When you’re hiring a VA, look for someone with these skills and qualifications… someone who:
- Can work with your schedule. Some virtual assistants can be found on the other side of the globe, with different time zones. So you must find one who agrees to work on your given hours.
- Has a Skype account.
- Knows how to read, speak and write in English.
- Has a bachelor’s degree from a university.
And here are the top 11 tasks your VA should be doing for you…
1. Sort Out Emails
If you find yourself cleaning up and organizing your emails for more than 30 seconds each day, then you’re wasting precious time. Virtual assistants can help you save time and effort by doing this for you.
The idea is that your emails should go through your virtual assistant before they ever reach you.
Your VA should be able to sort which emails go directly to you, which emails to read later or which emails go into junk mail or trash. Ideally, you should never receive junk emails or emails that may divert your attention from attaining your goal: doing deals and making profits.
I’d suggest that you explain to your VA which emails are relevant to you and which ones are not. Then, give them 30 to 60 days to process all that information. Eventually, your VA will know which emails you need to see AND they’ll learn the tone and voice of your emails and should be able to respond to work-related emails without having to ask you.
2. Manage Your Calendar
For real estate investors, managing your schedule is the key to organizing your business meetings. After all, you need to keep track of all your prospects to follow up with, meetings with contractors or investors and scheduling of your non-work activities too.
If you find calendaring tedious, as some of us do, then your VA can run your calendar. Whether you’re scheduled for a meeting with a seller or for a 5-day vacation in the Bahamas – whatever you are going to do, it should all be penned down.
Always remember to ask your VA to not just put business-related appointments on your calendar but also include appointments with yourself – to spend time reviewing your goals, taking a walk or reading a few pages in your latest page-turner book.
It’s important to write those down as well, or you won’t be able to get around to it.
3. Marketing Campaigns
When you’re a real estate investor, marketing should be the lifeblood of your business if you want consistent results. The marketing of your business requires a detailed, organized approach and it should be going out the door every single week.
Your VA can do a great deal of digital marketing for you. You can give your VA a spending limit and a marketing calendar where they can plot out all of your marketing strategies. Your VAs in the US can also print direct mail pieces, address and stuff envelopes, plus update responses.
Your VA can also:
- Update social media accounts
- Create flyers, videos and other marketing pieces
- Write and manage mass emails to buyers lists with updated property information
- Post ads on Craigslist or Zillow
4. Reporting Feedback
Your VA should be managing the results of your advertising campaigns, including:
- The responses you received
- Determining the direct mail piece that worked the best
- Scheduling showings for rental properties
- Figuring out which websites produced the best results from your ads
5. Data Entry
VAs can do most routine data entry jobs. From filling out rental property accounting to applying for a mortgage loan, VAs can take a lot of the tedious tasks out of your hands.
Think of these tasks as $10/hour jobs. You won’t get rich in real estate doing $10/hour tasks. Let a VA do it so you can concentrate on $1,000 or $10,000/hour tasks like negotiating new deals.
Usually, real estate investors conduct business either personally or on phone calls. A transaction should end in 2 ways:
1. If the transaction is a success, the investor will need a purchase agreement right away. So, the investor can give the needed information to their VA who will create the purchase agreement, populate it, and then send it back to the investor for printing.
2. If the prospect seems uninterested, you’d probably send a time-sensitive offer. After the VA populates the purchase agreement, they’d send it through Click2Mail to the cold prospect.
What I’m saying is that all contracts and agreements are populated by the virtual assistant. Not you!
Craigslist usually gets a bad rap from real estate investors because of the lack of deals. But in reality, there are a ton of hot deals on Craigslist that nobody ever looks at.
To use Craigslist efficiently and effectively, enlist a program called IFTTT – which is a website that allows automation with Craigslist. Put in criteria to have the right ads pushed to your team and have your people call about them right away.
See, with Craigslist, the first one who finds it, wins it.
The people who post houses for sale on Craigslist are usually motivated sellers. So through the use of IFTTT, it allows your team to get to these sellers before anyone else can.
Your VA sets up the IFTTT and with daily tweaking, you can get the right ads coming in and avoid all unnecessary ads (read: time-wasters).
8. Pipeline Reports
Pipeline reports are critical to your success. Your VA should send you these reports first thing in the morning. Here’s what should be in the pipeline reports:
- Who’s hot or warm
- Who’s already under contract with a purchase agreement
- What’s already assigned
- Deposits you’re waiting on
- Necessary title info
- What’s closing and when
Your VA should also research the following:
- Where the cash buyers are buying
- SEO keywords
- Locating property managers
10. Middle Man or Conduit
Your VA is also the middle man or conduit between you and other people…
If you need information or you need to get something done that your VA can’t do, then outsource it through your VA. Tell them what you need and they’ll post the job on a specific platform such as Freelancer and give you the results you need.
11. Distribution of Workflow
When you close a deal and get your property under contract, it’s the VA’s job to send the collateral – the photos, the descriptions, the price, and all the other necessary information – to your buyers list.
But here’s a little tip: Emailing is almost totally dead when it comes to selling a house. You’ll want to send the information in a text message. Smartphones rarely leave a person’s hand, so you’ll most likely get a 100% open rate with an SMS rather than an email.
Text messaging is the way to go.
You’d probably think all of this is too much for a VA to handle…
But in reality, this is what real estate investors have been doing all by themselves. As you go through these steps, you’ll start to build a relationship of expectation.
3 tips to remember:
1.Give your virtual assistant time to adjust. It’s undeniable that being a VA requires a lot of work. So give your VA 2 to 3 months to learn your business.
2. Cut them some slack. Even if they’re well-adjusted, mistakes are inevitable. Instead of coming down too hard on them for their mistakes, ask them what they learned from that mistake and how to rectify the situation.
3. Having a VA means they get a glimpse of your personal and business life. They know exactly what’s going on in your business, so it’s important to build a trusting and open relationship with your VA.
Look, hiring a virtual assistant gives you more freedom to focus on the more critical aspects of your business. And it can even allow you to take a step back for a quick getaway – knowing that your business will continue to run while you’re away. Win/win.
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