Virtual Voice

www.RealEstateSupportSpecialist.com

Two Courses offered for Real Estate Support Specialists

Are you a real estate agent in need of hiring an assistant without the time to train them?

Are you an administrative support specialist looking to learn a niche to assist real estate agents?

If you are, you have found the right blog today! I am offering two upcoming classes that will teach you how to specialize in Transaction Coordination and Listing Coordination. You will learn the processes, receive checklists, and discover time saving resources that will help you become a sought after assistant!

 

I have been a licensed real estate agent for 20+ years. I have owned my own real estate virtual assistant business for 4+ years. In my experience, I have found that when a real estate agent recognizes they need an assistant, they do not have the time to train them causing frustration for the agent and the assistant.

 

Coming October 11, 2017 – Accelerate Your Income with Transaction Coordination. In this 4 week course you will discover how to follow a closing from contract to close. If you have been interested in specializing as a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, this is the course for you. There is a special offer for you to also join the upcoming course Increase Your Income with Listing Coordination that begins November 28, 2017 if you enroll for both courses. Get more information here: http://realestatesupportspecialist.com/accelerate-your-income-with-transaction-coordination/

 

Contact me for more information.

The Importance of Providing “Good” Showing Feedback.

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As a real estate virtual assistant, I am amazed at the feedback comments that are sometimes provided on properties and the number of agents who will not provide feedback.

Your local real estate agents ARE your primary market for your real estate listings and buyers. Without agents who list properties, you have nothing to show your qualified buyers. Without qualified buyers, you have no one to look at your listings.

Providing feedback on listings is crucial to any marketing plan the listing agent puts together.

As you know, the seller sets the price, but the buyer sets the value. This fact makes buyer’s feedback one of the most important aspects of any marketing process.

And yet, a great number of agents will not provide feedback when they show a home or the feedback they provide is not helpful to their fellow real estate agent or the seller. Everyone understands that if you do not present an offer after a showing or ask additional questions, your buyer is most likely not interested in the home. Knowing why is crucial.

4 Tips to Providing “Good” Showing Feedback

  1. Your buyer felt a desire to see the home, which should be the first point you should address when providing feedback. “My buyer wanted to look at the home because…..(has the bedrooms they need, the location is where they want, the condition of the home looked great in the photos, etc.)”
  2. What was the buyer’s first impression when they drove up to the property? “My buyers felt the outside of the home had good (great or bad) curb appeal” or “The neighbor’s home was a bit concerning.”
  3. As the buyer’s walked through the home, what were the comments they made? “We smell animals,” “Love the layout of this home,” “I wish it had a place for a home office” or “I wish the seller wasn’t present.” And so on.
  4. As the showing agent, your opinion on the price and condition of the property is also helpful to the listing agent when they are discussing feedback and future marketing with the sellers.

It is rare that the listing agent will sell their own listings. Therefore, the listing agent depends on the showing agents for good, honest feedback on the home. As the buyer’s agent, you have a pulse on what the buyers feel about a property.

Remembering that you need to cooperate with and not antagonize other real estate agents; be kind when you provide this feedback. I have come across agents who have provided feedback that is not constructive and downright mean. Remember that some agents allow feedback to go directly to the sellers and that affects your reputation.

Feedback is so important to the listing agent. It provides discussion points on items a seller may need to improve and adjustments that may be required in their pricing. A listing agent who receives helpful feedback is most likely going to be willing to provide the same for you when they are representing a buyer on one of your listings!

Contact CW Virtual Associates to help you implement feedback request systems into your real estate marketing plans.

The Power of Checklists for Real Estate Agents!

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Has this happened to you in your Real Estate career? You lay your head on the pillow and suddenly your brain engages and reminds you that you forgot to order a dye test or you forgot to remind your seller you will need a key to put in the lockbox.

The busier a real estate agent becomes, the easier it is to overlook routine tasks. Increasing your production increases your potential for something to fall through the cracks.

Simple checklists will help you to keep on task and stay organized in your real estate business.

You can implement many different systems and checklists. Programs like Top Producer or Dotloop provide a function to create task lists for every aspect of your business from marketing a listing to closing coordination or client follow-up. If you don’t use a program like those, you can create a simple Word document, Google doc, Power Point or Excel spreadsheet to help you stay on track.

Powerful communication is obtained by using checklists.

As an individual agent, you need to coordinate with outside parties, office managers, lenders and title companies to share contracts, dye tests and occupancy certifications. Providing information in a timely manner is crucial in the real estate industry.

If you have a real estate team, you may need to communicate with team members so they are aware of the progress of listing marketing or transaction coordination. In the event you are not in the office, a team member should be able to take over where you left off.

Creating a good checklist can take some time.

A checklist should be updated as you add new tasks or eliminate steps in your processes. Evaluate what you do, step by step for everything in your business and write it down. Now you have a checklist!

Having a checklist system implemented in your business will provide for happy sellers and buyers. You may also sleep better knowing that something hasn’t slipped through the cracks!

Contact CW Virtual Associates to help you implement a checklist system in your business!

 

Real Estate Agents – Take back control of your life!

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As a real estate virtual assistant, I hear this scenario play out too often:

You start the day with your “to do” list in one hand and good intentions in the other … and then the phone rings. Now you are off chasing down the answer to distraction #1 for the day. Surely after you take care of this one missing detail for next week’s closing you will be able to tackle that “to do” list. You make the necessary call to the closing company and find there are some additional details that have slipped through the cracks. The next thing you know it is the end of the day and your “to do” list remains untouched. Does this sound familiar?

REAL ESTATE AGENTS MUST BE FLEXIBLE

Unfortunately, that flexibility may mean you have to give up plans you made with family or friends so that you can catch up with all the tasks required of you. You may work 12-hour days and still not keep up with all you need to do. It is time for you to control your schedule so it stops controlling you! But how do you do that?

HIRE A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

A real estate virtual assistant can help you earn more, work less and take control of your life. Try simply delegating tasks like marketing listings, creating and implementing follow-up campaigns, social media management, blog posting and closing coordination. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you get to spend more time face-to-face with buyers and sellers and less time working all hours of the day and night.

Once assigned a task, a trained Real Estate Virtual Assistant can take the ball and run with it, keeping you informed of progress along the way. You can assign the tasks that are consuming your time and keeping you awake at night knowing they are handled appropriately and professionally.

TAKE THE FIRST STEP TO CONTROLLING YOUR SCHEDULE

Contact CW Virtual Associates to schedule a free consultation to discuss implementing a Real Estate Virtual Assistant in your business.

Have you found your Niche? Consider Transaction Coordination.

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If you are a virtual assistant looking to specialize, consider Transaction Coordination. Transaction Coordination is only one service offered by a Real Estate Virtual Assistant, but it is a service that is in demand by busy real estate agents.

So what is Transaction Coordination?

Transaction Coordination is merely coordinating the closing process from the execution of the sales agreement to closing day. As Transaction Coordinator (TC), you are the main point of contact between the buyer or seller and the Title Company who will prepare the closing documents and conduct the title search. Here’s an overview of the tasks you’ll do as a TC:

  • Review all contracts for compliance
  • Submit all contracts to the Agent’s designated office personnel
  • Research municipality requirements and inform the seller of their responsibilities
  • Schedule and confirm the closing date and time
  • Close out the listing in the multiple listing service
  • Update agent’s database and arrange for closing gifts.

Is Transaction Coordination complicated?

Absolutely not. You have to create a checklist based on the requirements of the agent you are working with and just follow your checklist. It is that simple. There is a belief that working as a TC is complicated. I do not think that is the case. I think the problem lies with training. Most times when a real estate agent is ready to hire an assistant, they do not have the time to do thorough training. That is why educating yourself prior to accepting a transaction coordination assignment is important.

What skills do you need to be a Transaction Coordinator?

You need some basic skills to be an effective Transaction Coordinator:

  1. Ability to read and extract information from sales documents. You will need to find the important dates and information in the sales agreements.
  2. Know when to ask questions. Don’t make assumptions, missing a deadline can be detrimental to a sales transaction. Better to ask the question now than to delay closing.
  3. Attention to detail. You must review your files and update information frequently throughout the closing process to be certain deadlines are met and requirements are completed.
  4. Take initiative. Do not wait for direction from your agent. Be sure everything is done that needs to be done in the timeframe required. Don’t assume it is complete without verification.
  5. Positive mindset. Your mindset may be your most important skill. You will be called upon to be an extension of your real estate agent, preserving the agent’s reputation. A positive happy tone will be an important asset. Frustration can occur in any transaction and you just can’t lose your cool.

What is not involved in being a Transaction Coordinator?

You will NOT be responsible for writing contracts, negotiating contracts and all things legalese. I set up my practice so that the agent I am working with is responsible for all contract negotiations including the home inspections. This is truly an aspect that the real estate agent must handle themselves due to fiduciary and contractual requirements they have with their client as well as licensing laws.

Do I have to have a real estate license?

Holding a real estate license is not a requirement to become a TC. You are performing administrative tasks and not handling the duties that would require a real estate license. Each state defines what a licensed and unlicensed assistant can do. Always be sure to check the state requirements.

Is Transaction Coordination for you?

Consider taking a look at this specialized niche. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States. Imagine if you had even 1% of those agents as clients … you’d have 200,000 clients. Realistically, I find that I can handle an average of 10 clients at one time so you can see how relatively easy it will be to get all the clients you need.

 

Cindy Winslow is the owner of CW Virtual Associates and is also a licensed real estate agent. Having been in the real estate industry for 20+ years, Cindy has a wealth of knowledge to share. If you are interested in exploring a niche in Transaction Coordination further, Cindy will be offering a course this fall. Sign up on the waiting list now so you can be notified when registration opens. http://eepurl.com/bTY7jL

7 Reasons You May Need a Transaction Coordinator

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It is that time of year again. The spring market is music to a real estate agent’s ears! Honestly, in the markets I currently service, I have not seen a slowdown from Fall, 2015.

As a busy real estate agent, you may have trouble keeping up with all the paperwork that goes along with selling a lot of properties. During the 20 years I worked as an agent, I found that managing the transaction coordination was especially time-consuming and stressful. That’s why, now that I’m a real estate virtual assistant, I offer transaction coordination services.

Here are 7 reasons you may need to hire an experienced transaction coordinator:

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if you don’t have enough hours in the day!

The 8-10 hours that you would spend working on one closing could be spent on lead generation, taking a new listing or working with a buyer. These are the most important activities for any real estate agent. Working with a transaction coordinator will free your schedule so that you can spend your time doing what you do best.

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if you haven’t turned in a sales file prior to closing in recent memory!

A transaction coordinator will check all contracts for compliance and submit them to your broker’s designated office personnel after execution. Any missing documents required by your office will be obtained prior to closing which will prevent delay in receiving your commission checks. Not only will it make your life easier, it also helps your office with their financial forecasting.

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if you can’t check your email or return phone calls before 10 PM!

For the most part, Title Company employees work an 8-hour day and can’t be reached after 5 pm. A transaction coordinator communicates with the Title Company; follows the numerous details, deadlines, and dates; prevents items from falling through the cracks and ensures things are done in a timely manner. Having one point of contact allows the information to funnel through one source and provide excellent customer service to your buyers and sellers.

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if administrative work is not your thing!

Salespeople usually have great interpersonal skills but can’t stand spending time in the office with administrative details. If setting up a closing time and location only to have someone change their availability before the ink is dry on your calendar entry makes you want to scream, it might be time to consider hiring a transaction coordinator.

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if you have increased your earning goals!

Productivity consultant David Allen is quoted as saying, “You can do anything, but not everything!” To achieve new goals, you need to think differently. Hiring a trained transaction coordinator to assist you in your business gives you the extra time needed to reach your higher goals.

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if the thought of hiring an in-office staff member scares you!

A transaction coordinator is paid a flat rate for each closing. If your closings are up then down, you only pay for the work needed. You do not need to worry about keeping an assistant busy when there is little work. You also don’t need the added overhead costs of having an in-house employee. When you work with a virtual assistant who specializes in transaction coordination, you only pay for the time you need.

  1. You may need a transaction coordinator if you don’t have time to train someone!

Usually, when an agent needs to hire someone to help them with their business, they are so busy they do not have the time to train anyone. Hiring someone who specializes and has been trained in transaction coordination alleviates the time-consuming training process. A quick orientation to learn how you handle your files is all that is needed.

Growing your real estate business is exciting. But to excel you need a dependable, reliable team. CW Virtual Associates can provide you with the trained help you need. Cindy Winslow has been in the real estate industry for 20 years and maintains a real estate license to stay current on regulations and trends that affect your business. Cindy’s team of professional real estate virtual assistants truly understand the needs of a busy real estate agent. Contact Cindy today for a consultation at 412-294-8335.

If you are interested in becoming a Transaction Coordinator or have an assistant you would like trained, please sign up for the waiting list for my upcoming course, The Ultimate Transaction Coordination Blueprint for Real Estate Support Specialists scheduled for release this fall at http://eepurl.com/bTY7jL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey from Real Estate Agent to Real Estate Virtual Assistant

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Agents, colleagues and friends often ask why I chose to open a Real Estate Virtual Assistant company after many years of being a successful sales agent. This is my journey to becoming a Real Estate Support Specialist.

Helping People with Disabilities
I had been recruited into an interesting and rewarding position as Director of Real Estate Services for a new non-profit real estate development company. The company built new homes and modified existing homes for people with disabilities. This position combined my real estate expertise with my desire to help people in a meaningful way. After two years of hard work creating the framework for the company, things started to happen. The day before our company’s second anniversary, our parent company informed the staff they could no longer provide the current level of funding due to cuts in the parent company’s income. They laid off our staff of three. The prospects of returning to work in the near future were not promising, so I began to examine my options.

Exploring My Options
Returning to real estate sales was the obvious option. It would take a lot of work to re-build my real estate business after two years of neglecting it. I had recently remarried and my husband traveled extensively for his job. The thoughts of working nights and weekends again was not so appealing for this newlywed. Weekends were precious to us.

So, I kept exploring my options. One of my favorite roles in Real Estate was Training Coordinator for Keller Williams Realty. Helping real estate agents maneuver through the plethora of information, contracts and systems needed to function productively was as exciting to me as handing a first-time home buyer the keys to their new home.

I knew whatever direction I took it would require hard work to build (or re-build) a business. I felt it was time to take a new direction in my Real Estate journey. Then I contacted Duquesne University Small Business Development Center for guidance on setting up my own company.

Discovering My Geeky Side
I know that REALTORS® are in need of top-notch support to keep the machine running behind the scenes enabling them to spend their valuable time face to face with buyers and sellers. It didn’t take long for this “geeky” girl to realize how I could offer efficient and thorough support to my real estate friends, preserve the time I desired with my new husband and continue to work in the industry I love.

That is when CW Virtual Associates was born! Because I am a licensed real estate agent, I am familiar with what it takes to get the job done. Trying to keep on top of everything becomes quickly overwhelming as an agent becomes more successful. I provide the support services you need to keep on track and increase your business.

Ready to Get Started?
Contact me to find out how hiring a virtual assistant with first-hand knowledge of your day-to-day operations can benefit you. Contact Me