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    Should I Train My Remote Assistant Like Staff?

    Updated March 23, 2023

    It's one of the most common questions property management business owners ask when adding a virtual assistant to their team, especially for the first time: what virtual assistant training should I be doing to help them succeed?  

    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. At the same time, there are plenty of horror stories out there about virtual assistants that aren't the right fit for the role. 

    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 virtual team member the same way you train your staff, 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 remote team members 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 new team member starts strong and has every chance for success in supporting your business!

    Allocate Sufficient Time for Training Virtual Assistants

    When choosing a remote assistant to build a virtual team, 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 virtual contractor already skilled in the specific area.  

    Thankfully, VAs today sourced through the right platform are often highly educated and skilled in a particular field. 

    If you are planning to train a virtual assistant, 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.

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    Outline 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 example:

    • Technical (like data entry)

    • Administrative support (including project management or executive assistant)

    • Marketing (including social media management)

    • Research-based

    • Sales

    • Bookkeeping 

    • Email management

    • Content creation

    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, mention Excel, WordPress, GoogleSuite, and others if your company uses these tools and you expect your virtual team member to use them, too.

    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 key markers. 

    A remote assistant 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 your team member'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 remote workers 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 your VA. In addition, creating templates and standard operating procedures, especially concerning client-facing duties, can help with consistency even with a virtual contractor on your team. 

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    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. 

    Even though your virtual contractor isn't an employee, they should have access to ongoing learning and growth opportunities. By providing VAs with the opportunity to consume content such as video, written guides, or even audio training, 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. 

    Start With a Trained Remote Assistant

    While you'll still need to train a new virtual team member on your company's process, software, and client specifics, starting with an industry-trained virtual assistant is the best way to add a productive person to your team!

    VPM Solutions offers the VPM Academy to all virtu assistants on the platform. These free virtual assistant courses and certifications mean you can select VAs with industry-specific training for real estate and property management roles. When onboarding your new team member, you can skip much of the "basic" training for industry-specifics and dive immediately into specifics for your company.

    Enhance Virtual Assistant Training With VPM Solutions!

    There are plenty of eager remote assistants ready to help you boost efficiency and grow your property management company or real estate business. However, sometimes, it makes more sense to find a VA for your needs rather than train one 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! Select a team member with the industry training you need to help them start strong and boost productivity right away.

    Find your next virtual assistant by Creating Your Free Profile!

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