Virtual Real Estate Assistant Guide

Virtual Real Estate Assistant Guide
Whether you want to hire a real estate virtual assistant, or you are looking for a real estate virtual assistant job, this guide will help to break down some of the most frequently needed, useful, and reasonably easy tasks that can be completed without the workers’ physical presence.

First off, just to be sure we’re on the same page, a Virtual Assistant is somebody who works off-site … down the street, in another city, or on the other side of the globe. Most Virtual Assistants take advantage of labor cost disparities by providing back-office staff in poorer nations to work for companies in richer nations.

This creates a win-win for both parties, allowing richer nations to get a major bargain on cheap, affordable labor … while providing higher paying jobs as well as the excitement & growth potential of working for a US or European company to workers in poorer regions.

When it comes to the real estate world, there are a lot of tasks that do not require anybody’s physical presence, but that does NOT mean you should just outsource any old task to your Virtual Assistant! Only some tasks are suitable for delegation to an outsourced Virtual Assistant (without risking major “hidden” costs down the road – like lost clients & missed deals).

You need to be smart about leveraging the strengths & weaknesses of an outsourced back office support team of Real Estate Virtual Assistants.

As someone experienced working both in outsourcing & in real estate, here is my most recommended list…

Virtual Real Estate Assistant Task List

Task 1.) Building Lead Lists

Whether you’re an investor, a broker, or a real estate service provider, your cashflow revolves around properties (and their owners). From the owners, to the brokers, to the service providers … if you want to contact people working in & around the real estate world, you can pretty much guarantee that their information is available.

Titles have ownership info (even if it’s just corporate), transactions are recorded in public records, and all businesses are obviously publicly registered entities.

Therefore, the biggest question is not whether or you CAN or SHOULD get in touch with these people (you pretty much have to). It’s all about choosing WHO to contact, and WHAT to say to them when you do.

I can say from experience that it’s pretty straightforward (though sometimes expensive) to build or acquire literally every type of real estate list imaginable, from non-resident owners (investors), to service providers (agents, brokers, property managers, title companies, attorneys, etc), to banks & private lenders, to pre-foreclosure & distressed assets, to probates & obituaries. You name it, the data is out there.

If you’re working in real estate in any way, shape, or form, you need to be building or buying and using lead data lists. Obviously, you shouldn’t be doing this yourself, or locally … because that would be overpaying significantly. This is the perfect task for your Real Estate Virtual Assistants.

Task 2.) Posting Ads

If you in any way are involved in selling or leasing / renting properties, you are probably pretty familiar with {/eye-bleedingly tired of} writing, formatting, posting, and managing property ads. Whether it’s the MLS, Craigslist, Apartments.com, Rent.com, LoopNet, or any of the other seemingly endless array of sites to market & advertise your properties, keeping your listings all top-notch & up-to-date can be a full-time job (sometimes for many people).

The key to writing, posting, and maintaining your ads is to have a system in place to measure & manage results. This can include things as simple as changing headlines or property descriptions, to creating custom listing videos & slideshows for every listing. The most important thing is to reach as many (qualified) visitors as possible, and to create as many calls / emails (lead-captures) from those visitors.

Obviously, once you have a system to measure & manage results, you can easily assign the repetitive tasks to your Real Estate Virtual Assistant. Honestly, managing your online ads in-house is a waste of money when you can outsource and get literally THE EXACT SAME output.

Task 3.) Telemarketing & Lead Generation

One of the best things your Real Estate Virtual Assistant can do for you is to find you MORE CLIENTS and / or MORE DEALS! This is a total no-brainer, and goes hand-in-hand with the task of Building Lead Lists. Obviously, if you have a list of leads – you need to contact them.

For the real estate industry, telemarketing is the method of choice. While it can also effectively be combined with as many other channels as you can afford (including social media, email marketing, direct mail, SEO, PPC, radio, TV, etc), at the end of the day a good telemarketing campaign is one of the most effective (and profitable) tasks any real estate decision maker can undertake.

Some of the most obvious telemarketing & lead generation tasks for your Real Estate Virtual Assistant include things like:

  • Calling owner-investors to see if they’re willing to sell (or looking to buy)
  • Calling brokers, agents, property managers, or banks to see if they’re willing to become referral partners
  • Calling banks & private lenders to pre-qualify whether they’ll finance your deal(s)
  • Calling pre-foreclosure & distressed asset owners for “Subject To” deals and / or short sales
  • Anything else you can think of that will make you money!

Ultimately, the list is only limited by your imagination and your business model. The greatest thing about working with a Real Estate Virtual Assistant is that it is CHEAP! Since typical transactional values & client lifetime values are generally higher in the real estate industry than in most others, your ROI on your VAs’ time makes hiring one (or several) for telemarketing & lead generation tasks a top priority.

Task 4.) Social Media Marketing

Contrary to some gurus out there, I definitely don’t think the whole of your social media presence is outsource-able. No matter whether you’re a sole proprietor, or a Fortune 10 company, you will need somebody with the inside knowledge of your company culture, brand image, and core messages to constantly monitor content creation.

However, the vast majority of social media marketing tasks are essentially rote – involving very simple back & forth communications and syndication / mass dissemination of pieces of content. From a 140 character Tweet to a 140 minute feature-length documentary, when it comes to the social web, somebody’s gotta (a) make sure everything is getting posted and (b) proactively engage contacts & encourage participation.

One of the greatest things about [most] real estate occupations when it comes to social media is that you’re dealing with LOCAL PROPERTIES! That means in most cases you are also dealing with local people – instantly narrowing down your targeted web of social contacts largely to your immediate area.

Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant can help make sure your content and listings are being circulated on the social web, as well as to proactively engage & communicate with targeted persons of interest.

Task 5.) Lead Follow-up & Client Relationship Management

In the real estate industry, some relationships last a lifetime. I remember even as a kid, my family returning to the same real estate agent decades apart. When it comes to any type of real estate companies & professionals, we’re talking a finite universe here. If you live in a smaller town or less populated region, and you only work locally, the universe of clients, lenders, and partners shrinks even more.

That’s why it is absolutely vital to avoid burning bridges, and to maintain contact for the long-haul. Ideally, you’d be keeping in touch with every qualified potential alliance you ever meet for the rest of your life (or theirs). You never know when someone’s going to find that big deal, or need your help in a pinch. However, obviously it can be a TON of work keeping up with everybody.

From organizing & maintaining your contacts, to scheduling follow-up & call-back tasks, to actually emailing, calling, or otherwise staying in touch… the process could be potentially never-ending.

Even if you need to do this locally, I highly recommend every real estate professional employ some type of Personal Assistant (PA) who is always following your contacts just to check-in and find out if they have any real estate related needs or plans. Even better, if you can train someone remotely to understand & adhere to the systems you use (since everyone’s are different), this is also the perfect task for your Real Estate Virtual Assistant.

There’s no question: staying in touch & building good long-term relationships with your clients, partners, lenders, and potential alliances is as good an investment as money in the bank (or better).

Hiring Real Estate Virtual Assistants

At the end of the day, it is a no-brainer to hire at least one real estate virtual assistant. The question is: what tasks will best suit your budget and situation?

Let me conclude this post with a few recommendations, to give you an idea of how to use the above 5 tasks strategically in your business:

Is the most important factor in your real estate business…

… getting MORE CLIENTS / finding MORE DEALS?

Focus on Task 1.) Building Lead Lists and Task 3.) Telemarketing & Lead Generation. These will help you pinpoint who you want to contact (including how to get in touch with them), and will get the ball rolling actually reaching out to them. I’ve personally seen Real Estate Virtual Assistants working for investors go from cold call > to > practically closing the deal – all from 7,500 miles away.

… selling MORE PROPERTIES / closing MORE SALES?

In most cases, you will probably want to focus on Task 2.) Posting Ads and Task 4.) Social Media Marketing (though you might benefit by throwing in a bit of Task 5 to be sure you’re not letting any leads fall through the cracks). The big idea is obviously is to get as many qualified people looking at your offer as possible (whether it’s a property for sale, for lease, or any other product or service). Most of all, you want to get as many people as possible to TAKE ACTION! You need to be sure you’re measuring the Real Estate Virtual Assistants’ results, and optimizing their processes (and task list) to ensure you’re getting the highest ROI on your investment in hiring them.

… building BRAND & NAME RECOGNITION?

If you have plenty of deal flow / lead flow, and you are already (or are rapidly becoming) the dominant business or investor in your particular niche or region, then you need to secure your foothold in the marketplace while you continue to grow. The best way to do this is building a positive, participation-based, interactive, and accessible brand.

Your Real Estate Virtual Assistants can play a central role in this brand building especially through Task 4.) Social Media Marketing, and Task 5.) Client Relationship Management. You want your brand available & helpful, and these are two vital links in the chain of ongoing communications. Plus, you can benefit by taking an “above & beyond” approach to Task 2.) Posting Ads by having your Real Estate VAs add beautiful images, keyword optimized articles, and even video slideshows & walkthroughs to your listings to (affordably) leave the competition in the dust.

Got any questions?

Contact us here, or initiate a live chat during business hours. We work with the real estate industry a lot, and can definitely help assess your situation and give you a better idea of how to utilize Real Estate Virtual Assistant services to your greatest profit (even if you plan to hire someone else).

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Posted in Business Process Outsourcing, Hire Virtual Assistants, Real Estate Virtual Assistants, Telemarketing Outsourcing, Virtual Assistants

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