While being a real estate agent can be a lucrative profession, it can also be overwhelming. And sometimes you just need a little help. A virtual assistant may be just what you need. But you shouldn’t wait until after you hire an assistant to prepare a job description and responsibilities. I hear the frustration – it’s like cleaning the house before you hire a maid! But if they don’t know what you want, they can’t really help you very much. And if you don’t know what you need help with, you are just wasting money.
Start by giving your VA one task to help you with. This might be blogging, social media management, MLS listing input, or email marketing. Select one. Keep in mind that micromanagement isn’t going to help you with time management, but a quick overview of what they are doing will probably give you piece of mind that you are not violating any license laws. There are training and certification programs that focus specifically on real estate virtual assistants, so you can check to see if your VA has any of these certifications:
- Professional Real Estate Assistant Certification
- Certified Real Estate Support Specialist
- Real Estate Virtual Assistant Network
- International Real Estate Assistant Association
1 – Blogging
Blogging is a great way to share information with your community. It can be articles about the area, industry news or helpful tips. A great way to manage this process is to create a blogging calendar and ensuring that you stick to it. If you are using WordPress, you can add an editorial calendar right on your site.
2 – Social Media
Even if your customers aren’t active online, they are probably using some form of social media. Just in case you disagree, Facebook reported that there were 699 million daily active users on average in June 2013. So joining the conversation might be helpful to your business. A VA might be able to help you with sharing your blog content, and other tidbits for you on social media.
3 – Contact Management
A VA can help you with setting up a CRM and keeping it updated with contact information. You should review what your needs are before you select one of the many CRM tools available. A list of some CRM tools can be found here.
4 – Email Campaigns
Similar to blogging, a VA can assist you with creating an email newsletter template, and sharing content for email marketing campaigns. Some email marketing companies can be found here.
5 – Postcard Campaigns
Postcard mailings can be used for marketing programs. See our article about EDDM to learn more about how you can take advantage of this program to coordinate your direct mail postcard campaigns.
6 – Listing Management
A VA may be able to help you with many of the tasks involved in listing management from MLS submission to syndication sites as well as updating your website, blog and social media sites with the information.
7 – Lead Management
You’ve probably thought about expired listing and FSBO marketing, but haven’t been able to get to it. But a VA can help you with creating a marketing program for lead capture.
8 – Virtual Tours
Taking photos of a listing can be time consuming, while creating a virtual tour can be overwhelming. A VA can help with creating the virtual tour, descriptions and more to drive prospective buyers to your site and to the property. They can also share the virtual tour on your website, blog, social media and other key sites to help drive traffic.
9 – Website Creation and Management
While you may want a website developer to create your site, a VA can help maintain it. They can update your page content as needed, post your blogs, and even monitor your SEO and analytics.
10 – Appointments and Call Follow-up
A VA can also be your “office” answering the phone, scheduling appointments and returning calls to get more detailed information on any questions clients may have.
So you see, there are several ways a VA can help you. And as we have said before, this is for informational purposes only and you should always confirm what is allowed and not allowed in your office and state Commission rules.