Should I Train My Property Management Virtual Assistant Like Staff?

It's one of the most common questions property management business owners ask when looking to hire a Virtual Assistant, especially for the first time: what virtual assistant training should I be doing?  

If you're trying virtual assistant services for the first time, a quality, skilled, and solutions-focused VA can be like a breath of fresh air to the business, while at the same time, there are plenty of horror stories out there. A lot of it comes down to training and the way the relationship is managed. So if you're wondering whether you should train your VA as you train your staff, then the short answer is "no." 

However, this doesn't mean you can't train your virtual contractor to the highest standard in your procedures and systems! This blog looks at some critical strategies you can implement to train your VA the right way every time. 

How to Properly Train a Property Management Virtual Assistant 

Before your property management virtual assistant begins "actual" work, property managers and business owners need a well-documented training plan. This helps ensure your VA starts strong and has every chance for success in supporting your business!

Allocate Sufficient Time for Training

When looking to use the services of a property management virtual assistant, it's essential to find a balance between training time and outcomes. If you want a VA who can get to work immediately, then you'll need to search for a VA already skilled in the specific area.  

Thankfully, VAs today are often highly educated and skilled in a particular field. 

If you are planning to train a VA, consider: 

  • The scope of the project

  • The complexity of the tasks 

  • Cost analysis 

  • Expected duration of the relationship 

To cut down training time, create systems and procedures that can be easily implemented with a comprehensive onboarding system specially designed for virtual assistants. Document every step and be open to questions and inquiries (especially in the first few weeks). During this period, offering feedback and measuring if it has been implemented into the work is paramount.

African woman working on laptopOutline The Role 

This step begins in-house by understanding what a VA does. Setting expectations too high can lead to disappointment and frustration in the process. On the other hand, if you're after something specific, using real estate virtual assistant companies, just like VPM Solutions, can help you find the correct placement. 

When outlining the role, define it both broadly and specifically. For broad specifications, consider areas such as: 

  • Technical

  • Administrative

  • Research-based

  • Sales

  • Bookkeeping 

From there, you can add the details of the role. One of the easiest ways to create a detailed job description is to consider which tools will be required for the VA to complete the tasks appropriately. 

Include these tools in the job description, for example, Excel, WordPress, GoogleSuite, etc. 

Measure Progress With Clear Expectations 

property management virtual assistant differs from a staff member in expectations and responsibilities. This means the expected output and understanding of your company culture may not be the same as your staff members. 

When measuring the output of a VA, focus on accountability, communication, and efficiency as the key markers. 

A VA that takes ownership of their work, communicates quickly, and completes tasks as efficiently as possible will make an excellent long-term option. Therefore, defining and tracking a VA's output through key performance indicators, such as setting time limits on tasks and a maximum response time regarding communication, is essential.

Provide Written Instructions

Due to time zone differences and the methods of communication, it's often likely that most correspondence between your property management group and VAs will be written through emails, Slack messages, or other documentation. 

Due to this, it's important to go heavy on the details, prioritize tasks, and communicate as clearly as possible to the VA. In addition, creating templates and standard operating procedures, especially concerning client-facing duties, can help make consistency even with a virtual contractor on your team. Back view of business latin woman talking to her mexican colleagues in video conference

Workflow and communication apps like Slack and Trello are popular choices for quick communication. Another simple option is to share briefs via Google docs to keep everything in one place. 

Provide Learning Opportunities With Content 

Along with screengrabs and recordings to help provide task outlines, creating learning content for your VA is also advisable. 

Just because a VA isn't an employee doesn't mean they should be deprived of learning and growth opportunities. By providing VAs with the opportunity to consume content such as video, written, or even audio, you're creating a much more inviting and personal experience. Break tasks into short, digestible videos, and you're essentially creating microlearning opportunities that can be used repeatedly. 

Find a Trained  Property Management Virtual Assistant With VPM Solutions!

There are plenty of eager property management VAs ready to help you boost efficiency and focus on growing your property management company. However, sometimes, it makes more sense to find a VA for your needs rather than train up a VA to work for your property management business from scratch.  

If you'd like to hit the ground running with the ideal virtual contractor for your business needs, start your search with VPM Solutions!

Download our free resource, "The Real Estate Virtual Assistant Hiring Kit," to get started with your first virtual assistant! 
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