How To Hire A Good Real Estate Virtual Assistant

The real estate process can be very tedious which leads to a number of interesting days in the life of an agent. With so many things to attend to, it can be a challenge to put order amidst chaos in an agent’s typical working day. In real estate, efficiency is crucial for running a successful agency. Hiring a good real estate agency may be the key to unlocking more money making opportunities.

How a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Can Help You

A Virtual Assistant is a person who renders professional services online from a remote location. While generally contracted to perform administrative work, the role of the VA has grown exponentially in scope and type. You can find a VA in every industry including real estate.

Businesses hire virtual assistants for 5 reasons:

 

  1. Reduce Cost – Hiring a Virtual Assistant costs less than a regular Full- Time Employee simply because with the VA, you only pay for actual hours worked. You are also not obligated to pay the VA benefits.
  2. Increased Productivity – With a real estate Virtual Assistant, you can delegate non- essential tasks and allocate more time to the core functions of your business.
  3. Greater Business Flexibility – Because virtual assistants are on project basis, you can get creative on how you want to utilize them. For example, if you need them for client support, schedule them after office hours. You won’t have to pay them overtime.
  4. Lower Business Risk – Virtual assistants are contracted not fully hired. If business isn’t good, you can terminate their services without issue.
  5. Relieve Stress – If you’re working too hard, you will eventually run yourself to the ground and be unproductive. With a VA, you can take a more breaks during the day or perhaps a vacation to clear the cobwebs and recharge the batteries.

But like the Full Time Employee, not all virtual assistants may yield productive results for your business. You still have to exert time and effort to find and hire a good real estate Virtual Assistant.

And here’s how:

The Process of Hiring a Good Real Estate Virtual Assistant

If you want to increase your chances of hiring a good real estate Virtual Assistant, you must institute a process in your search for talent. It all begins with organizing your business and having an understanding of what skills you need to optimize available time, maximize productivity and enhance quality of work:

1. The 3 Types of Tasks You Should Delegate

 

The first step in finding a VA is to break down the needs of your business. You can categorize tasks into 2 groups: essential and non- essential.

Essential tasks are those that can directly contribute to your company’s bottom- line such as meeting with clients, hosting home presentations, attending open houses and auctions and contract negotiations among others.

Non- essential tasks are those that are either supportive in nature or those that require exemplary skill and highly focused attention. These are the tasks that you should delegate to a Virtual Assistant. You can categorize these tasks as follows:

– Administration – Organizes the business and keeps everything in order:

  • E-mail Management
  • Calendar Management
  • Appointment Setting
  • Phone Handling
  • Preparation of Spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentation

– Marketing – Helps the agency promote the business, enhance its reputation and capabilities and generate leads:

  • Website Management
  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Online Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • E-mail Marketing

– Sales Follow Up – If you want to close a sale, you must consistently follow up with the leads that are in the funnel. It takes 5 to 12 calls on average to close a sale. Most agents stop after 2 calls.

Once you’ve itemized the skills that you would want in a real estate VA, the next step is to figure out how you plan to distribute these tasks. If you overload a VA with too much work, he or she will eventually become unproductive. It is highly probable that you will need more than one VA. To be sure, review your business model and prioritize the tasks to be delegated.

2. Best Sources of Finding Good Candidates

 

Since you are looking for a person who works in the virtual world, the Internet would be a good place to find good candidates.

  • Virtual Assistance Online Agencies – You can find many agencies that offer staffing services for virtual assistants. With an agency, you can choose from a roster of proven talent. The virtual assistants come with referrals and recommendations. And if the arrangement does not work out, the agency can easily find you a replacement.
  • Online Job Markets – These function like market places where clients and service providers; usually freelancers, find each other. Although freelancers or individual contractors are most commonly found in online job markets, you may occasionally come across agency- based candidates.
  • Social Media – You can use LinkedIn to connect with virtual assistants with complete profiles or join focus groups for entrepreneurs and business owners. You can write and post about your search in LinkedIn or Facebook.

Of course you can look for candidate the old- school way by asking friends and associates for referrals. You can also attend networking events and trade shows. With the popularity of telecommuting, you are bound to meet someone who runs a virtual assistance agency.

3. Screening the Candidates

 

Once you have amassed a considerable list of candidates, you should subject them to a thorough screening process.

  • The Interview – This is your first official contact with the candidate. Here are a few valuable pointers to keep in mind:Make sure the interview is done via audio- visual facility. You can use Skype, WebEx or
    • GoToMeeting.
    • Record the interview.
    • Have a list of questions ready.
    • Don’t just focus on the technical competence. In fact, you should put more emphasis on the candidate’s personality and psychological profile.
  • Practical Testing – Require all candidates to undergo a paid 4 hour test run.
  • Informal Screening – Invite the short list of candidates to individualized informal screening. The purpose of the informal screening is to determine once and for all, who among the candidates you can work with comfortably.

Trying to hire a good real estate Virtual Assistant should be approached with thought and purpose because the contribution to your business could be significant. The benefits of hiring a VA can be felt almost immediately. You will feel your productivity hit record highs the moment you hire one. It will also seem like a great burden was lifted off your shoulders. Once you hire a good real estate Virtual Assistant, everything else will come easy.

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