I’ve worked with a LOT of agents as a real estate virtual assistant and I hear the same story over and over again. You know the one I’m talking about. The one where you hire someone and it’s been 30 days and NOTHING got accomplished. You delegated but the work didn’t get done and instead of feeling the pressure of too much work finally loosen up, it just got worse! Finding the right real estate virtual assistant can be confusing.
Some will tell you that you don’t know how to delegate (and it could be true) and others will say you weren’t clear on when you needed the project completed (listings have no shelf life and if they know real estate they know it’s true), but the fact of the matter is that it’s not delegation or deadlines that are causing the problem. It’s really your ability, or inability, to hire the right person for the job. So, if you’re ready to hire a REAL real estate virtual assistant, here are a few tips to help you along the way so you don’t make the same mistakes of other agents.
- Ask a LOT of questions. Has she worked with your programs before, does she know what the MLS is, has she worked with other agents or other real estate virtual assistants successfully? If the answer is no then prepare to spend a LOT of time training her. You might be getting a great deal on the services, but if she doesn’t know how to do what you want done then how good of a deal is it really?
- What is her style of communication? If you want to do all of your communication over the phone and she prefers email the two of you are going to have a very difficult time working together successfully. Communication is key to a great long term relationship with your new team member. If you had an assistant in the office you would communicate regularly, and you should be prepared to do the same with your real estate virtual assistant.
- The best price isn’t everything. There is a time and place for bargain hunting. I like a good deal as much as the next person, but when it comes to getting something done right I want to make sure I’m hiring a professional and not an amateur. And over seas outsourcing isn’t going to cut it with me. I hire someone for the job that I can communicate with, that I don’t have to baby-sit, and that I know will get the job done right. That doesn’t mean I expect perfection, because we are all human and make mistakes. What I do expect is for someone to do the job they are hired for and if they make a mistake then just fix it and move on. It saves me no time if I have to go back and do it over again myself. So save the price shopping for your next appliance, not for a service that you desperately need.
- Be prepared to answer questions. A true professional will be interviewing you as much as you are interviewing her. She knows exactly the kind of client she works well with and won’t take on someone that doesn’t fit that ideal client profile. You have a niche in first time home buyers and you really rock at selling those homes, but the same rules don’t apply there as in the luxury market. Just like your ideal client has a profile, so does ours. It’s really not personal, but we’d rather refer you to someone else that is going to build a great relationship with you than take you on and have it end on bad terms. That would be a no win situation for everyone.
- Hire an actual real estate virtual assistant, NOT just any virtual assistant. Your industry is very confusing for people that haven’t worked in it before. That’s why I help to train new real estate virtual assistants at REVA Academy. They may already have a VA business, but they have the good sense to know that they can’t just hop in and know it all. They need assistance and training to navigate the real estate niche. If you hire someone unfamiliar with real estate you will either spend time training them or have it end up badly in most cases.
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