Virtual assistants are extremely valuable to real estate investors today (and you, too, homebuyers — keep reading). Do you really have time to do everything yourself that’s required to find, negotiate, close and market all your deals? If you’ve been doing it all solo then you know the answer! There’s just too much work to do, even if you’ve managed to create a smooth, efficient business model.
You can only work so many hours a day, and as an investor / business owner you need to spend the majority of those hours wearing the entrepreneur hat, not being burdened by all the tedious work. Enter the Virtual Assistant.
“Sounds great, Mike, but what actually is a virtual assistant?”
Great question! A “VA” is anyone who you outsource work to that doesn’t work out of your office. They are ‘virtually’ there, but in all likelihood are somewhere in India, Pakistan or the Philippines. Google “virtual assistant” and you’ll quickly come across dozens of sites that offer these services.
How does it work? You create a job description for what you need done and submit it to the VA site. Once posted, VAs from around the world will bid on the right to fulfill your job description. You review your candidates (past ratings, reviews, portfolios), award the job, fund an escrow, monitor their work, collaborate and release escrow when the job is done. It’s that simple! The primary advantage is that you’re leveraging competition in your favor — hundreds of people from around the world are competing for YOUR contract and many of these designers live in areas where the dollar goes quite far.
What types of tasks can a real estate investor outsource to a VA?
- Calling back potential clients to gather more information
- Emailing agents about an upcoming showing
- Managing direct mail and taking phone calls
- Web design
“Hey Mike, what about using VAs for homebuyers?”
You got it – VAs aren’t just for investors or other business folks. They’re for you, too! Here are a few ideas how you the house hunter can use a VA to help your housing search:
- Search the internet for homes in your target area
- Narrow that list down to homes that fit your buying wants and needs (price, bedrooms, sqft, nearby schools)
- Find the listing agent’s contact information for each house
- Calculate the value of the house and your offer based on your own criteria
- Put all of this information into an Excel spreadsheet and email it right to your inbox
Think about how much time it would save you to have all that information delivered to your inbox once a week instead of doing it yourself!
Some Final Tips
- Don’t go crazy! Some tasks are better done by YOU. Remember no matter how well-trained your VAs are, only you can be you to your customers!
- Thoroughly review all your VA candidates. Look at portfolios, past reviews and ratings. Ask follow-up questions.
- Don’t be afraid to fire a non-performing VA. This is a contract and they have a job to do. Bad VAs are easily replaceable.
- Keep in constant communication. Most VAs are ready to do a fantastic job for you if your expectations are clearly communicated!
Do you have your own VA success tips? Leave some feedback below and share with everyone your VA experiences!