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    How Can You Make Sure a Virtual Assistant Is the Real Deal?

    Updated January 20, 2022

    Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can mean the difference between hours of working through menial administrative tasks or spending more time building relationships with property owners and growing your business. With the right VA contributing to your team and taking on routine tasks that shouldn't be on your plate, you have more time to focus on big-picture items without sacrificing the quality of service to your owners and tenants. 

    How do you ensure that the person you choose as your VA is the real deal? VPM Solutions is here to share some things to look out for when you are ready to work with a virtual assistant.

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    Virtual Assistants (Should Be) Real People 

    Virtual assistants aren't AIs or computer programs. They're real people doing real work for small business owners! However, you might never meet your VA in person, so how can you know that who you've chosen is who they say they are?

    As a property manager, you know that professional tenants try to fool you during the screening process. They look good on paper and might have good (but fake) references to convince you they'll be excellent residents in a property under your management. However, thorough research and a careful review and selection process can help you avoid bad or dishonest virtual assistants when adding one to your team. 

    A good VA will develop knowledge of your business and truly become an extension of your team and your brand. Before you let a scammer into your systems, software, and behind the scenes of your company, vet your potential new team member as thoroughly as you would an in-person W-2 employee coming to work in your office.

    Start with a virtual job hub that delivers property management professionals who have already been vetted before becoming available to property managers looking to hire a virtual assistant. Starting with a quality pool of specialized virtual assistant candidates means you'll find a VA you can trust in no time at all. 

    They Must Integrate Well 

    Your VA will interact with property owners, tenants, and your other employees. Finding a virtual assistant as an independent contractor with the right personality type and skills is critical to ensuring that you've chosen the "real deal!" Your VA should be an extension of your brand and the quality of services in your market. 

    Your virtual assistant can take tenant maintenance calls, screen prospective renters, troubleshoot issues with the current tenants, respond to tenant complaints, and schedule inspections. They can create work orders, dispatch vendors, follow up on work performed, and create/post invoices. They can even take calls any time, day or night (which your tenants will love!). They can be a major point of contact for your business, interacting with all aspects of your business. 

    Thoroughly Vet Candidates

    While personality is important, skills and training are essential. When looking for the best candidate, keep an eye out for verifiable training and certifications. 

    At a minimum, you should look for VAs that have experience in essential administrative duties, answering phones, and other critical business support tasksIdeally, a candidate will be proficient in office and property management software, know property management terminology, have industry experience, and have some knowledge of social media automation toolsWith a well-equipped VA, training them on the specifics of your business will help them ramp up as a valuable new team member right away. 

    Apply a thorough background screening you use during your routine recruiting and selection process. Verifying the information on a resume or job hub profile helps ensure that you're choosing a virtual assistant that matches their posted credentials. Conduct an interview process that includes a video meeting so you can "meet" your new VA and put a face to a name. 

    Be clear about what you are looking for and ask critical questions during interviews to get to know a candidate. In choosing your VA, aim for the 80-20 Rule, which guides you to select a candidate based on 80% personality and 20% technical and fundamental qualifications. A person whose values, attitudes, and personality traits are contrary to your own will never be as productive for your team as you need them to be, regardless of their technical and fundamental qualifications. 

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    Consider a Trial Period 

    As with any new hire, it's appropriate to contract your new virtual assistant on a trial basis. Typically, a 30-day contract is long enough to know whether a virtual assistant is going to work well for you or not. However, if you have complex systems or tasks that the VA will be handling, you may want to consider starting with a 60-day contract. At the end of the trial contract period, you can work out a long-term contract if you are happy with the work your VA is doing. 

    We're the Real Deal! Find a Virtual Assistant With VPM Solutions

    Interviewing, choosing, and training a new team member is demanding and time-intensive. Using a property management job search website like VPM Solutions can help you quickly find and hire a virtual assistant who is qualified and ready to contribute meaningful work to your business! With VPM Solutions, you have a pool of vetted and qualified talent to pick your next VA. Get started today!

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