Case Study: Lauren Carroll and VA Kristin Varnadore
From the agency’s early days with a single downtown Manhattan office through its evolution into the national force it is today, Compass is known as an innovative residential real estate firm, pairing the industry’s top talent with technology.
And Lauren is just such a ‘top talent.’
She started in real estate more than 10 years ago to find a way to help people in her industry while still being able to exercise control over how she runs her business – and hasn’t looked back.
“What keeps me in this line of work is how great it feels to help people get from one stage in their life to the next,” she shares.
But the administrative tasks necessary to help her secure $250 million in sales weren’t, admittedly, her forte – or passion.
“I really don’t like doing all the behind the scenes stuff and just prefer to focus on the relationships I have with my clients,” she adds.
And as the mother to two young boys and the wife of a Brookline Firefighter, Lauren stays deeply rooted and actively involved in the community.
In short, she was busy, bogged down with minutia – and in need of help.
And BELAY VA Kristin provided just that – and then some.
But to reduce Kristin’s help to a few broad-brush-stroke cursory comments would be a disservice. Her contributions are, in a word, exhaustive.
Another word? Impressive.
We’ll let Kristin explain.
On marketing …
“I handle all of her social media, such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with posts, accept connections and more,” Kristin says.
“I’m also responsible for all other marketing, such as her paid digital marketing ads, email campaigns, postcard mailing campaigns when we have a listing in various neighborhoods, print ads,” she adds. “I also work with the Compass marketing team as needed for bigger projects, such as a bus stop bench and Boston Magazine.”
“I met with our marketing director in person when I went to visit to help manage Lauren’s marketing budget with Compass by submitting receipts so that she is reimbursed.”
“Further, I work with her website vendor to build her website and work with a company that focuses on her visibility in Google searches as well,” Kristin says. “And I manage her Google My Business account – she didn’t have any of this before – including the new website and a consistent marketing campaign to establish her brand.”
On administrative tasks …
“I handle all the listing contracts, paperwork, and communication with attorneys to make sure they have the documents they need,” Kristin shares. “I also make sure all of her paperwork is uploaded into SkySlope, which is the platform Compass uses to streamline deals and closings.”
“I also keep up with everything for each listing or client and take care of anything that needs to be sent to vendors – I don’t even think she keeps files on her computer anymore!” she adds.
“And while it’s not exactly ‘administrative’ – and not exactly not administrative – I mailed out her Christmas cards last year! That sounds like a small thing – and usually, we are super busy with real estate things so I don’t have a ton of personal tasks – but I do them occasionally and it saves her a ton of time,” Kristin says.
On scheduling …
“I schedule all fire inspections for our properties as Boston requires a passing inspection on smoke detectors and sprinklers if applicable to close,” Kristin shares.
“And when Lauren is going to do a day of showings with a client, I also handle mapping out the most efficient route, making sure she has all the one-sheets for each property.”
“Additionally, I keep her calendar, making sure all dates and deadlines for each individual deal are on her calendar, as well as putting reminders such as an inspection reminder one week out from closing,” Kristin says.
On research …
“I set up collections for our new buyers, an automated search based on the parameters and neighborhoods they are interested in, and it allows them to view the properties and updates them when new ones become available,” Kristin says. “Compass has their own, but there are many options out there for this if the agent’s company doesn’t have their own.”
“We had one through our real estate agent when we bought our home, something other real estate VAs can do if they aren’t doing that already!” she advises. “It’s really helpful and I’m able to set that up, converse with the clients and get a showing list together of what they want to see.”
“I also browse properties to find options for the buyers, as well as emailing and calling agents for showing times when needed,” she says.
“Essentially, I have taken over everything that Lauren doesn’t have to personally do herself,” Kristin says. “I learn all the new software and tools so she doesn’t have to, and I just try to free her up to be the face of her brand with boots on the ground.”
“I went up to visit for a few days in November last year – and it was really helpful and fun for us since we have become friends. My husband had a business trip up there, so I made it a business trip for myself as well!”
“Compass has really welcomed me with open arms and supported Lauren in her engagement with me and BELAY.”
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