As an entrepreneur, you are probably naturally self-reliant and may enjoy the satisfaction that comes with managing everything on your own. Although being independent is generally a positive trait , it can hinder your business’s growth if you don’t know when to rely on other people’s time and expertise.
Real estate agents are busier than ever these days, competing for new business and helping clients buy and sell properties. Outsourcing some of your non-profit-generating tasks can help you focus on activities that actually make you money.
Here, then, are some tasks you should consider outsourcing:
1. Administrative work
Always answering calls and emails and filling out and organizing documents? Even though it can feel unnatural to hire someone else to do these everyday administrative tasks, consider the time savings you could reap. You might be spending several hours a week just answering inquiries and dealing with paperwork and bookkeeping when you could be meeting new clients or focusing on helping your clients. You can hire a freelance administrative assistant who works in your office or you can use companies like Agent Solutions and Real Support that specialize in providing virtual assistants to real estate agents.
2. Odd jobs
If you find yourself needing a lot of help, or well-trained help, hiring a part- or full-time virtual assistant may be the best solution. A virtual assistant “can tackle everything from incoming calls to coordinating new listings in the Multiple Listing Service,” writes Gina Thelemann on Inman.
However, even if you don’t have the money (or time) to hire and train an assistant, consider paying people to perform infrequent jobs for your real estate agency. Perhaps this could include running short errands—like picking up or dropping off documents—or even writing copy for your web site.
Several apps and online tools, including TaskRabbit, Fiverr and Elance, can help you find people willing to perform short-term tasks, sometimes for as little as $5 or $15.
3. Photography & Staging
You, of course, need to make the properties you sell look as attractive as possible to prospective buyers. It makes sense, then, to hire professionals to take photos of the properties and help you decorate them most effectively.
Professionals will have tools and best practices that you may not know about. A photographer, for example, can use lenses and editing techniques to make a room look bigger or brighter or turn the photos into animated slideshows.
Brad Sage, vice president of operations at Toronto-based Sage Real Estate, told Realtor Mag in 2013 that his firm hires professional photographers and pays $100 to $140 per listing for photos and $500 to $2,500 per listing for videography services. Though the firm has on-staff marketing expertise, hiring professional photographers helps ensure the firm stays on top of the latest trends in real estate photography and maintains the image of being a high-quality real estate firm.
Whenever you outsource, evaluate the people you’re working with in advance and make sure they are reliable and have the expertise you need. Elance and TaskRabbit let you read reviews of prospective workers, but you can also use online review sites like Yelp. Even when you’re outsourcing, you want to make sure you’re hiring quality help that upholds your company’s image and reputation.
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