Real Estate Virtual Assistant – How do you get started?
Do you want to work from home in real estate, but you’re not interested in being a realtor?
I’ve always had a passion for real estate. I’m a 3 time real estate investor. One of the properties brings us regular rental income, which has been crucial to managing cash flow during my maternity leave!
Naturally, I’ve looked into becoming a realtor. I went as far as passing the real estate exam, but never took the next steps to join a brokerage.
Depending on the state or province you’re in, becoming a realtor can cost $1000’s in initial and ongoing fees. You have to pay for the prerequisite courses for the exam, the license, association dues and marketing materials (because you’re marketing your business).
I wasn’t ready to invest this kind of money.
When I found out about how you could be a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, I was intrigued!
It’s an opportunity to
- learn about real estate AND
- get paid doing it.
It’s an online role. You don’t have to go into the office.
Being a Real Estate Virtual Assistant gives you a taste of the field without the heavy costs.
What does a real estate virtual assistant do?
Let’s break it down.
Have you heard about what a Virtual Assistant is? If you don’t know what a Virtual Assistant (VA) is, it’s a job where you offer any service to a client for money. Here’s a list of over 150 services you can offer as a VA.
Most of the services can be done online. This job is a good fit for people who need flexible hours working from home. If you’re interested in learning how to become a Virtual Assistant, check out my interview with a successful Virtual Assistant.
Related Note: Have you heard about Pinterest Virtual Assistants? If not, a Pinterest Virtual Assistant helps a client manage their Pinterest account. Here are my interviews with Yi Ming Lai and Megan Haskin – 2 successful Pinterest Managers if you’re curious about this job.
Now that you know what a virtual assistant is, a Real Estate Virtual Assistant helps realtors with any service they need for their business. Here are just a few:
- Organize the paperwork for a real estate transaction
- Manage email
- Manage social media
- Create marketing materials
- Prepare and proofread listings
- Provide market research
What is the demand for real estate virtual assistants?
How many realtors are in the United States? There are 1.3 million according to the National Association of Realtors.
Realtors are in a highly competitive field.
There’s a lot of work involved with being a realtor. They’re running their own business. They’re constantly juggling sales, marketing, customer service, research, and transactions.
The smart ones who want to grow – they NEED to hire assistants to have an edge. This will save them time so they can not only focus on their clients and networking to get more leads, they can have more work-life balance.
While realtors can hire any assistant, using a real estate virtual assistant will give them more options. They can delegate more than just calendar management.
Real estate virtual assistants can help with tasks that will generate revenue. They’re experts in their field and can probably educate realtors on some best practices they might not have heard of.
Interview with a successful real estate VA
Here’s the inside scoop from Diana Sweeney.
She went from being a registered nurse to a stay-at-home mom to a real estate VA. When she decided to re-enter the workforce, she wanted to pursue a career that was flexible so she could still spend time with her son. She’s always had a passion for real estate. This job was a perfect fit!
3 years in, she’s now sharing her best practices and systems in this Real Estate for Virtual Assistants course! Dan Frank (the realtor Diana assists) and Gina Horkey (a professional writer and creator of this successful Virtual Assistant training) are also co-creators of this course.
In this interview, Diana discusses how much money a real estate virtual assistant can expect to make, the hours, the training and her advice.
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Diana, why do real estate agents need virtual assistants?
As real estate agents are typically independent contractors and work for themselves, there aren’t “industry standards” or SOPs when it comes to running their businesses. As a result, they don’t usually have systems and processes in place to keep their business organized and growing.
A major aspect of this lack of systems is little to no follow up with leads or past clients, which is crucial to the growth of any business.
As well, the name of the game for lead generation for realtors these days is social media. Most agents are either too busy to establish and maintain a presence, lack the knowledge to do so or aren’t even aware of how important it is for the growth of their business.
A real estate agent also needs to prioritize how his or her time is spent with tasks like showing properties and generating leads, not managing paperwork and their inboxes.
Lastly, as a real estate agent sells more properties, demands on his or her time and availability increase. The pace of trying to manage client contact combined with all the other moving parts that make up a successful real estate business would be exhausting for anyone.
These are all “pain points” for real estate agents – lack of systems, lack of social media presence, lack of follow up, prioritizing time with the right tasks and dealing with burnout from an intense pace – that a virtual assistant can step into and work wonders with right off the bat. A real estate VA would 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.
How much does a real estate virtual assistant make?
Real estate VAs typically start out at an hourly rate of around $15-25 with a small bonus when a home sells. It’s also an option to charge per project.
A standard rate for managing a transaction, for example, might be in the $150-$200 range. And lastly, some real estate VAs charge for their services using a monthly retainer paid up front. A 20-hour week, for example might translate to a $2,000 per month retainer fee.
How many hours per week does a real estate virtual assistant need to work?
When it comes to being a real estate VA there is no “need to.”
It really depends on your availability, your goals for your business, how much time you want to put into your work as a VA 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.
What skills and training are required?
To be a successful real estate VA you don’t need experience or even involvement in the real estate industry, but it does pay off 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, but 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 that when you’re out there looking for your first clients you’ll know what to look for and speak to.
The course also provides training about the actual real estate process, and what things “look like” from the inside. There’s task-specific training in the course also, 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 cover social media management and email management specific to working with realtors as well.
Additionally, the 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 takes 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 cheatsheet,
- a glossary of terms for real estate VAs 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 so you can hear firsthand about the ins and outs of being a real estate VA.
Is this suitable for busy moms looking to work at home?
Absolutely! This course was designed to meet a variety of circumstances when it comes to building a successful real estate VA business.
For some that might mean jumping in feet first full-time, for others it may be more of a side hustle to start off with. You can go through the course at your own pace, and you’ll have lifetime access with free updates, so it will always be there and be relevant for you.
Like the majority of VA niches, a major bonus of being a real estate VA is the flexibility and ability to craft your business – including your available hours – to suit your needs and lifestyle.
What kind of person is a good fit to be a real estate VA?
There are be many different personality types that would be a good fit for becoming a REVA.
Some traits that come top of mind would be self-motivated, detail-oriented, eager to learn and a passion for keeping things organized! And of course, it’s a bonus if you have a love for real estate!
What is the most challenging aspect about being a real estate VA?
One thing specific to real estate, is that each real estate transaction has different variables. The most challenging part of becoming a real estate virtual assistant was simply the unknown.
- How do I help get a listing on the market?
- How to I manage a transaction?
- Who am I supposed to communicate with, and why?
When I started as a REVA, I wanted to know it all! It was challenging for me to ask so many questions at first. I didn’t want to come across as “annoying,” yet at the same time I wanted to make sure I did the job right.
When I started working with Dan, we lacked systems for social media and transaction coordination. We now have proper systems in place to handle all of the daily tasks and hope to help others take a “shortcut” on who would like to become a REVA. They will be light years ahead of me when I first started!
How do I start a real estate virtual assistant business?
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.
The 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.
Where can I find work as a freelancer?
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 to 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
The course goes deep into a few key marketing strategies specific to finding realtors to work with.
And, if you’re serious about building a long-term, successful and sustainable business as a freelancer you should invest in yourself by taking a course.
This course covers everything you’d need to know about establishing, building and scaling a successful VA business. Once you’re inside that course, you’ll also have access to our VA Leads Community where we have a steady flow of qualified leads looking to hire freelancers.
A final piece of advice for those looking to become a real estate VA?
Go for it!
Don’t feel like you have to know everything about everything to get started, you really don’t. You can absolutely step into a new real estate virtual assistant business with some skills and knowledge under your belt, no experience, a strong willingness to learn, the right attitude and totally succeed.
This can be a great “learn as you go” experience once you get that first client, and you just never know where your initial decision to take the plunge and go for it will lead you.
Thanks Diana for offering your insights!
Any questions about the real estate virtual assistant career? Concerns? Comment below.
Interested in other work-from-home opportunities?
Here are work at home options that are well-paid:
- SEO Writer – earn more than $20,000/month
- Virtual Assistant – make $100/hour
- Transcriptionist – earn more than $100,000/year
- Scopist – earn $4000/month
- Pinterest Account Manager – make $30+/hour
- Proofreader – work part-time and earn $40,000
- Etsy Shop Seller – make $1500-3000/week
Other ways to make some money from home
If you only want to earn a little bit of side cash quickly and easily each day, here’s a list of legitimate survey companies with user-friendly sites that I’ve personally tried and liked:
The more companies you join, the more surveys you’ll qualify for taking. If you like taking surveys and being able to voice your opinion and know that it’ll make a difference with brands and products, taking surveys might be right up your alley.
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