what is a real estate virtual assistant

What is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant?

 

The real estate business can be a lucrative profession given that property is an investment with steady demand. But for many real estate agents, they end up working “for” instead of “on” their business. They function more like employees than proprietors. If this message resonates with you, it may be time to hire a real estate Virtual Assistant.

Virtual assistants are highly- skilled, independent or self-employed professionals who are contracted to provide administrative, technical or creative work. They are no longer just hired for secretarial or personal assistant services. You can find a Virtual Assistant to manage all types of work in any industry.

The Value of a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

A real estate Virtual Assistant can help you oversee the 3 key areas of responsibilities in the property business:

1. Administrative Support

  • Website Management
  • Preparation and Review of Contracts
  • Calendar Management
  • E-mail Filtering
  • Preparation of Presentation Materials
  • Appointment Setting

2. Marketing Support

  • Update of all Social Media Accounts
  • Design Marketing Collaterals from Templates
  • Update all Online Listings
  • Lead Generation
  • E-mail Marketing

3. Sales Support

  • Leads Conversion
  • Sales Follow Up Calls
  • Referral Generation
  • Phone Handling
  • Customer Support Services

How many of these tasks do you manage on your own on a daily basis? Filtering e-mail alone can take up precious hours in the morning.

The Costs of NOT Hiring a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

If you have not hired a real estate Virtual Assistant, you may fall under one of these three categories of running a business:

  • Hiring a Full-Time Assistant
  • Doing Everything 100%
  • Doing Nothing at All

When you hire a full-time assistant, you are obligated to pay him or her full wages plus benefits every month. The estimated cost of hiring a full-time employee is 1.5 to three times his or her basic salary.

On the other hand, hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant or any independent contractor for the matter can save you up to 30% in employment costs.

If you are handling 100% of back office and support services for your business, you will not have enough time in the day to focus on the tasks that matter. These are the tasks that contribute directly to the growth of your real estate business.

Eventually, it will get to a point that work becomes overwhelming. You may end up inadvertently missing or foregoing some tasks that could result in undesired consequences for your real estate business.

These consequences include missing appointments or meetings, important calls, failure to respond to crucial e-mails and inquiries or the prompt settlement of bills.

Collectively, these incidents could add up to missed opportunities that could translate to significant amounts of foregone income.

5 Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

There was a time when only small business owners or executives hired virtual assistants. It was a great option to reduce hiring costs while assuring higher productivity.

But today, even the largest companies in the world are hiring virtual assistants. They’ve finally caught on to the benefits remote workers present to business. In fact, the popularity of virtual assistants has given rise to new terminologies such as “telecommuter”, “freelancer” and “home based worker”.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, more businesses in developed economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom are integrating virtual assistants in the work force.

Whether you hire a Virtual Assistant, a telecommuter, a freelancer or a home based worker for your real estate agency, you should expect to reap the same benefits. The terminologies may differ but the function remains the same.

Here are 5 benefits of hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant for your agency:

  1. Reduce Costs – As discussed earlier, outsourcing work to virtual assistants is more cost effective than hiring full-time employees. You don’t have to pay them mandated benefits or annual salary increases. As independent contractors, they are responsible for their own cost of business.
  2. Increase Productivity – With a real estate Virtual Assistant onboard, you would have more time to meet with clients, expand your listing, show properties, trial close warm prospects, negotiate sales contracts and make sales presentations. These are the tasks that directly contribute to your business’ bottom-line.
  3. Lower Attrition Rate – Remote workers are generally happier than office-based workers. This contributes to a more positive work culture and greater contribution to productivity.
  4. Improve Quality of Work – Even if you are familiar with some of the tasks, it would always be a good idea to outsource these to a real estate Virtual Assistant. Not only do they have the requisite skills to do the job, but they have the time to focus and ensure the quality of work.
  5. Relieve Stress – As a real estate professional, your plate is overloaded with things- to- do almost every single day. You may end up compromising your health by being stressed out more often. With a real estate Virtual Assistant taking up the reins, you can have more time for rest, family, exercise and perhaps finally push through with that long delayed vacation.

Hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant is not the “lightning in a bottle” or magic potion that will guarantee the success of your agency. But having one or a few onboard your business will definitely increase productivity without breaking down your budget.

In the profitability equation, any strategy that lowers cost and increases the potential for revenue is a definite step in the right direction.

is-outsourcing-services-under-threat-from-the-new-world-order

Is Outsourcing Services Under Threat from the New World Order?

Since the new millennium, the global outsourcing industry has grown by leaps and bounds. The availability of the Internet in 2000 further established globalization. Meanwhile, events were changing the world as we knew it. Over the last 15 years, political, economic and social barriers were torn down as consequences of globalization.

While uncertainty and economic volatility create the ideal conditions for outsourcing to thrive in, it may seem that the process is under threat by the changing political climate.

In 2013, the Philippines became the number 1 destination for global outsourcing supplanting India, Mumbai and Bangalore. Since 2004, the Philippines’ outsourcing services industry has been growing at an average of 20% per annum. From $3M in 2004, the Philippines outsourcing services sector generated US$18M in 2015. It is expected to earn US$20M to US$25M in 2016 with the upside at US$48M by 2020.

These numbers are now at risk since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power in 2016. President Duterte’s administration has taken a 180 degree turn in foreign policy away from the US and toward China, a perennial competitor in outsourcing. According to outsourcing analysts, millions of dollars worth of business from the US and Europe have been put on indefinite hold.

A few months later, in 9 November 2016, America elected Donald J. Trump as its 45th President. During his campaign, Trump vowed to bring jobs back to America by imposing stiff penalties on companies that did business with other countries. Trump’s vitriol was primarily targeted on Asia which was the focal point of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy.

Will these changes in political structures and ideologies signal the end of outsourcing?

The answer is “No” for the following reasons:

Outsourcing Does Not Live or Die with the US – The US is not the only market for outsourcing. Other countries such as Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore and Germany are emerging markets for outsourcing.

Even if Duterte’s incendiary rhetoric turns off US investors, there are countries that look beyond politics and focus on the availability of talent, comparative advantages and economies of scale.

Offshoring is NOT Outsourcing – The source of Trump’s consternation is offshoring not outsourcing.

In his first 100 days, Trump plans to discontinue the Offshoring Act which allowed US companies to set up shop in other countries to lower their cost of production.

Trump wants to discourage offshoring because it takes jobs away from America. Outsourcing does not take jobs from America.

Outsourcing is a Process – Did your business just sign up a Virtual Assistant? If so, guess what? You just outsourced services.

Outsourcing has been a go-to cost cutting strategy since the 1970’s. It is more prevalent now because the Internet has made it possible to do business with other countries without climbing aboard a plane.

You can outsource services from the comforts of your own home. Need a Content Writer to manage your blogs? Sign up a freelancer from the Philippines.

Do you want to outsource the payroll and benefits management for your 300 employees? Outsource them to a third party service provider who can provide you 10 encoders and 1 Account Manager to do the job.

Globalization is a beautiful thing. Any President who tries to suppress it will be doomed to fail because globalization is the new economy. Instead of fighting it, you should embrace it and all the possibilities.