Marketing Virtual Assistant Service
The marketing assistantposition is designed to have an immediate impact within your company with the least amount of training needed as possible.
If you have the marketing assistant follow these same tasks for your company as they do for Prosper Real Estate, then you will be able to see the quickest benefit possible to support your internal marketing team.
A full-time assistant helping do these tasks should be able to effectively complete all this work for approximately 250 units in a 40-hour work week (may vary greatly based on unit characteristics). Keep in mind that as you add more tasks to your assistant’s plate that differ from their marketing duties, your assistant will become less efficient.
A busy work task should be the first task that you assign and train your assistant on. This is a task that they can complete whenever they are not doing something else that is a higher priority. By assigning a busy work task you will guarantee to get the most productivity out of your assistant’s work schedule. Checking on tenants for maintenance Issues and verifying the contact information of the tenant directory is as up to date as quickly as possible is an excellent way to make your tenants feel valued and to keep your assistant productive. This work should be done via text message or email to reinforce your tenants to pick up the phone as little as possible. If you have your assistant call tenants about maintenance issues and leasing issues it will further drive home the message that you want to talk to your tenants on the phone. The phone call is the killer of efficiency
You will want to create an email address for your new teammate that allows them to represent your company. They should utilize the same email signature that all your internal team uses to help them blend in with your current local team. Your new assistant will first utilize this email address to clock in and out with their supervisor daily and let their supervisor know what tasks they will be working on and what tasks they completed during their shift. A nice way to start to get your assistant acclimated to your company is to blind carbon copy them on every conversation having to do with marketing. This will speed up their learning curve.
The easiest way to communicate with your assistant in the future is going to be these chat services. They will allow your marketing team to always be connected to your assistant no matter if they are sitting at their desk or in the field showing a unit. You can use these services as an instant messenger when your team is at their computers or like a text message when you just have your phone with you. With a single click of a button both services will allow you to have a face-to-face meeting via video with your assistant.
Most of the renting age group is utilizing text messages as the preferred way of communicating. Text messaging allows people to have multiple conversations moving forward simultaneously and does not demand 100% attention on one even as a phone call does. Phone calls are great if you need someone’s immediate attention in the next 5 minutes but otherwise a text message will do and supports the strengths of your virtual assistant. Prosper prefers to have as many written and documented conversations with tenants and prospective tenants as possible so we can always review past communications for training purposes. Depending on your property management software you may already have free text messaging built into your capabilities. If you do not, a voice over internet protocol service (VOIP) like Ring Central will allow your assistant to have a dedicated local telephone number and send and respond to text messages on behalf of your company. The cost of this service is usually $40/$50 per month.
Website chat makes your company more efficient in a variety of areas. First, it sets a positive image for your company that sets you apart from your competition and is usually the first connection that a prospect ever has with your company. If you are providing this service when your competitors are not, it tells the prospect right at first interaction, that your company goes above and beyond to service their tenants. A longer-term benefit that you will see when you implement website chat is that your current tenants will start to notice this service and stop calling you for every little request they have. If tenants see they can quickly go online to chat with someone about their needs, they will not spend the time to try to connect on the phone. Again, the phone is the killer of your property management company’s efficiency. It is important to distinguish the difference between website chat and a website bot service that 90% of companies use. Website chat that is effective, utilizes a live person that can answer random questions quickly. Communication via web chat is designed to work well with the strengths of your virtual assistant. To support your assistant when first implementing your website chat service, make sure that they have access to a supervisor on your team via Google/Microsoft Chat that they can rely on to get quick answers to prospect’s questions. After several weeks of working on your website chat, the assistant will no longer need help from this supervisor and will be able to handle numerous conversations about your rental properties simultaneously. We recommend Jivo Chat as a service provider. It costs about $15 per month and is simple to implement into any existing website. A great feature of Jivo Chat is that it allows your assistant to see what the website guest is typing before the execute the message. So, your assistant can be anticipating what the guest has a question about and answer the question fast. You can see this in action at ProsperPads.com.
We do this at 100 Days to lease expiration. Your assistant should always be armed with the renewal rent or changes that need to be done to a lease far in advance of 100 days before lease expiration, this is best recorded on your marketing game plan. The assistants should also be given the ability to countersign the renewal and update the length of the lease in your property management software when signed. Prosper Real Estate check on the tenants at 120 days before lease expiration to see how things are going in their home so that it does not look like we only reach out when its renewal time.
If the tenant decides to not renew their lease, then your assistant can start to follow your move out checklist. They can get a form signed indicating the tenant’s notice to vacate and give the tenant information on how to take utilities and other services out of their name on the effective date of vacancy. The assistant can remind the tenant to change their mailing address and inform them on your best practices for turning the property over at lease end that insures they will get the maximum amount of their security deposit back.
If your tenants decide they do not want to renew their lease, the next step is preparing the property to get leased to a new tenant. The assistant should be able to utilize your property management software to determine the utilities that are included with the rent for marketing purposes, they should also be able to access all the current marketing pictures for the property, and if not, they can reach out to your leasing consultant and request that marketing pictures are taken, and the property is set up for showings. The assistant will work with your leasing team to make sure that whatever process you use is all set up to get the property leased as soon as possible. It could be internal leasing team, internal self-showings, or if you work with services like Show Mojo, or Tenant Turner they can assist in getting the property ready to show as well. your assistant should be able to look at your marketing game plan and see what the market rent is for the place that they need to advertise. And after they have placed your ads on Zillow, Facebook, Craigslist and any other sites you want them to place the ads at, they will be able to insert a hyperlink to the ad right within the marketing game plan so that you can review the ads with a single click.
Your assistant can work directly with your leasing consultants without needing to go back and forth with them about available times for showings. Whether you use Google or Microsoft products like 99% of property management companies, your assistant can review the schedules of your boots on the ground and schedule showings that utilize the best use of their time. The most difficult part of this task is understanding the time it takes to conduct a showing and the time it takes to get to the showing. With guidance from your leasing consultants the assistant will continue to improve how much time they leave showings for a travel buffer and try to schedule the same properties for tours as close together as possible. If your company utilizes a self-showing service, the assistant can help the guest arrive at the property and proper instructions are followed to acquire access to the rental unit.
After the showing is completed, the assistant can follow up immediately with the prospect and get their feedback and encourage them to submit their application. Feedback can be shared with the leasing consultant to improve future showings. If the prospect is interested in the property but has more questions, the assistant can answer those questions for them or get them the information they need to make an informed decision on whether or not to rent the place. The assistant can follow up as you deem necessary to motivate prospects to move forward with signing a lease. Prosper trains staff to follow up with guests each day for 3 days in a row and then stops if the guest did not show any interest in moving forward. Text messaging should be the preferred method of communication for the follow up task.
If the guest is interested in signing a lease the assistant can begin the application process. They can help the guest complete the initial application, pay the application fee and gather all the necessary supporting information to screen the application. Your assistant can help verify income by collecting pay stub information, check on landlord references to make sure the tenant has good rental history. Many property management companies utilize a 3rd party service to help screen applications. Your assistant can help gather all the necessary information the 3rd party would need to decide on whether to approve the applicant. Prosper does most of this process manually for training purposes but we do use Credit Retriever to complete credit checks on applicants. We recommend that if you do credit checks that you continue to do that with your internal team and do not utilize your assistant to help with that task. Because of fair housing laws, the standards you use to approve tenants should be straightforward regardless of who you are renting to. It is important that your assistant understands your standards. Your assistant has undergone fair housing training and is knowledgeable about how to treat every applicant fairly. You may give your assistant the ability to approve or deny applicants if the standards are clearly set and do not vary based on special circumstances. Any special circumstances would need to be approved by a member of your local team.
Once the application has been approved, your assistant can review your marketing game plan and create a lease via your property management software that includes all the customized details for that specific rental unit. They can attach any necessary addendums based on the property and verify that the specific utilities that are owner responsible or tenant responsible are dictated in the lease. Once drafted, your assistant can send to the tenant to electronically sign and countersign. After the lease has been signed electronically the assistant can notify everyone on the maintenance and marketing team of the new move in date and update all the tenant’s information in the PM software and the marketing game plan.
This is a spreadsheet, derived from your rent roll and updated on a weekly basis that contains all the rental units you manage, when the leases expire, what the current rent is, what the market rent would be in the future if rented to someone new, and what the renewal rent would be if the current tenant stays for another lease period. You should also place notes in this spreadsheet about the unit. Notes that give an owner or anyone looking at it the future approach for marketing this unit. It could be a note to not renew to the tenant, it could be a note to only to renew to a tenant if they get rid of their dog, etc. This game plan should also have a column for each of the planned steps of the lease up period. Our simple approach as you can see as an example is to have steps at 120 days, 100 days, 75 days to lease expire.
In order to prepare your assistant to work for your company instead of Prosper Real Estate we will ask you for several items that will allow your new teammate to get acclimated with your operations before they join your staff. The list of items we will request are as follows:
Renewal Email Address that your assistant will utilize with your company and login info
List of Contractors/Contact Info that do maintenance on the property
Tenant Screening System in place and standard qualifications for approval
List of Places you manually post rental advertisements at
List of software utilized in the leasing process
Checklist and documents all tenants are required to complete at MOVE IN
Checklist and documents all tenants are required to complete at MOVE OUT
Property Management Agreement with Owner
Landlord and Tenant Law website link for your State
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