A major factor you should consider when hiring a new real estate assistant is their location. Where they are located will often determine other factors, such as how much you will pay them and what other incentives you offer.
Here are the possibilities:
In Your Office
Do you want an assistant who works alongside you in your office? This would be someone local to you, and may be a more expensive option than a virtual assistant. Also, if you aren’t at the office yourself regularly so you can shepherd them through tasks, this is not a practical idea.
If you're running a larger team or a brokerage and you have a lot of agents doing the listing appointments and working with the buyers, then it probably makes sense to have somebody working out of your office, if you have a centralized location. However, if you're just getting started with growing your team, and maybe this is the first assistant you’ve hired, maybe it makes more sense to hire someone virtually. If they're in your office and you're gone all the time, I don't know that it makes the most sense to have them there. You have to pay for the desk, you have to pay for the space, and you have to get more things prepared.
Virtually, in Local Area
You could also find a VA who lives in your area and thus could accompany you on certain tasks. Depending on what part of the country you live in, this could be a pricier option.
If you want to hire somebody in your area, and you want somebody who meets you face-to-face, try a hybrid of doing a little bit of working from home and a little bit of working from the office or working from a co-working space.
If you're in a really high-end area where the cost of living is very expensive or the job market is really tight, another thing you may consider is hiring somebody elsewhere in the country. For example, if you're in San Francisco, and the people you get are really expensive, there's a lot of ways to get really good assistance for half the price of what you pay in your local area, maybe in another area of California or in a whole other state or across the country.
In some situations, if you're on the east coast and you want somebody to work later hours, maybe you'd go to a different time zone. Those are things that we've done.
Virtually, But in Another Country that is More Affordable
The final option, and probably the most affordable of these, is to hire a VA who lives outside of your country. Depending on what you are looking for in a VA, this is a solid choice.
Resources for Each Location
If you’re trying to find someone in the United States, consider these sources:
- CraigsList - A classic website, this one still works. Furthermore, it’s cheaper to post here on average than other sites, which often charge per click or impression. For that reason, you might want to start there.
- Indeed - Indeed.com offers various screening options and aggregates other job sites for applicants.
- LinkedIn - This professional network makes it easy to view someone’s experience and background.
- Your Sphere of Influence - Word of mouth is still a great way to find an assistant. Ask members of your community if they know someone who might be a good fit.
If you would rather find someone who lives outside of the U.S., here are some websites to try:
- OnlineJobs.PH - Our company has found success with this website, where you can hire Filipinos for longer term work.
- Upwork, 123Employee, MyOutDesk -These websites are ideal if you don’t want to pay or manage the person directly, but it often means finding freelancers that might not stick around. They are typically best for short-term or one-time projects.
- WorldWide101, AVirtual - These are other websites that hire VAs from around the world.
If you want to get a free guide that shows you exactly how to do this stuff and more of the step-by-step process, go to smartagents.com/assistant, and get your free guide.