Think Safety Year Round

safety-first-signWith September being REALTOR® Safety Month, I had grandiose intentions of getting this virtual support blog out earlier and addressing the masses. With pen and paper I started scribbling thoughts and ideas about Realtor safety and my research of safety related topics for Agents grew! At that point, I put down my pen, pushed my chair away from the desk and thought…WOW…how do I narrow it down? Bottom line is you can’t! Our clients and agents around the country face safety issues daily, it’s part of their job. Over the next several days, I will attempt to address some of the various topics and break it down into smaller bites focusing on different safety concerns. I’m sure some will be seen as “common sense” but it never hurts repeating…especially when it comes to your safety or that of your client.

Earlier in the month I read an article, “The Safety Talk You Need to Have With Clients”,  and decided it was a good place to start. The article discussed safety from the client’s perspective and offered several suggestions for Agents. As Real Estate Virtual Assistants, we felt this was vital and valuable information to share with our clients, and with it being REALTOR® Safety Month what better time to share a great idea for the “Tip of the Month.” Create a “Safety Packet” for your Sellers and include a checklist of items they should put away or remove from their home, and other tips they can use to promote safety while their home on the market, for example:

  1. Does the house have adequate lighting, inside and out?
  2. Are all locks in good working order – including window locks?
  3. Keep mail up and out of sight to avoid identity theft
  4. Keep prescription medications locked and out of sight
  5. Are there any potential liability hazards…weapons, loose floorboards, electrical issues, etc.?
  6. Consider extra monitoring
  7. Limit obstructions to doors and windows – keep hedges, trees and shrubs trimmed back
  8. Do not allow “drop-ins” or “drive-bys”, showings must be scheduled

These are just a few of the items that could be discussed and become part of your “Safety Packet”.  Call it what you will, give it a clever name and make it yours. The idea is to educate your client on potential safety concerns while they are listing their home.

And if you need some assistance putting together a safety checklist for your Sellers, then give us a call!  We can help!

Top 12 Open House Ideas for Realtors

When was the last time you held an Open House or attended an Open House?

The Open House has come a long way!  We’ are finding that our clients are generating tons of Buyer Leads and actual Offers bTips for Open Housesy holding Open Houses!  Whether you hold your own listing open or have a colleague host it for you, there are so many little things you can do to ensure success!

Here are a few tips that we have shared with our clients over the years …and few that we’ve learned from some of the best agents around the country!

  1.  Post your Open House on all major public sites including your MLS, Zillow, Trulia,, your website or blog and your Facebook business page!
  2. Use your iPad as the “Registration Form!  Get the Open House Pro App! (not for Androids)
  3.  Hold an Open House right after work or during lunchtime on weekdays. Downtown condos are ideal for Lunchtime Open Houses!
  4.  Set an unconventional time frame from 10am to 6 pm.  If the homeowner is out of town, this is ideal!
  5.  Serve easy to eat snacks that come with individual wrappers. Provide iced tea and lemonade in the summer; tea, coffee or cocoa in the winter; and warm apple cider in the fall.  ( imagine the aroma of that warm apple cider wafting through the house!)
  6. A highrise, lakeside, mountaintop or any other property with an amazing sunset view is a great candidate for a unique Happy   Hour/ Sunset Open House
  7. In warm weather, have some extra water bottles on hand.  Better yet, have some made up with custom labels.
  8. Put an “Open House” sign with day/time in the yard several days in advance. (this is a no brainer!)
  9. Get your Name and your Listing out there!  Put out 30+ directionals from the main highways/interstates to your listing. (if your county/city allows)
  10. Invite a mortgage professional to attend and prequalify buyers.
  11. Put your feedback form on a clip board for attendees too carry with them as they go room to room and give their comments!
  12. Create a Slide Show with pictures of the local area and the house to play during the Open House.Real Estate Open House Sign

And one last tip… use this greeting and all of your visitors will give you their information and sign in!  “Welcome, thank you for coming to our Open House!  For security purposes the Home Owner has requested that everyone sign in before previewing their home”  Hand them a clip board with a sign in form and they will give you their name, address, email and phone!  Everyone understands that security is important during an open house.  If they don’t want to sign in – they don’t get to come in!


Good luck and let us know if you have any other tips, hints or ideas!


5 Reasons Why You Need a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

With all the advances in communications and technology (smart phones, tablets, websites, cloud technologies and more) we have the ability to communicate with  anyone… at any time, in any place.  The Jetson’s of the future are here and now in the Real Estate Industry!  Today, Virtual Assistants who specialize in Real Estate can deliver seamless service and support from anywhere in the country using these tools and technologies.  It’s a match made in “the cloud” for mobile real estate agents who are working from home and on the go.

Here are 5 reasons why it pays to hire a professional Real Estate Virtual Assistant:

One-Stop Shopping
AnotherME provides a team of specialists; whether you need support in just one part of your business or a whole team of assistants to support you!  Real Estate VA’s know and understand the specific tasks associated with Listing Coordination, Closing Coordination/Transaction Management, Database Management, Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards and even Social Media Support (like setting up your profiles, setting up tools for managing social media sites, and research information for blogs and writing blog posts) plus so much more.


Cost Effective
How much time are you spending on “detail work” on your to-do list? Why invest in payroll, benefits, insurance, etc. when you could be delegating that money to building your business. AnotherME Real Estate VA’s are contracted professionals, not employees. You pay for work completed (not for idle time, vacations, sick leave or absenteeism). There’s no need to make room in the office for an extra person.  Real Estate VAs are motivated to do their best for you at all times because their business success depends on your satisfaction.


Customized Support for Your Needs
Whether you need Postcards mailed, a Listing Package, or help with your Closings, a VA can perform these duties. Why spend hours on paperwork that can be done by a VA with Real Estate experience when you could be building your clientele or, more importantly, spending time with your family? Do not miss out on that baseball game or recital to finish that closing by midnight. Know that it was already done by a competent professional, your Real Estate VA.


Focus on Your Strength
Why waste time on tasks that are not your primary objective? Successful Real Estate agents find and hire the right people for the right job; that’s called Leverage! Have the peace of mind that your deadlines will be met by a VA who knows the Real Estate industry and is familiar with Real Estate programs and websites (MLS, Top Producer, ePropretySites, RealBird, Wise Agent, just to name a few).


Why a VA and not a Temp or a $10/hr Teenager

The VA takes the role of a temp and elevates it to the status of a Team Player. Having a Real Estate VA eliminates problems with staffing solutions and here’s why:

  •  Temps are seeking full-time employment not short term assignments
  •  Temps are a transient solution to long term needs.
  •  Temporary solutions can be expensive ones
  •  It takes too much time and money to train a temp.
  •  Temps are not committed to the success of your business
  •  Most Temps are interested in the paycheck and not the tasks


Knowing you have a competent professional handling the administrative tasks vital to your real estate business gives you more time to focus on your clients, thereby finding their dream home creating success for your business. Delegating administrative tasks to an experienced AnotherME Virtual Assistant gives you more time to grow your business and generate profit.



Image Credit:

Our Clients’ Safety is Important!

Safety is a relevant and important topic in the real estate industry.  Heck, safety is an important topic for any industry or individual.  Our clients and all real estate professionals are at risk more often than any other group.  The nature of the business requires you to meet with strangers, spend time in a car with those strangers, enter vacant properties or buildings and hold open houses by yourself.

At the recent RETSO conference in Atlanta, I learned about a “Safety App” from Shannon King with Schoolhouse Realty, called    This App was the winner of the 2011 People’s Choice Stevie Award for favorite New Product or Service of the Year.  Pretty impressive!

“MyForce is an innovative security service that acts as your mobile bodyguard and arms you or your loved ones against would-be attackers with the touch of a button on your smartphone.”   It’s available on the iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

Here’s how it works!  Next time you’re sitting at an open house or leaving the office late at night, simply launch the MyForce App.  If a situation arises and you need help, the alert button is right on your phone.  Once you hit the alert button, your phone screen goes black and the MyForce app begins operating in “stealth mode.”  Your phone will records what is happening, the monitoring team begins listening, tracking your location via GPS and alerting the proper authorities.

When it comes to safety, cost is irrelevant.  At only $11.99/month or $120/year, MyForce is an affordable, sweet deal.  Plus, additional subscribers on your account will get a 50% discount!  What are you waiting for… check it out today!

We hope this is one App you never have to use!  Here’s to much success and safety in 2012!






AnotherME Virtual Assistants just returned from the RETSO (REtechSouth) conference, where we spent an amazing 3 days of learning, networking and connecting with our real estate friends and clients.  If you haven’t been to a RETSO conference, I highly recommend you add it to your budget and your calendar for next spring!

Pam Sherlock – Listing Coordinator Extraordinaire – attended Amy Chorew’s “Tablet Tips” session and took lots of notes!

She put together the following list of Apps for both iPad and Android tablets reviewed in Amy’s session.  Apps for contracts, open houses, file storage (in the cloud) or video – there’s at least one app that a  realtor could incorporate into their business today …and see results!



Dropbox:     File sharing. FREE 2GB account!
Keynote:    Presentation software for iPad, iPhone and iPod. $9.99
ZipForms:    Complete and sign forms on your mobile device. $12.95/year
PDFExpert:    Read, annotate, highlight, draw and save documents as PDF. $9.99
SignMyIpad   PDF signature tool for iPad. $3.99
iAnnotate:    Read and make notes on any PDF document – on your iPad. $9.99
TourNarrator:    Capture client feedback about a property on your iPhone or iPad. $1.99
IDreamAgent:    Complement to any real estate app. Take your own photos, make your own notes,  share thoughts, etc., about a property. $4.99
Tout:    Short video status updates to share through Twitter or Facebook. FREE

(And finally, we think this one ROCKS!)

OpenHomePro   #1 most downloaded real estate app! Manage leads, create listing presentations and collect open house visitor data.  Potential buyers can leave feedback. $3.99

As you move your business to working “virtual” and “mobile” add a few of these apps and watch your productivity increase!  And if you need some help incorporating these tools into your business, give us a call!   We’ve been working virtually for years!


image credit: worldlink mobile apps

What is a Real Estate Virtual Assistant?

At AnotherME, our goal as Real Estate Virtual Assistants is to provide real estate professionals with a variety of quality, administrative services orchestrated from a remote location.

What does that mean exactly?

It means the AnotherME team of virtual assistants all have specialized skills that are unique to the real estate industry. We understand what services a Realtor® needs to run their business and become more successful.  Our VA’s collaborate one-on-one with our clients to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

It also means you don’t have to add an employee to your already tight budget, pay for health insurance or deduct those pesky taxes. You don’t have to provide a desk, phone or even a chair! Virtual Assistants work from a remote location and have all the necessary computer equipment, office supplies, office software and communication devices (ie: phones) right at their disposal!

It’s easy to get started – we’ll work with you to set up your checklists for listings and closings, update your login/password lists, collaborate on your marketing templates and flyers, and create special instructions based on your preferences.

What could be easier and more cost-effective? Remember, if you’re spending too much time on the 80% (administrative tasks) then you’re not spending enough time on getting new listings, developing leads and buyers, and more importantly, gaining an advantage over the competition!

So what are you waiting for?  It’s worth a phone call to Another ME to determine if we can help you maximize your time, your money and your efforts.

Here’s to a successful 2012!

Blogging – Where Do You Start?

We think the folks at CopyBlogger are awesome!  We read their blog quite often and sometimes we post their articles on our Facebook Page!  But they have outdone themselves with this cool InfoGraphic.

It’s based on one of their blog posts titled 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue.  I’m sure you’ve feel this way sometimes, and so have we!  Now we can share with you our little secret from CopyBlogger – and you’ll know what to do next time you’re not feeling creative or have a little writer’s block!

Enjoy the graphic and let us know your favorite tip!


22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.



4 Tips for Working with a Virtual Assistant

Working with a Virtual Assistant doesn’t mean you “dump it and forget it.”  Having a great virtual working relationship is really no different than having a great working relationship with an on-site team member. It takes time, communication, and a little bit of effort!

Here’s what we at AnotherME know to be true for our successful clients and how you can make sure your virtual working relationships will be successful too!

1)  Understanding your big WHY behind the what.  A virtual assistant is a trusted member of your team. (or they should be)  They are not little robots or time clock punchers. Typically they are the “get the job done” – results oriented types versus work my hours/week and go home.  It’s important for them to know the WHY of this new project or program you are asking them to complete or set up on their behalf.  Everyone likes to have meaning in what they are doing.  Understanding the WHY makes your VA feel a part of the team and gives them the framework to find and offer suggestions or improvements to what they are working on.

2)  A virtual working relationship must start with mindset of TRUST.  No one is perfect! Admit it, you’ve had your share of mistakes, typos, delays, etc.  It’s easy to point the finger when your virtual team member slips and doesn’t meet your expectation or when they miss a deadline. When that happens, it’s time to TALK with your virtual assistant – no emails that can be misunderstood.  Actually get on the phone and find out what happened…if your directions were clear and understood or if the task was not within their skills/abilities. Assume the best in your VA first; not the worst.  By doing so, you can develop a culture of trust and a sense of ownership and “team.”

3)  Virtual working relationships can be long lasting and productive – sometimes better than an on-site working relationship.  It’s a FACT.  More and more savvy realtors are opting for working with a Virtual Team where the strength of a relationship isn’t measured by proximity.  Do you really need someone sitting in your office and taking up space to work on programs and websites that are all internet based?

4)  Use technology to get face to face. Phone calls, texts and emails are great, but consider a monthly or quarterly chat with your virtual team members via Skype.  Include your buyer’s agents or other office staff so that everyone can be part of the experience.

The best virtual relationships take time and some effort.  By implementing the four ideas listed above and leading your virtual team like you would an on-site team, you will develop a results oriented, efficient and successful business!


Image Credit –



Have some fun with Holiday Marketing!

In today’s society, we celebrate just about everything!  Everyone loves a party!  From kindergarten graduation, food festivals to the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby; you name it – there’s a celebration for it!  So why not take that opportunity to send a little something to your past clients or sphere of influence!

Whenever there’s a holiday it’s a great time to give a little TLC to your clients.  Although Christmas and Thanksgiving come to mind as the top Holidays,  other holidays throughout the year provide extra opportunities for expressing your gratitude for your clients and supporters!  And most of these holidays come pre-themed for the less creative!  For example: Valentine’s Day is not just for sweethearts, but also for those “sweeties” on your client list!  There are so many great holidays that give you an “excuse” to send a note, an email, a card or even a phone call!

Here is a list of the traditional, and most common (commercialized) holidays throughout the year:

New Year’s Day

Martin Luther King Day
Valentine’s Day
St Patricks Day
Memorial Day
Mother’s Day
Father’s Day
4th of July
Labor Day
Rosh Hashanah
Yom Kippur

And here are a few of our favorites and some you might not know about!  Check back next quarter to see what we have in store for you!

January:   Nat’l Oatmeal month, Nat’l Soup Month, and Nat’l Get Organized Month

February:   American Heart Month, Nat’l Cherry Month, Nat’l Weddings Month

March:  Nat’l Craft Month, Nat’l Peanut Month, Red Cross Month and Nat’l Kite Month!  (of course!)

We hope this short list gives you a few creative ideas for touching base with your clients and sphere in the upcoming months!  They really want to hear from you!   If you need some help creating a marketing campaign using emails, postcards or newsletters, let us help you create something fabulous!


7 Shopping Tips (when the clock’s ticking and your wallet’s getting thin)

With Christmas just 4 days away and Hanukkah already here, most of us are finishing our last minute shopping or maybe just starting! Are you are feeling the pressure to spend but want to avoid long lines and all the other crazed shoppers?

At AnotherME, we’re all about saving time and saving money!  That’s what we do for our clients every day.  So of course, we have a few tips for those who have waited until the eleventh hour to get your last few presents… and a few tips for saving some money in the process!

7 Shopping Tips (when the clock is ticking and your wallet’s getting thin):

1. Free Expedited Shipping
Most retailers offer free rush shipping in the last few days leading up to the holidays, look for codes before paying expensive overnight delivery charges.

2. Re-gift
It’s a dirty secret, but there are many who just put a new bow on an old gift.

3. Ship-to-Store Specials
For those who want to avoid long check-out lines of shoppers or the shame of offering your gift post-holiday, quite a few retailers these days offer free delivery to their brick-and-mortar stores.

4. A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words
Avoid rush charges and purchase a present online, then print out a picture and wrap it up for under the tree.

5. Magazine Subscriptions
There’s a magazine for every interest! Find a monthly publication at the book store, order and wrap the December issues!

6. Gift Cards
They’re everywhere!  They’re easy to purchase and will save on shipping fees!

7. Best times to hit the Mall
If  you just want to go to the mall, the best times to go are early in the morning, mid-afternoon and after 7PM!  And why not plan to meet a friend for coffee, lunch or dinner to make your trip worthwhile!


Wishing you Happy Holiday Shopping …and while you’re in the hustle and bustle, don’t forget the real reason for the season!