In my previous blog post about hiring a virtual assistant, I showed you why you needed to hire a virtual assistant and just how easy it was to do. (If you haven't found for a virtual assistant yet, do it now. It takes just a couple of minutes to get started. Click this link to EASILY find a virtual assistant.)
In this blog post, I'm going to answer a question that a lot of brand new real estate investors have about working with a virtual assistant. They want to know: "Hey DM, how do I make sure that my virtual assistant actually does the work... I don’t want to get ripped off!!!"
Fair enough. Good question. I can answer that with the following tips:
Tip #1: Remember that you are the boss
Even though they are not an employee (in the legal sense of the word – you don't have to give them a desk or pay them benefits) they do work for you. You "hire" them and you pay them to do the work. When you don't need them, you don't pay them. And if necessary, you can work with someone else. Virtual assistants know that, too, and you'll find that they can be very diligent and professional and productive. After all, it's in their best interest to make you successful!
Tip #2: Give them work – Don’t be a control freak :)
The best way to get a virtual assistant to work for you is to give them work. Delegate. Hand over as much of your daily tasks as you can. If they get lots of work from you and there is the potential to do more, they'll work hard for you. (I've seen some real estate investors find a virtual assistant and then "keep" all the work for themselves. You need to give up work to grow your real estate investing business.
Tip #3: Be clear about what you want
When you hand over your tasks to your virtual assistant, be clear about your expectations. Tell them what you want them to do, in detail, and make sure that they have everything they need to do the project. Set a timeline and let them know what your goals are to achieve. In fact, if you tell them how this one task fits into the bigger picture of your business, they'll do an even better job because they know what's happening and why.
Note: Expect your virtual assistants to do great work for you but just remember this important point about management: As long as they achieve the result you want them to achieve, don't micromanage them. If they do something slightly differently, perhaps in a way that you wouldn't do yourself, it's okay as long as the result is the same. So tell them what you'd like them to achieve and what important steps they need to do along the way.
Tip #4: Regular meetings
One way to keep your virtual assistants on track is to have a Skype meeting with them for a few minutes. To start, maybe connect with them daily just few minutes, to let them know what you want them to do. (Once your work starts to become automated and you spend less time working ON your business, you might not need to do a call so often. You might eventually replace this with an every other day call or email as your business gets bigger)
Tip #5: Daily summaries
To help address the concern that your virtual assistants are as productive as they could be, ask for a daily summary of the work they do for you. Perhaps it could be broken down into the amount of time it took for each task to be completed. Or, if they are full-time, have them provide you with hour-by-hour reports at the end of each workday. This allows you to see what they are doing and what amount of time tasks are taking to get done.
Tip #6: Provide feedback
Virtual assistants are professionals. They run their own "VA" business. In the same way that you want to become a more successful real estate investor, they want to become more successful virtual assistants. So help them know how they can help you better. If your virtual assistant does something well, let them know. If they fall short of a deadline or do something incorrectly, let them know. Give them an opportunity to fix the situation and, chances are, they'll never do it again. (If the same mistakes keep happening again and again, you can always find another assistant).
Tip #7: Pay them promptly
You want to be paid promptly for the deals you do. That keeps you well-fed and motivated to do the next deal. Your virtual assistants want to do the same. Pay your virtual assistants promptly.
Want to become even more successful using virtual assistants? Here are some great ideas:
- Hire more than one virtual assistant for different kinds of projects. If you want them to answer phones, hire someone who works the same hours as the people who will be calling.
- Find out what your virtual assistants LIKE doing and make sure they do that kind of work. (If you have several virtual assistants, you can give out different jobs to each one). Since people excel at things they like to do, you will probably get more and better work from them.
- Consider paying your assistants a bonus for every deal you do. It doesn't have to be a lot. (If you're paying them $3/hour, you can give them a bonus of $9 and it won't be a big deal to you). Imagine how much more motivated they'll be when they can get essentially an extra 3 hours of pay by making YOU more successful!
- Remember: The more you get your assistants to do, the busier you'll become… but you need to give the work to your assistants first (proactively) if you want to increase your deals.
It's time to build your team
It's time to get out there and build your team. I've given you the tools to hire a virtual assistant and to manage them like a pro. Now it's your turn to take massive action on what you've read here.
Your lead-by-example friend and mentor,
Mark Evans DM,DN
PS, Got more questions about hiring a virtual assistant? Put them in the comments section below and I'll answer them for you – either in the comments or in future blog posts.