How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Real Estate
A real estate agency‘s secret weapon is a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants for real estate are highly skilled professionals or teams that specialize in real estate administrative work. According to Inc. Magazine, everyone should have a virtual assistant.
Never hired a virtual assistant before? Here are some tips for making an effective hire.
Decide What You Want Them to Do
Virtual real estate assistants can complete various tasks. The key is to decide which ones are most important to you. They could update your website and social media, schedule appointments, upload listings, generate leads, do marketing or data management tasks, or coordinate transactions. Ask yourself which tasks you could outsource to save time and keep yourself and your in-house team motivated.
Write a Job Description
Once you’ve decided what you want the assistant to do, write a job description delineating those tasks, the skills and training required to complete them, and your expectations.
Determine How You’ll Find the Assistant
You could advertise for the assistant and do all the recruiting and vetting yourself. However, doing the work yourself may not be the most efficient way, especially if you are hiring an offshore virtual assistant. Hiring a virtual assistant who works offshore can save you some serious money. For example, you would pay only one-quarter the cost of a local assistant if you hired one in the Philippines. An agency located in the Philippines, such as ShoreAgents, can recruit and vet potential assistants. It also can present qualified candidates for you to interview. Because it is located in the Philippines and has a vast network there, ShoreAgents can perform these tasks much easier than you could do them yourself.
Determine the Budget
An agency can help you determine the budget based on the skills you require and the pay rates in the local market.
Your agency will present you with candidates to interview. Consider a video interview over Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. Their body language can give you hints about their engagement. The agency will have found applicants that meet the requirements in your job description; the primary purpose of the interview is to see if your personalities will mesh. Encourage them to be themselves and tell you who they are. Create questions ahead of time and take careful notes on each applicant.
Once you’ve made your choice, clarify expectations from the beginning. Do so with a written document. Outline the tasks and the tools you expect them to use. Establish expectations on how you will communicate with each other and when they will be available. Also, clarify how they will track their time.
Make sure your processes are delineated clearly, as well. Create a training manual if possible. Your agency may do the onboarding for you, saving you considerable time. If not, plan to spend a little more time with onboarding than you would for a local assistant. You want to ensure the assistant is clear about your processes and that you have bridged any cultural differences.
Create an Infrastructure
Communicating with a virtual assistant is a little different from communicating with someone in the office next door. You’ll need to create a communication infrastructure. The infrastructure might require investing in specific software. You also may want to set aside a particular time each day to check in with the assistant. After you’ve worked together longer, you may be able to go longer between check-ins.
Be sure to share your weekly, monthly, annual, and long-term goals with your assistant. The assistant is an experienced professional and, as an outsider, may be able to see ways you can improve your operations to achieve your goals. They will also be more engaged if they know your vision.