You’re a rock star Realtor, right? I thought so. So that means you’re like most Realtors— BUSY.
Despite the constant glamorization of “the hustle,” the best, most lucrative businesses don’t require you to put in 60 hours a week, or miss important time with your family. And there’s no better way to make more money in less hours than by using an amazing real estate VA!
Here’s Why You Should Consider A Real Estate VA
In the game of business — and life — it’s all about growth. This means the ability to leverage your time is crucial.
Once you delegate a task and create a process and procedure, you’re able to recover your time. And get this, since you have now developed a repeatable process that someone else can handle… you get that time back for the rest of your career.
If you’re stressed out or stagnating, it’s time to let go of the idea that it’s somehow easier, or more cost-effective to “just do it myself.” It’s not.
Think about it — what could you do with all those mornings or afternoons spent scheduling meetings, organizing paperwork, or updating your listings? How many calls could you make? How many follow-ups could you do? How many more deals could you close?
Using a VA helps you win back your time so you can focus on high-impact work that brings in revenue for your real estate business. The fact is, VAs are the best-kept secret that top agents use time and time again to get to 7 and 8 figure status. But… you’ve got to be able to do it right.
Before you rush off and hire your first full-time VA, you need to have a genuine need for a VA and a step-by-step process laying out with crystal clarity on exactly what it is you need them to do.
What Real Estate Tasks A VA Can Do (Hint: Almost Anything)
For the record, when we talk about a real estate VA, we’re not talking about Inside Sales Agents (ISAs) or buyers agents. Of course, if you want help with lead response time and servicing buyers in a trading capacity, you should go with an expert buyers agent.
But, for most agents, you’re better off starting with an admin guru who can take small, death-by-flea-bite tasks off your plate and help get your workflow locked down so you can focus firmly on rainmaking. Once you see a tangible uptick in transactions, it’s time to get creative and start exploring the full spectrum of your VA.
Here are some of the many things a great VA can do to help you scale your real estate business:
- Create buyer’s packets and powerpoints
- Send mailers to your spheres of influence
- Graphic design for print and digital assets
- Write and schedule blog posts
- Create and schedule email marketing
- SEO updates on social and web pages
- Post, update, and advertise on social media
- Transaction management
- Data entry
- Listing presentations, coordination, and updates
- Research buyer and seller leads
- Update CRM with notes on leads
- Collect feedback and testimonials from clients
- Responding to emails
- Setting up meetings
- Managing your calendar
- Personal administration (holiday cards, organizing travel, etc.)
Best Practices When Hiring A Real Estate VA
How do you know if you’re really ready for a VA? Which VA should you choose? And, once you’ve found your VA, how do you know if they’re really working all the hours they’re billing you for?
The answer to these questions begins and ends with clear outcomes. It’s imperative that you get your house in order first so you can set your expectations clearly from the get-go. If you’ve done that effectively, it will be easy for you to check the deliverables and make sure they’re on point. If you’re ever in doubt, many outsourcing tools have software on the back end to track exactly how your VA is using their time. However, trust is the key to any successful relationship, so unless you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, you shouldn’t need big brother.
Start by getting your business system and process in place, then assess where the key bottlenecks are and tease out the exact tasks and outcomes that would help remove those bottlenecks. Then, write up a job description with clear outcomes and an idea of what success looks like in this role.
There are some agreements you’ll want to make when agreeing to work with a VA as well. Typically, your freelancer will provide you with a general service agreement and NDA which is signed by both parties. If they don’t, you should have them sign an independent contractor agreement and an NDA. This is obviously a good business practice in order to give you legal protection, but it also makes things official in terms of ensuring the contractor knows exactly what he or she should be doing, how much they’ll be charging you, and how frequently.
How To Determine The Cost-Benefit When Hiring A VA
There is a wide price range for VA services.
Depending on who, what, and where you’re looking, fees can range anywhere from $5 per hour to $50 per hour, plus bonuses. While it’s tempting to settle for the cheapest option, it’s better to think about cost in terms of what your business really needs and the value you’ll be getting for your investment. Here are some of the factors to consider:
US & Canada-based VAs vs. Overseas VAs
There are a ton of misconceptions about hiring overseas help, and these misconceptions can cost you. Never underestimate the talent you can find overseas. Not only is overseas outsourcing more affordable, but there are talented VAs all over the globe, who are skilled in various aspects of running a business and more than comfortable delivering results. Plus, when you hire overseas help you don’t have to settle for whoever is available in your market — the world is your oyster.
That being said, there is a place for local talent. Especially when it comes to real estate. For example, if you need to outsource a high volume of client-facing work, it might be useful to go with someone US or Canada-based (depending on where you are), or even locally based, who has a better understanding of the nuances in your market. This usually makes the most sense when you need full-time client-facing help, or will want to occasionally meet with this person face-to-face.
Level of Experience
Some agents recommend going with a jack-of-all-trades, others recommend finding an expert in the type of work you’re looking to outsource, and many VA service providers are experts at matching you with a VA who has the right educational background and level of experience for your needs.
But of course, real estate-specific experts with awesome experience will have a price tag to match. If you’re taking your first step with outsourcing, we recommend starting with a VA who’s more of a generalist, but who has demonstrated an ability to communicate clearly and shown that they’re comfortable with the list of outcomes and expectations you’ve provided. Some agents recommending trialing the VA with a project-based project, then moving to set hours per month agreement when they’re sure they’ll be happy with the work.
However, if this isn’t your first rodeo, and you’ve got the revenue to justify it, it’s definitely preferable to go with an expert, as these guys can get some of the bigger, juicier tasks of your plate, which will help you accelerate your growth even more quickly. Many expert VAs will even have experience and ideas that can create revenue opportunities for your business that you might never have thought of.
Scope of work
We said it before, we’ll say it again: Outcomes are crucial when outsourcing. You must know exactly what you’ll be outsourcing before you get going. Think long and hard about where you really need the most help, and how much work you actually have to keep your VA busy. If necessary, try tracking your time for a couple of weeks to a month to gain some real clarity on where your time goes each day. Pay special attention to the parts of the day you’re most productive. What are the tasks and distractions pulling at your focus during those hours?
The small tasks that definitely don’t drive sales but can take up an entire morning are the perfect tasks to outsource to a VA (who by the way, can probably do them better and faster than you ever could anyway).
Part-time, Project-based or Dedicated VA
When you’re just getting started, contractor or project-based VA will work best. By using a VA for some one-off help (say, helping you get through January without sacrificing your personal life), you not only get some freedom in your workday, you also get a chance to test the waters and see how much work you actually need to outsource and get an accurate read on whether or not to extend your agreement with the VA to a long-term contract.
If you find you can’t live without the VA, go ahead make the jump to ongoing part-time help before you go all in with a full-time employee. The last thing you want is to waste time scratching your head trying to find things for your VA to do, or worse, waste money on hours unused.
Where To Find Your Perfect Real Estate VA
You’re looking at her! The Savvy Admin is the GTA’s premiere real estate virtual assistant with over 9 years of real estate experience in the majority of Southern Ontario.
Are you ready to start looking for a Real Estate VA? Book A Complimentary Consult Still wondering if you even need a REVA? Check out Why You Need A Real Estate VA