You might have heard about the job description of a virtual assistant, but a real estate virtual assistant?
I never thought real estate agents would need a virtual assistant, I mean, why would they need one?
Truth is, while most of the job of a real estate agent is client facing, they still have a lot of backend duties. We are talking scheduling appointments, sending emails and following up clients.
With the busy nature of their work, most real estate agents need extra help.
Help in the form of virtual assistants to outsource some of their routine tasks, so they can concentrate on other aspects of their business.
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Today I have with me Gina Horkey, a professional writer, and course creator of the hugely successful virtual assistant course – 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant success.
She has teamed up with Diana, a real estate virtual assistant and Dan Frank a Real Estate agent, to teach you about this untapped online business.
To tell you the truth, I had no idea real estate virtual assistants even existed! I always thought a career like this required being in the office with the typical 9am-5pm hours.
Boy was I wrong!
I now have a flexible schedule that allows me to lead a more balanced and fulfilling life — my work compliments my lifestyle, instead of getting in the way. Diane Sweeney (Real estate VA)
1. Why do real estate agents need virtual assistants?
As real estate agents are typically independent contractors and work for themselves, there aren’t “industry standards” when it comes to running their businesses. As a result, they don’t usually have systems and processes in place to keep business organized and growing.
A major aspect of this lack of systems is little to no follow up with leads or past clients, which is crucial to the growth of any business.
Promoting a business these days can be much quicker with social media. Most agents are either too busy to establish and maintain a presence, lack the knowledge to do so or aren’t even aware of how important it is for the growth of their business.
A real estate agent also needs to prioritize how his or her time is spent with tasks like showing properties and generating leads, not managing paperwork and their inboxes.
Lastly, as a real estate agent sells more properties, demands on his or her time and availability increase. The pace of trying to manage client contact combined with all the other moving parts that make up a successful real estate business would be exhausting for anyone.
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This is where a real estate VA comes in, by creating systems and taking over tasks that will free him or her up to get out there and sell more homes.
2. What does a real estate virtual assistant do?
A real estate virtual assistant typically manages email and social media, as well as transactions and all of the paperwork and moving parts to need to be coordinated to go along with them.
A real estate VA might also manage an agent’s calendar and work on other projects that come up, like preparing listings or creating marketing materials, for example.
3. How many hours of the week do you need to work?
You can choose to work either part-time or full-time.
It really depends on your availability, your goals for your business, how much time you want to put into your work as a VA and what your clients’ needs are.
4. How much does a real estate virtual assistant make?
Real estate VAs start out at an hourly rate of around $15-25 with a small bonus when a home sells. It’s also an option to charge per project.
A standard rate for managing a transaction, for example, might be in the $150-$200 range. And lastly, some real estate VAs charge for their services using a monthly retainer paid up front.
A 20-hour week, for example, might translate to a $2,000 per month retainer fee.
5. What training is required? Can you tell us a bit about the course?
To be a successful real estate VA you don’t need experience or even involvement in the real estate industry, but it does pay off to have some knowledge and training about niche-specific tasks.
Starting off on the right foot with some specific tools and training under your belt will not only help you find clients more easily.
Our course, Real Estate for Virtual Assistants provides perspective on what the needs and “pain points” of agents are – straight from an agent’s mouth so that when you’re out there looking for your first clients you’ll know what to look for and speak to.
What you’ll learn from the course:
- The basics – real estate terminologies
- Training about the actual real estate process, and what things “look like” from the inside.
- Task-specific training in the course, like listing preparation workflows and a deep dive into transaction management.
- Social media management and email
managementspecific to working with realtors as well.
- Additionally, the course also covers tools that a real estate VA would want to know about and use in their business, as well as tips and tricks for being as successful as possible.
- We cover productive client communication.
- And a good look at setting up your real estate virtual assistant business. This includes setting your rates, providing our students with a clear picture of what the ROI is for an agent working with a VA (which can be a priceless tool for talking with potential clients!) and dealing with taxes.
Lastly, we cover where and how to look for those first (and 5th or 10th!) clients and how to pitch them effectively.
We provide bonus materials to set our students up for success right away, like an onboarding checklist for new clients, a social media posting checklist, links to extra tutorials, email templates, a real estate process cheatsheet, a glossary of terms for real estate VAs and homework at the end of each lesson designed to keep you engaged and taking action with what you’re learning.
We’ve also included video with the course’s co-authors – Dan Frank, real estate agent and his VA Diana Sweeney, so you can hear firsthand about the ins and outs of being a real estate VA.
6. Is this suitable for busy moms looking to work from home?
This course was designed to meet a variety of circumstances when it comes to building a successful real estate VA business.
For some that might be more of a side hustle to start off with. You can go through the course at your own pace, and you’ll have lifetime access with free updates, so it will always be there and be relevant for you.
Being a real estate VA is flexible and you have the ability to craft your business – including your available hours – to suit your needs and lifestyle.
7. How do I start my own real estate VA business?
Your first steps to becoming a successful real estate VA should definitely include investing in yourself and your business by getting some real estate skills- specific training.
The course also walks you through,
- How to set up your business,
- Figuring out your rates,
- Educating you on what tools you’ll want to know about and use,
- Where and how to look for clients and how to pitch them.
If you take action with what we teach you, you can literally begin looking for clients as soon as you get through the course.
8. Where can I find work as a freelancer?
We are living in simply incredible times when it comes to being a freelancer. More and more businesses are getting away from the “9-5” employee model and are outsourcing for their services.
Having said that, there are tons of places to look for work as a freelancer. Some examples include:
- Looking as far as your immediate network
- Marketing yourself through blogging and guest posting
- Using social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook
- In-person networking events
- Job boards
- Exploring your local market
The course goes deep into a few key marketing strategies specific to finding realtors to work with.
9. A final piece of advice for those looking to pursue this career?
Go for it!
Don’t feel like you have to know everything about everything to get started, you really don’t. You can absolutely step into a new real estate virtual assistant business with some skills and knowledge under your belt, no experience, a strong willingness to learn, the right attitude and totally succeed.
This can be a great “learn as you go” experience once you get that first client, and you just never know where your initial decision to take the plunge and go for it will lead you.