Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is essential at this point if you’re a new or experienced real estate agent and are looking to grow. You can hire locally, nationally, or overseas; talent is all over the place. But not all real estate virtual assistants are equal.
Below you’ll find 7 questions to ask your virtual assistant candidates before you hire them and what to look for in their answers.
Where Did I Go to School?
This sounds weird, but one of the most important things to ask your virtual assistant is a specific question they could only know if they looked you up on Google, your bio page, or LinkedIn.
Your VA will be representing you and communicating with your clients. This means you’ll want someone who automatically knows to look up who they are speaking to so your VA can address your clients and network with the proper title, when the person will be busy or available, and be able to be more conversational to keep your clients happy.
For example, if the client is a partner at a law firm, they’re likely very busy so following up during the work day probably isn’t optimal and your virtual assistant will need to contact their assistant to get a response.
More importantly, you want a VA who can do everything from finding plat maps to creating quality listing pages that use the right slang and jargon. Knowing how to do research is vital for a real estate virtual assistant and this question will help you find that person.
What CRM Systems Do You Know?
Our industry is all about relationships and who you know. But we don’t control which systems our brokerages use to manage the master database. You may need to give an example like SalesForce, PipelineDeals, or Zoho, but if the VA you’re interviewing doesn’t have any experience you’ll be stuck doing the data entry work and losing time that could be better spent building your business, closing a deal, or having some “me time”.
What Does DPI Mean?
Asking specific questions about marketing materials like “what does DPI (dots per inch) stand for?” or “what makes a vector file different from a raster file?” will help you to find someone who can order new logos, print brochures, and business cards without supervision. Your real estate VA will be able to ensure you’re always stocked with the right materials so you can focus on closing deals while they keep your business running smoothly.
How Do You Get a Client That Only Wants to Talk to Me to Respond to You?
This question doesn’t have a right or a wrong answer. What you’re looking for is how the person will solve a tricky problem when they encounter one.
Your virtual assistant will be representing you, and if you have a client that is already a bit difficult when they don’t get their way, you want your VA to act how you would, especially when you’re not available. Listen to the person’s problem solving skills and how they would evaluate the situation. If the answer is how you would want yourself to be represented, then great.
Bonus – if the person gives multiple ways to approach this they are a problem solver by nature or have specific experience. This is someone to really consider if you’re stuck between two or three candidates.
Name 3 Ways to Find a Client’s Phone Number
It is important to ask research questions during the interview process so that you can make sure your virtual assistant can handle the menial tasks so you can do your job more effectively. By asking about a client’s phone number in a generic way, you can test their ability to problem solve.
Possible answers could include:
- Look in your database (CRM system)
- Google them and look for where they work, then call their office
- Check my email for where you shared it previously
- Look at our contracts and agreements with them
As a Real Estate Agent I Work Odd Hours, Is This OK For You?
If this is your VA’s first time working in real estate, they are likely not going to be expecting the weekend and evening hours that the job entails. Gauge their responses to see if there are hesitations to working when they would normally be away from their computers.
If the hours aren’t something they feel comfortable with then it could turn bad quickly. You need someone that can support your needs and in your industry. Even if their skills are perfect, they have to be able to use them in time sensitive situations. It is also very important to be clear about work hours and expectations so that there are no surprises as you begin working together.
If your VA pushes back, that is OK too. You have to be able to work with and respect each other equally.
Why Does Real Estate Appeal to You?
This question is not as important, but it does matter. If you can find an assistant that is passionate about your field and wants to move into the industry, you may be able to train them from scratch. Furthermore, it makes their job more enjoyable because it is a topic and industry they already like. It may even be easier to train them on your needs because it is a field they want to move into as a possible career.
Hiring a real estate VA is an amazing step towards growing your business and having a work-life balance. Knowing the right questions to ask your VA during the interview is key to helping you find the perfect match, and we hope the ones above will assist you in your search.