Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:
How many of you are interested in working from home as a virtual assistant in the real estate world? I’ll admit that even though I haven’t had a realtor client of my own, I’ve always had this niche on my radar! So today I wanted to share an interview I did with Whitney Farley, a successful VA who works with a real estate office and is also a graduate of my VA Crash Course. Find out exactly how she started working online as an admin and business sidekick with a real estate client!
Here’s Whitney’s story, and her tips for busting into the real estate market as a digital media VA!
Whitney is a military spouse – like me – which means she moves around a lot. She has three young kids at home and knew she needed flexibility and creative work routines. Especially since her husband was deployed right after she began looking for new work opportunities.
She’s a lot like Carrie, who found her golden ring client right after taking my course! Now she works regular hours every week for a dream client who is a real estate agent. And she is so excited about where her digital media career is heading!
With her new job, she’s paying off family debt and saving money so she and her husband can do the renovations they want on their house. Plus, she knows that when her husband retires in five years, they can still have a nice income stream. And even though her husband is deployed, working from home means she can still be a mom and take care of her family’s needs.
And how awesome is this? Just like Carrie, Whitney ended up bartering with a local housekeeper to get her house cleaned in exchange for help with her housekeeper’s digital marketing! I love the idea of taking the drudgery of housework off your plate while boosting your VA portfolio AND helping a local business owner!
“I can’t sit at a desk and work 20 hours a week anymore…”– Whitney
From military wife to successful real estate VA…
Whitney originally got a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. But she struggled to find a job, and it didn’t get easier when her husband’s work in the military meant that they were moving every few years.
For a while when they lived Germany, she did a lot of volunteer work and gained some valuable experience. And once they moved back to the states, she started doing admin work at a local church. But when she became a mom, she knew she wanted flexibility and looked for an opportunity to work from home.
Before she signed up for my course, she looked for some clients on her own. But, getting clients can be overwhelming if you don’t have your foot in the door. The VA Crash Course became a great opportunity for her to build her skill toolkit and find ways to get new clients.
Soon after, she did what I always suggest – she looked locally for business owners that needed help. Whitney actually contacted her own realtor and when she explained what she could do, she was hired! Like Whitney said, the realtor already knew, liked and trusted her so that KLT factor was already there!
Here’s why the real estate industry should be on your radar, too:
I think this is an industry to watch when you’re working as a VA!
I personally work a lot with DIY craft-y clients and creative types. And sometimes with those clients, they’re more loose in their business, and not as organized. It can take a lot of coaching and hand-holding to keep them focused and moving forward in their business. For some VAs, that’s a great fit. For others, it can be frustrating!
But real estate work is often much more focused. Agents are usually already on top of their business plans and are going to be pretty specific about what they need. They just need a unicorn to support them and help them do ALL.THE.THINGS. And the market is already there and booming in many places!
Realtors are so busy. They don’t have time to focus on the daily details and repetitive tasks. They need to prioritize the activities to get their face out there and do the front line work – focusing on their showings.
And so they need help with nurturing their clients and building relationships. And helping clients through the buying or selling process. Real estate isn’t about a short-term business plan, where you can convert a sale with just a well-placed “buy now” button. It’s about keeping clients for the long haul.
Whitney mentioned that there are so many realtors that are looking for assistants. Very few people seem to apply! Maybe they’re intimidated by the techie skills and having the background knowledge. Whitney was lucky – her client worked with her to teach her all the ins and outs. But it wasn’t that hard to learn, and the resources are out there. And now her client calls her the “brain” and often waits for her lead to recommend next steps for her marketing!
“One major thing that keeps realtors successful is having an assistant!”– Whitney
Watch the Interview with a Real Estate VA
Working as a real estate VA means you get to be a true unicorn sidekick!
Whitney is definitely putting all of her unicorn virtual assistant skills to work! And I know a lot of you are curious about what that looks like for her.
Right now, she consistently works 15-20 hours a week. And although right now she’s working with a local real estate agent, she said it will be easy to do it all remotely when her husband gets his next move with the military.
One of Whitney’s biggest accomplishments has been creating an organized spreadsheet to track years of prior sales. Since they are working in a real estate market with a lot of military families, there is a lot of turnover in housing needs. So now she can reach out to those previous clients that originally purchased with her agent and stay connected to them. To nurture and maintain those warm relationships. Then they can reach out right about the time that those families are ready to sell and move on. And that means those clients remember their name when they want to list their home, or their friends and neighbors ask for recommendations.
That’s a perfect example of how her client was too busy to focus on tasks that would help her business grow and expand. But with Whitney’s help to create the spreadsheet and help her get organized, she could tap into even more potential sales. And that’s exactly why a unicorn VA is so valuable!
Whitney gets to use all of her strengths to support her realtor client.
And this particular client is a great fit for her. Whitney shared that she’s not personally a super creative type, but loves doing detailed admin tasks, background tech work, and connecting with clients. And she has fun working on her client’s social media accounts.
Of course, there are legal guidelines for what tasks a VA can do, and which ones the licensed real estate agent needs to complete. But since Whitney can take on so many of the admin tasks behind the scenes, it frees up her client to focus on the core tasks that she needs to do be able to do herself.
Here are just a few of the ways that Whitney helps her real estate client:
- Website work (especially SEO!)
- Scheduling showings
- Picking out gifts to send to clients
- Nurturing client relationships by staying in touch
- Managing Facebook and ad campaigns
- Responding to inquiries and requests for information
- Emailing clients and helping them through the steps of a closing
- Scheduling inspections and lining up requirements for closing dates
- Creating forms
- Managing email lists and email marketing
- Working within the agency’s database
- Creating and updating spreadsheets
- Organizing paperwork and keeping checklists of necessary documents
Plus lots more! Including all the little random tasks that her client just needs to take off her plate, like updating Instagram story buttons.
Real estate agents definitely need a unicorn VA who is organized and has great attention to detail. And this definitely made Whitney realize her worth and value as a digital media marketing sidekick. It’s a good reminder – don’t undervalue yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for the compensation you deserve!
“I took way less pay than I should have for a long time…but now I know what skills I have!”– Whitney
⚡️Podcast Alert: The milspouse who won over the realty world
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Libsyn | Listen Notes | iHeartRadio
The Takeaway: Realtors and real estate agents need a unicorn virtual assistant more than they might even realize.
Whitney’s story is such a good example of why you should reach out to a business owner and SHOW THEM WHAT YOU CAN DO. They might not even realize how much they need a unicorn VA. But if you convince them to give you a chance, they’ll start seeing the benefits. You will be helping them make more money and allowing them to focus on the part of their business that really grows their revenue and reach.
Look at all the realtors in your area. Who can you reach out to this week?
Don’t be afraid to be a go-getter and put yourself out there. Contact those people that you know you can help. Not all of them will take you up on it, of course. But don’t get discouraged. It worked for Chanti Zak, it’s worked for me, and it’s worked for so many of my most successful unicorn VA students..
If you’re interested and want to know more about working in the real estate world, make sure you check out the full video of Whitney’s interview inside my free Facebook group. In the video, Whitney shares lots of great information about her experience as a virtual assistant in the real estate world. And she shares more details about what you need to know to get started, including her tech tips and favorite online programs .
So first make sure you’re a member of my free facebook group for VAs. Then go there and watch the whole video interview I did with Whitney:
No, I didn’t pay her to say it…
But in the video, Whitney mentioned that the one thing she wished she had done differently was to take my VA Crash Course earlier.
And I get it, because looking back at my own career, I would have wished for the same thing. I wasn’t even sure what a VA was when I landed my first client. I spent hours and hours googling free training videos, and stayed up way too late at night playing around with different software and websites. For years! I was scrappy and I knew how to get things done. But at the same time, I didn’t even know how much I didn’t know!
It took a long time to figure things out the hard way. And to make enough networking connections in the digital media space to fill my schedule with paying clients. I would have loved to have everything I needed wrapped up in a single package. And that’s exactly why I created my crash course!
“There’s a lot that you can get from your course that would have taken so much time..and to have a community of people who are doing it… and who will celebrate your wins!”– Whitney
See you in the online space!
-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer
“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“
3 ways we can work together:
1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills and build your workflows so you can solidly put yourself out there for work? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It opens twice a year so jump on the waitlist now!… I also share job leads with my students so it’s a gateway for anyone who wants to build a freelance business that gives them flexibility and meaningful work). You can also choose to go through the self-study program now. Enroll here.
2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for my Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 1,600+ job opportunities with this community.
3. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.
Free Trainings Available Right Now:
Yes, you really can work online.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital marketing business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. Start here with my list of 10 popular tasks that online businesses need help with the most!
These are the tasks that new clients are constantly asking for help with, and skills that they really need to find in a virtual assistant. Get access to this free download right now. Then make sure your own VA toolkit is up-to-date and relevant, and decide where you might need to invest in new growth and development for your biz.