Put Your Business on Autopilot With Virtual Assistants
As real estate professionals and entrepreneurs, we’re always trying to get as much work done as possible and have a highly productive day. However, it’s easy for all the tasks to start piling up and eating away at your time.
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Generally, these tasks are repetitive, mundane, and not the best use of your time. In turn, they start getting pushed back, not done at all, or done poorly because you don’t enjoy them.
When you’re constantly doing things you hate or are not good at, it starts to drain your energy and morale and ultimately affect productivity. As your business grows, the volume of tasks and responsibilities also surges. Many of these tasks are necessary for your business, but it’s not necessary for them to be done by you.
There are a few main reasons for implementing virtual assistants in your business.
- It’s cost-effective. You do not have to pay for office space and utilities. VAs can work from anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection, phone, and decent working space.
- It allows you to focus on the income-producing tasks that scale your business. Your main focus should be growing your business, and you can’t do that when your day is full of scraping leads, cold calling, marketing your brand, etc. Stop working in your business and start working on your business.
- Boost your operational efficiency. Thanks to advancements in technology and automation, businesses are able to perform more efficiently than ever. Virtual assistants are a key solution for boosting the productivity and efficiency of your business.
- Get your time back. Time-freedom has a different meaning to us all. Whether you want to focus on growing your business, spending more time with your family, or just getting away from it all, virtual assistants provide you that option.
Determining What Tasks To Outsource
This is a question asked all too often. You feel overwhelmed and know you need help, but you’re not sure where to start.
One way to determine your first tasks to outsource is to track and list all your daily activities. Make notes of what tasks are repetitive, how long they take to perform, and whether they are able to be outsourced. Almost any task done on the computer or phone can be passed off.
It can also be helpful to rank the tasks from one to five, with one being the tasks you hate doing and five being tasks you love doing. After a week or two, you should have built a solid list of tasks you perform daily and weekly.
Lastly, start highlighting the ones you can immediately start handing off to a VA and start with those tasks. You can always add new tasks for your VA to accomplish.
A few popular tasks real estate professionals outsource:
- Cold calling
- Follow-up calls, e-mails, and texts
- Text message campaigns
- Updating MLS listings
- Appointment setting
- Lead scraping
- Transaction coordination
- Property management
- Podcast management
- E-mail management
- Calendar and schedule management
- Social media management
- Data entry
Hiring The Right Virtual Assistant
This is a crucial step, and some entrepreneurs fail to get the right fit for them because they don’t set the right standards. It is important to set some requirements to successfully hire a VA.
For real estate professionals and entrepreneurs, it’s helpful to look over the virtual assistant’s work experience to get a better idea of the work they’ve previously done. If you plan to have your VA on the phone for you, call center experience would be good previous work experience to look for, although not always necessary. With systems and processes in place, it’s easy to train your VA to do almost any task.
Skill Set Check
If you are planning to delegate reporting tasks, your VA must be efficient in using apps like Excel or Google Sheets, PowerPoint, or graphical reports like SmartDraw, Measureful, and Google Analytics.
Understanding what apps and software you’d like your VA to be familiar with will set you up for a successful working relationship.
Personality and Cultural Fit
Besides the skills that you are looking for, it is important that you and your VA get along well. Having the right personality and cultural fit can play a big role in whether or not you will have long-term success.
Establish Systems and Processes
This requires some time and effort up front, but it is very much worth doing and you’ll be able to use these procedures for years to come.
Here are a few best practices.
Shared Work Documents
Give your VA access to your Dropbox or Google Drive to share instructions and documents. You can also utilize a workplace online collaboration tool like Trello. Make sure your VA has access to all necessary documents, training, and tools.
Prepare VA Tasks
Ensure that your VA has a clear vision of the tasks you want them to handle and what your expectations for them are. Provide a daily or weekly activity tracker, whatever works for both of you. Project management tools such as Asana, Slack, or Monday make it easy to delegate tasks to your VA or team of VAs and see the progress being made.
Having clear instructions for your VA to follow makes teaching new processes a breeze. Provide a step-by-step process with screenshots for your VA to follow. Video tutorials can also be very helpful to speed up a project or complete the tasks efficiently. There are many user-friendly screen capture software such as Free Cam, CamStudio, and Screencast-o-Matic.
You can even assign your VA to create their own standard operating procedure for new tasks.
As advancements in technology continue to change how businesses are run, virtual and remote work has increasingly become more popular. Utilizing virtual assistants into your business can have a profound impact on your growth and efficiency.
Employing highly trained and dedicated virtual assistants is an extremely affordable option for business owners to grow their business, increase their operational efficiency, and achieve time-freedom to focus on the things that are most important to them.
Do you use a virtual assistant? What have you found most helpful in managing them?
Let us know in the comments.