One thing that many Realtors® have concerns about is simply not having enough time in the day. Recently online, a Realtor® shared in a forum that he was able to do all his work – at high volumes! – in only 9am – 5pm on weekdays. He asked if others would like his secrets to time management, and he got hundreds of responses saying “Yes please!”
As a result, I thought I’d share an idea about how to get help – and thus save time – affordably. Many Realtors® would love to have a full-time administrative assistant, but they simply can’t afford it. Fortunately, there are virtual assistants, or VAs, that can work for you remotely and part-time. Here are the benefits of a VA, and how to find a great one for your business.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Full time employees cost more than just their salary. There’s benefits, vacation time, and the time it costs you to manage and oversee their work. If you only need occasional help, or are just beginning your business, it can be hard to keep an admin assistant busy 40 hours a week. And that’s assuming you can find a good match in your local area.
A virtual assistant gives you a lot more freedom. Many of them are available for just a few hours a week, and charge a flat hourly rate. You don’t pay benefits or manage them as personnel because they are contractors and not employees. This means less paperwork and much less cost in time and money.
How much could you move the needle in your real estate business if you had administrative help to handle paperwork, complete documentation, and answer phone calls for 10, 15, or 20 hours a week? VAs can also answer email and filter only the most important messages to you, the way secretaries used to sort their boss’ daily snail mail. Most importantly for Realtors®, you can put your VA in charge of scheduling your appointments and viewings, keeping your time open for actually completing the work of real estate.
How to Find a Great VA
There are a lot of ways to find a VA, and I’ll be honest, the good ones aren’t super-cheap. However, $25 an hour or so you can get the help you need without the overhead, training, and hassle.
The first step to finding a great virtual assistant is to write down what help you need. Even the most skilled VA can’t help if you don’t know what you’re looking for! Make a list – email assistance? Social media help? Paperwork? How much do they need to know about real estate specifically, based on your needs?
Once you’ve done that, you can start scouting. One good place to find general VAs is eaHelp, a firm that provides executive assistants and social media assistants. I know several high profile business leaders that use the service to access trained VAs that match their business needs and working style.
You can also look online for VAs or ask others for recommendations. This is a good way to find real-estate specific VAs, who can help you with more specific transaction details, like listing coordination, transaction coordination, or lead management. This process is a little more time-intensive, because you will have to interview candidates and make sure they have the skills you need.
Remember that a VA is easier to try out than a typical employee. You can sign a one month trial agreement, and if they don’t work out, simply don’t renew. There’s no hiring, firing, unemployement, or paperwork.
A virtual assistant is a great way to get additional office help at a very affordable price. You can determine what you need help with and find someone who can do that for you just a few hours a week. There’s no office need, benefits, paperwork, hiring, or firing. As a contract employee, they are there when you need them. What could you do with your business in an extra 10 – 15 hours a week?
Have you ever considered hiring a VA? Why or why not? Share in the comments!