Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Still Johnson, Founder of Still VA, LLC, located in Rome, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Still VA, LLC. provides virtual assistance services to real estate agents. A virtual assistant for real estate agents is someone that assists real estate professionals in managing their tasks and workflows. Some common features of virtual assistants for real estate agents include transaction coordination, listing management & syndication, marketing, scheduling appointments, managing contacts and leads, sending automated messages and emails, generating reports, and providing analytics and insights.
Tell us about yourself
In 2010, I established my company amidst the aftermath of the 2008 real estate market crash that had a direct impact on my life. We quickly depleted our savings, leaving us with few options. Although I took on a waitress job at night, I was determined not to give up on my passion for real estate. One evening, an agent in my office requested my assistance in creating a flyer and offered to pay me $20. This simple task sparked an idea that would soon become the foundation for my company.
With my experience in the administrative and marketing side of the real estate business from working with a top-producing team, I began listing out all the services I could offer to agents with corresponding prices. I felt a newfound passion that kept me up at night as ideas kept flowing. At that time, most agents were unfamiliar with the concept of a virtual assistant. My biggest hurdle was explaining what a virtual assistant was and how I could assist agents with their business without being physically present in their office. Once I demonstrated how our services could allow agents to maximize their time and increase their revenue, my business took off. In the first year alone, I gained over 60 clients, with word-of-mouth recommendations serving as my initial marketing.
I founded Still VA with the goal of offering real estate services to agents at an affordable price. Having been an agent myself, I knew that not all agents could start with full-time assistants with paid benefits, office expenses, and vacation/sick time. I wanted to provide a solution to support agents whenever they required assistance, with reliability and experience being paramount. Additionally, I aimed to eliminate the need for agents to train their assistants or worry about minor details. By delegating such tasks, business owners can focus on more profitable activities, such as nurturing clients and turning leads into clients.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Today, Still VA provides quality services and unmatched experience to over 1,000 agents and brokers across three states. My company has assisted in over 50,000 real estate transactions. I am very proud of what I have built.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, one of the most difficult challenges I face is finding and retaining high-quality staff. Hiring and training the right people is essential to the success of my business, but it can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do something you really love and are passionate about.
- Build a strong online presence.
- Stay adaptable, open to change & always ready to learn new things.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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