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real estate virtual assistant

Where And How To Hire Good Real Estate Virtual Assistants

Real estate is one of the best investments you can ever make. Land appreciates over time and its return on investment will depend on factors such as ongoing development, potential for improvement and level of interest. Agents are highly knowledgeable on evaluating the viability of property. Coincidentally, that same intelligence and approach to analyzing real estate is needed to know where and how to hire good real estate virtual assistants.

Real estate is an industry that is process- driven. Whether you are a buyer or seller of property, you should be familiar with the different stages of the transaction and current legislation in the city state. This is why people who want to engage in the real estate market go to an agent. They have the experience to guide you through the process of acquiring or selling property.

This is also why an agent’s agenda is usually packed with “things to do”. You could be scheduled to meet with clients, arrange site visits or inspections, negotiate contracts and verify land titles. In between, you may be taking in calls, checking e-mails, firming up your calendar and updating records.

A career in real estate can be rewarding if you are able to attend to all the tasks that need to be done. And this is where a real estate Virtual Assistant can be of great use.

With a Virtual Assistant, you can delegate the non- core functions so you can allocate more time and resources to the activities that directly contribute to the growth of your real estate career. These non- core functions include:

  • Administrative Duties
  • Marketing and Promotional Work
  • Sales Support
  • Back Office Work
  • Customer Service

But not all virtual assistants are productive. In an industry that has grown exponentially over the last decade, it can be assumed the level of talent has been diluted as more people enter the profession.

Where to Find Good Real Estate Virtual Assistants

“Location, location, location”. We’ve heard the same advice before. If you want your investment to pay out dividends, getting the right location is the key. The same can be said for finding good real estate virtual assistants.

If you are planning to hire people who work in the virtual world, the obvious first place to look is the Internet. There are many sites that you can visit online to find qualified candidates for your real estate virtual assistant position.

1. Virtual Assistance Agencies – Because of the consistently high demand for virtual assistants, more online agencies have come up in the last decade. Dealing with an online virtual assistance has the following advantages:

  • Available roster of virtual assistants to choose from.
  • References on each VA are readily available.
  • Wide variety of skill sets; agency can send you a shortlist of candidates who have experience working in real estate.
  • Periodically trained and oriented by the agency.
  • If arrangement doesn’t work out, agency can replace your VA with another one.

Be vigilante when dealing with agencies. There are always scammers in the Internet. Conduct due diligence work before reaching out to any agency.

2. Online Job Sites – If you are thinking about hiring a freelancer as your Virtual Assistant, online job sites can connect you with several qualified candidates.

Platforms such as Upwork, Guru and Freelancer function like marketplaces that bring clients and freelancers together. You post a job, candidates apply and you implement a selection process. If you want to hire fully trained real estate virtual assistants, is known to have some of the most affordable options.

The advantage of hiring through an online job site is that there are safeguards for both client and freelancer. As the client, you payment will be held in an escrow. It will not be released until you have approved the work of the freelancer.

3. Social Media – You can also find potential candidates on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn is the best option as you can connect with people who have the skills you are looking for.

It is a professional networking site; you can view the online profile of a member. You can also join focus groups and ask for recommendations or simply post an inquiry on your home page.

You can likewise post an inquiry on your Facebook page and see which contacts can give you referrals. There are also focus groups for startups and entrepreneurs that you can join. You may find a community member who can refer you to a reliable real estate Virtual Assistant.

How to Hire Good Real Estate Virtual Assistants

One of the first steps in helping clients find their dream home is to come up with the list of qualifications:

  • Size of the home
  • Number of rooms
  • Proximity to schools, the CBD and commercial centers
  • Peace and order
  • Accessibility to transportation
  • Amenities and features
  • Price range

The same approach should be carried out when hiring your real estate Virtual Assistant:

  • Years of experience in the real estate industry
  • Language proficiency
  • Familiarity with project management programs
  • Ability to handle spreadsheet, word processing and PowerPoint work
  • Phone handling skills
  • Knowledge in social media, graphic design and MLS

In order to assess the candidate’s qualification, you should subject them to interviews, practical tests and a paid trial period. Come up with a grading system that applies a weight to each variable. For example:

  • Fundamental Skills – 30%; focuses on basic skill requirements of a Virtual Assistant like phone handling, e-mail filtering, calendar management and appointment setting.
  • Technical Skills – 30%; focuses on specific proficiencies like managing MLS, navigating through the Internet, preparing spreadsheets, handling project management and file sharing software among others.
  • Behavioral Profile – 40%; focuses on the key behavioral or personality traits that make the candidate a perfect fit for the job. It answers the question, “Can I work with the candidate?”Interviews, the paid trial period and psychological profiling tests can help determine if this is the candidate for the job. Another effective approach is to check the content of their social media accounts.

Finding and qualifying good real estate virtual assistants is similar to the process of determining the viability of a specific property. You should approach it with strategy, intent and purpose to make sure you can hire one who fits your needs and wants.


How to Build a Solid Foundation for Outsourcing Services

Outsourcing services to a third party provider has been proven strategy for businesses to survive, and even profit during a turbulent economy. Proof of this is the continued uptrend in global outsourcing beginning the year 2000. The last 15 years of the world’s history has seen turmoil at an unprecedented stage.

Wars, global recessions, collapse in equity markets, bankruptcies, massive unemployment and changes in political structures have made business become more unpredictable. Outsourcing gives businesses the best option to adapt mobility and flexibility in their strategy design.

But despite the continued growth of the global outsourcing industry, there have been instances where the arrangement did not benefit either party. Like other methodologies, you have your fair share of detractors of outsourcing services. And while they have valid points, rather than getting sold on them, you should learn from their experience.

If you want to adopt a successful and profitable business model, you should first build a solid foundation for it.

Here is how you establish an effective outsourcing model for your business.

Research on Outsourcing

The biggest mistake clients make is not undertaking the required amount of research on outsourcing. You should learn everything that you can about outsourcing. Go beyond the Internet and talk to qualified resource people and those who have previous experience, both good and bad. Prepare market studies and financial studies and use these as immediate references.

Identify the Tasks You Need Outsourced

Review your current business model and create a summary or matrix on all the tasks that are involved. Categorize the tasks to essential and non-essential. Determine the number of hours in a day you will need to manage the essential tasks. The non- essential tasks should be your outsourced services.

Assess Your Level of Commitment

What will be your level of involvement when you outsource services? This is an important question especially for the first 2 quarters of the arrangement. You have to spend some time with the service provider to make sure the quality of deliverables is consistent with your standards. It may not seem like you have more time for the essential tasks but it will be time well spent to get the working engagement right.

Find Your 3rd Party Services Provider

As big as outsourcing has gotten, there are many 3rd party services providers in the market. You have to be careful when choosing your outsourcing partner. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Conduct due diligence
  • Get referrals or recommendations
  • Create a short list of 5 prospective service providers
  • Ask for references and endorsements to contact them
  • Subject the candidates to interviews and testing

Set the Guidelines and Expectations

Once you’ve found your outsourcing services provider, discuss the work guidelines and share expectations. Outsourcing is perpetually a work in progress; it should only get better. Outsourcing is effective but it is not a cure-all. There will be problems but as with all relationships, both parties should work toward resolving them.

Outsourcing services will continue to become a relevant strategy over the next few years. Your business will greatly benefit from it but you have to set the foundations for its success.