Real Estate Virtual Assistant Tasks
When you think about it, being a real estate agent is a daunting task. There’s so much more to it than simply “selling houses,” you need to research the market, coordinate with all parties, write up a contract, ensure that all documents are signed, and more. Many busy agents start looking for a virtual assistant to delegate some of these tasks to.
In this article, we’ll talk about what real estate virtual assistants do, the tasks they handle, and what qualities you should look for in a virtual real estate assistant.
Finally, we’ll talk about how much to pay a virtual assistant and how a virtual assistant is similar to a transaction coordinator (TC) in real estate before we throw our hat in the ring as a solution to your time management problems!
What Does a Real Estate VA Do?
A real estate virtual assistant does exactly what it sounds like they’d do: they remotely assist real estate agents by completing tasks online on behalf of the agent. Brittany Ryan puts it this way on Follow Up Boss:
“A real estate virtual assistant (VA) is a business admin who acts as your right hand. (They) can offer a variety of business services… The right VA can cover diverse tasks like lead gen, database management, finance, and marketing.”
In much the same way that a remote transaction coordinator can help save you time on your transactions, a virtual assistant helps you get more done and accomplish your real estate business goals. If you’ve ever felt like there’s not enough time in the day, you may be interested in finding a real estate virtual assistant.
What Are Some Real Estate VA Tasks?
If you’ve already got an established customer base and handle several transactions a month, you should have no problem keeping your virtual assistant busy. According to Claire Ardent on the Jason Fox website, there are several tasks a virtual assistant can do. Adding to her list with some of our own ideas, here’s our list of virtual assistant tasks.
1. Conduct market research
In most states, a virtual assistant can gather information for a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). Though this can be a great relief for a real estate agent, some unlicensed virtual assistants aren’t permitted to go a step further and prepare/present their findings. (For example, in Rhode Island, unlicensed assistants are specifically told not to present their findings – so at best, a virtual assistant can compile the research for you.)
Here are a few examples of what a virtual assistant could research:
- Check the MLS for property ownership. The assistant can use your real estate software to determine the owner of the property and find out what type of deed the property has.
- Search for other properties. Though an assistant is not allowed to approach your clients with other properties within the location and price range they’re interested in, they can compile that information for you.
- Compare lending rates. Your assistant can compare different lending rates in the area and let you know what the strongest solutions may be for your clients.
2. Respond to calls or emails
A VA can answer calls after identifying themselves as an unlicensed assistant. They can confirm information about homes that have been advertised, and if the client or prospect needs further details, they can refer the caller to you. They can also respond to emails or calls when the client is asking for basic information about real estate (answering questions like “What is earnest money?”).
A virtual assistant can write a letter or email for the use of solicitation (as long as it’s on your behalf and you look it over and approve it first). They can craft email templates for you to use in your real estate business to get you more clients or get higher customer satisfaction rates. They can check-in after a transaction to ensure your clients are satisfied and keep your business top-of-mind.
One thing they can’t do is make cold calls to prospective clients. They can’t solicit business on your behalf – only licensed assistants/virtual assistants can do that.
3. Schedule appointments and inspections
A VA can set up appointments for your clients to sign the contract, for home inspections, etc. They can add important dates and deadlines to your calendar so you’ll know exactly when those signatures need to be in. They can also follow up with your clients to make sure that there are no delays that can jeopardize the deal.
4. Data entry into the MLS or other software
Do you use a specific transaction management system (TMS) to keep track of your transactions? Do you happen to have a spreadsheet full of data on your current clients, prospects, and past clients? A virtual assistant can take care of these tasks for you.
They can also update the MLS (with your permission) and ensure that all of the pertinent data about local listings, etc is up to date.
5. Improve the customer experience
Your customers’ opinion of you means everything, especially in the sphere of real estate. It helps to keep track of important information (like customer birthdays, wedding anniversaries or anniversaries of moving into the home, the addition of a new family member, etc). When you keep up to date on these things, your thoughtfulness won’t go unnoticed.
That said, it can be tough for an agent to stay on top of all of this – so using a VA can help make your life easier. Your clients will be satisfied, and you’ll be thankful to have such a great customer relationship management (CRM) system in place.
6. Ensure the transaction goes smoothly
Your clients may never know how many working parts there are to a transaction – but you do! Take some of the load off by enabling your virtual assistant to accomplish those tasks. In the same way that a virtual real estate transaction coordinator would, they can help chase down missing documents and send all the necessary information to broker compliance so that your transactions will be flawless.
A virtual assistant can’t fill out a contract: that’s something only a licensed real estate agent can do. However, your virtual assistant or transaction coordinator can definitely make the process smoother once you’ve got it written up.
7. Act as a liaison between you and other parties
A virtual assistant can coordinate the transaction so that you only need one point of contact: your assistant. There are so many parties involved in a transaction:
- Title company/escrow
- The buyer/seller agent
- Insurance agents
- The state in which the transaction takes place
- Property surveyors
With a virtual assistant or transaction coordinator, you can streamline your communications and enjoy a simpler process. The VA or TC will take care of all communications and refer you to any emails that require your attention.
8. Perform online marketing tasks
Here are some of the tasks that a virtual assistant can handle for you:
- Create your website. They can develop a website for you and ensure that it stays updated with the latest information. A VA can write blog posts on your behalf and write copy on your website.
- Post to social media. They can keep your social media pages updated with advice, links to articles, and other helpful info that will add value to your clients.
- Designing flyers. They can use design software like Canva to create flyers, brochures, digital ads, etc. for you to send out.
- Check analytics. They can use software to check your performance and troubleshoot ways to improve your virtual marketing efforts.
9. Send closing gifts
Your virtual assistant can go online to pick out and send the perfect closing gift to your clients. They’ll be blown away by your thoughtfulness if you send them the right gift, and they’ll remember the next time your friends are asking for a referral to a good real estate agent.
If you’d rather not have your virtual assistant do this job, we don’t blame you – it’s a lot of fun! We’ve already compiled several fantastic closing gift ideas into one massive post to spark your creativity so you can do the shopping yourself.
What Characteristics Do Good VAs Have?
A good virtual assistant should share many of the same qualities of a good transaction coordinator. However, a virtual assistant does some extra jobs that aren’t part of the transaction process, so they’ll need some slightly different qualities. Here’s an overview of what skills and characteristics you should look for in a virtual assistant:
- Able to spot potential issues before they arise. The virtual assistant should have a forward-facing view, anticipating roadblocks and dealing with them before they sideline your real estate business.
- Clear and professional communication. Their written and oral communication should be near-perfect and crystal clear to avoid misunderstandings between parties. If your virtual assistant uses talk-to-text for their correspondence, they should proofread everything before it’s sent to a client or another party.
- Organizational and multitasking skills. A virtual assistant has plenty to do as they help you – so organizational skills are a must. They should also be able to multitask well without becoming mixed up by all the working parts.
- Proficient with technology. Real estate agents use scores of technology and software: the multiple listing service (MLS), customer relationship management (CRM) software, transaction management software (TMS), Microsoft Office, WordPress for your website, and more. Your assistant will need to be adept at using all of the software you use.
- Superb customer service abilities. Client satisfaction is extremely important in the real estate industry, so you’ll need an assistant who can help you look like the helpful, friendly, real estate rock star that you are!
- Attention to detail. You’ll want a detail-orieinted assistant, especially if you’re hiring them to look over your transactions. Many parts of a transaction are easy to miss, so you’ll need someone who can go over the contract with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that all needed documents and signatures are correct and sent to broker compliance.
- Successful time management. With so many tasks on their plate, it is critical that a real estate assistant be adept at time management. Otherwise, minor distractions through the course of the day can derail an entire deal – not something you want for your real estate business!
- Marketing know-how. If you plan to use a virtual assistant to help with your marketing efforts, you probably won’t want to have to explain what ROI is, how to use Google Analytics or other basic marketing knowledge.
What Should You Pay a Virtual REA?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a virtual real estate assistant is $67,115 a year. Many virtual assistants take on multiple clients, however, so we decided to find out how much virtual assistants charge per client, per hour.
On Upwork, the average hourly rate is $15. That means that a virtual assistant working just 6 hours a day costs about $1,800 to employ a month. If you’ve got a substantial real estate business going and require full-time work from your employees, that number could skyrocket (especially if you’ve got plenty of tasks for them to fulfill).
A Close Concierge remote transaction coordinator can handle many of the same jobs that a virtual assistant could – but they do it at a fraction of the cost. Instead of requiring $15 an hour, we charge a flat rate of $1,000 a month. This amount never goes up, no matter how many deals you close – so if you’re closing upwards of 3 deals every month, you’re going to love our service!
Transaction Coordinators are like VAs
As we said earlier, many remote transaction coordinator jobs are similar to the tasks that VAs accomplish. There are just a few of the above tasks that transaction coordinators don’t cover:
- TCs don’t conduct market research. Since they specialize in transactions, most transaction coordinators don’t take care of listings. That said, your Close Concierge TC can add listings to the MLS with an add-on subscription if you’re interested.
- TCs don’t handle marketing. We don’t take care of marketing needs, but if you’re interested in that, there are plenty of other options available to you.
By and large, the biggest pain point for agents is their transactions. They love coming up with marketing materials, doing the research, and handling client-facing work. The paperwork is the biggest struggle – and that’s the part that we specialize in!
Unmatched White-Glove Transaction Coordinator Service
Here are a few more reasons you should consider Close Concierge:
- We’re available after hours and on weekends. Unlike other transaction coordinator services, we’re available to you after hours and weekends. We know the real estate business isn’t a 9-to-5 job, so we make sure we’re here for you.
- We use proprietary technology. Our coordinators use over 10 different kinds of transaction management software (some which are specifically designed for our needs and the needs of our clients). Why? Because we believe in giving you the best!
- Our rate never goes up. We won’t stick you with the hidden fees that other transaction coordinator services are notorious for. You’ll know what to pay and it’ll never change.
- We won’t drag you into a contract. Most TC services require that you sign a contract before you can start getting help with transactions. We don’t do that here.
- We compensate our employees well. We pay our full-time employees well and lavish plenty of benefits on them so they’ll stay motivated to do the best job possible. Just take a look at some of the disgruntled reviews for other TC services to see why we believe the 1099 structure is not a good setup!
- Our transaction coordinators are the best! Because we put so much work into ensuring Close Concierge is a great place to work and that employees are rewarded for a job well done, our transaction coordinators are the best. We do all of this to attract and retain the top talent so you can end up with a transaction coordinator that you’ll rave about!