Outsourced services can enhance just about any type of company and real estate agencies are no exception. While as a real estate agent you may not need to farm out accounting, HR, IT, or other services that typically fit well in this type of arrangement, a virtual assistant (VA) can help take your business to the next level.
A VA can help you with low-level tasks you may prefer not to do, freeing you up to execute your strategy and close sales, not to mention get some free time every now and then.
Below are some of the ways in which a VA can make your life easier. As you read through them, think about which tasks you might like to offload and have this list ready when you research the best VA for you.
A virtual receptionist service can answer calls for you and respond to simple requests, such as scheduling.VA can answer calls for you and respond to simple requests, such as scheduling (see below). Imagine not having to pull yourself away from an important meeting, an open house, or a kid’s soccer game to answer client calls. You can focus more on what you’re doing at any given moment, knowing the small stuff is being taken care of by someone else.
Managing your calendar is one of those things that may seem insignificant. But, when you add up the time you spend doing it every day, the level of effort you put in might surprise you. A VA can help arrange your schedule by creating events and canceling or rescheduling them when necessary. Being able to say, “Call my assistant to schedule a showing” gives you that time back to pursue more critical efforts.
Updating listings on MLS, Zillow, or Redfin, or updating leads in your CRM can be tedious and time-consuming. A VA can take these tasks off your to-do list. They can also perform research on listings, so you have ready information about how many three-bedroom houses are available at any given time, for example. You can use the time to conduct more showings, follow up with clients, or attend networking events.
It’s great when you can get some new names on your email newsletter list or people RSVPing to your latest open house. Even greater is when you can get to know a little something about each of these potential leads. A VA can perform Google and social media searches to get to know a little about each person and enhance your CRM entries.
This information offers a boost when you want to reach out to someone by phone or when you see them at that open house. After the initial hellos and handshakes, you can have a conversational direction in mind.
Getting Buyer Feedback
When you’re representing a buyer, it’s always best to speak with them directly about their thoughts on each home you show them. But when you need to contact buyer’s agents for feedback on your own listings, delegating this task to a VA helps you in two ways. It saves you time and it might get you more honest feedback than agents would be willing to share directly with you.
Making your services known to your local community could be a full-time job in itself. No doubt you’ve already spent hours perfecting your website, social media profiles, and other online assets. Yet this part of your job is critical to your success. A good VA can help you with the following components:
- Graphic Design. Creating flyers, postcards, open house signs, and more. If you´re looking for design ideas for your real estate flyers, you should consider using templates like those offered by MyCreativeShop, which provide you with a base to start.
- Social Media Posting. Updating your LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profiles with on-brand messages, photos, videos, and forwards.
- Blogging. Writing blog posts that will attract readers and keep you top of mind with clients and prospects.
- Link Building. Requesting links from compatible sites to help boost your search engine rankings.
Keyword research. Figuring out which terms ideal clients are using to search for you and using them in all your promotions.
Need to find a hostess gift for an upcoming gathering? Or want to get the best deal on a new phone? Your VA can help you with these research tasks. Though they’re not strictly work-related, they have just as much potential to eat up your time and make you less productive. They’re also the kind of thing VAs excel at and you may just end up with better results.
If you sometimes feel like you need “another you” to keep up with all the activities necessary to do your job, consider hiring a VA to get some of the tasks you like least off your plate. It may take some time to train them, but the benefits are well worth this effort. You’ll get less aggravation and more time to spend on the important parts of your business and your life.