In the field of real estate, many agents find themselves so busy showing properties that they are unable to devote attention to the small details of their businesses.While showing properties is the primary way of selling a property, all real estate agents know the need for high quality “behind the scenes” organization. Without this aspect of a real estate agent’s business, profits will not reach their full potential.With a virtual real estate assistant, many of these smaller items are taken care of with efficient precision. Real estate agents can relax knowing that their businesses are running smoothly while they are away from their desks showing property.In fact, with the help of a virtual real estate assistant, real estate agents will be able to show even more properties and generate more income.A virtual real estate agent will promote one of the most important aspects of business: customer service. Many real estate agents intend to send thank you cards to customers, open house attendees, holiday cards and follow-up emails to potential clients. However, their busy schedules do not allow for such add-ons that make for a prosperous business.Other customer and employee service needs that can be handled by a virtual real estate assistant are purchasing and sending closing gifts, creating and mailing Just Listed and Just Sold postcards, creating CD tours for listings and planning events for an office or team yearly meeting.Virtual real estate assistants can also help with the organizational side of the real estate business. There are many tasks such as scheduling appointments and showings, general bookkeeping, transaction coordinating and creating an automated feedback system for showing agents that are crucial to a real estate agent.More organizational tasks that can be handled by a virtual real estate agent are updating and making changes to web sites, creating monthly Market Absorption Reports for listing appointments and creating monthly CMAs on current listings.If someone such as a qualified virtual real estate assistant is on staff, the real estate agent is free to build his or her business in other ways. Also, many real estate agents are not comfortable with the organizational side of their businesses and feel more relaxed knowing these important tasks are being attended to.All of the above-mentioned tasks are indeed crucial to the success of a real estate agent. Therefore, a real estate agent must know that his or her virtual real estate assistant is qualified to handle these important duties.When looking for a virtual real estate assistant, it is important to discover the number of years a potential assistant has worked for top producing real estate agents. Also, if a virtual real estate assistant is going to handle event planning, he or she needs to have expertise and experience in that area as well.Virtual real estate assistants should also have multimedia experience and training, including a working knowledge of Microsoft Office software. Other computer skills should include Adobe Photo Shop, Paint Shop Pro and web site updating.Of course, checking references is imperative when hiring a virtual real estate assistant. Knowing a real estate agent that a potential assistant has served is always a bonus. Knowing the person giving the reference can give a real estate agent peace of mind when hiring a virtual real estate assistant.A virtual real estate assistant who is efficient and self-motivated is a priceless tool for a real estate agent. Knowing that customer service and organization are in top order allows a real estate agent to focus on selling properties rather than worrying about the condition of business while away from the office.
The on-going financial crisis has frightened a casual investor from entering the real estate business. In fact, people have always been scared of dealing in real estate because a casual investor thinks that real estate is a game for those people who are loaded with cash. To an extent, they are right since most of property transactions involve lots of initial investment. Presently, in an environment of financial uncertainty, people are not taking any risks with their money. To be very frank, their attitude is very suitable in the current crisis. Still there are many ways in which you can invest in the real estate business. You don’t need to invest your own money; rather, you apply some techniques that require minimum upfront investment. These are time tested techniques and have been used by professional real investors. Some of those techniques are listed below. You need to be very patient in their application since no seed bears fruit immediately. But it is impossible to fail if you are hardworking, honest and sharp.Double escrow – buying and selling simultaneouslyThis is a very practicable method of investing in the real estate business with minimum capital. The method is very simple but needs certain amount of coordination and great timing. What you do is buy a property from seller at a discounted price. You must convince the seller that you will be able to make the payment after a short period of time. Within that time, you find a buyer for the same property but insist on immediate payment. When you receive cash from your buyer, you use that cash to pay off the seller. Your profit will be the difference amount of the buying and selling prices.The profit that you make in this investment can be used for buying another one. In this way you can make a career out of your real estate endeavors.Flipping or Fix and FlipThis is another feasible alternative to making money in the real estate business without investing your own. The process involves buying property or a house for less than its market value and then selling it for profit after getting it repaired and applying face-lift. It must be understood that there is much more to it than just buying, repairing and selling. In order to successfully flip house you must take into consideration the following points:Be on the look-out constantlyThis is a trait that you must develop if you have decided to flip properties for living. You must always be searching properties that could be bought and then, sold after minor adjustments. You must also let all your acquaintances know that you are into this business. Make sure that whenever a property comes up in the market, you are the first one to hear about it.Convert Information into dealsThe moment you receive news about a potential sale-out, you must be the first one to visit the place. Remember, your success in this business depends on how fast you can move. If the property is suitable cut the deal immediately.If you keep in mind the above points, there is nothing that can stop you from becoming successful.
Every real estate brokerage, mortgage company, interior design company, and real estate law firm wants to increase business, to drive up sales and revenues. They may try a variety of tactics, but the results often fall short of expectations. What to do?To attract new clients, one must be positioned as a leading expert. No one wants to retain the services of mediocrities. One begins to be perceived as an expert by publishing bylined articles, being the subject of press releases and of direct mail solicitations, and by putting on seminars and webinars. One’s years of accomplishment, skills at achieving results, and creativity in overcoming obstacles can all be highlighted and, where possible, made the subject of valuable media stories.Here’s a concrete example of what I did for one of my clients, an interior design firm. Prior to retaining my services, the principals had been making cold calls and knocking on doors trying to drum up business. They got a few prospects, but an even smaller number of them turned out to be clients. They tried to make deals with leasing agents and building managers, but so does everyone, and the competition is fierce. Raising the ante of incentives can made one feel the need for an ever-faster revolving line-of credit.They needed to do something new, something different, something that would set them above their competition. Here’s what I did: first, I wrote a case history for a real estate publication in which I explained how an interior design company can make a building more attractive by redecorating its public areas; I used specific examples about how such techniques have been used in a variety of buildings to attract new tenants and reduce the vacancy rate. Once the article appeared, I made reprints of it and mailed it, with a covering letter, to building owners and operators. After ten business days, I had a trained college student working from a script call each of the recipients. The caller tried to set up as many appointments as possible for my client. For each arranged appointment, the caller received additional compensation. Once appointments had been scheduled, I prepared a scripted presentation for my client that included a video of work they had done. What was the result of such a procedure? Voila! New business.There are, of course, other sources of business for an interior design company, and it is essential to identify as many marketing targets as possible. Another target, for example, was showroom tenants. My client had expertise in designing showrooms for garment tenants. I built on that expertise and wrote an article about how my client helped several showroom tenants improve their images and so increased business. The article contained comments from tenants that confirmed my client’s claims. Again, once the article appeared, I mailed reprints to all local garment tenants who have showrooms. The same follow-up as noted in the previous example was used again.Before employing this technique, you must identify your market. If you do not, you may be aiming at the wrong target.Here’s another example. If, let’s say, you own an environmental assessment company, you will want to promote yourself not only to building owners who will need your services if they are to refinance their buildings; but also to mortgage bankers who provide money not only for refinancing, but for initial purchases as well. To help them, I would write an article for my client that explains how one can evaluate an environmental assessment. I would eliminate all technical jargon, tell them what to look for, and what questions they should ask. The article would be placed in appropriate banking and mortgage publications, reprints would be made, and it would be mailed, with a covering letter, to a list of mortgage bankers. Again, there would be scripted follow-up phone calls, appointments for my client, and a presentation script for those meetings. I would also have prepared brochures, so that my client can leave promotional materials with prospective customer/clients.While many real estate and mortgage brokers, real estate lawyers, and related professionals are intent on generating new business, their efforts to market and promote themselves are often ineffective. The majority of them focus on networking, on making cold calls, and knocking on an endless series of doors. It amounts to playing roulette: it takes many turns of the wheel to hit a jackpot.Whether one uses a public relations – marketing professional, or takes advantage of one’s own creativity, one should develop a strategic PR/marketing plan that will be effective in producing results. Not to do so means that one will be an “also ran.” And if you’re not a triple-crown contender, you will only run with the pack, not ahead of it.