Using a Virtual Assistant in Your Real Estate Investing Business


As an investor, it’s important to understand what your time is worth. To really grow your real estate investing business, you will inevitably have to delegate certain tasks to other people .. you simply can’t do it all and expect the business to expand. I’ve found over the years that one of the best ways to do this is to hire contractors for specific projects.

Over the last few months, I’ve hired my babysitter and a few of her college friends to hand-address envelopes for a direct mail campaign we were conducting. They were thrilled to be able to work from home and I was thrilled to pay $10 /hr without taking away time from the folks in my office.

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How I Use a Virtual Assistant

As in my business, most investors have figured out that there are certain mundane jobs that just make sense to contract out to inexpensive labor. While $10/hr is definitely cheap, I’ve found that it’s possible to hire for certain tasks for as low as $3/hr! That’s right, using sites like and, I’ve hired many virtual assistants over the years at extraordinarily low rates. As you would imagine, the majority of these contractors reside overseas in countries like India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, etc., but you’d be surprised to discover how many of them have a decent grasp on the English language and yet are able and willing to work for much less than local labor.

As an example, I’m currently building a database of investors that have purchased in my local area as well as the agents that have represented them. My virtual assistant has been trained to mine our MLS system and cross-reference the tax records and our secretary of state website to compile a database of names and addresses. At $3/hr, my assistant is able to compile a lead for about 10 cents per lead. At that price, even if I’m only able to sell 1 house for every 1000 leads, it still only cost me $100 dollars to produce that buyer!

Another example of a way in which I’ve used virtual assistants over the years is on Craigslist. While most people spend their time trying to figure out how to get around the Craigslist spam filters , I’ve found that there are already many potential leads out there that just need to be contacted. I had one virtual assistant spend months calling on properties that were listed for rent. The idea being that many of these listings were from mom and pop landlords who owned rental properties and would potentially be interested in buying more.


These are just 2 examples. I’ve found that when you really begin to brainstorm how you could utilize cheap labor to help in your business, all sorts of creative strategies begin to develop. I’d be curious to hear from some of you – How many of you are already using virtual assistants and what kinds of tasks have you been able to contract out?

Photo: Matthew Hurst

About Author

Ken Corsini

Ken Corsini G+ is the host of the Deal Farm Podcast (on iTunes) and has 10 years of full-time real estate investing experience. His company, Georgia Residential Partners buys and sells an average of 100 deals per year and has helped hundreds of investors around the country make great investments in the Atlanta market. Ken has a business degree from the University of Georgia and a Master Degree in Building Construction from Georgia Tech. He currently resides in Woodstock, Georgia with his wife and 3 children.


    • Ken Corsini

      Hey Curt – honestly, I’ve found that many of the VA contractors you find on places like and already have experience in the areas you’re looking for. Also, these sites do a great job of rating and providing feedback from previous employers. I think once you start digging around you’ll find that it’s not too difficult to figure out which ones know what they are doing.

  1. I’m also curious about this. It isn’t clear to me how well a VA can be trained, and what check-and-balances exist, etc. I’m very, very intrigued by the example of having them mine databases and websites and produce lists.

    • Ken Corsini

      Hey Kirby, training a VA is really as easy as installing something like teamviewer on your PC (and their PC) and showing them exactly what you want them to do. I actually did this about a week ago with one of my VA’s … she recorded the training session on her end in case she forgot something … and she’s been off to the races ever since.

  2. Hello Ken,

    I have tried a couple of VA’s and have not gotten the response I needed. I have given directions and even discussed the work with them and just haven’t gotten the work done. I work a full time job and really do need a good assistan to work part time mostly searching properties and making contacts. I have tried oDesk and Freelancer. I pay 3 to 4 dollars and hour What are your recommendations? Thanks for the informative articles!! Ed

  3. Well-said, Ken! I currently have 5 VA’s, 4 of them talk to leads real-time, determine Seller motivation and build rapport, run comps, set appointments and do follow-ups in different areas I market. And I have a social media VA who also helps in my online marketing efforts, lead generation, and does project managements. One VA resource I like to use is It’s a pool of Filipino qualified virtual workers. I also like

  4. I’m late on this discussion but since I found it via Google most likely others will too. I’m a VA and I work with RE agents and RE investors. Most of the agents I started out with tried VA’s overseas first. If that works for you, excellent. They certainly are cheaper. But I honestly believe you get what you pay for in many cases.

    I have a degree in Marketing and am a licensed RE agent. I keep my license active and my CEU’s up to date because most states have clear cut guidelines about what an unlicensed assistant can and can’t do. I continually am taking classes and getting certifications in social media marketing, Inbound Marketing and keeping up with how to use software.

    I agree you can probably use someone in a foreign country and pay them far below the poverty rate to post on Craigslist but if you need someone to partner with, to come up with interesting and creative ideas for marketing, social media, someone who understands your CRM and project management apps, who can talk to clients and pass on information. Then I’m not sure you’ll get what you need at $3. an hour. And I don’t believe it’s legal in any state to have a foreign unlicensed person “making offers.”

    For those of you that said you are not thrilled with the quality of work you’ve found in those VA’s try a REVA who works at their job full time and is highly trained.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for this, Susan. I’m a REVA with a Bachelors and real estate, marketing and social media marketing experience, and I agree, you get what you pay for. When you’re asking a VA to post on social media sites and call prospective sellers, isn’t it better to hire someone who has a clear understanding, as opposed to a pretty good grasp as one person commented above, of the English language? This could be the reason that some of those commenting have had difficulty getting the VA’s they were using to understand their directions.

  5. What website can be used to find someone to post on Craigslist? I just sent a message to someone on Odesk about posting on Craigslist, it immediately got flagged and removed.:

    We’re writing because it appears as though a job you posted requests work considered spamming or deceptive by oDesk and other sites’ terms of services. Specifically, you are requesting Craigslist ad posting. This is against our Job Post policy, and the job has been removed.

    It’s okay to post jobs on oDesk that request legitimate social network marketing and white hat SEO techniques, but we do not allow jobs that ask freelancers to:

    – Send bulk emails to lists whose recipients did not opt-in
    – Conduct spammy SEO techniques
    – Post reviews or comments
    – Generate social network likes or followers
    – Generate artificial web traffic or clicks
    – Create IP addresses or accounts

  6. kenneth james

    I just hired a VA. However, the hire may have been a bit premature. I requested an absentee listing for DC and Maryland. The VA is asking for a website. I’ve used listsource but I thought using a VA would alleviate the cost and leg work on my part.

    Any suggestions. Anyone…

    • Tyrone Jackson

      Hi Kenneth. My suggestion is to get someone who has the exact experience you are looking for. I have hired VAs for other tasks and I have found that it is too much to ask a VA to be creative or figure something out especially if it’s a really low cost assistant.

  7. I’ve said it before and will again, I’ve found that low cost and high quality don’t often go hand in hand. Why not pay more for a VA that has experience, college degree, 25 years of business experience, supports themselves 100% by their VA business, has been in business over 10 years, understands the word deadline, knows what an oxford comma is and when to use it, and is actually fun to work with. Those things may cost a little more, so ask yourself: are you worth it?


    • Eboni Allen

      Thank you Susan! High quality and low rates do not go hand in hand at all. If a VA from abroad takes twice as long to do something that I could have done perfectly in half the time, what is the point of going with the low rate. Quality and time is sacrificed.

  8. Denise Brown-Puryear

    Interesting… I just recently read an article about a RE Investor who has successfully used a VA. I’m interested myself. However, I do understand that you get what you pay for. I have a specific project that I would like to do and am deciding between contracting someone to come into my home office to work on this project or contract a VA… specifically one who has worked with RE Investors and specializes in research and marketing. References anyone????

  9. Eboni Allen

    I was excited to see this article but then quickly disappointed with the tip to use $3/hr VAs for other countries. While I think the Internet has afforded people abroad the opportunity to provide better for their family, it is making to difficult to help provide for mine. At that rate, I would have to work 50 hours just to pay my cell phone bill. When I started my business 2 months ago, I never thought I would have to compete with such low rates.

  10. Julie Doke

    I am both a virtual assistant and a new real estate investor. I can understand a newbie investor not having the funds to pay a qualified professional but as a newbie, you should be doing the work yourself so you will appreciate the effort and work you are expecting done for “$3”. If you manage to achieve your start-up goals, you should then be able and willing to pay a fair rate. Most virtual assistants charge $30-$50 an hour offering discounts based on hours worked per month. As for experienced investors, I can’t understand why some would have a problem with “paying it forward” and helping others to achieve a decent income for their families.

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