Hire a Virtual Assistant and Integrate Them Successfully!
Updated August 8, 2022.
You've decided it's time to hire a virtual assistant to support your property management business operations. That's an excellent decision!
The next part of the process is to onboard them in the best way possible. A successful onboarding process helps your new contractor ramp up quickly and deliver quality work for your company and clients. If you're hiring a virtual assistant (VA) for the first time, here are some ideas to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
Get Your Virtual Assistant Up-to-Date
You've already identified tasks to delegate and develop a workflow that will allow you to get the most out of your virtual assistant. A thorough onboarding process can start with explaining to your virtual assistant everything they need to know about your company, values, and objectives.
Though you may have talked some about the company in the interview process, it is good to take time to give your virtual assistant a formal introduction to your company's background, mission, values, and objectives.
Ensure your virtual assistant is aware of all company policies and operating procedures. Provide your VA with an outline of your organization's structure so that they can start familiarizing themselves with their new colleagues.
Set Clear Expectations
When you hire a virtual assistant, it's essential to make sure that they understand their task list and your expectations of their work and time. Your onboarding process should include reviewing their job description and everything on their plate as they take on their new role. Clear directions and deadlines will help your new independent contractor deliver dependable work that boosts your company's productivity.
While your VA should work independently without requiring constant monitoring, as they ramp up, check-in on a task about 10-20% of the way in so you can assess their understanding and comprehension. You don't want to waste time or money if things aren't clear!
Keep in mind that it takes about 3-6 months to really learn a job or task, so keep supporting your VA throughout this time. Everybody has a different timeframe to onboard—but once your virtual figures out what they are doing, your company and clients will soon experience the benefit! You've now delegated a job that you never have to take back!
Keep Open Lines of Communication
A great working relationship depends on effective communication between you and your VA—and between your VA and any other team members that they work with on various projects. If your assistant needs to contact you, they should know how and when to reach out. Your virtual assistant should feel comfortable enough to contact you with any questions or concerns as they learn their tasks and new role.
Consider scheduling regular meetings with your VA to give them opportunities to ask questions about project progress while you apply effective oversight. Having these regular check-ins can help prevent delays, mistakes, and misunderstandings from occurring in the future.
Alternatively, you might assign a primary point of contact for your virtual assistant if you have the resources to do so. This person can help your VA learn the ropes and be in close contact with your VA to help free your time for business-building activities.
Decide How Your Virtual Assistant Will Report to You
On top of good verbal communication, you will also want to keep track of what your VA is working on. This record should include how long each project takes, as well as what tasks have been completed. If your company uses project management software or spreadsheets to track work, make sure your virtual assistant understands how to use those tools to account for their time and tasks.
When you hire a virtual assistant from the right job hub, time-tracking and project reporting tools are already available to you! VPM Solutions makes it easy for VAs to track hours and report back on projects and tasks. Property managers can easily review timesheets and assignments before approving work and paying their VAs.
Trust is Key
Working with a virtual assistant can be challenging until you establish a process that works and find the right VAs to build trust. It can be challenging to let go of projects and work with someone you don't see in person every day. However, with a thorough onboarding process and the right tools and accountability resources, you'll enjoy the benefits of working with virtual assistants—and the cost savings over hiring W-2 employees who require benefits and other overhead expenses to bring on.
When you create solid objectives and expectations, you can expect your VA to be successful. They will also be able to learn and improve after you evaluate their output.
Hire a Virtual Assistant With the Skills You Need!
Your virtual assistant can save you time, money, and stress. In addition to a thorough onboarding process and the right training, starting with a pool of experienced property management virtual assistants helps small business owners find quality talent that integrates well into processes and teams. Keep the tips above in mind when it's time to hire a virtual contractor and partner with VPM Solutions to find the VAs you need and set them (and your business) up for success.
Learn more about hiring and integrating a VA into your team! Download our free resource, "The Definitive Guide to Hiring a Virtual Assistant."