The term “virtual assistant” probably rings a few bells. It’s become increasingly popular as of late, but not everyone knows how much value virtual assistants actually offer. A virtual assistant can perform specialized tasks for real estate, starting with some basic administrative duties, including setting up appointments, to things as complex as data entry and pre qualifying leads. They take away the everyday grunt work and mundane tasks that keep you away from more important tasks (you know, maybe close more deals!).
In a price comparison analysis, we found that a virtual assistant generally costs about $21k per year. Compared to the $76k/year it costs to maintain a full-time employee with a salary and benefits package, going virtual saves you almost ⅓ of that cost. It’s a huge cost savings opportunity, but we get that a virtual assistant doesn’t make sense for every business. So, how do you know if you should get a virtual assistant for your brokerage?
“A virtual assistant is most suitable for brokers who see themselves in three positions, or simply need to keep their costs low,” says Ramsey.
1. You’re a smaller business trying to save money and still provide customer service
Ramsey has a few entrepreneurial business strategies in mind when it comes to scaling your business.
- The “I do” it stage — you know this stage well if you’re a first-time entrepreneur. You, probably exhausted, handle most of that bulk work every day on your own. But until you can be more settled financially, you can’t hire another employee to help.
- The “we do it” stage — this is a transition up from the “I do it” stage. Here, you’re working with a few employees, which is a welcome change for many entrepreneurs. You show your employees how you get things done in order to pass off certain tasks and work together.
- The “they do it” stage — ultimately, you’ll transition to this stage when you’ve grown your business and trained the right people to make it happen.
If you find yourself clearly identifying as an I do it or we do it member, then you could greatly benefit from a virtual assistant. Every entrepreneur has been in the I do it stage, and we’d bet money that they aren’t heading back anytime soon. It’s mentally exhausting, and the tedious, administrative tasks take time away from business. A VA helps to scale your business from an I do it, or an even a we do it stage, but at a fraction of the cost.
2. You need the capacity to handle more clients
Find yourself needing to cut down on time or paperwork to handle more clients? According to Ramsey, this is a surefire sign of a business who would benefit from a virtual assistant. A VA can handle the majority of operational work so that leadership can handle more important tasks. Already imagining the serenity of walking to your desk to have six pre qualified leads waiting for you?
3. You’re a part of a larger broker team
If you’re a part of a larger broker team, you have more autonomy when it comes to things like the ability to hire a VA. This is a major benefit to realtors functioning on a team, and even a major drawing point for top-producing agents. The benefits for certain brokers are clear, but Ramsey notes that virtual assistants are hugely beneficial for real estate agents as well. There is a lot on an agent’s plate, and a VA can help to scale their business quicker if they get to focus on chasing leads and closing deals. As the broker, a VA obviously benefits you, but it’s a great way to offer additional value and pique the wandering eyes of agents you want to join your team.
4. You need to keep your costs low
If you don’t see yourself in the first three positions, Ramsey states that brokerages generally looking to keep their costs low are an ideal fit for a VA. And this advice goes back to 2008 when Ramsey himself first started MyOutDesk. As a former real estate industry veteran — broker, realtor, investor, you name it — Ramsey had to find ways to keep his business afloat in hard times. That included keeping overhead costs down while still trying to grow his business, and virtual assistants offered a significant way to keep overhead costs low.
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