The market has been fast and furious, and to stay productive the need for effective time management is at an all time high. Trying to do everything just doesn’t work, and you can easily burn out if you can’t find ways to delegate some of the workload. Delegate mundane tasks so you have more time to focus on your customers, grow your business, and have personal time.
It’s time to go virtual
Consider hiring virtual assistance — and fear not! Our world has become so used to working remotely, and technology has kept pace. It’s not just for mega-agents or teams. If you’re new or just make a few trades a month, there are affordable plans that will meet your needs. Virtual real estate assistants are already trained and ready to work for you. Going virtual might be perfect for agents who are too busy to keep up but not busy enough to afford traditional assistants.
Disadvantages for the traditional way
Traditional assistants can be hard to find, especially in this time of employee shortages. They are expensive and may require another desk in an office where we really don’t spend much time. Training can waste valuable time growing your business just to get them up to speed. Even worse is when you’ve invested that time in bringing them to a certain level only to find out that the relationship isn’t going to work out. With a virtual assistant, you can switch easily if things don’t gel well without wasting valuable time.
What do virtual assistants do?
Everything a traditional assistant does, but not face-to-face. Whether it’s simple database maintenance, planning, prospecting, marketing or complete transaction management, these companies offer virtual assistants who can do it all – some include managing social media and even video editing! Most are already trained in electronic signature software such as Dotloop, DocuSign, and several CRM platforms, but they will work for you and integrate with whatever you currently use. Think of it as Uber for your full-service a la carte real estate needs.
Know what your needs are
If you are looking to become a “right hand” who can also act as a backbone as a part-time or full-time executive assistant, you can check out MyOutDesk, Virtudesk, Virtual VA Solutions, Zirtual, Ossisto or ShoreAgents, for to name a few. Some offer hourly or monthly plans, either part-time or full-time, and rates range from $8.60 per hour to over $1,800 per month for full-time. Some, but not all, draw their talent from the Philippines, but they work in your time zone and have trustworthy skills and extensive training in our US software systems.
Go basic to start
If you’re on your own or have a small team and just need help managing transactions, then Transactly might be the answer. Why? Because you only pay when the deal is done – they don’t earn it until you do! And their fees are only $125 to $350 per transaction. If you don’t currently have transaction management software, they can provide you with theirs for free. It can be customized to fit your workflow and comes with beautiful email templates that can be branded while keeping your customers informed throughout the process. But if you already have a system in place, it will adapt to your custom workflow.
Transactly claims that they can automate around 91% of transaction tasks, and you can designate what you want them to do and what you will do to ensure the transaction completes smoothly. They are US-based and bilingual and operate in all 50 states, as well as Australia and Canada. It is important to note that they are not virtual assistants at your complete disposal. They are pure deal coordinators and work 9am to 5pm five days a week, but promise a 24 hour turnaround on all communications. You are assigned a main coordinator, so you will deal with the same person for each transaction, but they will also manage other clients. They also offer list management services as a separate item.
Balancing work and private life while growing your business
Be open-minded and take advantage of the opportunities these virtual assistant companies have to offer. Find what’s right for you and take some of the weight off your shoulders with these cost-effective virtual assistance opportunities. This will not only improve your business and bring you better results, but more importantly, give you more personal time to balance your life and avoid burnout.
Anne Ewasko is a seasoned Chicago-area real estate agent and lifelong techie. Visit her at anne.luxhomechicago.com.