Building a successful real estate business can be an exhausting cycle if you let it. The more business you bring in, the more administrative tasks are required; the more time you spend on administrative tasks, the less time you have to generate more revenue.
The only sensible solution to growth is to enlist help. You may have a multitude of reasons that prevent you from hiring a personal assistant or office staff, even though it’s obvious you need more manpower. Ideally, you would have an assistant that was always ready to work for you, but only when you need him or her. Meet your virtual assistant, a creative new labor force that provides practical solutions for small businesses.
The virtual assistant takes the role of the temp and elevates it to the status of entrepreneur. Because the virtual assistant bills only for the hours worked or tasks and projects completed and depends on referrals from regular clients to create steady work for themselves, they may be the perfect solution for a busy agent.
The flexibility offered by a virtual assistant provides several advantages over a paid employee. When you hire a virtual assistant you get all the benefits of outsourcing including freedom from employee tax and benefits issues combined with the high level of commitment and service expected of a company employee.
There may be many reasons you have found that traditional staffing solutions do not work for you. Temps are a transient solution and can be quite expensive; if you need someone only a few hours a day or week, a temp can prove more costly in terms of training than she is worth. Most temps are in transition or looking for full-time employment, you are seldom guaranteed access to the same person for very long, as they may find permanent employment elsewhere.
Regular employees or staff come with their own set of obstacles. You will need to provide them with office space, furniture, computer, equipment, and supplies. In addition to regular pay, you must also meet state and federal employer obligations and consider benefits packages including sick leave and vacation time. The cost of an employee is much higher than the cost of their annual salary in terms of benefits and liabilities. Another factor to consider when sharing office space is your loss of privacy and personal issues since you will be sharing space with your assistant.
How practical is a virtual assistant?
As more networking, marketing, and communication moves online, virtual assistants become a more and more obvious solution to staffing problems for agents. For an hourly fee of $15 to $75, less than the cost of temps or employees, agents can take advantage of professional assistance and advanced skill sets without the hassle of hiring or training them yourself.
Virtual assistants already have computer training and can assist with your specific needs from traditional office support services to highly specialized areas including web design and social media management. Your virtual assistant can handle tasks traditionally handled by an administrative assistant, personal assistant, receptionist, bookkeeper, or similar staff members. These tasks can include word processing, spreadsheets, scheduling, database and calendar management and many, many more. You can even ask your virtual assistant to go beyond administrative support to client development and marketing support.
There is no need to share physical space; the virtual assistant does not necessarily need to reside in the same city. Work assignments are communicated through e-mail, web conference, instant messenger, or phone calls. There are many programs available for sharing information and collaborating online to keep documents and calendars synchronized and up-to-date. Schedule changes, project reports, or customer service events such as new listings can be performed immediately for a client. The virtual assistant can lend the sense of size to your company which will impress potential clients and keeps current clients engaged.