The Differences Between Being a Virtual Assistant & Remote Employee

Updated September 8, 2022

In property management, companies and the workforce hear the term "virtual assistant" more frequently than ever before. You may be wondering what this means and whether or not it's something that you would want to pursue. You might also wonder if you already are a remote "employee"—or a VA!

If so, then this blog post is for you! Today we'll explain the differences between being a property management virtual assistant versus an "employee" for a property management company. We'll also discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks to each role in terms of salary, job expectations, and opportunities for advancement.

Female Architect Working At Desk On Computer

You're An Independent Contractor

When working for a property management company as a freelance virtual assistant, you can't be both a remote employee and a contractor. However, not all remote property management employees are virtual assistants. So, what does that mean?

We learned throughout the past year that working from home became necessary to keep businesses running—even in the property management industry. Many U.S.-based employees became "remote" employees simply because they had to work at home to stay safe! 

As workforces return to a more normal way of life back in the office, many property managers have realized that a remote workforce is an excellent way to grow their teams and expand services. Hiring a virtual assistant allows business owners to get more hands on deck—without many of the costs that come with hiring an "employee!" 

As a VA, you have a tremendous opportunity to find roles that fit your skills in the property management industry while being the ideal fit for companies and their hiring budgets. However, there's an important distinction to keep in mind: you're a contractor (not an employee of the company that pays you for your work). 

What's the Difference Between "Remote Employee" and "Freelance VA?"

So seriously, what are we trying to say? "Freelance" means you aren’t an employee of the company. You could have an exclusive working arrangement, but as a virtual assistant, you're not a W-2 employee. That means you’re not eligible for any "employee" benefits (like health insurance or a 401k). However, a company's stateside "remote workers" are often W-2 employees and receive benefits, including paid time off and health insurance. 

That doesn't mean virtual assistants have to do without critical things like health insurance options that are available in the countries where they work! You have the flexibility to set your pay rate to the level you need to cover expenses, purchase health insurance, and support your lifestyle. 

How Can You Find Your Fit as a Property Management VA?

Virtual assistants for property managers often do administrative tasks such as data entry, scheduling appointments, email responses, and other work that doesn't require face-to-face interaction with clients or property managers. They may also prepare reports on a project or property in order to present them to the property manager.

When accepting a role with a property management business, make sure you understand your role as an independent contractor versus a remote employee. If you've never worked as a property management assistant before, it can be very different than working for a company in your home country that can offer benefits that you might be accustomed to. However, many property management companies are looking for virtual assistants with the right skills, so there are plenty of jobs out there to find the opportunities you're looking for. 

Use the Best Resources

To find your fit, look for property managers that offer remote jobs with freelance opportunities to get an idea of what you're in store for. A property management job hub is an excellent place to start! Choose opportunities that fit your skillset, whether you have experience in the property management industry, as a bookkeeper, or any other roles that property managers need from experienced VAs. 

Finding jobs as property management freelance VAs is no different than finding other freelancing positions—you'll need to be flexible and patient as you look for the property management job that's right for you. Post a thorough profile to serve as your resume. Outline your skills and the type of role you're the best fit for! Then watch the requests come in for interviews through a quality VA job hub for the property management industry. 

Serious fun thinking young woman looking up on empty copy space

Can My Role Change?

If you start as a virtual assistant, can your role change to become an employee for your best property management client? In most cases, no—especially if you work in a country different from the company's location. However, when a property manager is pleased with your work, they will likely offer you a long-term role as a virtual assistant! They might also offer bonuses and raises to reward you for loyalty to the company and your quality work. 

If you enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss as a property management VA, there are plenty of opportunities to build your career that way! 

Choose the Best Property Management Virtual Assistant Job Hub

When it comes to your remote job search, quality matters. You need a destination where you can find the perfect opportunity in an industry that’s hiring and is in demand right now. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a short-term project or are searching for the next full-time gig as an independent contractor—start with good opportunities first! VPM Solutions is here to help. 

Learn more about being a virtual assistant in the property management industry. Download our free guide, "Launching Your Career as a Property Management Virtual Assistant," today!

Download The Guide