Archive for Virtual Assistant

Time Management Tips for Busy Realtors®

Time Management for Realtors

If there’s one thing I know we all wish we had, it’s more time. Realtors® have a ton of demands on their time – farming, answering inquiries, marketing listings, keeping up on social media, running clients to showings, managing their budget, and keeping their important partnerships intact. No one I know thinks real estate is a 9 – 5 job. But they still find it worth the work.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make time management easier. Here are four. Take a look at these and see what you can implement next week – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

Automate Your Lead Follow-up

If you’ve read many of my blog posts, you know I’m a huge advocate of marketing automation. That’s because before I implemented it, I was losing 70% of my leads because I simply didn’t have time to follow up with everyone. Now that I’ve automated my follow-up, I lose ZERO leads. The transformation has been amazing.

Automated follow-up sounds very impersonal, but it’s not. I use Infusionsoft, and couldn’t be more in love with its versatility. You can customize not only the emails – which can include the customer name and other personalization – but the actual flow of email itself. Based on what the reader clicks, you can trigger different email paths. It’s the ultimate in reacting to each customer individually.

I wrote a post that gives far more details about this a few months ago, called “How to Have a Full-Time Marketing Assistant for $199/month”. Take a look if you’re interested!

Be Choosy with Social Media

I hear so many Realtors® say “You have to be everywhere on social media,” and it makes me cringe. You DON’T have to be everywhere. You simply can’t!! Instead, be choosy. Select 1 – 3 social media platforms that make the most sense for your business demographic and neighborhood. Then, do the absolute best you can with these. It’s far better to have a great presence on a few sites than an inconsistent presence on many.

Like all marketing and relationship building, consistency is the key to success. No Realtor® or real estate office can be consistent on every social media platform in existence. Instead, choose 1 – 3 and focus on building those relationships. You’ll end up with far better marketing results in far less time.

Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant

In today’s world, you no longer need to have an on-site full time administrative assistant unless you want one. If you’re in a position where you could use the help, but can’t afford a full-time employee, consider hiring a virtual assistant, or VA. A VA is a contract employee that you simply pay an hourly fee. You are not responsible for office space, benefits, or anything else.

A general VA can do basic office work, filter email, answer the phone, mail outreach material, and more. This can make a world of difference in how much time you have available. If you need more specific real estate help, there are also real estate VAs available. These people are often former Realtors®, and can help with more specific real estate paperwork, deal with banks and inspectors, and much more. In either case, a VA is a great solution for an overworked Realtor®.

Systematize Your Prospect Outreach

A lot of us put a TON of thought into what we are going to send our prospects each month/week. We all know that we need a ton of “touches” before we’re going to make a sale, but often we panic because we don’t know what to say. But what if you created a system?

Decide on how many “touches” you want to do, and designate specific content for each one. Touch #1 could be a specific welcome email you write in advance. Touch #2 could be a newsletter. Touch #33 could be a Buyer FAQ. Whatever it is, decide and create it in advance. Then, when a new prospect comes in, they just go into the system. No more deciding what to send – just send the next item on the list. How much easier is that?!

There are tons of ways you can plan your day and organize your time. These four tips are actionable, solid approaches that will dramatically reduce the amount of time certain tasks require. If you put them into practice, you’ll be less harried and more able to focus on what you love – helping people buy and sell homes.

What do you do to focus your time? Share in the comments!

Getting Help Affordably – Realtors® and Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistant for Real Estate

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!