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Tips For Real Estate Virtual Assistants

It can be rewarding to work as a virtual assistant who specializes in working with real estate and mortgage financing professionals. But it can also be tough, especially when there’s an economic downturn; the recession that came near the end of the last decade taught us that. Realtors–even successful ones–have to drastically cut their budgets, and the first thing to go are service providers who bill at an hourly rate. When there is work it can be tough to get paid; Realtors have to prioritize the people who can turn out the lights first. 

Tips For Real Estate Virtual Assistants

That being said, you can be the type of real estate virtual assistant who weathers the storms. Here are a few tips from the voice of experience.

Establish Yourself as an Expert

Maybe we should back up and take it one step further: First, become an expert. Then, establish yourself as an expert. Here’s the deal: There are many, many places online where your clients can go to find someone to do one-off tasks for them. Why should they hire you? 

They should hire you because you’re an expert at something. You’re the virtual assistant who takes listing marketing to the next level. Or you’re the one who knocks transaction coordinating out of the park.

Join Forces with Others 

Some of the most successful virtual assistants in the real estate game have been small companies with three to six employees, including the owner. The owner would be a generalist with a real estate background. Maybe she’s even licensed. Then you’d have an office manager–someone with strong admin skills and attention to detail like you wouldn’t believe. Ideally, a third member of the team would be trained in graphic and web design. This is how you elevate your clients’ marketing campaigns to the next level. Finally, you should have someone who is also a generalist, ideally with marketing skills.

Now a Realtor only has to know one phone number. He calls the same company whether he needs to send out a postcard, update his website, market a new listing, or close a listing. And it’s all billed hourly.

Stay with the Times. . .

Remember a company called Advanced Access? Maybe not. But a little over a decade ago, thousands of Realtors used that company as their website provider. Only, it wasn’t so easy to build a professional looking online presence with an Advanced Access website, so many real estate professionals hired a virtual assistant to design and maintain the website. Now we have platforms like Squarespace and Wix, which were designed to be about as easy to manage as your Instagram account. What do you bring to the equation? Why should a real estate agent hire a virtual assistant to maintain their website?

. . . But Don’t Forget Your Roots

If you’ve been in real estate for awhile, you remember the progression of technology. You might even remember a time when the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was the only game in town, and you had to go down to the local realty office to flip through a binder if you wanted to use it. Then you had something called Internet Data Exchange (IDX). You could use a technology called “iFrame” so that customers could search the MLS on your website. Alternatively, they could go to Realtor.com and search it there. Today, the MLS isn’t even the only game in town.

The takeaway here is that the way we do things is going to be constantly changing. However, the bottom line remains the same. Realtors need to attract clients. Realtors need to list homes and/or help buyers find homes. Everything else is window dressing. Examine the way things were done and you may find incredibly useful ways to stand out from the crowd today.Being a real estate virtual assistant can be an exciting job, but you must work hard to stay relevant. For more information about going into business for yourself, see our article: 3 Things to Think Of When Starting Your Own Business

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