Learn how to hire a real estate virtual assistant for your business through this comprehensive 10-step process.
Do you know how to hire a real estate virtual assistant? Maybe you are thinking about hiring a virtual assistant (VA) for the first time and don’t know where to start. Or, maybe you are thinking about hiring another VA as you scale your business. Either way, this 10-step process will ensure that you do it right and end up with a VA you can depend on. We’ll help you avoid mistakes along the way, and point you in the right direction of where to go to hire them in the first place.
VIDEO: How to Hire a Real Estate Virtual Assistant: A Step-by-Step Guide
The 10-step process
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) frees up your time. You can have better work/life balance in your real estate career. We wrote a 10-step process that will help you prepare to make a quality hire. Here’s our guide on how to hire a real estate virtual assistant.
1. Know who you want to hire
Before hiring your virtual assistant (VA), it’s a good idea to nail down what exactly you need the assistant to help you with. Ask yourself before you start hiring, who exactly do I want? General VA, content creator, SEO specialist, web development, graphic design, etc. Ask yourself, what are the tasks that I can outsource that would save me time? In real estate, a General VA might look like a Transaction Coordinator and handle your contract to close process. Your General VA could also be a Listing Manager. Is your VA going to be interacting with your clients directly, or working in the background with data entry or on your social media channels? A VA can also work in sales, and this would look more like an ISA position. This is what you need to nail down from the get go.
2. Know where to search
If you’re wondering how to hire a real estate virtual assistant online, we’ll help you know where to look! Websites we recommend: Craigslist, Upwork, LinkedIn, Fiverr, MyOutDesk, Wizehire
3. Write a good job description
Include the job summary, major functions, required skills, availability, expectations, working conditions, and resume requirements. The more details the better! You must know where this job starts and stops. Your job description helps you just as much as it helps your new hire. Not only will they know what is expected of them, but you will have a roadmap for everything that you should expect them to do. This is important for compensation purposes, too!
Quick tip: put something unexpected in the job description. This will test your applicant’s attention to detail. Usually, these applicants are applying to a bunch of jobs and may rush through the process. You want to weed out those that aren’t detail oriented.
4. Decide how much you will pay
For administrative work with no sales-related activities, you will pay anywhere from $5/hour to $20/hour. That usually depends on the average pay rate wherever your virtual assistant (VA) lives. For example, there are a lot of virtual assistants in the Philippines. These VAs work for $5/hour, usually. Of course, there are some negatives that can come along with hiring VAs that are from non-native English-speaking countries. This may limit what they can do for you.
If you are hiring a VA that can help you with sales or lead generation, you may choose a higher rate of pay. You may even give them a percentage of your gross commission income (GCI) upon closing. You can also use a bonus system. For example, if your VA is setting appointments for you, you can pay a bonus per appointment set and conducted.
5. Start the interview process
In this step of the how to hire a real estate virtual assistant process, you should conduct an interview. And even before the interview itself, send them a DISC Behavioral Profile Assessment. (You can use our ICC DISC Assessment for free here!) This will tell you a lot about your candidate before you interview them. In fact, it may weed out candidates that you will realize won’t be a good fit, so you’ll have fewer interviews to conduct. As for the interview itself, you can do it virtually over Zoom or Skype. A video interview is important because you can tell a lot about a person’s engagement level by their body language. Let them be themselves and have them tell stories about who they are. Create your list of questions ahead of time, and take good notes on each applicant.
6. Test them
Skills assessment tests will show you how well your applicants will perform. You can also give them a practical test by having them do a smaller project to see how it goes. Pay attention to how they perform because this will show you how well they will do going forward in this role. Indeed.com has a wonderful technical assessment that you can give to prospective hires.
7. Make your expectations extremely clear
Communicate your company values and exactly what you expect from your virtual assistant (VA). Create a document outlining these guidelines. This will also include payment expectations, tracking time, and availability. This document should also include your job description. Remember that your VA can’t read your mind. You must be detailed with what you want from them.
8. Use project management software
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) won’t solve all your problems. If you have a good system in your business and things are running efficiently, you need to apply this same system as you work with your VA. Provide them with access to your systems and train them on how to use them. If you don’t already have a good system, you are going to run into problems. At ICC, we are all about creating and maintaining systems to stay on top of your business. Project management tools we like: Trello, Google Drive, Asana, or you can use your real estate CRM
9. Focus on communication
Your virtual assistant (VA) may live on the other side of the globe. It is important to consider this as you tackle how to hire a real estate virtual assistant. You must ensure that you have a clear line of communication because you may be working in opposite time zones. Communication is key for efficiency and quality. Make sure you have all your VA’s information and know how to best reach them at all times. Be clear with them on how you expect to communicate and how quickly you expect a response.
We recommend that you create a standing meeting when you will meet with your VA every single day in the beginning. This should last for at least several weeks, depending on the tasks you included in their job description. The agenda of that meeting is simple. It’s a time when you both can ask questions and check in. This helps reduce emails back and forth, too. After several weeks, you may scale this back to every over day, and then soon it will be a weekly meeting.
10. Stay organized
When you hire a virtual assistant (VA), create a training manual. Include standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your business. You can actually leverage your VA to help you create these SOPs as they complete tasks. This will be helpful if your VA quits or you need to hire someone new. You can use Google Drive to organize your training manual and SOPs. Share your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals with your VA. You want your VA to be inspired and understand your vision.
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