Posts Tagged as Virtual Assistant

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Real Estate Agents: How to Get Started With a Virtual Assistant

Relax and Let Your Virtual Assistant Help
Relax and Let Your Virtual Assistant Help

Are you being held back by the multitude of details that must be handled outside your usual selling activities? Effective real estate agent management requires admitting when you need help. You may wish to consider hiring a virtual assistant to boost productivity and make better use of your time.

Virtual assistant? You mean like Siri or Cortana?
No. A virtual assistant is simply a personal assistant that helps you from a remote location with anything from social media and web errands to closings and paperwork.

Do I really need a virtual assistant?
Lead generation, lead conversion, and business support are essential to your business, and even the most successful real estate agent management professionals struggle juggling these tasks. If the following describe you, a virtual assistant can help:

• You’re a control freak.
As any successful CEO will tell you, you do not have to do it all yourself to get the job done right. Doing something outside your skill level means paying yourself top dollar for amateur results. Take off your web designer hat, hand it to a pro, and go sell homes.

• You forgot. Again.
When things start falling through the cracks that’s a surefire sign you need help. Get it now before your lead generation and closing activities suffer.

But I have an on-site assistant…
On-site assistants only work for those who are gifted motivators and managers – and they cost more. Working with virtual assistants is nothing like working with an on-site assistant and should NOT be treated that way.

Virtual assistants require no support, space, or equipment, and you only pay for the services you use: A special project, updating listings, transaction management – you name it. All it takes is hiring the right professional.

Focus on what you do the best with the latest real estate agent management tips and technology, only from Properties Online.

Real Estate Concierge: Should You Hire One?

This week I’m doing things a little differently, by sharing with you an interview I conducted with forward-thinking Northern California-based licensed real estate agent Jenna Evans. Jenna, in true entrepreneurial fashion, used her real estate license and vast experience in real estate to create a new career as a Real Estate Concierge.

This week I’m doing things a little differently, by sharing with you an interview I conducted with forward-thinking Northern California-based licensed real estate agent Jenna Evans. Jenna, in true entrepreneurial fashion, used her real estate license and vast experience in real estate to create a new career as a Real Estate Concierge. Without further ado …

Q: What is a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “When I think of a concierge I imagine being taken care of, someone I can go to for help when unfamiliar or overwhelmed. I coined the phrase Real Estate Concierge to evoke this feeling, as well as to showcase the versatility and breadth of services I provide to real estate professionals.”

Q: How can I find one?
A: “As far as I know, I am the only Real Estate Concierge there is, but I’m hoping that will change. One can find a virtual assistant through a variety of reputable online companies, but VAs typically do not have the real estate experience or the personal connection my company offers. For my local clients, I also provide in-depth knowledge of our area, which proves invaluable.”

Q: What do you get asked to do most?
A: “Most real estate agents and brokers need help in their marketing efforts, which generally ranges from brochures to social media, marketing packages, designing a website, optimizing a website and blogging. These are all important tools every real estate professional has to focus some of their energy on in order to properly market their listings. Unfortunately, most agents and brokers do not have the time to consistently maintain these marketing platforms.

“Preparing a home for a photo shoot and staging are also big on the list of needs. I have a long history in high end retail, interior design, and photography. I have a strong sense of what looks good in a shot and which image is going to be best for a brochure cover. There is a lot to be said for good photography in your marketing pieces. It is best to get it done right the first time!

“Overall, I can and do act as a silent licensed partner just waiting in the wings to take on whatever needs to be done. I represent my clients at property showings when they have conflicting appointments or are unavailable. This helps them meet the demands and expectations of their buyers and sellers. An agent can relax and be in two places at once, maximizing their time and money.”

Q: Who are your clients?
A: “Most of my clients are focused on residential sales, although I do represent a few clients that sell businesses, wineries and land.”

Q: Who can benefit most from using a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “Any realtor or broker who is looking to grow their business, someone who may be strong in all other aspects of their business but does not have an eye for reading a home for the market, someone who has a good client base but not enough hours in the day, or a realtor just starting out that needs a little help in marketing their services.”

Q: How is it cost effective?
A: “I think if you look at the overall cost of hiring a full time, licensed, assistant, and all the costs associated with one versus contracting me on an as needed basis you can see the cost effectiveness pretty easily. I think flexibility is important, and I offer my services by project, monthly retainer, or hourly. There are no commitments and no hidden costs.”

Q: What should I look for when hiring a Real Estate Concierge or VA?
A: “I think you need to make sure they are licensed, detailed, well informed, educated, meticulous, intelligent, know the region well, and have an obvious willingness to help you and your business grow. This is not just a job for me. I am personally invested in each and every one of my clients and work very hard to help them achieve their own success.”

Q: What questions should I ask?
A: “How long have you been licensed? What do you know about my location? What steps have you taken to educate yourself on my business? I would like to see a few samples of marketing packages you have done, brochures, blogs you have written and social media posts.”

Q: How do I know if I need a Real Estate Concierge?
A: “If you are not 100% happy with your income vs. workload, you should look into hiring a Real Estate Concierge (REC). RECs can help with your time burdens and increase your income at the same time. If you find yourself spending over 50% of your time in the office shuffling paperwork or learning how to post your latest sale on multiple platforms rather than out showing property, you can benefit from concierge services.”

Q: Does a Real Estate Concierge have to be local or can he/she be virtual?
A: “I think it depends on the project or scope of work the Realtor is looking for help with. Ideally, hiring an REC service professional in your area would be best because they would be familiar with some of the key professionals, events, advertising opportunities and real estate market. But a virtual REC service professional can accomplish quite a lot on marketing packages, brochures, websites, social media, blogging, mailings, etc. I think it ultimately depends on the services required at time of hire, and you’ll want to weigh that when looking for the right person. If it’s something that doesn’t require a local body, you’ve just opened yourself to a much wider base.”

Q: Where can I find out more information?
A: Check out: http://www.evansrealestateconcierge.com/

Do you know someone who would make a great interview for the Properties Online blog? Let me know; I’d love to talk to them!

Virtual Assistant

Should you Employ a Real Estate Virtual Assistant?

Chances are your real estate brokerage firm or agency business will grow in the next 12 months. This growth will require you to stretch yourself further than before, or make other arrangements. And even if you don’t anticipate much growth in 2013, do you feel your technology skills are strong enough to meet the stringent demands of today’s customer?

Virtual Assistant

Your business will thrive or flounder depending on how well you make use of your skills, and how well you can identify the skills with which you need assistance. The decision to hire an assistant may be on your horizon. So, should you hire an in-house employee or a virtual assistant? There is no right answer, but there are definitely some points to ponder.

A real estate virtual assistant is a cost-effective way to add support to your team wherever and whenever you need it most—marketing, listing coordination, or lead generation and follow-up—giving you the time to focus directly on your clients, where you’re needed most.

Cost-wise, you’ll find that a real estate virtual assistant is significantly more affordable per hour than an employee on an hourly wage. Another bonus is that you can employ a real estate virtual assistant on an as-needed basis, allowing you to better control your overhead.

Real estate virtual assistants can help with:

  •  Marketing (real-world and online, including ad layout, design and placement)
  • Lead generation/management
  • Listing coordination & management
  • Closing transaction management
  • Blogging/Social media coverage
  • Highly skilled technology projects
  • Web design
  • HTML
  • Graphic design
  • Document management

Whichever way you choose to go, make sure your choice allows you to make the most efficient use of your time. If you find that you need someone to help show properties, explain contracts and interact closely with your clients, you’ll want to be sure to hire an in-house licensed real estate agent. Laws around what an unlicensed assistant can actually do are pretty strict and don’t cover much more than clerical duties. In fact, most states bar unlicensed agents from even quoting a listing price, even if that price has been advertised.

You can start by crafting a detailed job description for your ideal assistant. Then, a bit of research into real estate virtual assistants will tell you if going that route will be enough to cover your needs. Ask yourself what tasks could be eliminated from your daily ‘To Do’ list that would make your business run more smoothly and effectively.