Real Estate Assistant Responsibilities
Have you ever run into the question: “What do real estate agents do?” If so, you’ve probably found yourself at a loss for words. The fact is that the list of what real estate agents don’t do seems like a much shorter option. It’s an exhausting job – which is why you may be looking for some help with it!
In this article, we’ll discuss the responsibilities that real estate assistants have, and then discuss why you should consider adding a transaction coordinator to your team instead. We’ll end by talking about why Close Concierge is the best option for top-performing agents. Let’s dive in!
1. Help with Creating a CMA
A real estate assistant can help gather the information that will be used to create a comparative market analysis (CMA). Real estate agents like you are busy, so having someone else to get the ball rolling for you can be helpful.
That said, be careful not to allow your real estate assistant (REA) to create the CMA if it’s not permitted. For example, in Rhode Island, allowing your assistant to prepare or present a CMA could spell trouble for your real estate business. They can, however, compile the information for you. In Idaho, the laws are slightly different: an assistant can prepare market analyses as long as you disclose the name of the preparer.
Long story short: check the real estate laws in your state to ensure that you’re following the proper guidelines.
2. Communicate with All Parties
Your assistant can help communicate with all the parties involved in the home-buying process. It may not seem like much when you’re in the thick of it but remember: the transaction passes through many hands before it’s seen through to completion.
Here are some of the parties who are involved in a transaction: buyers, sellers, lenders, the escrow company, attorneys, the other agent for the buyer/seller, appraisers, inspectors, insurance agents, the state, and property surveyors.
It can be exhausting running back and forth to communicate with each party – but when you have someone to help, the communication process is easier and more streamlined. An REA can take care of that aspect of your job, freeing up your time.
They can also answer phone calls or respond to email inquiries about properties that are already on the market. When it comes to questions that only licensed real estate agents can answer, they’ll need to refer the caller to you. They must also identify themselves as unlicensed when they pick up the phone to avoid crossing the line into “agent” territory.
If your customer has a basic real estate question like, “What does contingent mean in real estate?”, the real estate assistant can answer their questions in a general way. However, if the client asks about something specifically outlined within the contract, you should handle the inquiry.
3. Enhance the Customer Experience
Having a single point-of-contact allows you to enjoy the benefits of your assistant’s follow-up even after the transaction is completed. They can help pick out the perfect closing gift for your client and send it to them if you’re too busy.
The real estate assistant can stay on top of things while you’re hunting down more contracts, and keep you at the forefront of customers’ minds by remembering to send a card or note for special events like birthdays and anniversaries.
Even if you don’t have time to check your customer relationship management (CRM) system regularly, your assistant can do that and ensure that your clients are blown away by your thoughtfulness! In other words, they’ll make you look like a rock star with minimal effort on your behalf – talk about a winning partnership!
4. Add Events to Your Calendar
Your assistant can add events to your calendar, such as open houses, final walk-throughs, inspections, etc. They can also add reminders to your calendar to ensure you don’t miss the final date of the option period, or the last day to obtain signatures on the contract.
Another side of this scheduling superpower is to send out email reminders to other parties and make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding deadlines, signing dates and times, etc. With a qualified assistant, you won’t need to worry about missing important deadlines again.
5. Other To-Do Tasks
An assistant can grab coffee for everyone in the office, deliver documents, put out signs for your business, place lockboxes with the house keys at the appropriate addresses, etc. Basically, any to-do tasks that you may have that don’t need to be conducted by a licensed agent can be conducted by your real estate assistant.
5. Help with Marketing
Your real estate assistant can help create and maintain the website for your real estate company. They would design your website (perhaps with WordPress or another content management system/CMS) and then come up with the content for your website as well. They could look into maximizing your website via SEO keywords and write blog posts on your behalf.
They could also help post to social media by checking what the trending keywords are and using them to increase the visibility of your website. They can follow up on customer questions on the site, provide links to your blogs and other helpful articles, and more.
The REA could design flyers, pamphlets, and other promotional materials for your real estate business using Canva or Adobe. After they’re printed out, the assistant can ensure that they’re properly distributed to the local community. Your REA can design and plant signs for your real estate business, and take photos of homes that you intend to feature on the MLS.
Another major component of marketing help that your assistant can do is check the analytics for all of their digital marketing efforts. They can check Google Analytics, Facebook Business Suite, SEMrush, and other tools to see what your paid and organic reach looks like online.
Personally, we feel these tasks are better relegated to a real estate marketing specialist/real estate marketing consultant due to the fact that marketing is what they live and breathe – whereas an assistant’s focus might be too scattered to do much good. You know the saying: jack of all trades, master of none!
6. Provide a Smooth Transaction Process
The transaction process is a huge chunk of your job, and it takes about 15 hours per transaction to complete the stressful and tedious paperwork and compliance tasks entailed in a transaction. Instead of handling all of that minutiae yourself, you can have your assistant take care of it.
However, as we said above, a real estate assistant’s attention is scattered across a number of responsibilities. We don’t suggest using a real estate assistant for transaction coordination due to the critical nature of transactions. They’re time-sensitive and involve several moving parts – and if you get them wrong, you can jeopardize the entire deal, which means you wouldn’t get your commission and you may even end up in court over a dispute.
Transaction Coordinators Specialize in Transactions
For delicate operations like transactions, we highly recommend using a transaction coordinator. They are equipped to handle every part of the transaction process. In fact, there are only three things from the above list that a transaction coordinator wouldn’t handle: marketing efforts, assorted To-Do’s, and creating a comparative market analysis (although you can find listing coordinators to help with the listing side of the deal if you’d like – more on that later).
If you’re still on the fence about whether a transaction coordinator would be the best choice, we’ve listed some of the many tasks a TC can handle right before closing below.
Wynn at Law’s website has a closing checklist for buyers that details what tasks must be completed right before closing. There are plenty of other steps leading up to that point that your transaction coordinator can help with, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus specifically on what to do right before closing.
Before the deal can be complete, your transaction coordinator can help you resolve the contingencies that are within the contract. Here’s how:
- Schedule an inspection of the home. They can find a qualified home inspector (or contact the home inspector of your choice) to check the structural integrity of the home and see if there are any major issues with the roof, chimney, plumbing, HVAC, etc.
- Follow up on the inspection report. They can review the findings of the inspection and schedule any follow-up inspections that the inspector recommends be conducted by a specialist (this can include the areas above or more detailed inspection for mold, radon, septic, well water, etc).
- Gather and upload receipts for home repair. If the buyer requests a repair, your transaction coordinator can make sure the repairs were completed to the buyer’s satisfaction and gather the receipts. They can upload copies to the file and add them to broker compliance as well.
- Extend the option period. If you request to extend the option period because the inspections aren’t completed in time, the transaction coordinator can help take care of it.
- Schedule an appraisal. The TC can ensure that the appraisal is scheduled and then get in touch with the lender to let them know that the appraisal was completed and that the appraisal came in at or above market value.
- Schedule a survey. If the buyer wants a survey to be conducted at the home, your transaction coordinator can schedule it.
- Verify loan approval. The transaction coordinator can ensure that the loan was approved and lock in the interest rates for your client. They can also let you know what progress is being made in the loan approval process, every step of the way.
- Order homeowner’s insurance. They can make a call to the homeowner’s insurance company of your (or the lender’s) choice to protect the lender if the home is damaged.
- Verify property title to ensure there are no liens or encumbrances. They’ll do some research to ensure that the title search goes off without a hitch and contact the property owner if they see any disputes, discrepancies, tax debts, or liens.
- Schedule the final walkthrough. They’ll ensure that all necessary parties make it to the final walkthrough and communicate with the buyers to ensure that the home is ready to move into.
- Set an appointment for closing disclosure review. They’ll coordinate your schedule with the buyers to ensure you can review closing disclosures with them.
- Confirm move-in dates and schedule the key transfer. The transaction coordinator will make sure that the sellers are moved out by the closing date and coordinate the key transfer so there are no surprises for the buyer.
That’s just a fraction of what a transaction coordinator can do for you, but how do you find the right one? Unfortunately, many of your options have drawbacks:
- Real estate assistants and full-time TCs are costly. The average annual salary for each is pretty pricey. Entry-level REAs make $52,488 on average, while virtual TCs make $46,084 a year on average. Virtual real estate assistants make even more!
- Freelancers aren’t always honest. When you hire a freelancer, there’s a chance that they’re fudging information on their resume to make a quick buck.
- Some TCs aren’t treated as they should be. Many transaction coordinator services hire their transaction coordinators as 1099 employees, making them ineligible for health benefits and other perks that would motivate them to do a great job on transactions.
Close Concierge is the Solution
We carefully vet our transaction coordinators to ensure that they have the experience they say they do, and we treat our employees better than other transaction coordinator services treat their employees.
We hire our transaction coordinators as full-time employees from the start and offer them a robust salary along with benefits like paid family leave, out-of-this-world healthcare, profit sharing, a vote in hiring decisions, and more. We do this because we know that employees who are treated right are willing to go the extra mile for your transactions!
Here are a few more things that set us apart from other TC services:
- We charge a flat fee. Instead of heaping fees upon fees, we charge a flat monthly fee of $1,000 a month. It never goes up, no matter how many deals you close, so you can enjoy white-glove service on all of your transactions!
- We’re available after hours and on weekends. We are here for you whenever you need us because real estate doesn’t only happen during regular business hours.
- We won’t rope you into a contract. Most TC services demand that you sign a contract, but we don’t!
- White glove service. We study top service-oriented companies to provide the best user experience possible to our customers.
- We can add listings to the MLS. With the purchase of an additional subscription, we can add listings to the MLS for you if you don’t have time to update it yourself.
Are you ready to experience the best transaction coordinator service in the business and free up to 15 hours of your time per transaction? Schedule a demo today to get started!