual transaction coordinator services are two options that can quickly grow your business without breaking the bank. The difficult part is deciding which option is a better fit for your business. Take your time to evaluate the pros and cons of each, and decide which would be better for the long-term growth of your business. To help out with your decision, we have gathered some of the most prominent pros and cons of each.
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Why You Should Consider Sales Talent for Your Real Estate Team
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How to Find a Virtual Assistant
Have you found yourself spending too much of your valuable time doing mundane tasks? Scheduling meetings, chasing down signatures, data entry, or managing social media accounts? A real estate virtual assistant could take all these tasks (and many more) off your plate. When it comes to hiring a real estate virtual assistant (VA), you have many options. One is bound to suit your needs and free up more of your time to do what really matters.
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Hiring a Gen-Z Intern May Be the Best Thing You Ever Do for Your Business
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7 Real Estate Job Descriptions to Hire an All-Star Team
Your job descriptions should be informative, but also stand out. How do you write one that isn't boring, too standard, or just a supremely lame laundry list of duties? The first step in growing your business is to think about hiring your team. And when that time comes, you will need to sit down and compose job descriptions that will entice the best candidates to come knocking on your door. Where do you start? List out the responsibilities of the role, then think about what traits, skills, experience, and education is necessary to perform the job well. We put on our thinking caps and did some of the work for you. Here are some sample job descriptions for various roles that make up an all-star real estate team. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and should be tweaked and personalized to better align with your perfect new hire.
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NAR hires two heavyweights to head up Communications and Advocacy
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Detailed Guide to Hiring an Assistant for Your Real Estate Business
We all have the same amount of time in a day, but it seems like some people manage to fit so much more into theirs. While some agents are making big money working four days a week, you're working seven and are so busy with paperwork, phone calls, and creating Facebook Ads that you hardly have time to find new leads and convert sales. You're stuck in a cycle of trying to manage your business all on your own and wondering how other agents manage to get it all done. Well...they get help. Some agents put together teams of individuals who do everything from marketing to lead generation to showings. But you don't need a whole team to clear room in your schedule. An assistant can handle many of the day-to-day tasks that are weighing you down. But hiring an assistant is confusing. What do you need to do? Where do you start? Can you afford to hire someone? If you've ever wondered if an assistant is right for you, what kind of help you need, or how to find and hire the right person, we've got you covered.
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Thinking of Hiring a Virtual Assistant? What You Need to Know
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Step Up to the Plate and Recruit a World-Class Team
"To be a team leader," according to James Colburn, "you need to be a rainmaker, a haymaker, a leader." Your team "can be as little as you and your assistant," or include a full roster of players. Discover who to recruit for your team with tips shared by Jim Remley and James Colburn in a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar taken from their upcoming book, Teamify. As you start planning, keep in mind that, according to Remley, "This isn't going to start from day one; of course, this is going to be a build-out." Team Leader (You) Every team needs its heavy hitter, and in most cases, that's going to be you, the team leader. Your team's success starts with you, so when building your team, Remley suggests you "Start saying to yourself, 'If I was going to pay myself $500,000 a year, what would I have to do? How do I have to look? What do I have to dress like? What do I do every day?' and hold yourself to that high standard." Create a "team leader" job description for yourself that takes into account "what you would require of someone you're paying that kind of money to." If you would want your team leader to be at the office at 8:00 a.m., hold listing and buyer presentations, and actively use the CRM to incubate and follow up with leads, add it to your job description and hold yourself accountable to it. Team Administrator The first player you'll likely recruit to your team is an assistant. As you team grows, your assistant's role can shift to that of the team administrator. "The way I look at a team administrator, it's just like a medical office," said Remley. "When you have a medical office, you usually have a front-office manager who manages every aspect except the patients...a great administrator is just like that; they're running a whole ship and kind of making sure that the doctor is doing what they should be doing...that the administrator is putting you in position to be operating at your highest and best use."
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4 More Tips for Building a Real Estate Dream Team: To Hire or Not to Hire?
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The Importance of Having the Right People at Your Real Estate Brokerage
Making profits in a real estate brokerage is challenging at the best of times. We need to make sure that we are operating as efficiently as possible—and this article is going to explore one of the ways to do this: hiring the right people. First off, let's realize that 65% to 70% of expenses in operating your brokerage consist of rent and salaries. This is true across the industry—just two numbers account for over one-third of your expenses. And the rent, once you have decided on location and signed a lease, is pretty much fixed. Unless you have a landlord who likes a good sob story, don't waste your time agonizing over it. But salaries are another question. There are lots of things to consider when you look at what you are spending in salaries. First off, hire the right people. A staff member at $40K who does half the work of the $50K staff member is NOT a better deal.  We see brokers shortchange themselves all the time by trying to skimp on salaries. And consider that the staff member probably interacts with your agents more than you do. For anyone who hasn't already, we highly recommend reading the book Good to Great by Jim Collins which has an excellent description of the topic of having the right people on board. A 50% more efficient employee at 33% more cost is a great deal!
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