Should Real Estate Brokers Use Virtual Assistants?

May 22, 2020

Should Real Estate Brokers Use Virtual Assistants?

The real estate industry and brokers have been using assistants since before there was pen and paper. In today’s world, real estate assistants go by many names; transaction coordinator, bookkeeper, sales admin, administrative assistant, office coordinator, data entry associate, office recruiter, office assistant, agent services coordinator, and more.

But it wasn’t until recently that all of these jobs were tested remotely. This fairly recent technological phenomenon has enabled people to effectively work from anywhere.

The stigma surrounding remote work employees has been lifted or at the very minimum it is now a widely accepted form of conducting business. In today’s ever changing world it seems that the traditional commute to work a 9am-5pm shift has given way to a new norm that encourages flexible environments that reward output (results) over facetime.

This shift in mindset allows for people to better manage their time and be more productive. One such term to define this type of work is Virtual Assistant.

This is another one of those terms that sometimes carries a negative connotation. The idea of virtual assistants has been a feasible option for the last decade and many brokers have employed a virtual assistant program at some level in the past. This article helps to sort through some of the common models and options in this space:

Which working model will you use?

Here are some common working models for virtual assistants in real estate.

  1. Direct Hire - Allow a direct hire to work from home. Common broker examples include: CFO and COO.
  2. Outsource a Service - Identify a service and outsource to a specialized company to fulfill that job function. Common broker examples include: Bookkeeping and Transaction Coordinators.
  3. Managed Personnel - Retain a company that finds and hires people for you, while the employee operates under your direction - the HR related functions are streamlined through this other entity. Common broker examples include: Office Coordinators & Data Entry Associates.

When should you work with a virtual team member?

Consider these common signs to help measure your readiness to know when it is the right time to involve a virtual team member.

  1. Am I working on any non-revenue generating activities throughout the day?
  2. Am I spending more than 8 hours per day on revenue generating activities?
  3. Is one of my staff members having trouble with their current workload?
  4. Is there a repetitive task that can be done digitally?
  5. Do I have a high turnover of staff members that I need to frequently retrain?

How to get started?

Here are some key resources to consider to help sift through the web of options.

Written by
Jack Crane

Jack has brought multiple cloud-based products to market and has concentrated in the real estate tech space for the past 20 years. One such relevant success was a product called Sync., a cloud-based project management application integrated with Procore’s Construction Management Platform.​

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