Brittany Kramme from The Right Hand of a Realtor shares valuable insights on how independent assistants and transaction coordinators can thrive. Starting as a licensed assistant in 2014, Brittany worked her way up to become a successful real estate agent. Then in 2017, as she began to grow her family. Despite her love for real estate and her clients, she found the demanding nature of the job no longer fit her lifestyle.
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Seeking a new way to apply her knowledge and experience, she started an online virtual assistant business, providing support to other real estate agents as a TC, Marketing Assistant, or Admin. Through coaching and mentoring, she now helps others achieve success in the industry. Brittany offers practical tips and strategies that can serve as a blueprint for those looking to start a successful career as an independent VA or TC.
Breaking into real estate can be a lucrative opportunity, even if you don’t have a background in the field. In fact, anyone can become a real estate assistant or transaction coordinator if they have the right set of skills which include being detail-oriented, organized, and communicative. Marketing experience can be an added bonus because many agents are social butterflies and love to network, but not all of them are creative. A marketing assistant can be a great help to think outside the box and bring creativity to an agent’s marketing campaigns. No matter what level of marketing skill you have, there’s probably an agent out there who could utilize you. There is a need for assistants on all levels.
So, how do you get started in real estate if you’re coming from another industry? The first step is to learn what real estate is about, what happens behind the scenes, and what real estate agents need in regards to support. Brittany recommends completing a coaching program, a course, or shadowing an Agent. If you don’t know any real estate agents, there are plenty of free real estate agent options like Facebook groups where you can network and ask questions.
One of the biggest challenges and common questions Brittany receives is how to find clients. One of the greatest barriers is simply getting your foot in the door. It’s important to be upfront with an agent and let them know that you’re just starting out. There is no shame in that. Additionally, as you don’t have any other clients, you can devote all of your attention to their needs. Starting out and utilizing this type of language can help you establish yourself as VA and get your business off the ground.
Structuring Your Virtual Business
How do you structure your pricing and your offerings? Pricing is a tricky question. On the transaction coordination side, it is much easier. As a transaction coordinator, you get paid per transaction and paid upon closing. However, on the virtual assistant side, it will depend on what services you offer and how you structure your packages. You can provide options such as silver, gold, and platinum packages, and they might have a few a la carte options where they can tack onto any of those packages. That’s one way to structure it. Others do a discovery call with an agent, where the agent tells them what they need. Then the VA will provide a proposal that is specific to that agent’s needs. When it comes to pricing, don’t forget to factor in your experience and knowledge. That is your leverage, that is your value. Sometimes it’s not just about our time exchange for money, but the value exchange for our presence in that time.
Maintaining boundaries and setting clear expectations with clients is crucial. You must avoid giving away more time and resources than expected. Determine your repetitive and non-negotiable tasks and identify when you can work. Be transparent with your clients about your availability and establish clear communication and expectations up front. For instance, if you have specific times when you won’t be working, ensure that your clients know when you will be unavailable. If it’s a deal-breaker for them, then you may not be a good fit. Fit your services into your lifestyle, create systems that work for you and avoid overbooking your time.
Hiring a US-Based VA
So the question remains: Should you hire someone in the US or overseas? While it’s true that rates for overseas virtual assistants tend to be much lower, there are certain advantages to hiring a US-based assistant that should not be overlooked. One of the biggest advantages of hiring a US-based virtual assistant is the fact that they are likely to be more familiar with the local market, clientele, and lifestyle. Another advantage of hiring a US-based virtual assistant is the fact that they are more likely to be fluent in the nuances of the English language, which can be especially important for tasks like copywriting and content creation. While overseas virtual assistants may be able to offer lower rates, it can be challenging to capture the essence of something if you are not immersed in the culture 100%.
The Key Club
The Key Club is Brittany’s coaching membership program that offers members access to a plethora of resources, including courses, templates, checklists, and the Discovery Call guide. This comprehensive program can help new virtual assistants get up and running quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Key Club members have access to Brittany herself for mentorship and guidance, as well as a community of like-minded individuals. This program provides a unique combination of education, community, support, accountability, and resources all in one platform. Joining the Key Club can help members expedite their path to becoming prosperous business owners.