Working with virtual assistants is a new and exciting experience. Prior to just a few weeks ago, I had never worked with virtual assistants before. Like everything, there are strengths and weaknesses to having virtual assistants. If you find and hire the right VA, it can really help drive your business forward. In this blog, I’ll be sharing our company’s recent experiences
In the last few weeks we hired a company to find us 2 virtual assistants and train them. Normally the process is pretty simple and straightforward. However, we had 3 failed attempts at hiring employees for unforeseen personal reasons. This was a headache to say the least. Fortunately, the company we were working with kept looking and quickly found us 2 well qualified virtual assistants. Our first VA lives in Honduras and the second in the Philippines. Both have been a spark of energy for our company thus far.
Like I said before, there are strengths and weaknesses to hiring virtual assistants. Let’s take a look at the strengths first. The work ethic of both our VAs is excellent. There are not as many opportunities for work in Central America or Southeast Asia. This is relevant because workers from these areas are hard working to keep their jobs and are willing to work for less. This model is very effective from a business perspective. We have also noticed how our employees have great attitudes and energy in general. This is crucial when you are calling on the phone for long periods of time. No matter what industry you are in, virtual assistants can be extremely valuable.
Some aspects of hiring VAs can be quite difficult to deal with. These aspects must be addressed before you hire a virtual assistant as they are uncontrollable weaknesses. The biggest problem I have seen so far is connection issues. The connection issues are often caused by weather. Mother Nature can be quite unforgiving sometimes. This means interrupted service for hours or even days for some. Another challenge is that English is typically not their first language. Knowing our market in Northeast Ohio, this is pretty important. It can deter some sellers if they hear someone on the other end of the phone with a strong accent. It will take more time to be successful for this reason, but the diligence of the virtual assistants will often make up for this.
After hiring them, managing them is a whole other skill set. The first part of managing a virtual assistant is tracking their success through KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). It’s our job to set our employees up for success by giving them the proper tools. They need tools for operation, compensation, and communication. Any lack of success, that is controllable, we must take full accountability for. This is why the uncontrollable issues are frustrating. It can be easy to set and forget your virtual employees. Instead, you must include them and talk to them every single work day. Inclusion is critical when you are not in person, so the person stays motivated to keep working. If they are not treated properly, their work will start to slip.
Overall, VAs can be a valuable asset to any organization, which has proven to be the case with us at Dregalla Development, LLC. You get what you put in. If you train your virtual assistants well, take care of them, communicate with them multiple times a day, and compensate them, you can avoid a lot of issues now and in the future. Our experience so far has been great and we plan on expanding down the road. I will gladly continue to share our journey in real estate investing.
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