Selling real estate is a people-based business that requires a lot of paperwork. Realtors are pulled in a lot of different directions when it comes to business development, compliance, and the fine art of matching buyers and sellers. But the paperwork is a huge time suck that pulls agents away from the parts of the business that keep leads and clients coming in, like networking and open houses.
“There are Realtors at the high-end of the market who may not have their own assistant, and there are Realtors on the low-end of the market who don’t do enough business to have an office or their own assistant. They may do 12 transactions or so a year, and hiring an assistant doesn’t make sense,” Claire Cavalieri points out. “They would have to pay their taxes and social security and then there’s benefits. Or you could have a virtual assistant and get all of the benefits of having a helper without the hassle.”
That’s why Cavalieri, a licensed Realtor with 11 years of industry experience, founded Virtual Assistants Pro. After working with Ebby Halliday Realtors as an assistant and also working as a license stager and a trained architectural photographer, Cavalieri decided to launch a business that would combine all of her abilities to help a larger pool of Dallas/Fort Worth-area agents.
“I really wanted to share my talents and abilities with the people who could use them the most,” she said. “I know the ins and outs of the real estate business, and when you work at Ebby Halliday, you have to be licensed to be an assistant. That’s just their standard of excellence. Assistants are the heart of the support systems at brokerages.”
Already, Cavalieri is seeing pent-up demand for her business’ services. Her one-stop-shop has served Realtors who need help doing the tedious paperwork and listing coordination that comes with a busy market.
“I think that the greatest need is in the listing coordination and contract-to-close service, especially during the peak selling season from March to July,” Cavalieri said. “Agents are so busy doing deals and selling houses, and they don’t have time to sit at the computer to do paperwork.”
But what does a virtual assistant do? What is the value in outsourcing paperwork and all the little details that go into getting a property on MLS?
“I would say that the greatest value is the turn-key solutions,” Cavalieri said. “They can turn that new listing over to me, and I will go in as a stager and make the home look great for photographs, I’m also a professional photographer. I can do the listing coordination — all the agreements and documents — and then take care of all the marketing materials and brochures as well as social media. All those things are necessary to get the home sold.”
And because they’re not in the office and tied to the computer doing all that paperwork, agents are out showing more homes, generating more leads, networking, deal-making, and maybe even taking some time off. “They are working on their business instead of being tied to the office. And they are making more money,” Cavalieri said.
Having a virtual assistant is an expense, of course, but it’s a tax deductible expense that is a real investment in their business and sanity, she added.
“Sure, you could save a little money by doing it all yourself, but paperwork is burdensome and if agents could turn that paperwork over to a virtual assistant, imagine what they could do with that time,” Cavalieri pointed out. “It really adds up over the course of the year. You could be making phone calls and holding open houses and so much more.”