As a realtor, you have only so many hours in the day. There are a lot of “rote” tasks that will eat up your time, but don’t need your best skills: Database management, scheduling, writing reports, etc. You want to be out there meeting clients and closing deals, not stuck behind a desk all day.
Yet these tasks are critically important. Without the wheels turning in the background, your supply of leads will dry up.
You’ve probably heard of outsourcing as a solution to this problem. It does work, but as always, what works for a realtor may be very different than what works for a software company. In this article, we’re going to look at outsourcing from the perspective of a realtor. We’ll tell you what works, what doesn’t, and what can be outsourced most effectively.
The benefits of outsourcing
While freeing your time is the obvious advantage, it’s not the real benefit to outsourcing to realtors. After all, anyone can find just a couple hours in a week if they really try. The issue is doing that consistently, without fail or falter.
For example, if you want to maintain a good leads database, you need to consistently add leads and keep data on existing leads up to date. If you want to maintain a good Facebook page, you need to consistently think of posts to write, day in, day out—for years. The moment you stop spinning the wheels is the moment you start to fall behind.
Many of these tasks—data entry, Facebook posting, and even tracking local pricing trends, don’t require huge amounts of expertise. But they do require consistent effort. Outsourcing helps you maintain this consistent effort, even when you’re not personally able to.
In doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of such effort. If you consistently keep your leads database up to date, if you consistently maintain your Facebook page, you can expect more leads. You can then focus your personal effort on closing those leads with the skills that got you into real estate in the first place.
At the same time, you don’t need to pay the overhead for hiring another staff member to do all this. Yes, you could hire a fresh college graduate to do some of these tasks, but then you’d be responsible for office space, health insurance, wages, etc. You could just pay someone to work a few hours a week, and leave all the busywork to another company.
Clearly, outsourcing has benefits.
The 5 best candidates for outsourcing in a realtor firm
You shouldn’t just outsource anything and everything. Outsourcing has its risks, too. Done badly, it can cost you more than you get out of it.
Because of these risks, you should identify what can be outsourced most effectively, and outsource only those things. What those things are will change for every profession. For realtors, you can look at outsourcing:
Task scheduling: Standard administration work just needs to be done. Scheduling is one of those things many firms have a secretary or manager for, but if you’re a small firm, you might want to consider outsourcing this work.
Content writing: Content writing—blogs, white papers, reports, Facebook posts, is a big candidate for outsourcing. “Content marketing” seems like a wonderful idea, until you have to actually do it. Because content consistency is so influential on the effectiveness of the plan, writing the content requires focused effort, day in, day out.
Writing emails: Writing emails is another big one. Emails don’t necessarily call for particular writing expertise as they call for tireless consistency. Even more than blog posts, emails reward regularly sending new content to a list, and it’s easy to fall behind once you commit to email marketing.
Database management: Inputting data needs to be done, but is just so… boring. Outsourcing gets it done.
Tracking stock: Tracking houses bought and sold in your area requires the time to research more than anything. The skill comes from the interpretation of that research once it’s been done. By outsourcing the research, you can focus your skill into the interpretation.
The realtor work that shouldn’t be outsourced
Not everything can be outsourced. If you outsource the wrong thing, you risk taking hits to your reputation, your lead generation, and your profits. Here are three critical tasks that should never be outsourced by a realtor, even if they sometimes make sense to outsource in other industries.
Sales: Anything related to the actual business of selling is a bad candidate for outsourcing. Closing leads, making sales calls, and dealing directly with clients is core to your business. While a manufacturing company may want to outsource its sales so they can get back to what they do best (making things), what you do best is sales. So keep it close to your chest.
Client contact: Anything which involves direct interaction with the client should never be outsourced as a realtor. This includes simply answering the phone. Your clients are dealing with very serious financial events, and expect personalized, attentive interactions from everyone involved. You need to maintain your control over how this is done to give this attention to them.
Inspections and photo tours: Creating photo tours of a house is more than just a rote task, it’s an opportunity. You should never outsource this work. Getting into the house yourself, and working out how to best present it is important to representing your clients. Even if you don’t personally have much photography skills, now’s a good time to learn.