Is it time for a Virtual Assistant?
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One person gets only a week’s value out of a year while another person gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
--Charles Richards, Author
Wow! Can you imagine getting a full year’s value out of a week? It might not seem possible, but it’s a goal worth shooting for.
One concept I’ve learned over my 20 years as a consultant to real estate agents and brokers is that the wise use of time is vital. One of the first items of business I cover with new clients is to take a time inventory. How are they spending their time? What specific tasks are they doing? Are these tasks worth their time?
What I often learn from this exercise is that nearly all of them are doing tasks that make absolutely no sense. Stuff like filing, typing, faxing – you know, administrative duties. In a nutshell, successful agents can’t be effective if they’re handcuffed to tasks that others can easily do for less pay. Anyone who knows me knows I harp almost incessantly on the four dollar-productive activities. Agents should only be listing, selling, prospecting and negotiating. Anything else needs to be delegated.
But delegated to whom? That’s where virtual assistants come in. They’ve proven to be a true asset to agents and brokers everywhere. They are basically independent contractors who work virtually (in their own office or home). You communicate with them via the phone and the Internet. They’re easy to hire and easy to fire. They’re usually cheaper than hiring part-time or full-time help (some companies offer VAs from overseas who charge less than $10 an hour but who speak English.). And many have real estate related skills and experience. Agents are using them to do client care work, help with lead management, maintain websites and social media efforts along with many other tasks.
One of my clients, Roman Pavlik, an agent in Miami, Fla; uses up to 15 VAs at any given time. Pavlik says they saved him more than $100,000 in 2010. “But it’s not just the savings, it’s that I can do more for less,” he explains. His VAs coordinate closings, write blogs, create marketing pieces, input new property info and he even has a receptionist (from El Salvador) who answers the phone for him.
As for finding them, here are some sites to consider: www.revstaffing.com focuses solely on providing VAs for real estate; and www.myoutdesk.com offers VAs with real estate experience. And www.elance.com lets you put out projects for bid so you can get quality work for a very reasonable price.
I have an article I’m happy to e-mail you for free. It’s called “Virtual Assistants and the Power of E-Productivity,” and it shares some more details about VAs you might find useful. Just e-mail me at Article@CorcoranCoaching.com and I’ll send it to you.
So let me challenge you right now – today. Take a few minutes and assess your efficiency in your real estate practice. Are you as efficient with your time – day in and day out – as you can be? If not, you’re cheating yourself. Give virtual assistants a closer look and your success will be virtually assured! Good luck!
Let me hear from you. Are you at a place now in your business where you might consider hiring a virtual assistant? If so, do you know what projects or activities the VA might do? Do you have specific and clear instructions on what you expect from the VA? What’s you first step now regarding VAs? Please send any comments or questions you have to Article@CorcoranCoaching.com or http://www.facebook.com/CorcoranCoaching.
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.
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