If you ask every successful REALTOR®, you will find out that part of their success comes from focusing on what really matters. In this business, what do you think matters most? Easy….Customers. Establishing a good relationship with them and closing that deal. Just because you’re working 12-16 hours a day doesn’t mean that you have everything covered. If you look at the tasks that a REALTOR® does every single day (including the simple task of remembering deadlines), you might want to extend your working hours. But the thing is, you don’t have to. There are a lot of things that you can delegate to your assistant. A LOT!
Following are our suggestions for some of the tasks that you can have your Real Estate Virtual Assistant do. Some of these tasks may be something that you are not currently doing and don’t want to do or maybe you would want to start doing—it’s really your preference.
- Keep track of your appointments with sellers. REVA (Real Estate Virtual Assistant) may also call the seller prior to the appointment for confirmation.
- Stay in regular contact with your clients OR prepare reports for you to share with the Seller.
- Research sales activity for the past x number of months from MLS and public databases.
- Research “average days on market” for properties similar in type, price and location.
- Download and review the property tax record, including legal description, lot size and ownership information.
- Verify legal names of owner(s) in county’s public property records.
- Research all comparable currently listed properties and assist you with preparing the “comparable market analysis” (CMA) to establish market value.
- Obtain copy of subdivision plat/complex layout.
- Research property’s land use and deed restrictions.
- Research property’s current use and zoning.
- Prepare listing presentation package.
After listing agreement is signed
- Identify Home Owner Association manager if applicable.
- Order copy of Homeowner Association financial statements and bylaws, if applicable.
- Research electricity availability and supplier’s contact information.
- Research availability of all utilities such as: electric, water, sewer, natural gas, cable TV & internet. Document supplier’s contact information.
- Calculate average utility usage from last 12 months of bills.
- Verify with water and sewer district that property is in compliance and has no outstanding liens.
- Calculate average water system fees or rates from last 12 months of bills.
- If on a well, confirm well status, depth and output from Well Report.
- Research/verify natural gas availability, supplier’s name & phone number.
- Verify security system, term of service and whether owned or leased.
- Verify if seller has transferable Termite Bond.
- Prepare detailed list of property amenities.
- Prepare detailed list of any personal property included with the sale.
- Compile list of completed repairs and maintenance items.
Entering Property in MLS & other applicable databases
- Enter all listings into MLS listing database within 24 hours of signed listing agreement.
- Add property to company’s Active Listings and/or Showings database.
- Load listing into transaction management software program.
- Review and proof read all MLS listings for corrections and make changes as needed.
- Maintain photos in MLS and all websites. Ensure all photos are inputted and represent the property well. If photos do not represent the property well, notify agent right away.
- Obtain verbal or email feedback from all showings and forward to seller and agent. Keep a feedback log up to date. This will ensure good communication with client and help both client and agent suggest changes that may help client sell home faster.
- Keep all price changes up to date in MLS, and all websites to help maintain correct information.
- Schedule advertising in all advertising media for active listings to ensure clients receive all the advertising they were promised. Refer to the marketing plan presented in each listing package.
- Assemble pre-listing and listing packets using a standard format. Listing packets and pre-listing packets to be ready at a moment’s notice so that agent can list a home as quickly as client may need.
- Send the pre-listing packet a few days before the listing presentation. Follow up with a phone call to make sure that the seller received it.
- Conduct Primary CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) research with the template provided. This will include searching the MLS for relevant pricing data on recent sales and listings. Data will be given to the agent to interpret and then put in a nice presentation packet to be given to seller at listing appointment. At all times agent and assistant will strive for a professional presentation using quality data, quality media and quality interpretation of data.
- Review all ads after publication to check for errors or needed changes in the future to ensure only quality media for both the client and the agent are produced.
- Make copies of all ads and send to sellers on a weekly basis so that clients know what is being done for them.
- Compile a property information package to be printed and delivered to each listed property with the following information: Company and Agent Brochure, Property Flyer, MLS report, property disclosure, lead base paint disclosure, city information, school information, business cards, etc.
- Coordinate all listing items on listing checklist attached to ensure continuity and good communication between agent, client and assistant.
Marketing the Listing
- Create print and online ads. (from templates)
- Coordinate Buyer and agent showings with seller &/or tenants.
- Prepare mailing list in preparation to mail “Just Listed” notice to all neighborhood residents.
- Design “Just Listed” postcards.
- Merge mailing list with the postcards.
- Send addressed postcards to mail house for printing and distribution.
- Prepare flyers and or Prepare property marketing brochure.
- Review comparable MLS listings regularly to ensure property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions and availability.
- Arrange for printing or copying of supply of marketing brochures or flyers.
- Upload listing to company and agent websites.
- Upload listing to Single Property Website.
- Submit ads to company’s participating real estate websites.
- Convey price changes promptly to all Internet groups.
- List the property on agents Social Media Business Pages.
- Coordinate with print shop to reprint brochures as needed.
- Promptly enter price changes in MLS & other online websites.
- Design & delivery of regular emails to prospects to showcase your listings. Your REVA will be familiar with the email program of your choice. (Such as IContact or Constant Contact).
- Coordinate direct mailings to prospects and past clients.
- Manage advertising production by keeping a log to ensure that advertising materials and related billing are mailed to printers and newspapers on a timely basis.
- Proofread materials, such as advertising copy, personal letters to top clients and direct mail promotions, for content and clarity.
- Coordinate appointment schedules for open houses, listing presentations, showings, closing meetings and other appointments. An assistant can call to remind clients and prospects of scheduled meetings and keep the agent informed of changes.
Organize and send Just Sold and Just Listed cards for all listings to increase marketing exposure of property and agent and possibly increase listings in area.
Just Listed and Just Sold Postcards:
Sending “Just Sold” and “Just Listed” cards for all listings increases marketing exposure of both the property and the agent. It usually increases listings in that area often the neighbors will choose to do business with the agent that sold the house “next door.” It is also effective to implement “Circle Prospecting” by having your ISA call every property owner in a specific geographic area to advise the homeowner of the listing or sale.
- Immediately the Property is listed, REVA prepares a “Just Listed” postcard with a photo, description and location of the property and the list price.
- You advise your REVA of the geographical farm area you would like to send this card to.
- REVA downloads (from the MLS) the names and addresses of all property owners within this farm area and import into your CRM program or other software which enables you to print labels.
- REVA emails/uploads the completed addressed postcards to the agent for printing, or if large volume, consider utilizing a third party mailing house for your distribution. (i.e. https://click2mail.com, www.usmailinghouse.com or your local print shop.)
- Immediately the Property is sold, REVA prepares a “Just Sold” postcard with a photo, description and location of the property. REVA and agent should discuss whether to include the price. Many Buyers get upset if the price they paid is broadcast around the neighborhood. (even though it is public record in most states).
Create a transaction tracking list in your Transaction Management or CRM software which will be assigned to each client under contract.
The Offer and Contract
- Set appointments for all parties involved (buyer, buyer’s agent, seller).
- Obtain Earnest Money receipt from party holding the earnest money.
- Order Title Commitment or Abstract of Title.
- Advise Lender who Title Co is & Vis Versa
- Ask Buyer if Inspection wanted. Document if declined.
- Make sure all required disclosures are delivered to buyer or seller & obtain receipt.
- Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling loan officer.
- Obtain Buyer’s pre-qualification letter from loan officer or buyer’s agent.
- Change MLS status to “Sale Pending/Under Contract.”
- Update transaction management program to show “Sale Pending/Under Contract.”
- Send executed contracts to all parties via email .
Tracking the loan process
- Follow loan processing through to the underwriter.
- Add lender and other vendors to transaction management program so agents, buyer and seller can track progress of sale.
- Contact lender bi-weekly to ensure processing is on track.
- Order all applicable inspections such as termite, mold, radon, well and septic system.
- Coordinate scheduling of inspection with the Seller, Buyer or Buyer’s Agent, and Inspection Company.
- Enter completion into transaction management tracking software program.
- Track resolution of unsatisfactory conditions to insure compliance with contract deadlines.
- Recommend/assist seller with identifying trustworthy contractors for required repairs.
- Coordinate the scheduling of the appraisal.
- With direction of agent, send comparable sales used in market pricing to appraiser.
- Follow up on appraisal.
- Enter completion into transaction management program.
Title Commitment/Abstract of Title
- Order the commitment immediately the property is pending.
- Order Survey.
- Advise Title Company or Closing Agent the contact details of both Buyer and Seller’s lenders.
- Verify with Seller and Buyers agent that the company selected is acceptable to them.
- Track delivery of the title commitment to Buyer, Seller and Agents.
- Verify that Buyer has received and reviewed the Title Commitment or Abstract of Title.
- Obtain governing documents including recent HOA financials.
Closing Preparations and Duties
- Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent, closing company and lender.
- Ensure that all required tasks described in the transaction ‘To Do’ list have been completed and documented.
- Coordinate closing date and time and notify all parties.
- Request final closing figures from closing agent/title company for agent & Buyer/Seller review.
- Forward closing documents to buyer or seller as requested.
- Change MLS status to Sold. Enter sale date, price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.
- Verify complete file including all executed contracts and disclosures.
- Close out listing in transaction management program.
Do not be overwhelmed by the tasks, mentioned above, if you are not currently doing it. Those tasks can be done by just one REVA.
- Communicate directly with your clients to provide marketing or transaction updates. If you prefer to be the only one to communicate with your clients, your VA can prepare client reports for you to deliver them to each client.
- Keep you updated with all communication with clients to maintain continuity of communication between client, REVA and REALTOR® (YOU).
- Plan all special projects with an action plan to assure there is a record of time and cost for all projects to be evaluated at the end of each year for the following year.
- Schedule and organize personal marketing advertising on a monthly basis to ensure constant personal marketing.
- Locate vendors to produce and distribute marketing materials and request prices from them, assuring the best quality products for the best prices.
- Maintain routine contacts with graphic designers, printers, mailers and other vendors to ensure that deadlines are met.
- Keep track of production, billing and shipping dates for advertising materials such as flyer’s and brochures.
- Enter new contact names, address, and emails from information request, open house guest books and other sources in your database. Make address corrections as they are received in your Customer Relations Management systems/database). i.e. Top Producer, Realty Juggler, Outlook.
- Track and execute a mailing schedule to sync with your database to create merged letters and other correspondence.
- Create marketing materials with you such as writing copy for a newsletter or use pre-designed newsletter from companies such as CRS, Irongate or Realty Times.
- Respond to phone requests for information about your services by sending standardized packages of information.
- Follow up on marketing materials with phone calls to make sure that customers received the letters and see if they are a current prospect for us to contact. Set appointments for you with prospects!
Manage Incoming Calls
Answer the phone with a friendly and upbeat manner and show a caring attitude to everyone who comes in contact with the company.
Be able to prioritize incoming calls and know how to handle different types of calls.
- High Priority requests. These calls demand your immediate attention. This category might include prospective Buyers. The REVA will forward these requests directly to you and answer them as soon as possible, preferably within the hour.
- Medium Priority requests. This type of call also requires a direct response, but is not as time critical. This might include potential customers who want to make an appointment or who have in-depth questions about the home selling process. Everyone who requests a personal response should receive one.
- Informational response. The REVA can handle this type of call, which typically includes basic questions about agent’s (YOUR) services, general information about the community, and requests for a brochure about a property. The REVA can set up an automated response feature in agent’s e-mail to send some types of information in response to certain key words in the subject line.
- Develop prospects database from all prospects who have contacted agent. Maintain regular contact with each prospect and make sure their needs are being met.
- Record which marketing category or contact method resulted in each closed particular sale. This will allow agent to evaluate how much time and money was spent prospecting to each category vs. how much commission income was generated from transaction in that category within specific period.
- Respond to phone and email requests for property information by emailing standardized packages of information about each listing.
- Follow up on all marketing materials sent by email with a phone call to make sure that the prospect received the email. At this time, the REVA will attempt to obtain and appointment for you with the prospect.
- Expired Listings. Identify all expired listings on a daily basis and gather Seller contact information for all listings which expired in your targeted farm area. Call each Seller to introduce your company and try to obtain a listing appointment for you with the prospect. If not able to obtain an appointment, ask Seller if you can email or snail mail them a customized flyer or booklet of information which showcases why the Seller should list to you. Email it to agent so you can print and distribute it. Delivering the packet via courier, express mail or in person has the biggest effect. Follow up with a phone call to make sure that the seller received it.
- Assemble customized electronic or hard copy pre-listing and listing packets using the agent’s standard format. If hard copy, setup account with a local print shop such as Fed-Ex Kinkos. Email the package to them and they will print and deliver it to the prospective client. Distribute the pre-listing packet via email a few days before the listing presentation. Deliver the packet via email or courier. The pre-listing packet should include the following:
- Customized Cover letter, Draft Listing Agreement, Agent Profile, Company Profile, Recently Sold Properties in their area, Customized Marketing Plan, Home Selling Process & reasons why they should list with you.
Customer Relations Management (CRM)
- Develop action plans for the following contact groups:
Past Clients, Warm Prospects, Cold Prospects.
- Action Plan ideas for Past Clients include:
Annual CMA, or MLS link to comparable listings recently sold.
- Quarterly market statistics.
- Most Title Companies generate frequent market statistical data. If not, your MLS most likely can generate reports. The VA can customize this data to match the type of property and location your client owns.
- These can be inputted into Top Producer, or VA can email to agent a daily list of birthdays for agent to call or send birthday greeting via Facebook.
- Social media
- Ask each prospect, client and past client to connect with agents social media.
We offer comprehensive BPO services including:
- REO Support Services
- Monthly Service Reports(MSR)
- Upload Property Inspections
- Broker Registration with Asset Managers. We have an extensive list of nearly 200 Asset Managers.
- HOA Research
- REO Reimbursement Expense Management
- Listing Management
- Transaction Coordination
By utilizing our Broker Price Opinion (BPO) services, you spend less time pulling comps, researching neighborhood information, completing BPO forms, uploading photos, and more.
- BPO Data Entry. Upload BPO content online or fill out BPO documents.
- Input subject and comp property data.
- Upload comparable properties.
- Label and upload and subject photos.
- Determine proximity of comps from the subject property.
- Fill out routine inspection forms & submit to asset manager.
- Update MLS.
- Manage Zillow, Trulia and other marketing portals
- Invoicing and Reimbursements
- Working with Asset Managers
Platforms we currently work with:
- We research public records and contact local Title Companies to obtain the name and contact information of the HOA.
- We follow the procedures required to obtain the estopple, statement of account, assessment, etc from the association.
- Complete all Association and REO Bank required forms.
- Submit requests to approve fee to the REO Bank HOA Specialist.
- Order Certificate of Title, Substitute Trustee Deed, etc from the REO Bank.
- Submit required documentation to the HOA.
- Obtain CCRs, by-laws, etc as required.
- Submit all required HOA documents to the REO Asset Manager
- Submit reimbursement of all fees paid by the agent or broker if applicable.
Your REVA can also manage, update, and enhance all your current websites. They can execute a plan you develop to utilize any dormant URL’s you own. This includes regularly updating the banner and flash page, keeping the site fresh, and inputting and updating any new content. It is important to tie together all your social media and websites into one cohesive marketing strategy.
- Maintain all websites keeping property information and agent information current.
- Capture all leads and disburse in a timely manner so all leads are contacted immediately by the agent.
- Making sure URL’s to outside sources of information listed on websites have not ceased operations or changed addresses.
- Add new listings to the website, MLS and any other listing sites used.
- When homes are sold, remove listings from all listing websites.
- Collect and add new content for blogs on a continual basis. Research and secure permission to use content such as real estate articles from local newspapers, national publications, links to local chambers of commerce or school districts as well as other content that may enrich the site.
- Respond to basic emails request for information in a timely manner. Create standardized email documents describing agent’s services, a pre-listing package and instructions on how to locate your listings on the Web.
Social Media Marketing
- Develop, maintain and keep current with regular updates your social media websites such as Linkedin, ActiveRain, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other industry specific sites, such as active rain and LoopNet.
- Work together with article writer (if applicable) to post articles on blog sites, your website and social media sites.
- At your option, post and re-post weekly listings on Craigslist.
About Social Media Management.
Any website that allows you to interact with other members is social media. Major sites are LinkedIn (Business Networking), Facebook (Networking), Pinterest (Networking), Twitter (Microblogging), YouTube (Video Sharing), and WordPress (Blogging)
Why is Social Media important?
Many of your existing prospects and past clients are using Social Media. This is a great way to stay in front of them.
Fans and followers are more likely to purchase your product or service.
Increases traffic to your website, blog, newsletter or RSS feed.
It increases the visibility of your business.
Boosts your Search Engine Optimization by providing more links to your website.
It provides a platform for you to connect with your customers and clients.
The key to the success of building a social media database is to attract specific targeted followers. Your VA could start reaching out to all your current and past clients, and then reaching out to their friends. It takes time to develop.
Twitter. Create twitter page and build a followers base of your potential customers (tweet latest news and updates about upcoming seminars. i.e. “Come to our seminar and learn about how to receive Free Money to help you buy your home.”)
Facebook. Create a Facebook Business page and constantly build on and increase the number of likes. (update new trends and latest news in the market). As Friends join, you VA can then reach out and invite their friends to your page.
LinkedIn. Create a Personal Profile and connect with potential customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your entire internet presence will be increased by the constant activity on your social media pages. Your VA will also make sure your articles and blogs are being fully leveraged.
Managing a system to keep in touch with past clients
Your assistant can develop a system which keeps you in touch with your past clients. Tools may include: “Friending” them on Facebook and posting regular comments on their page, sending them annual CMA’s on their property, emailing general market sales data each year, reminding you to call them on their birthday.