Most of the agents I talk to these days close 10 to 15 deals a year, have a solid lead generation strategy, and make good money. Some even make great money—but they’re still not happy. They are missing the one thing that could give them valuable time back, take administrative tasks off their plate, and let them focus on building their real estate business: a virtual assistant.
Imagine finding that perfect real estate virtual assistant (VA) who can schedule showings, create social media posts, follow up with leads, cold call FSBOs, and maintain a clean database. That VA exists and I’ll help you find the perfect fit. I’ll also help you map out tasks, set expectations, and even offer our best management tips.
What Is a Virtual Assistant in the Real Estate Industry?
A virtual assistant gives you space to focus on the tasks that make you happy, take advantage of your specialized real estate training, and scale your business.
What Can a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Legally Do?
You need to stay within your state’s regulations in terms of what non-licensed contractors and employees can and can’t do in real estate. Let’s take a look at California as an example to see some of the tasks a real estate virtual assistant is legally allowed to do:
What Is a Virtual Assistant Not Allowed to Do?
Sticking with California as the example, there are a few activities that are off limits to non-licensed contractors and employees:
So, yes, there are plenty of activities a VA could help you with as you scale your business. Just imagine the unbridled joy you’d feel if someone else took over just scheduling showings, for example!
How Much Does a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Cost?
As we all know, especially in this business, you get what you pay for. But that being said, virtual assistants are a lot cheaper than I bet you’re thinking.
First decide if you want to manage the hiring process yourself or use a staffing service. Then think about your scope of work. You can pay by the hour; via a monthly fee for a set number of hours, or based on a project or transaction, so consider what it is exactly that you need done. Plus, you’ll need to factor in any subscriptions to job boards or recruitment services if you use them.
Using an Agency
Using a staffing service has its advantages. Depending on the agency, it will screen, check backgrounds, and even interview candidates for you. Agencies will also manage the taxes, benefits, and payment for your employee or contractor.
But that does come with a premium. Agency sites such as MyOutDesk charge a monthly fee of almost $2,000 for access to screened, background-checked, college-educated applicants.
If you’re hiring a U.S.-based hourly employee or contractor, independent of a staffing service, plan on paying them an hourly rate between $25 and $45 per hour. You’ll save on paying the fees related to a staffing service, but there are other costs. You’ll need to set aside time to post your position, filter candidates, interview, and hire. Then you’ll need to figure out taxes, benefits, and payments yourself.
If you need a U.S.-based virtual assistant, you should take the hiring process seriously as the competition for top-notch skilled assistants is fierce. That means you need a professional job search site like ZipRecruiter. With one click, your job is posted to 100-plus top job boards and you get matched with top talent instantly.Try ZipRecruiter for Free
Where Can I Find a Virtual Assistant for Real Estate?
As you consider the best fit for your needs, think about your budget as well as what you need in terms of English proficiency, education, screening and background checks, and specialized skills.
International Virtual Assistants
Many successful companies, including our own, take advantage of the ability to affordably hire team members who live in the Philippines. The Close has rock star Filipino staffers who specialize in WordPress, sales enablement, social media, and data analysis. Hiring around the world gives us a chance to benefit from new perspectives, engage with talented and passionate team members, and hopefully provide a positive workplace with plenty of growth potential.
The Philippines offers two massive advantages over hiring from the U.S. or other countries:
- Affordability: The average salary in the Philippines is around $9,000 per year. This means that you can afford to hire someone who would be out of budget in the U.S. or other countries.
- English skills and established outsourcing culture: Millions of Filipinos speak English as a second language, and remote work is a crucial feature of the local economy.
The Best Hiring Website: Onlinejobs.ph
I highly recommend using Onlinejobs.ph. This is one of the largest job boards for remote workers in the Philippines and will give you access to a massive talent pool.
You can check out candidates for free, but you will have to pay $69 for a one-month account to connect with potential hires. The company even offers a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your search, you can get a full refund.
Tips for a Successful Hiring Process
Regardless of whether you’re using a full-service option like MyOutDesk or posting your own job on ZipRecruiter or OnlineJobs.ph, here are some crucial steps you’ll need to take:
- Write your job description. Decide what tasks you want to delegate and make sure it’s legal to outsource them according to your state regulations.
- Plan your training. How are you going to bring your new VA up to speed on what you need done? Even if the assistant you hire is experienced in real estate, there will be nuances that you can help your VA navigate.
- Interview your candidates. Make sure that they are qualified, have the relevant experience, and specialize in any particular skills that would be helpful. But don’t forget to make sure your VA is a good fit for your company culture. Interview for soft skills as well as experience.
- Check logistics. If you’re interviewing international candidates, be sure to ask about the stability of their internet and whether they are willing to work U.S. hours, which might be during the night for them.
- Establish clear goals. Communication is key. Make sure you are on the same page in terms of expectations for this position, what tasks need to be completed, timelines, and which key performance indicators you will use to measure success.
- Make your offer. To help your VA feel like part of the team and to make sure expectations are crystal-clear, provide an offer letter that outlines salary, tasks, payment, and hours worked.
- Pay your VA. If you are using a service company, they will handle all of this for you. If you’re hiring independently, find out how your VA wants to be paid. PayPal is a popular option.
💡 Bonus Activities for a Virtual Assistant
Still worried you don’t have enough work to fill an assistant’s time? We brainstormed some tasks that are easily delegated:
- Design posts for social media
- Engage with prospects on social media to build followers
- Edit long YouTube videos into smaller clips and post on YouTube or TikTok
- Make custom infographics
- Ask buyer’s agents for feedback on listings
- Design and send holiday cards, birthday cards, and other direct mail
- Find vendors that are more affordable than your current providers
- Design and customize listing and buyer presentations
- Website maintenance
- Copy edit and schedule blog posts
- Keep your calendar up to date
- Screen incoming emails and calls
- Research leads on social media
- Enter open house leads into a customer relationship management tool
Bringing It All Together
If you have more on your plate than you can reasonably accomplish, it’s time to look into getting a virtual assistant for your real estate business. You’ll gain back valuable time to build your business, and it’s probably much more affordable than you think. Whether you post your job on ZipRecruiter or find your perfect match in the Philippines, a virtual assistant can transform your business.