The Remote Assistant: Lending an Assist to the Agent
In 1906, an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto came up with a mathematical equation which supported his observation that in all circumstances, 80% of the effects were a result of 20% of the causes.
Pareto based his observations on a study he made on the distribution of wealth. Business managers eventually redefined the Pareto Principle into what is popularly referred to as the “80/20 Rule”; a principle on time management that has been applied to many industries including real estate.
In business, the “80/20 Rule” means 20% of what a company does generates 80% of the company’s income. The foremost proponent of the 80/20 rule in the United States is real estate company Keller-Williams Realty. According to Gary Keller, the 20% in real estate refers to Leads, Listings and Leverage otherwise known as “The 3 L’s”. In order to be successful in real estate, an agent must be able to balance out competencies in these three (3) areas.
The most successful real estate agents have developed a framework of operations that have strengthened the backbone of their business which are categorized as support services.
The muscle supporting this backbone is the remote assistant
The following duties can be delegated to a VA:
- Administrative Work – A real estate business just like any other enterprise needs to be organized. Company documents such as client information sheets and marketing paraphernalia need to be filed and indexed properly for easy access. Most of these documents are in spreadsheet or Word template forms and have to be indexed properly and accurately for easy access.
- Marketing Activities – The purpose of marketing is two-fold: to build the market or “Push” and to retain the market or “Pull”. “Push” activities include social media marketing through scheduled postings in popular social media platforms, website blogging and consistent engagement with network group members and followers. “Pull” activities include outbound calls to clients and associates in the supply chain, responding to inquiries via e-mail or inbound calls.
- Sales Support – Perhaps the most important job of a VA is providing sales support to the real estate agent. Essentially, sales support begins by building a relationship with a prospect that has been brought into the sales funnel. The relationship is established through a system of making frequent calls or follow ups. The calls are subject to the 80/20 rule whereby only 20% of the discussion is on the proposal. An experienced real estate VA knows how to create rapport with the prospect and avoid presenting a hard-sell proposition.
- Personal Assistant Services – In addition to functions directly related to the real estate business, an agent can delegate handle other aspects of day-to-day activities such as making reservations and travel arrangements among others. While these may not be in line with the job description, most remote assistants are more than willing to extend additional service to their clients.
By hiring VA services, a real estate agent can abide by the “80/20 Rule” and focus on building the business through people that can help manage tasks to build the leads that generate the listings and create leverage.
If Pareto were alive today, the remote Assistant would be a key component in his 80/20 equation.