As a real estate agent, you need an assistant. However, hiring someone to follow you around and make you coffee is no longer necessary in 2024. Since your schedule, all your databases, and all your correspondences are taking place online; it makes perfect sense to just hire someone to work for you remotely.
This is what a virtual assistant does. You see, in the age of the internet and modern collaboration tools, a virtual assistant can do anything that a traditional assistant can. Since you’re hiring remotely, you can find someone more qualified and someone who won’t cost you as much.
Still, what can this assistant do for a real estate agent? Let’s find out!
Real estate agents need the data to work with. Now, while an agent can do their own research, the truth is that, in this day and age, the amount of available data can be quite overwhelming. So, in order to focus on something else, they usually delegate some of these research-related tasks to an assistant or, in this case, a virtual assistant.
Property values: The first thing you need is to understand the value of the property you’re working with. For this, you need a reference point, which means looking at properties of various sizes and locations to see if there are any patterns you can work with.
Competition research: Another thing you should focus on is competition research. See what other real estate agencies are doing, what kind of properties they’re listing, and whether they’re hiring. Understanding the market can help you improve your strategy.
Neighborhoods: Different neighborhoods will vary in reputation and average property cost; however, this is dynamic. A recent uptick in crime will decrease the interest, but an announced municipal project will increase it. Keeping track of all of this requires you to put someone on the task.
Real estate trends: The industry evolves, as well, and you have to keep track of all the new real estate trends, seeing as how they will affect your enterprise. To do this, you need to follow all your competitors, subscribe to major newsletters dealing with the topic, and even follow the latest legislation and development.
From all we’ve listed, it’s clear that this research would take the majority of the day of a real estate agent. Therefore, it’s more efficient to delegate it and just focus on reports.
Scheduling, paperwork, and accounting are just some of the tasks a virtual assistant for real estate agents will have to deal with that are not in their narrow field of expertise. So, delegating this to an assistant means that you have more time to work directly with clients.
Calendars and scheduling: When you think of a real estate agent, you imagine someone who’s always busy and on the run. This means that they need to work on a pretty tight schedule, ideally also having someone to tend to it. Even in the age of automatic schedulers, it’s better to assign an assistant to this task.
Formatting documents: There’s so much paperwork that needs to be handled in order to conduct even the simplest real estate deal. For this to work, you need to find the right help. In the era of automation, autofill, and templates, this really isn’t that difficult of a job. However, it does require a lot of attention.
Coordinating transactions: Sure, you need an accountant, and a virtual assistant is not a replacement for one. Still, when it comes to basic transactions, armed with good accounting software or a platform, a virtual assistant can do a lot.
Dealing with appraisers and inspectors: Every real estate deal depends on many different agents. You need appraisers, inspectors, and contractors to help you out. The thing is that if these are professionals you’ve already dealt with, all you need is for someone to contact them when you need them.
As a real estate agent, you have a job to do and too much paperwork is sometimes nothing more than a distraction. It is, however, necessary for your arrangement to work, so don’t give up on it that easily. - mentioned by Jasen Edwards, chair of the Agent Editor Board at Agent Advice.
Communication with clients
Client communication is one of the most important tasks of real estate agents (this is the one thing that definitely shouldn’t be outsourced). It’s also important to understand that not all communication is the same. A client calling just to check the address (for whatever reason) is worthy of your time, but it’s also a question that can be answered by an assistant.
Outreach: Reaching out to new clients and property owners to set up a meeting with you can be one of many tasks of a virtual assistant. The volume of these “cold calls” can be quite high, and it would take too much of your own time.
Answering client questions: As we’ve already mentioned, sometimes, clients will call regarding basic information that you haven’t added to the site or updated on listings. This is something that your assistant can easily answer.
Triage: It’s also worth mentioning that some of these queries and requests will have to go by you. Well, it’s good to have someone to make that judgment. They can solve some issues themselves and choose what goes on your to-do list.
Coordinating open house and property showing: Many clients will want to see the places you’re trying to sell, so you want someone who can organize this to avoid creating a space that is too crowded.
While communication is your most important task, you just can’t be everywhere at the same time. With a good virtual assistant, you won’t have to.
Marketing and advertising
Marketing is incredibly important in the real estate business. By the time they reach out, they’re already qualified leads, but what makes them reach out to you to begin with? There are many marketing-related tasks that a virtual assistant can handle quite competently.
Coordinating with marketing agencies: More likely than not, you’ll outsource your marketing tasks to a digital marketing agency. When this happens, you need a real estate agent to be your liaison with them.
Updating online information and posting listings: While uploading online information is important, things change, and you need someone to ensure that the information presented is up to date. You also need someone to update it if it’s not.
Social media management: Social media is huge in the world of modern real estate, which means that you either need a professional social media manager or a virtual assistant entrusted with this task.
Taking part in content creation: Sometimes, your social virtual assistant can be put in charge of content creation. They can create a property description, write a post for your blog, or even produce social media content (posts, stories, etc.). The
Other than this, a virtual assistant can also take a more active role in cost control related to marketing. This way, you’ll ensure that your marketing efforts are bearing fruit and that it’s all far more cost-effective.
Modern real estate businesses run on reliable software. In order to make the most out of this, you need someone who will get into the subject matter and ensure that you’re always in touch with the latest tech trends.
Using new software: For these platforms to give you their best, you need someone who’s tech-savvy, which is a category that the majority of virtual assistants fall into by default. This way, they’ll have a quicker onboarding and will be easier to bring to full speed.
Looking out for new platforms: Another thing you’re looking out for is the new platforms. For this to work, you need someone to constantly read reviews for products that are competitors to the ones that you’re using. You also need someone to read patch notes and dev diaries for the software that you are currently running on.
Preparing onboarding materials for new assistants: Chances are that you’ll hire more assistants, and when you do, you’ll need someone to mentor them. A good virtual assistant will drastically facilitate your onboarding process and bring any newcomer to your enterprise up to full speed in no time.
Maintaining databases: Most importantly, in this field, you’ll work with many databases and even BI software. While this is automated (for the most part), you still want someone who can supervise it and fill in the blanks.
While many real estate agencies outsource their IT, the truth is that, on a day-to-day basis, you need a more hands-on approach to these processes. This is something that a virtual assistant can do quite efficiently.
Ultimately, a real estate agent is just too busy, and they can appreciate any help they can get. An assistant would be great, and a virtual assistant would be even better, but a virtual assistant with experience in the real estate field would be the best.
As you can see, there are so many tasks that such a professional could handle, and finding them, either via an agency or directly via a job listing platform, shouldn’t be too hard.