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.

application check for tenancy

How To Apply For Tenancy In Australia

Renting property in Australia can be quite an experience. In the first place, the competition could be tough. People are always on the lookout for property to rent. Second, there may be a fewer places available for rent as demand continues to outpace supply. But if you have found a place that fills most of your requirements especially your budget, then it’s time to shift focus and apply for tenancy.

Make a Good Impression

In ways, applying for tenancy in Australia is like applying for a job. In a market where supply is tight, you could find yourself competing with others who are interested in the same property.

Thus the first step is to make a good impression on the property agent, Property Manager or landlord.

The agent and landlord or Property Manager will decide to whom exclusive possession of the property would be awarded to. Similar to a recruiter or a Hiring Manager, you must create a strong first impression:

  • Dress professionally as if you were going to a job interview.
  • Be punctual; you should be at the property 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask the landlord.
  • Introduce yourself properly and ask questions in a polite manner.
  • Bring all the required documents with you. Make sure all proof of identification are updated and neatly organized.

You can be assured the landlord will verify all of your submitted documents. If you are in a tenancy database, it would be in your best interest to share your story with the landlord.

The tenancy database presents a list of tenants who have had problems with their previous landlords.

Inspect the Property

Before finalizing your decision to apply for tenancy, you should always inspect the property. This can be arranged with the real estate agent or the landlord. It is also possible for the agent to schedule an Open House where the property can be viewed by interested lessees.

Here are a few tips to consider when inspecting the property:

Ask the agent or the landlord if they can provide you a copy of the tenant application form.

Bring someone who is knowledgeable in home repairs. This person could be an architect, interior designer, general contractor or engineer.

Take a few minutes after the inspection to begin preliminary discussions with the landlord or agent.

Be ready with your list of questions.

As a ready reference, you can use ApplicationCheck.com.au.

Applying for Tenancy

If you have decided on applying for tenancy, you will need to fill up the tenant application form as provided by the agent or landlord. You will also be required to submit some of the documents listed below:

  • Proof of Identification such as driver’s license, passport, Medicare card, health care card or birth certificate. Make sure the driver’s license or passport are valid and the birth certificate is a certified true copy.
  • Names and contact information of references such as your former landlord.
  • Proof of income or employment certification.
  • Rent payment receipts or statements of account
  • Bank details or authenticated bank statement.

For the landlord to contact your references, prepare and sign a privacy consent form. It will boost your case to talk to your references, advise them to expect a call from a landlord and the purpose of the communication.

Application Fees

There are only 4 types of fees that a landlord can ask from a prospective tenant:

  • Option Fee – More like goodwill money; covers the period the landlord is verifying your documents and application form.
  • Rental Deposit – Covers 4 weeks rent.
  • Advanced Rent – Covers 2 weeks rent.
  • Key Deposit – Withheld with your ID until such time the key to the property is turned over to you.

In the event your application is declined by the landlord or you decide to discontinue your pursuit of the property, the Option Fee should be turned over to you in full and in cash within 7 days.

Next Steps

If your application has been approved by the landlord, you will be invited to a meeting to formalize the tenancy agreement. You have to be ready to pay the Rental Deposit, Advanced Rent and Key Deposit.

Ask the landlord if the Option Fee can be applied to any of the required deposits. This will make the process move faster.

Finalize the move- in date with your landlord. It will determine the start date of your tenancy agreement.

If the application for tenancy was not successful, take the time to talk to the landlord. Get his or her thoughts on why you were declined. This information may help you get approved for your next tenancy application.

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Top 4 places in Europe to invest in the real estate market

European property market now is a highly lucrative place to invest in. With the economic growth and various government initiatives, investing in the real estate market in Europe will give good returns. Here are the top 4 places in Europe to invest.

Birmingham

1

The properties are cheaper in Birmingham compared to London. The city is attracting employers like HSBC. There is growth in the market, making it a good place to invest in.

Berlin

2

Germany’s capital is one of the best places you can invest in. Growth in the technology sector has made it a good option for getting office space. The living cost is low here. It’s culture and location has increased its housing prospects.

Hamburg

3

There has been more than $5 billion investment in the properties over the last few years. It has a diverse group of occupiers. There is a huge demand for offices from the business services, trade sectors, small businesses and the media. Construction in these sectors is expected to increase.

Dublin

4

Those who have already invested in the Dublin real estate market or will invest soon will see highest total returns. There will be rental growth for offices. The retail sector is expected growth in the coming years.

If you invest in one of these cities soon, you can expect high returns due to the property sector growth of these cities. So, do some research and enter these markets as soon as possible to get the best deal. If you want to check the real estate market from Australia, check FSORBO.

What is FSBO and Why are People Using it to Sell their Property?

What is FSBO and Why are People Using it to Sell their Property?

If you are planning to sell your own home, chances are the first thing you will do is to find a licensed real estate agent. Truth be told, hiring a real estate agent is the safest thing you can do to sell property.

After all, they are certified professionals with the experience and know- how to have your home sold in the market without inconvenience to you.

But does safest mean the same as smartest?

There is a growing trend of property owners who are ditching the real estate agent when selling their own home. This approach is called FSBO or “For Sale By Owner”.

FSBO removes the real estate agent from the sales equation. The property owner does everything the real agent would do in a standard real estate sales transaction:

  • Market and Promote the Property
  • Create Marketing Collateral
  • Update all Content in Social Media
  • Take Incoming Inquiries
  • Schedule Home Visits and Inspections
  • Price the Property
  • Negotiate with Prospective Buyers
  • Prepare the Contract of Sale

If FSBO seems daunting, it is not. With a bit of planning and organization, you can pull off selling your own property and generate higher returns.

When you remove the real estate agent from the sales process, you automatically save between 2% to 3% in commission payouts. In addition, you have better control and management of your money.

The sum total of the other services provided by the real estate agent as summarized above can easily increase your total expenses to 6% to 8%.

What does a 6% cost savings look like? If your property’s final negotiated price is $500,000 by going FSBO, you improve your net return by $30,000!

In addition, going For Sale By Owner increases your chances of selling your home on time.

What does “on time” mean in a real estate transaction?

If your property isn’t sold within 4 months, its perceived market value will drop exponentially. You will be leaving thousands of dollars on the table if you cannot sell your home right away.

But doesn’t a real estate agent have all the connections and a large network of prospective buyers?

Yes, but he or she also has a lot of clients.

When you ask a real estate agent to sell your home, you will be required to agree and sign an Exclusivity Agreement. This means only the agent has the authority to sell your property.

It may seem all well and good. You might think the agent has your best interests at heart and you’re probably right. But this is also the agent’s livelihood and source of income.

If your property is located in an area of sluggish demand and stagnant prices, the agent will place more attention on selling homes in fast- moving locations such as Sydney and Melbourne.

So doesn’t the Exclusivity Agreement seem onerous?

By going the FSBO route, you can devote 100% more time and effort in selling your own home. If you have a full- time job, a family and the list of tasks are overwhelming, why not hire a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant is a professional who can manage administrative jobs and carry out support services.

You can delegate the following tasks to a Virtual Assistant:

  • Set up an account for your home at a reputable FSBO company; these are online sites dedicated for property owners who want to sell their own home. Hundreds of followers can view your property and submit offers.
  • Promote your property in social media and link these accounts to your FSBO page.
  • Take in all calls and inquiries.
  • Schedule home visits.
  • Prepare and review contracts.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant will not cost you much and will get a lot of things done for you.

So if you are planning to sell your own home, consider going FSBO. It will save you both time and money.