More people are transitioning to a career in real estate because of the lure of high income opportunities. But the real estate industry in Australia has become more competitive. While prices remain steady on the high side, demand continues to pour in for Australian property. More agents are entering an industry where available property has been growing scarce. Thus, it becomes more imperative for real estate agents to be more productive with their time. And the best option is to work with a Real Estate Virtual Assistant.
Real estate agents generate income in the form of commissions. On average, commissions are calculated between 2% to 3% of the property’s final selling price. The commissions can be substantial considering the average property price in Australia is $660,000. On the basis of that figure, an agent can earn up to $19,800 in commissions.
But landing the sale is not easy. A lot of work goes into acquiring potential buyers and seller. From there, qualifies leads have to be consistently led through a sales funnel until they are converted into paying clients. In between, the agent has to update lists, data bases, online accounts and social media, take in calls, set up appointments and schedule presentations.
Work in the real estate industry can be overwhelming if tasks are not properly organized and delegated. This is where the real estate Virtual Assistant comes in.
Virtual assistants have been growing in demand. More businesses have been hiring virtual assistants in their work force because they are an efficient way of producing results. Compared to full-time employees, VA’s are an affordable option. You only pay for the hours worked, they are not entitled to benefits and you don’t incur additional expenses in rent, power and Internet bandwidth.
But not all virtual assistants will produce the same results. It is not just some are better than others. Productivity can also be affected by the working relationship between the agent and the Virtual Assistant.
If you are thinking of hiring a VA, you must have an idea on how to choose a candidate who can fulfill your business needs and is right fit with your personality.
1. Categorize Your Tasks
In order to be productive, you must delegate. The question for most agents is identifying which tasks to delegate to a Virtual Assistant.
There are 2 types of tasks:
- Core – These are the tasks that fall under your core competencies or those that you do best. Core tasks or functions bring you closer to realizing the sale.
- Non- Core – These tasks are either administrative, supportive, do not fall under your competencies or directly contribute to your bottom-line.
Itemize the non- core tasks and outsource these to your real estate Virtual Assistant. The less of these types of tasks that you do, the more time you have for work that will bring in the sales for your business.
2. Identify the Soft Skills You Want in a Virtual Assistant
It’s very easy to find virtual assistants with the required hard skills to get the job done right. It’s much more difficult to find those with the ideal soft skills to work with.
Soft skills are attitudes, personality traits and behaviors that distinguish one individual from another. They are overlooked in the selection process because people tend to place more focus on hard skills.
But in ways soft skills are more important because they help establish the type of working relationship you will have with the VA.
Among the more desired soft skills are as follows:
- Leadership Qualities
To find out the soft skills you want in a VA, start out by defining your soft skills. The strongest relationships are forged by having aligned values.
3. Come Up with a Qualifying Process
There are many good virtual assistants out there. The challenge is to find one who stands out from the rest of the field. This is why you should come up with a qualifying process.
Selecting a real estate Virtual Assistant is not much different from selecting a real estate assistant. You need to conduct an interview, subject the candidates to various testing measures, perform due diligence, check references and have a final one-on-one session to evaluate the best one for the job.
Here are 3 tips you should consider to make your qualifying process for your real estate Virtual Assistant more effective:
- Conduct due diligence procedures first. You should do a Google search, check their social media accounts and reach out to previous clients. Those who come up with negative findings should be disregarded from the short list.
- Make sure the interview is in audio- video format. Candidates who come up with reasons for unavailability of video should be red flagged.
- Schedule each candidate for a paid trial period of no more than 4 hours.
4. Establish Your Work Flows
The absence of shared space collaboration can be a hindrance when working with a real estate Virtual Assistant. For many agents, it can take a bit of an adjustment because working with someone you don’t share physical space with gives a strong feeling of relinquishing control.
The best way to offset the absence of shared space collaboration is to establish work flows. In the virtual world, this means creating a system that is composed of programs to make work easier and more efficient. Among the programs you need are:
- Collaborative – Project management software keeps everyone on the same page. Team members are given their assignments, everyone is aware of the status of the project and it is easier to share ideas and opinions.
- File Sharing – Utilize cloud technology to upload, share, organize and save files.
- Communication – Make sure there other avenues for communication other than e-mail. Skype, Slack and Viber are stand-by tools for communication.
5. Be Hands On with Your Real Estate VA
Hiring the best real estate VA among the field of candidates does not mean you can let her run the show on her own. A new job; regardless of whether the person has had experience or not, brings forth a new learning curve. There is a level of familiarity that has to be achieved before you should expect any consistency in performance.
- Create a summary of the tasks and responsibilities for the VA.
- Discuss these tasks in order and firmly orient the VA on your guidelines.
- Discuss your expectations.
- Periodically check up on the work of the VA.
- Establish both guidelines and deadlines.
- Grade the performance of the VA every week, month and quarter.
- Provide the VA with a copy of your work evaluation and discuss your findings in detail.
Once you’ve gained more confidence on your real estate VA, you can start backing off a bit and allow him or space more freedom to work privately.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant will take your productivity to another level but generating results and consistency will require time and patience. Choose your real estate Virtual Assistant wisely and you will find yourself several steps ahead of the competition.