It has been a while since I have blogged here! Unfortunately circumstances forced me to put my Virtual Real Estate Business - An Assistant On Call - on hold for a while and seek work in "the real world." I was out of it for about 2 years! However, now I can return to my own business with updated knowledge and experience that I may pass on to those that I assist.
I went to work for a local real estate office as an administrative assistant, and I wanted to share what changes I noticed since I was in the same position over 2 years earlier.
The basics, of course, remained unchanged. But there where several striking differences:
1. Agents are much more dependent/comfortable with online technology than they were even 2 years ago - Previously, some agents seemed to enjoy what the internet could offer, but some agents still chose not to participate in what they hoped would be a passing phase. Now agents are almost "forced" to explore technology so that they are not left behind! The internet and its online resources are no longer optional, but instead required. If you don't want to make it in real estate or be an effective agent, I urge you to ignore what technology has to offer. This leads me to my second similar point:
2. Home Buyers/Sellers are much more tech savvy than they were even 2 years ago - Client are becoming increasing tech savvy and they expect and agent who is the same. Gone are the days where people HAD to RELY on a person with a license to show them what homes are available before they are ready to look. Almost all people KNOW they can turn to the internet before they ever have to contact an agent - shouldn't your name be out there? They now have this information at their fingertips. They want an agent who has more to offer than just the ability to pull mls listings and take them to houses - ESPECIALLY the sellers. There are so many different systems in place now to effectively market a home. Zillow, CraigsList, Virtual Tours, E-listings and so many more - you can even put your listings on Facebook now!!!
3. There is so much to be done on a daily basis that the highly productive agents cannot survive without an administrative assistant! - You are a realtor. Your job is to meet with the clients and do the things that require a license to do. But what do you do about the day-to-day items? How do you get it all done? Simply, YOU CAN'T! As tech savvy agent, you get dozens upon dozens of emails a day regarding your online marketing. Do you have time to give each one individualized attention? NO! You have buyers to take out, houses to list etc. But someone back at the office can handle the mounds of electronic mail that you get per day. They can make sure that all of your internet marketing for all those houses you listed with technology friendly sellers is up-to-date. They can make sure that these same sellers receive information on their internet marketing which is readily available for those who have it. This assistant can make sure that sellers are getting steady feedback and updates that today's technology allows - did you know that you can get a "play-by-play" of when your house is shown? Bottom line, - even though you may not need an assistant now - you will in the future if you hope to be productive.
In summary - IF YOU WANT TO BE ONE STEP ABOVE OTHER AGENTS, AND GET THE LISTINGS AND SALES, YOU MUST BECOME TECHNOLOGY SAVVY.