By Antia Clark
Save your time and get a life!
Stop wasting your time on tasks that can be taken care of by a virtual assistant. When you spend your time doing $20 per hour tasks, it limits your ability to increase your sales volume and annual income. Learn how to delegate certain tasks so you can focus on the things that matter most in your business: prospecting for listings, going on listing appointments, and networking for business.
The highest and best use of your time as a local licensed real estate agent is getting listings and serving your sellers. In this article, we will go over the top eight reasons you should hire a virtual assistant to help you with your real estate tasks.
1. Save Time
We are all given the same 24 hours each day. It is up to each of us how we divide up those hours and where we focus our attention. As the saying goes, “What you focus on expands.”
Sometimes when you get bogged down handling paperwork and administrative duties each day, it feels like the pile never ends—as if some minions come along each night to refill your stack of papers. But when you outsource your paperwork, files, emails, and the like, you will discover the magic of achieving your goals because you’re focusing on getting more listings.
One of the pushbacks I hear from agents is that they don’t have time to train a virtual assistant, especially if they have specific ways of doing things with their listing or contact follow-up checklists. However, you can hire a company that specializes in real estate tasks to do the training for you. This will allow you to onboard VAs with very little time and effort on your part.
Look at it this way: It might take you a full six hours to train someone on a specific task, which might feel like a lot of time upfront. But you’re probably clocking two hours every single week doing this same task. If you delegate the task to a virtual assistant, by week number four you will gain two hours a week. You can allot the two hours you gained to more important tasks, such as joining a networking group or getting a designation to build your knowledge and authority in a real estate niche.
It’s a win-win.
2. Save Money
When you outsource your real estate tasks to a virtual assistant, it can lower labor fees by more than 40%. This is because you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, social security taxes, or unemployment taxes and regulatory fees involved with hiring in-house administrative assistants.
The money you pay your VAs is tax-deductible. If your virtual assistant is based in the United States, you will need to send a 1099 to him or her each year. However, if you work with virtual assistants in a country like the Philippines, you will not send them a 1099. (I am not a tax attorney, nor do I play one on TV. It is always best to seek professional legal advice.) You won’t have payroll paperwork to do, and you won’t have insurance paperwork, either. There are no requirements (outside of what you will negotiate with your virtual assistant) to offer paid sick leave or paid vacations.
You will save even more money because you don’t have to be in the office when they are working and you don’t have to sit side by side training an admin. You can be out getting listings.
3. Make Time For Family and Self-Care
When you outsource real estate tasks and projects, you can make more time for what’s important to you—your family.
Self-care tends to get put on the back burner when you are the “be-all, end-all” person to your clients and prospects. Learn to let go, even if you are a perfectionist and have control issues. You simply can’t do everything yourself. Ask anyone who has burned the candle at both ends for too long what can happen emotionally and physically. Make your self-care a priority.
When you delegate your admin tasks, repetitive duties, and redundancies, you will discover that taking care of yourself never felt so good. You will also stop missing your child’s soccer or baseball games. You won’t miss another dance or piano recital. And you will be able to prioritize your family time without interruption.
4. Increase Your Income
You can double and even triple your current income when you start to delegate tasks that are holding you back from your potential to earn. This quote by Jean Paul Getty sums it up: “I would rather earn 1% off 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.”
Research from the Harvard Business Review also found that delegating more of what you don’t have to do yourself, frees up your time so you can spend it where it’s really valuable. Increasing your productivity typically results in an increase in income.
5. Focus On What You Do Best
We each have different talents and abilities. We are passionate about different areas of our businesses.
In real estate, I find most agents are strong relationship builders. In order to get more listings and buyers, it takes time to connect with people and build relationships so they begin to like and trust you. This all must happen prior to the contract being signed for an exclusive listing.
If you are not spending at least 20% of your time building relationships, then you will not reach your income goals. This means time actually in front of people either on the phone or in person. Real estate is still a belly to belly business. People want to know you care about them.
Focus on what you do best and delegate the rest.
6. Reach Your Goals
When you delegate tasks to a virtual assistant or to a team of VAs, you will reach more of your goals.
Imagine being able to set aside “thinking time.” This is my most precious time—it’s when I review my prior week and plan for my week ahead. Thinking time allows me to plan my goals and add them to my daily, weekly, and monthly planner.
Your goals become more attainable since you’re not focused on tasks that don’t get you near what you’re striving for.
7. Expand Your Business
Have you thought about putting together a real estate team? Or maybe hiring a buyers’ agent, or two? The more you delegate to the virtual assistants, the more time you will have to build your business.
Are you ready to make your listings dominate online? Trained virtual assistants can help you do this by marketing your listings for you. Plus, marketing listings is a way to get more listings. When sellers are impressed by your marketing efforts and what it accomplishes for their property, they’re more likely to refer you to others.
A key component is to set aside a specific amount of money for marketing each listing online to ensure it gets adequate exposure to buyers and buyers’ agents. This will lead to more sales and more listings.
8. Explore New Opportunities
When you have fresh energy and aren’t being held down with tasks that you shouldn’t be doing, you can explore new opportunities in your business.
Maybe you want to expand into commercial real estate, property management, or improve your listings with virtual home staging. Maybe you want to learn more about investing in real estate and build your investment portfolio. Whatever you decide, just know you will have infinitely more time to accomplish your important real estate objectives.
In conclusion, I will leave you with a list of some of the tasks you can easily delegate to a virtual assistant.
- Listing marketing
- Social media: designing creatives, creating posts, scheduling posting, and more
- Blogging: writing and publishing posts for the new Google algorithm updates
- SEO and website management: get more exposure on the internet
- Client support and communication: transaction coordinating
- Data enrichment support: CRM, newsletters, email drip campaigns, appointment setting, etc.
- Inside sales agent (ISA): make your lead calls and set appointments
Once you get started, new opportunities open up for you and you’ll start reaching your goals.
Anita Clark is a residential real estate agent with Coldwell Banker SSK, REALTORS®, in Houston County, Ga. She is from Coventry, England, is a retired military spouse, and has been assisting buyers, investors, and sellers in middle Georgia since 2007. Connect with Anita on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or on her Warner Robins GA Real Estate Blog.