5 Things to Know Before Outsourcing to a Property Management Virtual Assistant
Business owners around the world are continually trying to find new and innovative ways to make their businesses more efficient and profitable. And, that is why ireviloution and ShoreAgents have joined forces. Together, they are bringing efficiency and profitability to property management businesses by offering purpose-recruited and trained virtual assistants, known as property management virtual assistants or Purple Powered Virtual Assistant (ppVA).
There are so many real estate companies that seek out virtual assistants to help carry out the business of managing rental properties. Although securing the services of a virtual assistant is a common practice, there are a number of things you should know before outsourcing to a property management virtual assistant.
ireviloution, a property management business solutions company, is the only holistic business solution for property management. It believes that the formula for success is: process plus resources plus training equal a property management business by choice. The outsourcing of a property management virtual assistant is part of this success formula. ireviloution has identified five things you need to know before you outsource.
1. Why does the property management business need a property management virtual assistant?
Having a thorough understanding of the business is paramount, especially in times of trouble or a downward trend. Often, a property management virtual assistant is perceived as a solution to businesses that are struggling financially or there is too much work for the current in-office team. Many property management businesses employ too many property managers for the number of properties being managed. So, to help reduce wage costs, employing a virtual assistant is often perceived as the panacea to the business’ problem. And it is, if the non-dollar producing tasks are performed by the lower-paid virtual assistant, which then allows the in-office staff to concentrate on building and strengthening business relationships, or what ireviloution calls ‘dollar-producing activities’.
Additionally, if there are poor practices or processes evident within the business, then pursuing the services of a virtual assistant does not automatically fix that problem. In fact, in most cases where a virtual assistant is brought into a dysfunctional business, the original problem will only implode. The poor practices or processes must be fixed before engaging a virtual assistant.
Obviously, one of the major benefits of employing a virtual assistant is saving costs within the business. And yes, it is more cost-effective to employ a virtual assistant than to pay for an in-office worker. However, if the business is not currently running efficiently, then there could be hidden costs of having a virtual assistant, such as downtime when the virtual assistant is waiting for the in-office team to assign tasks to them. ireviloution can assist the business to ensure that any such inefficiencies are identified and corrected before the property management virtual assistant commences in the property management business.
2. Is the business set up and ready for a VA?
With the multitude of tasks that need attention in a property management business, there needs to be a process that leads one task to the next without task breakdown or incompletion. Each process ensures the business achieves maximum performance and efficiency, which in turn generates optimal profits and productivity. So, the question is, does the property management business have good processes?
The property management business processes must be in writing and contained in some form of company policy for the team to follow. Recently, an experienced property manager who was about to leave a real estate company after three years was asked about the processes she followed so as to pass them onto the next property manager. Her response was, “The processes are in my head.”
Processes must never reside solely within a property manager’s head. Can you imagine if that company engaged the services of a property management virtual assistant? How would anyone at any point in time know who should be doing what and by whom? Such chaos! So, the lesson is to have your processes clearly articulated in writing before outsourcing tasks to a property management virtual assistant.
Property management team structures come in all shapes and sizes. Luckily, there is no one right team structure. However, there are definitely some structures that are more efficient and effective in managing property for different-sized property management businesses. The main point here is to make sure that each team member has their own lane. Far too often, inefficiency is commonplace in a lot of team structures which duplicates work and creates costly mistakes or mismanagement.
When employing the services of a property management virtual assistant, they too must be part of the team structure with their own set of tasks and duties. Greater efficiency is achieved when the outsourced virtual assistant is tasked routinely rather than in an ad hoc manner. And, of course, supervision of the virtual assistant’s work is essential too. Spend some time on the team structure to get it right before outsourcing to a property management virtual assistant. Then when you outsource to a property management virtual assistant, include them in the overall team structure and assign them a supervisor too. If you need help identifying the best team structure for your property management business, reach out to ireviloution to get professional property management business advice.
Have you ever seen a mouse running on a circular treadmill? The mouse can run extremely fast, and the wheel turns as fast as the mouse can run, but the funny thing is the mouse isn’t really going anywhere. True? Well, that’s how a lot of property managers are too. Property managers are known for doing lots of tasks at the same time, but never getting anywhere really fast. Or, they keep going around in circles and never really get anything done or completed properly. It’s like they are also running on a circular treadmill. If this is happening in your business, then stop and get off the treadmill.
Many property management tasks have subtasks, and often these subtasks can be completed by different team members. All tasks must have a commencement date, end date, and priority attached to them. When each task is monitored and accountability is in place, the property manager doesn’t go in circles. Instead, they become highly effective and efficient. In fact, the team becomes proactive rather than reactive in managing property, and that includes any virtual assistants you have on the team.
3. How credible is the VA sourcing agency?
When you want to source a property management virtual assistant, perhaps the most important step you take is researching the credibility of the company that actually outsources property management virtual assistants. Such research should be about how that outsourcing company advertises and recruits suitable virtual assistants for the property management industry. ShoreAgents is one such company that makes sure their recruiting practices are not only top-notch but can also withstand the test of time. ShoreAgents wants to create a long-term partnership with the property management company that hires the property management virtual assistant. And to achieve this goal, they need to find the right virtual assistant for you. This includes conducting multiple interviews with candidates, pre-testing, assessments, verification of the virtual assistant’s credentials, and selecting only the best of the best.
Adding to their professional recruiting practices, they have joined forces with Jo-Anne Oliveri to help identify suitable property management virtual assistants. Jo-Anne has over 30 years of experience at all levels of property management and now runs her own business, ireviloution. As a result, ppVA was created with the purpose of recruiting, training, and placing quality property management virtual assistants with the right property management businesses.
4. What level of training does the VA receive?
Not all property management virtual assistant agencies provide the same amount or level of training. This is a major difference you need to be aware of when considering outsourcing a virtual assistant into the property management business. The training delivered must be relevant and practical. It is not just training the virtual assistant in the relevant software. ppVA believes that when a virtual assistant is taught the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of property management, they can deliver higher outputs and better results to the business they are placed with.
When property management virtual assistants are provided with relevant and targeted training, their skills and knowledge of the tasks they perform improve and it builds their confidence to do the jobs assigned to them. Ultimately, the benefit to the company is that it improves their performance.
As a point of difference, Purple Powered Virtual Assistants are put through the ireviloution International Property Management Academy (iiIPMA) where they complete 28 courses about property management services and operations. Businesses that outsource ppVAs say that they love how their property management virtual assistants quickly and easily master the tasks assigned to them and also know why those tasks need to be accurately and consistently performed.
5. What level of ongoing support do I get from the VA agency?
There are stories about businesses that hire a virtual assistant and, once the virtual assistant is placed, they never hear from the outsourcing agency again, especially if there is a problem with the virtual assistant’s performance. In contrast, when a Purple Powered Virtual Assistant is placed with a property management business, it is the start of a long-term partnership between both parties. At ppVA, we do not expect the new business partner to induct the new virtual assistant alone but, rather, it is done hand in hand with the property management business.
In addition, ppVA offers ongoing mentoring to the virtual assistant with the support of their relevant business. Workplace mentoring is about giving a less experienced worker advice over a period of time. Purple Powered Virtual Assistants receive continuous mentoring from Jo-Anne Oliveri, who is the founder of ireviloution and nationally recognised and awarded by the real estate industry as the ‘Mentor of the Year’.
Every week, Jo-Anne hosts an online 15-minute ‘pump’ session for the Purple Powered Virtual Assistants. During this session, she reviews their workweek and offers support, so they can be the best they can for themselves and the businesses they work for. Again, look for and seek out an outsourcing agency that offers ongoing mentoring support to the property management virtual assistant after being placed with the property management business.
Outsourcing a property management virtual assistant is a no-brainer! Clearly, there are many benefits for the property management business. However, there are a few things you need to know before outsourcing a property management virtual assistant. If you address the five questions above, then you will be onto a winner, especially when your research brings you back to us- purple powered Virtual Assistant.