How we work has changed. Virtual assistants have become the predominant way to hire and run a real estate business. What can they do for you? How do you hire well and get the most out of them?
The World of Work and Business Has Changed
We are living in a much different time than real estate investors and businesses operated in a decade ago. There is a lot of talk about new technology and robots taking over jobs. Maybe as much as 80% of them or more. Tech has certainly made real estate investing more efficient, safer and more profitable. One of the biggest changes is not necessarily replacing people, but changing how we work. Using virtual assistants and report workers is now really the norm. It’s the first option. In many cases it is a must.
It is a must in order to stay competitive. In order to stay profitable enough to stay up there with the competition. As well as to attract and retain the best team members. Because, winning and excelling really all comes down to having the best team. It is far more efficient and cost effective to hire remotely, and it can give you access to a much grander pool of talent to choose from, without the heavy and crippling overhead and liability of doing everything in-house in a brick and mortar location.
The availability and affordability of real estate virtual assistants also means that it is easier than ever to get started in real estate investing and to start your own real estate business. You don’t need a physical office or salaries and benefits packages. You aren’t limited to local talent.
Who Can You Hire?
There really isn’t anything you can’t outsource in real estate today.
You can find virtual help for:
• Data entry
• Website design
• Social media management
• Phone work
• Direct mail handling
• General management and executive positions
• Lead generation
• Evaluating acquisition opportunities
• Property management
• Exiting properties
• Arranging funding
• Helping with personal time management
Who Should You Hire First?
You probably aren’t going to hire 100 people to cover all of these positions right offer the bat. That may be a little chaotic. So, where do you start?
If you don’t have one, get a personal virtual assistant. They can help optimize your time and help you figure out the rest. They can free you up to spend your time closing deals and working on growing the business.
You may even want a general personal assistant who can help with everything in life, and a virtual office assistant to handle everything for your real estate work.
If you can afford it, get a general manager. Someone who can then handle the hiring and management of everyone else. Otherwise you can find you are spending all of your time doing HR and managing other people, instead of just doing deals and making money. At least find someone who can grow into this position.
Then, of course you aren’t going to be doing any deals or have any money coming in to pay these assistants unless you have leads. So, the next hire should absolutely be someone for marketing and lead generation. That may be an assistant or a remote CMO.
Don’t Call Them Virtual Assistants and Other Recruiting Tips
Things have changed a lot since Tim Ferriss first wrote the 4 Hour Work Week and began talking about virtual assistants many years ago. For a start, there are now millions of freelancers available online. The market has also shifted so that a lot of the best talent in the world is choosing to work remotely. Of course, there has been a little inflation too. Not only do startups and individual investors use freelancers today. So, do the biggest multi-billion dollar companies. It’s more about finding the best possible help out there, on flexible terms for just what you need, in the most efficient way.
So, first, don’t expect to get a whole lot for $5 an hour. You might get some basic data entry, but there are also remote workers who get paid hundreds of dollars an hour.
This also means that posting roles looking for ‘virtual assistants’ might not always get you want you want. That is going to get you a virtual admin or receptionist level freelancer applying. If you want a market pro, then use the appropriate language to connect with the right talent.
Just as with finding customers, put yourself in their shoes. The best may be fielding five incoming job offers a day, and have the choice of hundreds of new gigs being posted every day. How will you stand out? How will you be the most attractive option?
The largest outsourcing platform, UpWork has also recently instituted a fee for freelancers to apply for your gigs, but you can always go with much more targeted solutions for real estate, such as MyOutDesk.
So, what is going to make them willing to pay to apply for yours, and be willing to give up as much as 20% of their income to these portals to work for you? Competitive pay is a part of it, but even more so it can be perceiving you as a great employer or company to have on their portfolio, to be easy to work with, low risk of getting negative reviews, and an efficient experience.
It’s also just as important to manage your virtual team well once you’ve found them. If you aren’t automating pay and empowering them just to get to work and do their best work, then you are going to limit your pool of talent, and are going to be spending more time micromanaging than making more money on the most profitable tasks.