5 Valuable Tips for Remote Team Management in Real Estate
Your real estate company can benefit from the remote worker boom that has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some real estate professionals may hesitate to give up some control of the smaller administrative business tasks and trust a team of virtual assistants.
While we understand plenty of valid concerns, the flexibility and productivity boost for your business makes contracting with remote team members worthwhile! Today we talk about what it means to work with a remote assistant and five of our best tips for successful virtual team management!
What Is a Remote Team?
A remote team is a group of virtual assistants who work from various locations, including different cities or countries. For instance, many U.S.-based real estate companies work with remote assistants in Mexico or the Philippines.
What Are the Challenges in Managing a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Team?
Thankfully, technology has made it possible to bridge geographical barriers. However, that's not to say that a remote working model is perfect, as it still has its challenges. Below are some common challenges you might encounter when managing remote teams.
Not Having the Right Tools
It's easier to recognize gaps in resources, tools, or technology when managing in-house employees. However, once you hire a virtual assistant, connecting with them with the right tools can be challenging.
The right VAs are equipped to work with their own computers, headphones, and other equipment required for the job. Real estate agents and professionals should also provide apps or software (like project management tools) to virtual assistants that help them stay in touch daily and accomplish tasks specific to their roles.
Unclear Job Descriptions
Unclear job descriptions and expectations lead to difficulties when managing remote team members. Your virtual assistants will struggle to understand their responsibilities and tasks while you also struggle to evaluate their performances based on job descriptions.
Avoid getting caught in this unfortunate situation by ensuring that all job descriptions are comprehensively outlined. Additionally, make sure that your virtual assistant is aware of your expectations during the onboarding period.
Challenges with Tracking Employee Performance
As a team manager, you need to know how much work each member is doing and at what rate. However, that can be hard to do when the team members are scattered in different locations.
Lack of Team Connection Across Time Zones
Connecting with in-house employees comes with the territory of being in the same space through a significant portion of the workday. It's also easier to plan social events with local team members than virtual workers in different countries and time zones.
However, building a sense of community with your at-home team and the people working remotely for your real estate business is still crucial. So look for ways to bring all team members together. For instance, you can organize an annual company celebration that includes virtual team members or plan monthly meetings for everyone to gather and touch base.
Building your workforce with remote team members allows you to pick from a global pool of talented real estate virtual assistants. Yet without good communication, your real estate company might not reap the benefits.
Managing a remote team means doubling down on communication tools that allow you to connect instantly with remote workers (like Slack). It's also crucial to schedule routine one-on-one check-ins with virtual assistants to connect. It can also help your VAs feel like they can reach out to you at any time by sharing your calendar so they can know when you are free.
5 Tips to Manage Remote Teams Well
So, what can you do to overcome remote team management challenges? Take a look at these five valuable tips for success.
1. Establish Clear Communication
Make sure you have a reliable communication channel that all in-house and remote workers can access and use freely. Then, be diligent about communicating crucial details with your remote assistant, including changes at the company, deadlines, and schedules.
In addition, encourage team members to give honest feedback. Be sure to give constructive feedback to your virtual assistants, as well.
2. Schedule Regular Check-ins
Another essential tip is scheduling regular check-ins. While that might sound like a lot of work, it's an important way to ensure peak productivity.
Check-ins create an opportunity to listen to your virtual assistant and make sure they have the training and resources they need to perform well! Doing this also helps them feel like valued team members.
3. Understand that Every Remote Assistant Is Different
Keeping an open mind about the mix of VAs on your team can help you manage them well. Different team members might have different needs or local environments, so flexibility is critical. While we generally recommend that your remote team members work during your regular office hours, understanding time zone differences and planning schedules accordingly can help with productivity.
However, each virtual assistant must navigate local or other challenges to meet your expectations in their roles.
4. Track Progress
Are we mentioned earlier, establish a KPI tracking system and stick to it! Every virtual assistant should have a clear job description and method to measure progress against goals.
5. Establish Concise and Reasonable Expectations
Do not be afraid to lay it out for your remote team members. Whether it's administrative tasks or social media management, some VAs may need more ramp-up time or training than others to understand the project or task and what needs to be accomplished.
Manage a Team of Real Estate Virtual Assistants Through VPM Solutions
While the tips we shared above are tried and true, sometimes it takes a little more work to find and manage remote workers who fit your business needs. That's where VPM Solutions can step in to help.
Our platform helps real estate professionals find and manage remote teams through our Company Accounts feature! In addition, our pool of virtual assistants has access to free real estate industry training.