According to the National Association of Realtors [(NAR), www.realtor.org], “the housing sector contributed $2.1 trillion to the national economy in 2007, accounting for 15 percent of overall economic activity”. The association further states that 81% of agents/brokers buy or sell homes by using the internet; furthermore, 73% of buyers drive by/view a home they came across on the internet. It can safely be concluded that real estate business is information driven and one’s ability to find the right information at the right time and matching it up with the right buyer can pay huge dividends.
In a large sector such as housing, extracting information from this dynamic data can be a daunting task, but those who are able to successfully process this information hold the competitive advantage. Services of a virtual assistant outsourcing firm can help you gain this competitive advantage. Some of these firms have developed competencies in supporting real estate related businesses. They can act as your one-stop-shop for developing and maintaining your web presence, managing your CRM, updating your MLS listing, contact management (GroupMail 5, www.topproduceronline.com etc..), running your ad and online marketing campaigns, and newsletter and flyer design. So how does the process works? When a property comes on the market the real estate firms gets to work by taking property snapshots and collecting information. That information is sent to the virtual assistant associate and s/he gets to work and performs the following tasks:
- Conduct further research to locate parks, churches, etc. creating the external virtual tour and developing detailed property promotional package
- Perform price comparison
- Post property ads on different free/paid advertisement sites
- Advertise via social media
- Blog maintenance
- Email marketing
- Flyer and banner design (primarily for investment and commercial properties)
The other critical element is contact management. All the inquiries that are generated via the website, phone calls, and emails are collected in different categories that can be used for future relationship marketing. Also, clients are updated on a regular basis by generating property ad traffic report for them so they know how many people visited their property online.
The industry is dynamic and new tools, channels, and ideas are a regular feature. Your associate can help you scan those and recommend the ones that need serious consideration. Whether you need help in researching the referral system, or a software, or simply need material for your monthly blog, your VA is there to assist. They not only help reduce your workload but also help you stay ahead of the curve by advising you on the latest tools and ideas. The potential for virtual assist support is only limited by the bounds of your imagination. The opportunities are significant and applications are numerous!