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    How to Manage a Remote Team: Expert Onboarding Tips for Success

    Building a virtual team is one of the best ways to add skilled team members to your workforce, especially in the property management industry. The benefits of choosing property management virtual assistants range from cost savings to tapping into a wider talent pool. 

    However, the key to managing a remote team successfully lies in one crucial step: Onboarding.

    A successful onboarding plan helps new virtual team members ramp up quickly and can often help you retain your best talent long-term. So, what do property managers need to incorporate into a plan for onboarding virtual team members successfully? Check out our best insights into starting well with a new VA!

    The Significance of Onboarding When Managing Virtual Teams

    So, what is onboarding? Onboarding a new virtual assistant is a meticulous process that involves several steps to ensure that your new VA is properly trained, fits seamlessly into your workflow, and is well-equipped to commence tasks. 

    This isn't just about filling a vacant position; it's about integrating a new member into your virtual teams with the potential for long-term success.

    Why Is Onboarding Important?

    You could choose a virtual assistant, add them to your Slack channel, and start sending tasks their way, hoping for the best. However, the onboarding process sets the stage for a fruitful working relationship. 

    By getting organized with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and efficient systems, you not only streamline the process but also maximize the ROI (return on investment) of your outsourced assistant. 

    In simple terms, a well-planned onboarding makes the subsequent steps in how to manage a remote team more effective and less strenuous.

    Elements of a Successful Onboard Process

    With a broad understanding of why new team member onboarding is essential for your property management business and customer service, next it's crucial to think through what should be part of your process. Here are a few things we recommend! 

    A Shared Vision

    When building a productive remote team for your property management company, merely having a "box checker" won't suffice. You need a virtual assistant who truly resonates with your company's mission and vision — a dedicated individual keen to go above and beyond their basic duties to guarantee seamless operations. 

    When your VA genuinely understands the core values driving your company and why you engage in the work that you do, it fuels a level of intrinsic motivation that's invaluable. 

    This isn't just about ticking off tasks on a to-do list; it's about embracing the ethos of your organization, internalizing the larger purpose, and consistently aiming to exceed expectations. With such an assistant, you don't just gain a workforce member; you gain an advocate for your company's objectives and aspirations.

    Comprehensive Training

    When choosing a property management virtual assistant from VPM Solutions, you're starting with someone who already has training tailored for the property management industry. However, further internal training is a non-negotiable step for seamless integration into your specific operations. 

    This additional training should encompass an array of critical components like your company's policies, its unique best practices, and the specialized systems you employ. Understanding vendor relationships and mastering effective communication techniques for engaging with property owners and tenants is also crucial. 

    The key is to customize this training according to your VA's specific role. By doing so, you're not just making them familiar with generic procedures but equipping them with the exact knowledge and tools they need to excel in their particular function. This approach results in a much more efficient and harmonious working environment.

    A new virtual assistant meets other property management virtual assistants on a laptop screenRegular Check-Ins

    The frequency of meetings with your virtual assistant can differ based on your unique operational needs and their role. However, we recommend a minimum of a weekly review.

    These weekly touchpoints serve multiple purposes: 

    • Assess what the assistant has learned

    • Identify areas of improvement

    • Gauge their overall progress

    • Realign strategies 

    • Clarify any ambiguities 

    By maintaining this consistent communication channel, you not only keep your VA engaged but also stay up-to-date on their contributions. These regular check-ins are invaluable assets in building and effectively managing a successful virtual team in property management.

    Equip Them with Tools and Resources

    Equipping your virtual assistant with the right tools and resources is crucial for effective task performance. Ideally, setting up everything they need takes place in the first few days of starting their role with your company. 

    These resources could range from specialized property management software that helps tenant coordination and financial reporting to robust communication platforms for seamless interaction with team members and clients. 

    Before they start, it's crucial to ascertain what specific tools your VA will need for their assigned duties and make those readily available. This empowers them to execute their tasks efficiently and creates an environment where they can contribute more actively to the team's overall goals. By providing the appropriate tools, you're laying the groundwork for a productive and successful virtual team.

    Encourage Questions (and Answer Them)

    A quality VA will likely have a lot of questions as they start their new roles with your company. Questions are a good thing! 

    Encourage team members to engage in an open dialogue for questions. This is vital for the growth and effectiveness of your virtual assistant. Take the time to provide thoughtful, in-depth answers to any queries they may have. 

    A VA who asks questions is actively engaged in learning, which is an attribute that should be highly encouraged. This accelerates their professional development and fosters a culture of continuous improvement within your team. 

    Ultimately, well-informed members of your remote teams are more capable and better positioned to contribute to your business objectives.

    A woman doing online training, virtual teams conceptStart Small 

    Start your VA off with simple tasks. Then, as they master these initial responsibilities, gradually introduce them to more complex tasks that align with your business needs. 

    This staged progression enables your VA to comfortably adapt while still facing challenges that foster growth and skill development. This balanced approach not only boosts their confidence but also ensures they are continually evolving in their role, ultimately contributing to the overall success of your virtual team.

    Provide Unwavering Support

    Merely choosing a VA and hoping they figure things out is a recipe for failure. They need adequate support (including social support) to excel. 

    Set clear expectations for remote team members, offer guidance, provide the tools and resources, and maintain regular communication. This supportive environment is pivotal in retaining VAs and maximizing their performance.

    Learn More About How to Manage a Remote Team With Our Free Guide

    Successfully managing virtual teams doesn't have to be a frustrating or time-consuming task. With the right onboarding process, your property management virtual assistants will fit into your company culture and contribute significantly to its growth and success.

    To find a virtual assistant and kickstart your team-building, make sure you create a Free Company Profile with VPM Solutions. As the leading workforce outsourcing solution in property management and real estate, we offer highly skilled VAs for various roles, including marketing, maintenance coordination, leasing, transactions, and bookkeeping.

    If you're ready to improve your virtual team management skills, get started with our free resource, "The Ultimate Guide to Managing Property Management Virtual Assistants."