Finding and Training a Remote Assistant for Success
Updated April 4, 2023
To build a team of successful virtual assistants, real estate professionals must commit to training them well. It's also essential to deliver an environment and compensation that helps a remote assistant thrive when working with your company.
What are some critical things to keep in mind when training and building relationships with skilled virtual team members? Keep reading to learn some best practices to help guarantee success for your remote team members and real estate business!
Before you add a virtual assistant to your team, you need to determine what role you need to fill. For example, if you need virtual help for a specific process within your company, go through the process and determine which tasks can be offloaded to the virtual assistant. Make sure there is no ambiguity on how the tasks must be completed for a specific role.
Determine the Ideal Personality Type for the Role
Not every VA is the right personality for the role. Take some time to determine the ideal personality type for success in the role, then select a real estate virtual assistant with those traits.
If you have a training system with manuals and videos, that's a great place to start. However, it is not necessary to have those materials pre-made.
Instead, it's important to spend a lot of time with your virtual assistant during the first few weeks they are in their new role. During this training time, have them build the training manual and videos for the job role.
By going through this exercise of building the "how-to" guide, they can train the next person your add to the team for similar tasks. Or, if they get promoted, the next virtual assistant can learn through the training systems created by your virtual team member.
Record Your Training Meetings
What's the best way for your VA to build a training manual? After each training session, have the virtual team member watch the recording, take notes, and build the training manual from the recordings. This should be their primary task during the first few weeks on the job.
Treat Them as Part of the Team
Include new virtual team members in team meetings, add them to your internal communication channels, get their photo and bio on your website, and listen to their feedback. While VAs are contractors, they are still important team members that should be included with the team at large.
Establish Communication Protocols
It is important that you establish how your virtual team member will be communicating with the team. Having the team members constantly be on a video conference to see them work tends to exhaust their local computer resources and can give them a "big brother" vibe that will struggle to help you build trust with your new remote team member.
When not needed in team meetings or one-on-ones, give your virtual contractors independence to handle their tasks as outlined during training. Use Slack or other instant messaging services for ongoing daily communication. Additionally, these tools can tell you if they are logged on to their computer and working.
Ask for Feedback
During training and onboarding (and beyond), it's important that you ask for feedback from your team members. By asking for feedback, team members have a sense of ownership over their job roles. Many great ideas and process changes come from the team on the front lines that have the ability to give feedback to their managers.
Give Them Authority
Once real estate virtual assistants are fully trained and understand the job role, give them the authority to make decisions and recommendations to change any process that they own. By empowering your team members to take ownership, you will be rewarded with fewer escalations, less stress, happier team members, and an overall better customer experience.
Delegate (Don't Abdicate)
There is an important difference between "delegating" and "abdicating."
When you delegate to someone, you give them responsibility for something, but you stay in the information loop.
Abdicating is when you give somebody responsibility, then disappear from the information loop.
Abdicating can create stress and the potential loss of a good team member, so choose to delegate instead!
Create a Meeting Schedule
It's crucial to meet with team members often when you first contract with them. Spend time training the team member on the job role, the company's core values, how the company operates, communicates, and "who is who" in the company.
You will also need to schedule weekly KPI (key performance indicator) meetings so they can go over their KPIs with you and inform you of what is going well and what is not going well. These meetings are important to obtain feedback so you can help virtual team members become adjusted and productive.
Don't Forget About the Compensation
While it's not part of training a VA for success, compensation is crucial to building long-term relationships with skilled virtual talent.
When compensating your virtual assistants, build a plan that will continue to motivate your team members and pay them market or above-market prices. Many companies that build a team of virtual assistants just want to pay the assistant an hourly rate (often a low one) and expect a long term commitment and long-term success.
However, the more you can treat your virtual assistant like a team member, the better chance of long-term success you have. Consider the following when compensating your virtual contractor:
A good hourly rate
Will you pay overtime or not
A bonus structure
Internet or computer stipend
You do not have to provide all of these items. However, the more you provide, the better chance you have of your virtual assistant staying long-term with your company.
Build Your Team With a Well-Trained Remote Assistant
Selecting the best virtual assistant for the role, then onboarding and training them well helps guarantee their success with your real estate company. However, you can cut back on the volume of training you need to handle and start building your team with industry-trained virtual assistants through VPM Solutions!
Our VPM Academy provides free training courses and certifications for every remote assistant on our platform. Create job descriptions and find candidates based on the training and experience you want your VAs to have, then enjoy new virtual team members that require less up-front training before becoming productive members of your team. Get started with a Free Company Profile!