If you’re just starting out as a real estate agent, you might be wondering how you can build up your business. Anyone who has found success in the industry will tell you that hiring an assistant can help you achieve success. In the age of virtual everything — from yoga classes to meetings to doctors’ visits — a virtual assistant is the way to go. With more and more people working remotely if you want to hire a virtual assistant, it is now easier than ever. We’ve compiled a guide to help you get started on hiring a virtual assistant who will help you generate leads for your real estate business.
A study from Harvard Business Review found that knowledge workers spend nearly 40 percent of their time on discretionary activities that could be handled by others. That’s where an assistant comes in to help you focus on what really matters. You might find that you are spending time on tasks that you could outsource to an assistant.
The number of hours per week that you decide to hire someone for will depend on your needs and budget, but remember, you can always start small and then expand the number of hours later. Think of hiring someone as planting seeds to help you grow your business.
How to make the most of your virtual assistant
There are many ways that you can make the most of a virtual assistant, and your needs will depend on the size of your business and your goals. Here are four of the main areas where they can help you take your business to the next level:
Social media and content marketing assistant
You probably already know that social media can help you market your business, but social media may be the task that gets pushed aside when you are busy. A social media virtual assistant could have a background in writing, editing, and social media management for brands. They can help with tasks such as:
- Writing, editing, posting, and scheduling blog articles.
- Repurposing blog posts on social media and managing your social media accounts to generate more leads.
- Creating a monthly newsletter that is sent out to clients and prospects with news and insights about your real estate market.
- Using SEO (search engine optimization) tools for your website to make your business show up more readily in Google searches.
If you don’t have social media accounts for your business, you can hire someone with that expertise to get you started on this necessary marketing tool.
Lead generation assistant
To grow your business, you need to market it beyond your circle and that is where lead generation comes in. It could be that you collect email addresses at open houses, or attend conferences and make contacts, but don’t have the time to take those contacts further. However you make the connections, if you don’t follow up, they are unlikely to help you build your business. A virtual assistant can help you turn this information into a source for exponential growth. Some of the tasks might include the following:
- Data enrichment support like CRM (customer relationship management) and building a valuable contact list.
- Incorporating your newsletter content into a cohesive marketing strategy by targeting your customers’ interests.
- Inside Sales Agent (ISA) tasks making lead calls and setting appointments to ensure that you are maximizing your face time with current and potential clients.
While you are leading the initial contact with prospects, your virtual assistant can keep the conversation going. Or, you can have your virtual assistant research potential leads. Another method is to find B2B leads by scraping Google or simply choose specific lead generation software.
Remote assistant for scheduling
Staying on top of your calendar and scheduling can get complicated when you are really busy. In fact, scheduling is so important that you might want an assistant to focus on organizing your time and responding to clients. For example, you might have an assistant who is in charge of scheduling all of your open houses or virtual walkthroughs or who sends preliminary questionnaires to potential leads and then schedules virtual chats.
Depending on the size of your business, using bookkeeping software like QuickBooks may not be enough to keep your books on track. A bookkeeping assistant can keep your accounts payable and receivable organized, freeing up your time to focus on your real estate skills.
How to find a virtual assistant
Ok, so you’re convinced that you need to hire that virtual assistant — but how do you find them? Your first step can be to ask other real estate agents for a referral. A real estate professional in your network may work with a virtual assistant who has the time to take on a few extra hours each week, or they may know someone else from their network who does. Referrals can save you the time of a lengthy interview process.
After asking for referrals, another way to expedite the hiring process is to work with a virtual assistant service provider or gig economy website. Many of these services even give you the flexibility to hire an assistant for specific categories, so you can get help in the areas where you need them most. You have numerous options, but some virtual assistant services to consider are:
Service Provider websites
These companies are in the business of managing virtual assistants to make your life easier. A few to consider are:
Of course, with Wishup, we have you covered. Whether you need someone full-time or half-time, you can hire a professional virtual assistant with more than five years of experience.
If you aren’t sure how many hours a week you’ll need someone for, or if you anticipate those needs might change, Virtudesk may be the way to go. Its hourly pricing varies depending on the type of work you need to get done.
The company’s assistants have real estate training, including property management, social media marketing, and broker tasks.
Gig Economy websites
With gig economy websites, freelancers post their profiles and portfolios and you can contact the ones who might fit what you are looking for. You can also post jobs and chat with candidates who are a match, hiring per project, or hourly, depending on your needs. Some of the more popular sites to consider are:
If you have a big project that you need help with — like a voiceover script for a virtual tour — chances are you can find the person who you are looking for on Fiverr. Fiverr connects businesses with freelancers offering digital services in 300+ categories, like logo design and data entry. You can hire someone for a one-off project or work with a virtual assistant for a longer-term assignment.
Similarly to Fiverr, Freelancer allows you to hire on a project basis or longer-term by posting a project and then selecting the bids that best meet your needs. You can also share files with your virtual assistant on the Freelancer app for a seamless experience.
Businesses of all sizes trust Upwork to hire workers to assist with projects. Some of the main categories that you can search for are; administrative and customer support, sales and marketing, and design and creative services. If you need a virtual assistant who can wear many hats, Upwork may be the right fit for your project.
How to write your pitch
When working with a gig economy or service provider website how you pitch who you are looking for can help you to attract top talent. Even if opting for a virtual assistant service provider, outlining the areas where you need help can ensure that you are spending your time and your money wisely. Adding educational requirements (including a real estate license) can also help you find the best person for the job.
Foreign vs. US-based virtual assistants
Many gig economy websites and virtual assistant service providers include workers from abroad. Some advantages of hiring someone abroad are that you might get more hours for your dollars — depending on the cost of living where your virtual assistant is based. You may also benefit from an assistant who can fill in hours when you aren’t working if you hire someone in a different time zone (such as in Asia or Europe).
However, if you need an assistant who can make sales calls in your time zone, a foreign-based virtual assistant may not be ideal. If you aren’t sure, start small by working with a service provider or gig economy website and then go from there. You can always hire someone for more hours later. The first step, like with anything, is to get started.
Hiring a virtual assistant for your real estate business can make your life easier while growing your business exponentially. You might be surprised at how much this investment not only helps you generate more leads but revenue, in spades.
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