In the real estate profession, you have to wear many hats: marketer, salesman, researcher, financial consultant and administrator among others. A typical day can require you to constantly switch hats depending on what needs to get done. And that is the problem confounding many real estate agents. Are you doing things that need to get done or have to get done? Having a need implies urgency which is a consequence of poor time management. Productivity demands effective time management which you can achieve by using a real estate Virtual Assistant.
Take a moment if you will, to review your calendar from the previous work week. Ask yourself these questions:
- On average, how many hours did you work every day?
- How many goals were you able to attain per day?
- How close are you to converting your warm leads into sales?
- Are your files, social media accounts and MLS records updated?
- Do you have a backlog on e-mails and other correspondence?
- Do you feel exhausted, tired and stressed out?
- Are you frustrated with your progress and wish you could get more things done?
Everyone wants to be productive. The problem is many believe that productivity is measured by the number of items that you can cross out of your “to-do” list. Yes, productivity is a numbers game. But it is about accomplishing tasks that directly contribute to the growth of your business.
Meeting clients, showing properties, delivering corporate or group presentations, negotiating contracts, attending open homes and auctions are activities that can translate to money in the bank.
Filtering e-mails, taking calls, updating MLS records, posting in social media, setting appointments and managing your calendar do not. Although these tasks need to be done to keep the business organized, for entrepreneurs, these are time- wasters. You will be better off delegating these tasks to a real estate Virtual Assistant.
Research has shown that we only average 90 minutes of productive time every work day. That means in an 8 hour work day, people are only productive 18.75% of the time. At that rate, you will have a difficult time building your business.
By hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant, you can increase your productivity by 300%. Here’s how:
1. Identify Your Business Core Functions
Review your business model. Write down all the tasks and responsibilities that need to be done. Next, identify the core functions of your business and separate these from the non- core functions.
The core functions are those that you as business owner have to attend to. These are the activities that will grow your business and make it succeed. The non- core functions are non- essential tasks that serve to support and organize the business but do not directly contribute to revenue.
2. Qualify Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant
Once you have identified the non- core functions, use them to qualify the type of Virtual Assistant you need for your agency.
In real estate, you have to cover 3 key areas of responsibility: marketing, sales and administration. Ideally, you should hire a Virtual Assistant with the following skills:
- Phone handling
- E-mail filtering
- MS Office
- MLS management
- Social Media
- Website management
- Customer relations
Adjust your qualifications accordingly. For example, if you have several warm leads you may want to focus on finding a Virtual Assistant with experience and a good track record in conversions.
3. Delegate the Non- Core Functions to the Real Estate VA
When you have hired your real estate Virtual Assistant, take the necessary steps to clearly explain his or her scope of work.
- Attach a copy of the Scope of Work as an addendum in the contract.
- Orient the Virtual Assistant on each and every item on the Scope of Work.
- Encourage feedback to make sure the Scope of Work is understood.
- Include guidelines or benchmarks to serve as the Virtual Assistant’s references for quality of work.
It is very important to have a system in place that ensures effective communication, proper collaboration and clear protocols for work submissions.
4. Establish 3 to 4 Goals Every Day
Now that you have delegated the non- essential tasks to your Virtual Assistant, you will have more time to focus on the business side of things.
Goal setting is a proven method for increasing productivity. Identify 3 to 4 goals that you want to accomplish on a given day. Dedicate 90 minutes per goal; this means 100% focus, no distractions. Once you have accomplished your goal, give yourself 30 minutes to rest.
The rest period is meant to “recharge your batteries”. You can use this time to eat, nap, take a walk or do errands.
Assuming you picked out 3 goals to accomplish this means you worked a total of 360 minutes or 6 hours on that day. If you accomplished all 3 goals, then your productivity rate can be measured at 270 minutes/ 360 minutes or 75%. This is a 300% improvement over the average productivity rate of 18.75%.
5. Track Business Performance
At the end of every work week, schedule a meeting with your Virtual Assistant and discuss the following:
- Summary of Targeted Tasks
- Summary of Accomplished Tasks
- Metrics on performance
- Issues, problems and other pressing concerns encountered during the work week
- Courses of action and alternatives that can be implemented to resolve the problems
- Summary of Targeted Tasks for the following work week
- Summary of goals to be achieved the following work week
- Updates or news on latest developments
When it comes to productivity, your best approach would be to remain conservative. It’s not the number of tasks you accomplished but how you achieved them that matters. Quality of work must always take precedence over quantity.
Do not aim to accomplish 4 goals if upon thorough review, it may seem likely that 2 goals is the more realistic target. Keep in mind that conditions may change on a daily basis. There are unforeseen factors that may come into play while working on a goal and sometimes these will be beyond your control.
However what should be clear is that by delegating work to a real estate Virtual Assistant, you will have better time management practices in place. And this alone will increase your level of productivity every day.