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Hiring a Virtual Assistant: What You Need to Know

By Mike Wheatley | November 10, 2014

Busy real estate professionals can seriously benefit from having a virtual assistant help them out with certain, time consuming tasks. Whether its finding new leads, writing blog posts, doing SEO for your site or sending out newsletters, a virtual helper can be the most cost-effective way of getting these things done. But how do you choose a virtual assistant, and how much will he or she cost? Read on to find out...

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photo credit: Martin Cathrae via photopin cc

There's a fast and reliable way to narrow down the field of real estate virtual assistant candidates that offer web design and search engine services. Simply go to their website and see how it looks, see how it gets their information across and how easy it is to navigate.

If they've done a good job on their own site, then they know a thing or two about marketing a website, so they might just be good enough for you too.

What Type of Prospect Management & Followup is Provided?

Are they able to provide lead capture mechanisms on the site, then follow up with customized drip email campaigns to work the prospects until they're ready for a transaction? How do they categorize and qualify internet prospects for assignment to agents or for more intensive followup?

Get References and Check Them Out:

The best references will be for companies with web sites that have been around for at least six months. Go to the sites and navigate around. See how they get prospects to provide their contact information. Fill out a form and see what happens. Call the company and ask them if they're happy.

Is Web Marketing a Piece of a Larger Service Offering?

It's possible that they do have internet services that would work for you. If they also have the more traditional real estate virtual assistant office administrative and transaction management services, then the entire package might be attractive if the price is right. At least you've gathered several functions under one umbrella, cutting down on communication problems.

What's the Cost of a Real Estate Virtual Assistant?

Hourly rates for real estate virtual assistants with the required expertise generally run between $30 and $70. Many further discount their rates if you place them on some kind of guaranteed retainer or purchase blocks of time in advance. Using $45/hour and $40,000 in the middle of our employee cost examples, how much time will we get from a VA?:

  • $40,000 / $45 = 889 hours
  • 889 hours / 52 weeks = 17 hours per week

From here, it's just a decision as to whether you can get everything you want done in the time you're purchasing and if you believe you'll have the control and quality you desire.

Be Realistic in Your Comparison:

Most of the Virtual Assistant companies will make the employee-to-assistant comparison and show the same work output with significantly less cost. It is assumed that, not only can the VA work faster and more efficiently due to their expertise, but also that there is non-productive or "make-work" time involved with in-house personnel.

This is probably true in many cases. However, be sure that your time involved in coordination and information transfer to and from the VA is not just taking the place of the wasted employee time. In other words, it shouldn't increase your management time to hire a virtual assistant.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
  • One comment on “Hiring a Virtual Assistant: What You Need to Know”

    1. I definitely agree with your point of view. If you really wanna unburden yourself from day-to-day computer tasks then all you have to do is relax and hire a reliable virtual assistant. One thing I've notice is the rate you've stated which seems a bit high. As an experienced virtual assistant, I haven't encountered someone offered $45 an hour rate. It's more likely nowadays the rate ranges as low as $5 an hour up to $25 higher. But it really depends on the kind of tasks the VA will do.

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