📝 >> Encyclopedia >> Marketing >> Market Research >> Web Research & Data Scraping
Web Research & Data Scraping
Overseas Virtual Assistants (and Scraping Experts) to Grab Any Data From the Web
To acquire any information or data you require via online resources, including property information, news & local trends, and other real estate-related data you might need.
How It Works:
Whether you need some additional research about specific properties, local market information & news, or 10,000 records transcribed from a website to your local spreadsheet or CRM … this is one of the best possible use-cases for outsourcing to Overseas Virtual Assistants.
The most important factor for success is to be as specific, clear, and detailed as possible in your instructions.
This is a great Task for following the Process-Based, Not-People-Based motto, and building out step-by-step Standard Operating Procedures to ensure your VA is doing the research to your exact specifications.
Obviously, you are going to know more about the research results you require, and only by transferring this understanding unadulterated to your Virtual Assistant(s) will you be able to ensure you get the outcomes you desire.
Using Overseas VAs for Website Research is obviously going to be much easier than doing the research yourself.
A dedicated Data Entry Virtual Assistant is an expert at staying focused on this type of menial, repetitive Task for hours on end.
Chances are, the VA you hire will do nothing but these types of projects all day, every day, meaning once you have a proven process to achieve your objectives, you can set it & forget it.
Plus, if your work requirement is of a larger nature, you might consider hiring a dedicated Web Scraping expert, who can actually automate large chunks of the process! This can allow you to achieve the same results you would with a Virtual Assistant, 10,000x faster, for less money!
This type of task can require significant up-front instruction & training of your Virtual Assistant(s).
You’ll probably need to get creative initially, figuring out the best way to get the data you require yourself, manually. It’s best to have a clear idea of a near-exact step-by-step process before you try outsourcing the work to a Virtual Assistant (even if you only do it once or twice yourself).
No matter how good of a data source you’re scraping from, you’ll never be able to always produce 100% accurate results.
For larger projects, the costs can add up quickly, and you’ll have to balance using a Web Scraping (software development) expert with your Overseas Virtual Assistants working manually.
Depending on the type of research you require, the work estimate may vary greatly. To give you some rough ideas of specific tasks, and the amount of work they entail, here are some estimates:
- Research for a blog post or newsletter / magazine article: 1 – 3 Overseas VA Work Hours
- Research comparables for a specific property: 1 – 3 work hours
(can be more for commercial and / or specialty properties)
- Manually compiling / copying & pasting data: ~20 – 60 records per work hour
- Developing a custom data scraping software / script: 10 – 30 Software Dev Work Hours
(depends greatly on complexity of data required, and difficulty of scraping the data)
- Managing ongoing automated data collection & scraping: ~20 – 100+ records per work hour
Ultimately, for most successful Real Estate Business Owners, it will make sense over time to build a team of Web Research VAs and maybe 1 or 2 “go-to” Web Scraping specialist developers.
This will reduce your overall cost per project (if you’re doing enough volume to justify it), and can become a competitive advantage when you’re the only show in town building Lists with a unique, proprietary approach.