Want to know what the difference is between you and a millionaire?
Is your business growing and are you finding yourself with less and less time?
In this article, you’ll discover how powerful a virtual assistant can be in freeing up your time and actually increase profitability for your business.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant
If you ever read the book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich, one of the most important concepts to learn is how to delegate or outsource your workload.
As your real estate investing business grows, time is of the essence, and you want to learn to use your time efficiently and effectively. You want to use your time on your business and not in your business.
The most important asset you have as an entrepreneur is not money, it is time. We all have the same time in a day (24 hours). You can always make more money but you can’t make more time.
The only difference between you and a millionaire is that the millionaire has a million dollars but we all have the same time in a day. If you learn how to value your time more, you can get to the millionaire status just like them. Therefore, learn how to leverage other people’s skills so you can save more on time.
And one way to do this is to hire a virtual assistant(s). Hiring a virtual assistant is crucial to your success in real estate investing business or any other business endeavor you choose. And it is critical to your success in developing your time freedom. Having a virtual assistant in my business has really allowed me to not only free up my time but feel a peace of mind when I’m able to travel, spend time with family, focus on building my business instead of being involved in my business. It can practically and utterly if done correctly, transform your life!
What Virtual Assistants Are Not
Virtual assistants are not people who will do everything for you and your business but they are skilled enough to handle more of the mundane manual tasks. You as a business owner must learn to delegate job roles or job responsibilities. The same principle goes along with that of a CEO. CEOs are not actually directly involved with the daily mundane flow of the business. They are the managers, they oversee the entire operation of the business.
Your job is to delegate and outsource direct job responsibilities to virtual assistants so you can focus on other responsibilities, including delegating and outsourcing job responsibilities. If you do this enough, you will eventually find all the time freedom you desire. Truly owning your business instead of your business owning you.
Virtual Assistants Vs. Actual Employees
As the digital arena continues to grow so will virtual assistants. Our world is constantly being more and more globalized.
As a real estate investor or business owner, there are multitudes of job responsibilities that a virtual assistant can acquire.
However, many business owners believe that if they are going to hire a virtual assistant they may as well hire an employee.
This really depends on the type of business, the growth of the business and the direction of the business. But overall, virtual assistance should be part of your business even if you need actual employees. Businesses are becoming more and more virtual and global and the cost as an employer is less expensive and less headache to just hire virtual assistants.
Hiring a virtual assistant requires no payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, benefits, and social security. If you hire an employee, it requires all of these things.
Hiring a virtual assistant allows you to hire based on specialization. When you hire employees, you most likely will need to provide additional training.
Hiring virtual assistants forces projects and tasks to stay on schedule, that is, if the virtual assistant is being paid per project or task they will not waste their own time. Hiring employees, there is always a possibility that they may waste time.
Hiring a virtual assistant allows work to be done practically 24-7, that is, weekends, evenings, nights and holidays. If you hire employees, you may find it difficult for them to work on weekends, evenings, nights, or holidays and if you do. It usually costs more.
Hiring a virtual assistant allows you to pay by project or time-on-task. For an employee, you are paying hourly or salary regardless if the work is completed.
Hiring a virtual assistant allows you to scale if needed during peak or seasonal times. With an employee, you must first hire and then you need to train.
Hiring a virtual assistant requires no equipment cost or office space. With an employee, you most likely will need to provide equipment and office space.
So you can see the benefits and advantages when hiring a virtual assistant over an employee.
Focus on the Price of a Virtual Assistance
Most entrepreneurs don’t understand exactly what they’re getting into with this industry. We may think it may be expensive, it’s scary, it’s unknown. How much is a virtual assistant really going to cost us?
But when you focus on the cost of hiring a virtual assistant. There are two factors that will play into the price factor, location and expertise.
Obviously, hiring a virtual assistant from the U.S. will cost more than hiring one from the Philippines. Yet, depending on the specific task you may still want to go with the virtual assistant from the U.S. It really depends on what job responsibilities you are delegating.
Moreover, much virtual assistance is in the Philippines and other parts of the world. It’s important to know where they are located because this is going to determine how much it will cost. So a very safe price range is between three to six dollars per hour. Obviously, you can increase the wage depending on the level of expertise. But it is important to start with a base range per hour or per project.
As mentioned before, when hiring virtual assistance it is important to know what the job responsibilities are. It could be managing emails, update social media accounts, research craigslist ads, etc. The point is specific in what you want the virtual assistant to do.
Virtual Assistant Types
As I go through the types of virtual assistants, keep in mind that each can have very detailed specialties, e.g. C++ developer, front-end developer, proofreading, sales copy, etc. And each type of virtual assistant can overlap with each other. The key is not to get so caught up in the types of virtual assistants. The key is to know who you are hiring, what skill set they have and what you need them to do.
Technical Virtual Assistant
The technical virtual assistant is a broad area. These virtual assistants cover many areas within the technical framework of the industry.
However, it is important as I stress this again. When seeking a virtual assistant, know what you need. Identify the job description and responsibilities before hiring a virtual assistant.
Technical skills range from WordPress development, web development, mobile development, computer code (languages), building Shopify websites, Infusionsoft, SimplyCast, graphic designing, and many others. They also can manage the online side of your business and even launch programs or products throughout the year. They can manage and create sales funnels for online activity.
Real Estate Virtual Assistant
As the market for virtual assistants continue to grow there is a specialization within the virtual assistant world. Fortunately, for real estate investors, there are virtual assistants who specialize in real estate.
There is a multitude of advantages to hiring a virtual assistant for real estate purposes. Anywhere from lead generation, prospecting, database management, sales, etc. Basically, you can get a virtual assistant to do any type of work that you feel is that they can do and have them do it. This will free you up to focus on the important things, e.g. giving more attention to making deals and growing your business.
And once you build your business to a level of time freedom. You can focus your time on what truly matters, family, philanthropy, ministry, charity, etc.
Data Entry Virtual Assistant
Data entry virtual assistants are those that work with the mundane. They have the ability to perform data entry and analysis, ability to multitask, answering phone calls and scheduling.
Paying more for mundane kind of work allows the virtual assistants to have an incentive to get the job done right. The more incentive that you can bring them the better job they’re going to want to do.
Administrative Virtual Assistant
This type of virtual assistant is your general all-rounded virtual assistance. They may be your personal secretary but they don’t bring you coffee and bring your lunch.
Many business owners, however, who continue to scale will need to delegate their work to their virtual assistant. As more and more businesses are involved in digitally virtual assistant can and will be a big factor for any business.
Some of the job responsibilities of a administrative virtual assistants include email management, manage appointments and calendars, create reports and presentations, write memos and even content, edit your content or writings, order supplies, and can also include bookkeeping. The job responsibilities for virtual assistance really comes down to what you want to delegate or outsource away from your time. So, again, you can do what you believe really matters.
Research and Development Virtual Assistant
Research virtual assistants are those types that can find the email addresses of the XYZ executives within a company, find the top English schools in China, find the “For Sale By Owner” properties located in XYZ county or build a list of real estate investors within a fifty-mile radius of XYZ city. They can even help you research activities in the cities you plan to travel to for vacation or business trips. The list can go on an on.
Obviously, again, the key is to identify the job responsibilities or task and communicated this to the virtual assistant. This will get everyone on the right page and understanding.
Social Media Marketing Virtual Assistant
If you have spent any time as an active real estate investor you will soon know that marketing is a critical component of your success. I believe in this day in age, that social media marketing, and digital marketing is your success. That is, if you don’t get your head around social media marketing you will most likely sink. And for those businesses that have been around for decades and decades that haven’t adopted social media in their marketing plan. They too will certainly take a hit in the coming future.
Moreover, no need to fear! That’s why we hire virtual assistants that are skilled and experienced in social media marketing. And believe me, there are plenty of skilled social media experts out there.
Social media experts focus strictly on the digital marketing side of your business. They can keep your websites up and running, manage your social media accounts, e.g. Twitter, Linked, Facebook pages, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. They can create ad campaigns and edit and create a video, e.g. commercials, etc. It is almost unlimited to what virtual assistants can do within the social media marketing niche.
If you don’t believe me that social media is and will be the future. I personally recommend Gary Vaynerchuk’s books, e.g. Crush It!: Why now is the time to cash in on your passion and Crushing It!: How great entrepreneurs build their business and influence-and-how you can, too.
When hiring a virtual assistant you want to find the right person for the job. It is important to have an interview with who you are going to hire. If you don’t get in front of a camera, e.g. Skype meeting, video chat session, etc. You will not be able to tell what is going on with the person’s life.
It is important to lay out the job description and outline the responsibilities. And even set up a contract for them.
It is critical to address the bargain from your side of the equation and what you expect.
Live video chat also brings value and builds the relationship. After all, the goal is to have long-term team members for your business.
Testing The Virtual Assistant
It is also critical that you test the virtual assistant, after all, you want to be certain that they what you want and you want to know if they can actually perform the task.
Start by creating a task and have them do it for you. Give me five minutes or so and you should be able to know if they are a suitable fit for you.
It is also imperative to check out their background, resume, references, etc. This will give you a feel for the person and will also allow you to build up questions to have a dialogue during the video chat.
If you decide on a candidate, let them know they will start out on a trial basis. During this period, they need to prove the reliability and skills to you. Since you let them know up front, they won’t be discouraged or be awkward in case it is not going to work out for you.
Where to Find a Virtual Assistant
There are literally hundreds of companies from all across the world that helps businesses connect with virtual assistants. However, there are also other techniques to help you in your search.
LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a networking site that focuses on B2B. You will be amazed at who you can find by spending some time on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn is a worldwide platform that can greatly benefit your business needs.
Twitter. Twitter is also a way to hunt virtual assistants. In many situations, once you start talking about the need for a virtual assistant based on your particular criteria you will have people follow and reach out to you. Many virtual assistant companies set up alerts to seek out people who are in need of a virtual assistant.
Craigslist. Craigslist can also be beneficial in search for a qualified virtual assistant. You can search on Craigslist in certain locations around the world or you can create your own post of what you need.
Upwork. Upwork is a site dedicated to connecting those who need projects done to those who are skilled in performing those projects. Upwork has a strong reputation, however, seems to be difficult in finding long-term virtual assistants.
Zirtual. Zirtual is another site that is dedicated to connecting virtual assistants. If you are looking for a virtual assistant that has experience in supporting the real estate industry then Zirtual may be for you.
Hiring virtual assistants can be a great way to start leveraging your time and as you continue to scale the more hiring you will do and the less involvement with your business you will have. You will eventually allow the business to automate and run itself only overseeing it and stepping in whenever you need it.
The sky’s the virtual limit when it comes to virtual assistants there are endless job responsibilities to hand out and there are endless skills that virtual assistants have. The key is to always communicate the job responsibilities and see out as well as take your time in finding the right virtual assistant for your project or task.