How to Find and Use a Virtual Assistant

Does it ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get things done? Real estate can be a tough industry to succeed in because it involves incredible time-management and organizational skills. Many agents make the mistake of trying to take care of everything themselves. But the time you spend pushing paperwork could be time spent making contacts and growing your client base.

Knowing when to delegate is key as you grow and expand your real estate business. One of the best tools any real estate agent can implement is a virtual agent. A virtual assistant is typically a self-employed individual that completes administrative tasks from their home office. Typical responsibilities include booking appointments, scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, and providing customer service, all from a remote location.

Where to Start?

Hiring a virtual assistant isn’t as difficult as you may think. There are several networking platforms where virtual assistants can offer their services. Each platform is a little different, with some requiring more legwork from you depending on how much you are looking to invest in finding the right candidate. Here are a couple of platforms to consider when starting your search:

Fiverr

With over a decade of experience, Fiverr is a platform that allows individuals to offer their services in an open market forum of sorts. Users create a profile and then post ‘gigs’ where are specific jobs or services, they are willing to perform, often for a flat fee.

Unlike other platforms, it is up to you as the consumer to sift through the multitude of candidates and gigs that fit your specific situation. Think of it as an a la carte menu where you can select exactly what services you need and pay for only what you need. Make sure to review gigs thoroughly and look through client reviews before you place an order.

Upwork

Unlike Fiverr, Upwork takes an inverse approach to freelance work. While workers still create profiles, they must actively apply to job postings that you create. This means that while there is an initial upfront investment on your part for creating a job posting and interviewing qualified candidates, the platform encourages people to apply to your post without you having to search for them. Upwork is also one of the top freelancing platforms on the market today, “trusted by more than 5 million businesses1.”

Transactly

Unlike traditional virtual assistants, Transactly offers a narrower solution for outsourcing admin work targeted to real estate professionals. It provides similar services to a traditional virtual agent, including appointment scheduling and to-do-lists, but goes further to include real estate specific processes such as preparing closing paperwork, coordinating with title companies and appraisers, and managing contingencies and other data2.

As advertised, they are truly a transaction coordinator. The advantage of going with Transactly is that you know you are working with someone who knows the industry, that can handle some of the more niche tasks.

How to Utilize Your VA

Virtual assistants can remove a lot of busy work from your plate, allowing you to meet more clients and close more deals. While services and experience may vary depending on the platform and individual you hire, to maximize their benefit to your business, consider having your virtual assistant tackle these tasks:

  1. Data entry and reporting
  2. Customer service (answering emails and phone calls)
  3. Schedule meetings and appointments
  4. Organize your calendar and create to-do-lists
  5. Book travel arrangements (where applicable)
  6. Bookkeeping and budget management
  7. Manage social media accounts across all platforms
  8. Research micro and macro market trends
  9. Complete back end processing and compliance paperwork
  10. Optimize your professional website and blog

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Sources

1 27 Best Freelance Virtual Assistants for Hire in March 2020 – Upwork™. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://www.upwork.com/hire/virtual-assistants/

2 Transactly Real Estate Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2020, from https://transactly.com/

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