As a real estate agent, you’re constantly juggling client meetings, visiting properties, filling out paperwork etc. With how busy you are, it can be challenging to invest enough time in your marketing efforts. Yet, by not doing so, you’re missing out on tons of valuable sales.
Luckily, there’s a solution. A real estate virtual assistant can dramatically reduce the amount of time you have to spend on marketing activities by tackling tedious tasks so you can focus on crafting messages that engage prospects.
This article will walk you through how a VA can help you with six types of marketing initiatives.
1. Manage Your Social Media and Email Marketing Campaigns
Email and social media campaigns are critical to staying top-of-mind with past clients and current prospects.
With a real estate virtual assistant, all you have to do is create your content because they will take care of:
- Uploading it to your email marketing and social media platforms
- Formatting it to match your preferences
- Flagging any responses that you should follow-up with
Keep in mind that millennials now make up the largest share of the first-time buyers market. So, you should invest the most in your Instagram campaigns since that’s where you’re most likely to capture their attention.
2) Help You Capture PR Opportunities
As a real estate agent, becoming a well-known name in your community is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you are the first realtor people go to when they want to buy or sell a house.
To do that, you need to be constantly pursuing PR opportunities so your community recognizes your name. Here are a couple of ways a real estate virtual assistant can help:
Finding Relevant HARO Requests
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a popular newsletter that journalists use to find sources for their stories. Every weekday, journalists submit dozens of requests for expert insights to help them with their articles.
Responding to real estate-related requests can get you featured in major media outlets which is a fast and easy way to build your awareness and credibility.
Most realtors don’t take advantage of this PR opportunity because they don’t have time to read the three daily emails and decide which requests are relevant to them. A real estate virtual assistant can solve the problem by reading the emails and sending you the ones that you should respond to.
Pitching Local Media with Real-Estate Related News
Local news outlets are always seeking interesting stories about their communities. Trends in the housing market make great features for journalists and are an easy way for you to generate interest from potential buyers and sellers in your area.
Here’s how to leverage a virtual real estate assistant to pitch local media:
- Have your VA create a list of local media outlets and find contact information for the appropriate people at each.
- Draft an email describing your story and why you think it’s a good fit for them. Then, have your assistant send it out.
- If the media wants to move forward with an interview, your VA can take care of scheduling and other logistics.
At first, you may have a low success rate for your pitches - especially if you’re in a busy metro area that has lots of new stories to cover. However, as you build relationships with journalists, getting featured in local media will become increasingly achievable.
Participating in Community Events
While being featured in the media establishes your reputation as an expert, participating in community events shows that you are a relatable, trustworthy person to work with.
Choosing community events to attend can be time-consuming since you’ve got to constantly check local calendars and find contact info for event coordinators. A real estate VA can help by:
- Monitoring community calendars to find events you may be interested in
- Finding the names and contact info of event coordinators
- Helping you find and purchase any materials you need
By having your VA handle event logistics, you can spend more time creating promotional materials and building relationships with prospects and clients.
3) Provide Basic Website Maintenance
A report from the National Association of Realtors found that 90% of home buyers research online when deciding where to move. Thus, having an engaging, informative site is critical if you want to be a top producer.
For most realtors, creating site content is easy since you’re able to repurpose your listings and real estate expertise into engaging website pages and blog posts. However, they often struggle with website maintenance because it’s tedious and time-consuming.
Luckily, a real estate virtual assistant can provide basic website maintenance including:
- Uploading and formatting your blog posts
- Uploading photos, videos, and descriptions of the properties you’re selling
- Flagging errors on your site so that you can fix them as quickly as possible
- Removing sold properties and other outdated information
You can use the time you save from not having to do those activities to create more high-quality content (including blog posts, photos, and videos) to put on your site.
4) Keep Your Zillow Listings Updated
Zillow is one of the most effective platforms to generate real estate leads. In 2018 alone, the site received over 7 billion visits.
Despite the site’s value potential, many real estate professionals struggle to consistently leverage Zillow due to the time it takes to keep it updated and follow-up with potential buyers on the site.
A virtual real estate assistant can help you capture more leads from Zillow by:
- Posting your properties
- Updating properties with new information
- Removing sold properties
- Following up with leads to see if they are still interested
- Scheduling times for leads to tour properties with you
An assistant can also do those activities for MLS and any other sites you list your properties on.
5) Fill Your Pipeline with Prospects
Spend more time developing relationships with prospects and less time searching for them. With a little bit of direction regarding the types of buyers/sellers you’re looking for, a real estate virtual assistant can completely take over your prospect research and give you a continuous stream of potential customers.
In addition to finding prospects, your VA can speed up your lead gen process by:
- Sending out initial outreach emails
- Adding prospects to your CRM
- Periodically following up with prospects who say they’ll be interested in services at a later date. Or, they can set reminders for you to reach out.
They can also assist with other led gen and sales support tasks so you can spend more time engaging with prospects and less on admin work work.
6) Coordinate Experiential Marketing Events
As any realtor knows, buying and selling homes is an emotional experience that people often do when they’re at major transition points in their lives. Due to the personal nature of the transaction, many people will only work with real estate professionals whom they feel like they can trust.
Building trust often means you need to interact with prospects before they’ll decide to work with you. Creating experiential marketing events is an effective way to create spaces for you and your prospects to informally get to know each other.
Hosting these events is much easier than you may think. Here are some popular examples:
- Lead free neighborhood tours in the areas that you sell. This is an easy and effective tactic if you’re in a metro area since you have lots of people who will move to the city for work without knowing much about the area.
- Host free seminars. Inexperience buyers and sellers have tons of questions and concerns about how to move forward. Hosting seminars on topics like “What You Should Know Before Buying Your First Home” and “How to Sell Your Home with Minimal Hassle” let you get in front of prospects and prove that you are the realtor they should use. Advertise your seminar a few weeks in advance to raise awareness.
- Create homey open-houses for your top properties. Instead just letting prospects wander houses as is, decorate your properties so they have a clean, homey atmosphere. On the day of the open house, have appetizers and drinks out and focus your conversations on helping people envision the property as their new home.
Real estate virtual assistants can help out with these events by coordinating all logistics including finding locations, ordering catering, and helping arrange advertising.
Be a Top Producer
A real estate virtual assistant can help with far more than just your marketing. Learn how you can offload all of your tedious tasks to your VA so you can focus on strategic activities like creating engaging marketing materials and developing stronger relationships with clients.
Here are a few of the ways our real estate clients leverage their VAs:
- Centralizing contacts and keeping them up-to-date
- Coordinating key parties including photographers, home inspectors, home improvement vendors, etc.
- Preparing documents by formatting them and setting them up in DocuSign
About the author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.