When you’re a real estate professional, ‘busy’ would be an understatement to describe your schedule. Who has time to handle the rest of the nitty-gritty stuff with all the client meetings and home tours?
If this scenario sounds too familiar, it may be time to hire your real estate virtual assistant.
What is a real estate virtual assistant?
A real estate virtual assistant is a remote employee who handles administrative work for your company. Hiring one is particularly helpful when your company needs to streamline processes, allowing you to focus on high-value responsibilities.
What does a real estate virtual assistant do?
When it comes to bringing in revenue for your real estate agency, it would be safe to say that you will still do the heavy lifting. While a virtual assistant is more of a back-office role, hiring a virtual assistant can positively indirectly impact your company’s bottom line.
Tasks that a real estate virtual assistant handles may include any or all of the following:
- Keeping track of paperwork
- Researching on current market trends
- Lead generation
- Client database management
- Cold calling
- Business communications
- Online marketing
What skills should a real estate virtual assistant have?
When hiring a real estate virtual assistant, the first thing you need to look for is excellent communication skills. Since your virtual assistant will be working remotely, the ability to communicate succinctly and effectively is key to your agency’s success.
A great real estate virtual assistant must also have a background in real estate. Understanding the industry will help your virtual assistant make informed decisions faster—no need to bring them up to speed with industry jargon and what-not. In short, you save valuable time that you can use for more impactful tasks.
Another thing you need to hire for is organisational skills. Let’s face it — you’re going to need help with keeping track of client details, managing your calendar, and handling record-keeping efficiently. Some virtual assistants are so good at what they do that they can recommend methods to improve systems in the office.
While it’s not necessary, having a virtual assistant with a background in marketing will be helpful. There will be times when your virtual assistant will have to be your company’s online name and face. You want someone who will best represent your brand when facing clients or posting ads, even when you’re not around.
How to hire a real estate virtual assistant
There are a lot of ways on how to hire a real estate assistant, starting with the most tried-and-tested by real estate professionals, outsourcing:
1. Outsource from virtual assistant agencies
Outsourcing from an agency is the most convenient and reliable way to find a real estate virtual assistant. Outsourcing agencies screen applicants for skills and train them before recommending them to you.
You don’t have to go through the trouble of the hiring process — the outsourcing company will take care of everything for you. From checking for credentials and conducting the interview to training applicants for a specific skill set, you’re assured that the outsourcing agency has gone through the rigors of evaluating each applicant, so you won’t have to. This takes us back to why you’re hiring in the first place — so you can concentrate your hours on more revenue-generating projects.
2. Search in freelancing websites
Websites such as Fiverr and Upwork are great hubs for freelancing services. You can find a real estate virtual assistant who has the skills and experience you need for the role in these freelancing websites. Because the applicants have already been screened for their credentials, it won’t be as tedious as doing the whole hiring process yourself.
3. Post a social media ad
If the DIY approach is the way to go for you, posting a job listing on social media is another way to find the right virtual assistant for your company. Make sure to add a brief description of the role and details about your company. Make your ad fun and creative — don’t be afraid to put your spin on it!
Once you’ve found a prospect, do your due diligence and conduct a background check – ask for references from previous employers or clients. Being thorough about this step can mean the difference between finding the right hire or ending up with someone who isn’t the right fit for your company.
So you think you’ve found a prospective applicant… now what?
Now that you’ve shortlisted the applicants, these are the next steps you can do to help you pick the right virtual for your company:
1. Simulate a mock client call
Remember what we said about having the importance of having excellent communication skills? Your real estate virtual assistant should be able to handle business communications deftly — this includes answering client calls, coordinating meetings, and drafting emails.
Test the applicant’s communication skills by answering a simulated client call, then evaluate how he responds. The right virtual assistant for your company should be able to answer confidently and sound conversational and professional at the same time.
2. Conduct a mock cold call
Provide the applicant with references such as marketing materials and online resources, and ask him to conduct a mock cold call. One thing to look out for is how substantial the content of the call is — this will reflect how much your applicant understands the material and how well he can filter and communicate necessary information to your clients.
Now that you know how to hire the best virtual assistant for your real estate agency, there’s no stopping you from taking your business to the next level! Once you’ve found the right candidate for the role, you’ll find that having a real estate virtual assistant is worth it for your business.