How Much Does a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Cost?
When starting your very own real estate photography business, you will find that your days will fill up pretty fast. Not only will you have to focus on your actual photo shoot and honing your craft, but you will also need to take care of marketing, replying to clients, administrative work, creative work, editing your photos, shooting videos, and so much more.
Once your real estate business grows and you attain more clients, it will be best to outsource some tasks. There is so much you stand to gain by hiring help, and even if you start them off with small yet repetitive tasks, you will soon find out that it can take a chunk off your shoulders.
By having a few more hours of the day free up, you can better focus on things that need most of your attention such as learning new skills, taking time in the photo shoots, or setting aside more time with loved ones.
Considering getting real estate virtual assistants for your real estate photography business? Here are a few things to know:
What Is A Virtual Assistant For Real Estate Photographers (And Why You Needed One Yesterday)
A virtual assistant is basically a business administrator who acts as your right hand. They are typically self-employed and are hired to perform a variety of professional tasks. More often than not, a virtual assistant does not focus on only one kind of skill, but rather, they can be of value when assigned to multiple departments.
Virtual assistants, as the position title suggests, work remotely. It is completely up to your agreement with them if they need to be working on specific hours, or if they can clock in and out at any time so long as they finish their tasks for the day.
The kind of duties they will take over depends on the nature of your agreement and what you feel comfortable entrusting them with, which could vary as time progresses. For example, some real estate photographers are particular when it comes to personally communicating with clients, while some others would rather hire someone to take on the bulk of the process. This could include answering inquiries, addressing concerns, setting appointments, and so on. There are no hard and fast rules as to how much or what you can delegate as it solely depends on your agreement and what you are both comfortable with.
What Are The Benefits Of Hiring A Virtual Assistant For Real Estate Photographers?
Getting a virtual assistant to help you run our real estate photography business has more advantages to it than you may think. Here are just some of the things you stand to gain from finding a quality professional:
They are paid by the hour
Virtual assistants are typically paid by the hour and only for the number of tasks that they have completed in such a time. This is more economical compared to hiring a full time employee who you have to pay a fixed monthly salary to, no matter how many tasks they were able to accomplish within the time.
You are not obligated to offer benefits
Virtual assistants and other kinds of freelancers do not typically receive benefits from a company. Unlike full time employees whom you have to set up health insurance and paid leaves for.
There is no need for an office
Virtual assistants work remotely, from wherever they please. This is a benefit for the both of you as they get the freedom to decide their office of the day, while you do not have to shell out money on work space, equipment, and other typical office necessities.
You get your time back
By delegating tasks to a virtual assistant, you would be surprised just how much time opens up for you. This allows you to accept more projects, hone your skills, and spend more time with your loved ones.
Goodbye, administrative tasks!
Administrative tasks may be minor and easy to do in general, but they definitely add up and take up so much of your time. Luckily enough, even the newest of virtual assistants can slowly help in efficiently checking these off of you. Tasks such as answering emails, replying to messages and comments on all of your social media platforms, doing research for your next posts, scheduling your social posts, and so on.
Hello, boost in productivity!
When you hire someone to help you, you are essentially investing in the growth of your business. You get to be much more productive and focused on your own set of tasks because you have another pair of hands working on the rest. This efficiently helps in producing higher quality output at a faster and smoother pace.
How To Determine The Cost-Benefit When Hiring A Virtual Assistant
The price of hiring virtual assistants heavily varies on a number of factors, and it can be a pretty broad range. It really depends on who you are looking at, what skill set they have to work with, and where exactly you are searching.
It may be tempting to opt for the one with the lowest rate, but keep in mind that this may end up hurting your business in the long run. Be sure to find a mix of quality work and justifiable cost when outsourcing a virtual assistant. Your needs and the needs of your business in order to push it further should be the driving force when making your decision and choosing with whom you want to make an investment.
Some of the most common factors that could affect the starting rate of your virtual assistant are:
Virtual Assistants Based Locally vs Virtual Assistants Based Overseas
Outsourcing virtual assistants from overseas are generally more affordable, and there is a practically endless talent pool of them based around the world. Many of them are highly skilled at various aspects of running a real estate photography business, or other industries in relation to it. Moreover, many of them are more than willing to adjust and deliver quality results across varied time zones. Lastly, being open to hiring from overseas means you have such a wide market to choose from.
However, there are instances wherein you may find it more beneficial to outsource local talent. For example, you may need your virtual assistant to be physically present from time to time, like in the case of meeting up with clients or assisting you in photo shoots. Moreover, local talents have a better understanding of the current events, trends, and practices that are specific to your area.
General Virtual Assistants vs Specialized Virtual Assistants
Sometimes, you may need to outsource a virtual assistant with a specific skill set that can better match what your business needs right now. Specialized talents with an educational background and work experience in the field you require will typically come with a higher rate, but may be just the person to deliver the right kind of work.
However, general virtual assistants are more available and are actually more than capable (for the most part) to deliver quality results even for specialized tasks. So long as they have strong communication skills, a great work ethic that compliments your own, and have expressed being comfortable with the list of tasks you expect of them, it should be worth a try.
If you are unsure which one your business needs, you can always opt for a temporary project-based contract with your chosen talent. This ensures that if either of you are not happy or fully comfortable with the setup of the first project, neither of you are obligated to continue and sign on for the next one. Once you are both decided on working with one another, you can update your agreement to a set of hours per month.
Part-Time, Project-Based, or In-House Contract
This generally depends on the scope of work you need to get done and for how long you will continuously need it for. If you are still getting started and want to test the waters working with a virtual assistant, we highly suggest going for project-based contracts.
Not only does this keep you free of obligations for the coming months, but it also gives you the chance to have a better understanding of your needs realistically.
If after some time you have come to realize that your work-life balance can’t do without a virtual assistant by your side, then it would probably be best to have a part-time or even a full-time talent.
Real Estate Virtual Assistant Services: What Real Tasks Should You Assign To A Real Estate Virtual Assistant?
Especially if you hire a generalized virtual assistant, there is a wide range of tasks that you can propose to delegate. Here are some of the most common:
1. Managing the website
Web providers such as WordPress, Wix, and SquareSPace make it so much easier for almost anyone to create and manage their own website. However, there is still a learning curve to it, and outsourcing this task saves you from spending too much time studying, practicing, and essentially managing it.
2. Managing the blog
Blog posts require research, critical thinking skills, topic strategy, writing skills, and being able to schedule their publishing dates. Imagine all the hours you can save by having someone else take care of all that and having you just review and approve of their final work?
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is considered a specialized skill and hiring an expert is still recommended. However, there are little things you can do to boost your SEO such as keyword research, adding labels to images, and applying meta-descriptions – all of which your assistant can take care of.
4. Social Media Strategy
Social media can easily eat up a chunk of time. It needs a good content strategy in order to uphold the image of your brand. By hiring someone who can take the time to research relevant information and turn them into valuable posts, you will no longer need to keep thinking about what you have to post online for engagement and visibility.
Your strategy should incorporate social media advertising and hashtag research as well.
5. Social Media Management
Apart from having a good content strategy, you will also need someone to stay on top of posting regularly, replying to messages, and engaging with your audience in the comments section.
6. Email Newsletters
Automated emails help ensure that all your clients – no matter what stage of the purchasing funnel they are in – are well taken care of. A virtual assistant can assist in designing newsletters, incorporating content, and sending them out on time. Also, don’t forget the landing pages! These are a goldmine for growing your email list.
Research is necessary in multiple ways such as competitive analysis, marketing strategies, keywords to rank for, local trends, and more.
Creative Work Tasks
8. Editing your photos
The post processing that goes into real estate photography is crucial. Having properly enhanced images is important in order to bring your brand to the top and have it be seen by a wider audience.
A lot of professional photographers understandably want complete control over how their images are edited. However, if you break down the entire process, you may realize that there are some repetitive tasks you can delegate. These include adding watermarks to images, resizing photographs, or even applying Lightroom presets that you have customized yourself.
9. Assisting in photo shoots
Hire locally? Your assistant can be useful for securing equipment and setting up the photo shoot.
10. Designing and writing for social media
Apart from content strategy and management, there is also the creative aspect to social media – designing and writing your posts.
If done right, this can greatly help in garnering quality leads, strengthening brand awareness, connecting with your market, and promoting your services in front of the right group of people.
11. Managing your emails
Emails take up more time than any of us want to admit, which essentially drains your productivity levels. You can easily delegate a chunk of this to your virtual assistant and have them forward only the essentials that require your attention. Moreover, you may even request them to organize your inbox for easier viewing.
12. Making arrangements
Traveling for work? Assistants can help book accommodation, flights, and basically keep your calendar systemized.
13. Setting up your workflow
Virtual assistants can help keep you on top of things that stay in your to-do list. This ensures that you do not miss deadlines, meetings, or social dates!
You’re All Set!
Remember, hiring out is not so much an expense as it is an investment. Find your virtual assistant today!