When managing successful Real Estate Virtual Assistant business, it takes numerous programs and tools to make running your business and supporting multiple real estate agent clients a manageable feat. It is helpful to have many of these things in place from the very start of your business, to help keep you from encountering any surprises or a crisis down the road. Everything from project managers, money solutions, to social media managers, I can tell you, I have tried just about all of them. Here are 5 MUST HAVES that every Real Estate Virtual Assistant should have from the start.
1. Payment Gateway/ Way To Accept Credit Cards
Getting paid and getting paid on time should be a #1 priority when running a business hands down. It also is important to make it easy for your clients to pay you. So one of the essential tools you should have immediately is some sort of payment gateway or merchant account for credit card processing. First, your agent clients find it super convenient to just pay with a credit card. And another plus, with most merchant accounts, you can set up automatic billing so you never have to wait around for your clients to pay you. You can start simply with Paypal as many of us have (myself included). Or you can go with programs that are more robust and with varying fees like Intuit Payments, Square, Stripe or even Freshbooks.
2. Social Media Manager
As a virtual business owner in today's time, you probably use multiple social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. And many of us Real Estate VAs also manage multiple social media accounts for our agents too. This is extremely hard to do if you have to log in and out of multiple social media profiles and accounts on a constant basis. So one major must have is a social media program that can manage multiple platforms and multiple accounts, all in one place. One of the best tools for this, and my personal favorite is HootSuite. I use it daily and it's a great location where I can post, schedule posts, organize my feeds and run my whole social game all in one place. And I can do the same for my agents with my HootSuite Pro account.
3. Online File Storage/Sharing
Most Virtual Assistants make use of some kind of cloud file storage or file sharing, and as a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, it is ESSENTIAL to have this tool. Especially when you are handling Listing Marketing or Contract to Close services, you will usually be handling and sharing massive amounts of photos, documents and contracts. And when you are working virtually and not on-site with you clients, it is important to have one central location in the cloud to store all these needed files. One of the best programs we use for this is Dropbox. Not only do most virtual assistants currently use Dropbox, but many real estate agents already use and love it as well. So it can be one less thing you would need to teach your agents to use.
4. Gmail/Google Calendar
In my many years of business (since 2005), I live and die by my Gmail and my Google Calendar. If it is not in my Calendar, then it is not real... at least in my mind. I consult my calendar nearly every day, utilizing time blocking techniques to help my productivity. You can easily share certain calendars with clients and team members as you news to keep everyone aware of what's up in your schedule. And it also incorporates with so many great programs we viral business owners typically use like appointment booking programs and more. My Google Calendar syncs with all of my devices and is the center or my world. Can't live without it.
5. Online Project Manager
Being very organized and detail oriented are qualities that are completely essential in a good Real Estate VA. One essential tool to help keep our client tasks and business organized is an online project manager. It especially becomes important when your client wants to have a central location to collaborate and assign you new tasks and milestones. It is also crucial to have an online project manager if you start a multi-VA team and have multiple people in your business handling client tasks. It makes it easy for everyone to collaborate, gives you an overview of everything going on in your business, keeps everyone on task and on the same page. Some of the project manager favorites: Asana , Redbooth, ClientSpot.
What are your favorite essential tools and programs you use when for managing your real estate virtual assistant practice and your client's business? Let us know down below in the comments!