(I just talked to a potential client who hired a Virtual Assistant awhile back and it didn’t go well …. claimed to be a Real Estate Virtual Assistant – didn’t know anything about Real Estate. It didn’t work out well and it left a real sour taste in the mouth for any future thought of using a VA. Thus this post.)
We hear about the cliche’ real estate agent stereotype. I have had my real estate license since 1996, brokers license since 1999; even had my own real estate brokerage for many years. I knew when I turned that corner from regular Jane Doe on the street to being a real estate agent, I had to work above, beyond, and consistently to get past that real estate agent stereotype in my community.
However, since I have been in the real estate business for many many years, I have found that cliche’ stereotype is misguided and the majority are trustworthy agents who really do want the best for their clients and community.
Since then, I have niched my career path. And I have found myself in a position lower than the stereotyped real estate agent – the virtual assistant. Eeww boy, there must have been “virtual assistants” out there who really did a disservice to their clients!
Some people fantasize about working from home. They may have a few office skills thinking they can set up shop by claiming to be virtual assistants. I cringe when I read advertisements about the new employment frontier of working as a real estate virtual assistant. Many entering this niche are people with NO real estate experience trying to be an agent’s virtual assistant. Which spells disaster for your real estate business. That is like getting into the real estate market with NO background. (We’ve all done that – I did that – and it’s hard to start from scratch!) There IS A LOT to learn as an agent, takes many years and experiences. Someone who is or has not been in the real estate business either as an on-site assistant or agent would have NO idea how to assist virtually. You would literally be paying to train them while they are learning the basics. (I believe you have to start your business someplace, but you should disclose how experienced or inexperienced you are and let the agent decide which direction they want to go.) I understand how you’d get burnt hiring an inexperience person who labeled themselves a “real estate” virtual assistant. You need the help NOW!
Most Virtual Assistants are professional and trained independent contractors who are serious about helping your business grow. Many have vast marketing skills and knowledge to add to your marketing arsenal and really help you aspire to where you want to be. Some were real estate agents or agent assistants who still hold onto their licenses and some belong to the Realtor(r) Association.
But then there are the ones from India who will work for $4.00 or less an hour. To see if these “va’s” are for you, call tech support in any larger company (i.e. any computer or software company) and try to talking to them – would you want to trust your business with someone like that for $4.00 or less /hour? On a side note - I did call Adobe last week and the little gentleman on the other end told me that I should go to India to sell real estate since it is BOOMING there. He said it twice. Uh, thanks for the tip – I’d rather have my software working, thank you very much.
As agents, we don’t want to have the entire industry judged by a few bad apples. Please don’t judge the entire VA industry based on a few who mislabel themselves. Many many are professional, experienced, highly trained and would make a wonderful tool to build (or Bild) your business.