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A lot of people interested in freelancing are asking how to become a real estate virtual assistant. To help you find the answer to this question, I interviewed the guru of virtual assistants, Gina Horkey.
In this interview Gina talks about how to become a real estate virtual assistant, how to find jobs in this field, what kind of money you can expect to earn, and what the future holds in this really interesting virtual assistant niche.
How to Become a Real Estate Virtual Assistant
Real Estate Virtual Assistant Job Description
Real estate virtual assistants manage transactions, prepare listings, generate leads, handle emails, manage social media accounts and more for their real estate agent or real estate agency clients.
Even with no previous real estate training whatsoever, you can learn how to become a freelance real estate virtual assistant and work online where you want, when you want.
Q. Why do real estate agents need virtual assistants?
A. Typical pain points for real estate agents are lack of systems, lack of social media presence, lack of follow-up, inability to prioritize time with the right tasks and burnout from an intense pace – are perfect for a virtual assistant to work wonders with right off the bat.
A real estate VA can make a big impact on an agent’s bottom line by creating systems and taking over tasks that will free him or her up to get out there and sell more homes.
Q. How many hours of the week do real estate VA’s typically work?
A. It really depends on your availability, your goals for your business, how much time you want to put into your work as a real estate virtual assistant and what your clients’ needs are. There is plenty of opportunity to work part or full time, and you can always scale your time up as you further develop your working relationships.
Q. What is a typical real estate virtual assistant salary?
A. Real estate VA’s typically start out at an hourly rate of around $15 to $25, with a small bonus when a home sells.
You also have an option of charging per project. A standard rate for managing a transaction, for example, might be in the $150 to $200 range.
Some real estate VA’s charge for their services using a monthly retainer paid up front. A 20-hour week, for example, might translate into a $2,000 per month retainer fee.
Q. How can someone find real estate virtual assistant jobs?
A. We are living in simply incredible times when it comes to being a freelancer. More and more businesses are getting away from the 9-5 employee model and are outsourcing for their services.
It just makes good business sense, ultimately ends up saving them money, and frees business owners up so they can tend to the parts of their businesses they actually enjoy. Not to mention the huge impact a freelancer can have on a business’ growth!
Having said that, there are tons of places to look for work as a freelancer. Some examples include:
- Looking as far as your immediate network
- Marketing yourself through blogging and guest posting
- Using social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook
- In-person networking events
- Job boards
- Exploring your local market
My Real Estate for Virtual Assistants course goes deep into a few key marketing strategies specific to finding realtors to work with.
Q. Is being a freelance real estate VA a good fit for a work-at-home mom or dad?
A. Absolutely! A work-at-home mom or dad might want to jump in feet first as a full-time real estate VA. Others may want more of a side hustle to start off with. You can go through the online course at your own pace. You’ll have lifetime access to the course, with free updates, so it will always be there and be relevant for you.
Q. Is being a freelance real estate VA a good job for digital nomads and/or people living outside the U.S.?
A. I think so! It all has to do with the market you’re looking to pursue. Want want to work with US-based realtors? You should have a rudimentary understanding of the real estate market here as well as an excellent command of the English language.
Q. What about the future? Will the virtual assistant field see growth in 2020 and beyond?
A. I see it only growing!
We’re currently in this “throwback to entrepreneurism” phase in the world. Why? People are desperate for flexibility.
People are not afraid to work hard but now they want to call the shots when it comes to who they work with, what type of work they do and when they do it.
Q. What type of personal characteristics make a good real estate VA?
A. A successful freelancer real estate VA possesses at least a few of the following qualities:
- good communication skills
- good organizational skills
- good multitasking skills
- eye for detail
- fondness of people
- at least a bit of interest in real estate
- motivational skills
- desire to succeed
Q. Can people who don’t know anything about the real estate industry become real estate VA’s?
A. Your first steps to becoming a successful real estate VA should definitely include investing in yourself and your business by getting some real estate skills-specific training. My Real Estate for Virtual Assistants course has that.
This course also walks you through how to set up your business, including figuring out your rates, educating you on what tools you’ll want to know about and use, where and how to look for clients and how to pitch them. If you take action with what we teach you, you can literally begin looking for clients as soon as you get through the course.
Q. What specific training does your Real Estate for Virtual Assistants course offer?
A. To be a successful real estate VA you don’t need experience or even involvement in the real estate industry. But it does pay to have some knowledge and training about niche-specific tasks. By the time a real estate agent needs a VA, he or she is likely way too busy to teach someone what they do “from the ground up,” so to speak.
Starting off on the right foot with some specific tools and training under your belt will not only help you find clients more easily, it will enable you to step in with more confidence and begin knocking their socks off right away.
Real Estate for Virtual Assistants provides perspective on what the needs and “pain points” of agents are straight from an agent’s mouth. So when you’re out there looking for your first clients, you’ll know what to look for and speak to.
This course also provides training about the actual real estate process and what things look like from the inside. There’s task-specific training like listing preparation workflows and a deep dive into transaction management – the biggest, most time-consuming task that agents deal with and which they typically need help with the most. We also cover social media management and email management specific to working with realtors.
This online course also covers tools that a real estate VA would want to know about and use in their business as well as tips and tricks for being as successful as possible.
We cover productive client communication and take a good look at setting up your real estate virtual assistant business. This includes setting your rates, providing our students with a clear picture of what the ROI is for an agent working with a VA (which can be a priceless tool for talking with potential clients!) and dealing with taxes.
Lastly, we cover where and how to look for those first (and 5th or 10th!) clients and how to pitch them effectively. We provide bonus materials to set our students up for success right away, like an onboarding checklist for new clients, a social media posting checklist, links to extra tutorials, email templates, a real estate process cheat sheet, a glossary of terms for real estate VA’s, and homework at the end of each lesson designed to keep you engaged and taking action with what you’re learning.
We’ve also included video with the course’s co-authors – Dan Frank, real estate agent and his VA Diane Sweeney, so you can hear firsthand about the ins and outs of being a real estate VA.
Q. Approximately how many hours, days or weeks does it usually take to complete this course?
A. If you have extra time on your hands, you can finish it in a weekend. Most people will take between two to four weeks on average to work their way through the material.
Now you know how to become a real estate virtual assistant! Gina’s Real Estate for Virtual Assistants course is now part of a comprehensive package of virtual assistant skills courses called Fully Booked VA. You can get Real Estate for Virtual Assistants in the Fully Booked VA package right here.
Cover image by StartupStockPhotos