Have you ever wondered about the nuances of hiring a virtual assistant for your real estate investing business? If so, then today’s podcast episode is for you.
In this video podcast, Ken & Alex answer a listener’s question about a particular virtual assistant (VA) service finder, then continue with some of their real-life insights and advice on who, what, where and how to hire a virtual assistant for your real estate investing business.
If you have a budding real estate business, or any business for that matter, then tune in to learn how a VA can make you more productive and more successful as a result.
Watch and enjoy:
- 00:38 – Have you ever heard of Virtual Office VA Staffing?
- 01:23 – Pros and cons of using a VA finder service
- 03:31 – What can a VA do for you?
- 05:05 – Why it’s not that hard to find your own VA
- 06:24 – There are 2 types of VAs…which should you be using?
- 07:10 – Is it better for a VA to work from their home or an office?
- 08:28 – How to train your new VAs
- “Put an ad out there and they will be on it like white on rice.” Here’s how to find your own virtual assistant. [Click to Tweet]
- Don’t think you can get the office help you need? Joe & Alex share how a VA can change that. [Click to Tweet]
Mentioned in this episode:
Joe: Hey, welcome back. This is Real Estate Investing Mastery. Alex and I have the second answer to the second part of the question from Jesse, and basically, I’ll play it again here so you guys can listen to it.
Jesse: Joe, this is Jesse Mills calling out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is a cool thing. Thanks for it. Number two, have you ever heard of Virtual Office VA Staffing and I stumbled across them. Actually got a call from them and it looks like they’re pretty cool VA. They specialize in exactly what we do. They’re a little bit more expensive than overseas, but looks like they’re pretty specific to our industry and I think might be worth taking a look. If you’ve had any experience with them, I’d love to know. Thanks, man.
Joe: Basically, Jesse’s asking about this particular service that a particular speaker is recommending called Virtual Office Virtual Assistant Staffing or whatever it is. Alex, do you have any experience with hiring third party outsourcing virtual assistant services?
Alex: Why yes, I actually do. In fact, this past week, I went with a company called VirtualStaffFinder.com. They gave me three different applicants to choose from and I would say my results have been okay. The prices are just about right, $500 a month, which is a really good price.
Joe: For a full-time person.
Alex: Yes, and the staffing price is only 400 bucks or whatever it was.
Joe: You pay Virtual Staff Finder $400 to give you three pre-qualified applicants that you interview and then you pay those VA’s directly. You don’t use oDesk to pay them or anything like that.
Alex: Yeah. No, no. You don’t shift them over to oDesk. You use Paypal or Western Union or Xoom, X-O-O-M dot com, or whatever you want to use to pay these people, your assistants. My results were okay, but the first day, I was getting from the person I chose … Now this is probably my fault. The first day was “Oh, my internet connection is down,” so is that a valid excuse? I don’t know. I guess time will tell as we move on.
Joe: Let me say this and interrupt you. Virtual Staff Finder, because I’ve used them several times and I’ve gotten some great people from them …
Alex: Oh, okay.
Joe: If the three that you have don’t work out, they’ll get you another three, and even after you hire that person, if it’s a month later and that person doesn’t work out, Virtual Staff Finder, for no extra charge, will find another three for you. I don’t know if you knew that or not.
Alex: Oh, okay. Yeah, I figured there was some type of a guarantee, so I’ve got two. I got one and then the other second choice is she’s on the hook as well and she seems to be following up with me, so that’s good. That’s a plus. She’s pursuing me to get her work.
Joe: Explain that.
Alex: Because they’re going to spend all this time training these people to do the right thing. You don’t want them to fall off the face of the earth.
Joe: What are you having the VA’s do?
Alex: This one I was looking for more of a data entry and then actually calling, so they would actually scrape some public records and then pick up the phone and call the people and say, “Hey, I saw you in the public records. I work with an investment company who’s buying houses. Would you be interested in pursuing this further?”
Joe: Was Virtual Staff Finder able to find some people with good English to work with?
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. Great English, great English, yeah.
Joe: It’s funny. I’ve tried Virtual Staff Finder before to find people with good spoken English and they actually discouraged me from using their services to find good English-speaking VA’s. They said, “Our VA’s that we’re going to give you are better for general admin. They’re going to be good enough on the phone, but not high enough quality that you might want to use them for your outbound calls or inbound calls,” but that’s interesting. You did list that as a requirement and they gave you some people for that?
Alex: Yeah. Yes, they absolutely did.
Joe: Have you ever used a service that gave you VA’s that you paid a certain hourly rate for those VA’s? Does that make sense?
Alex: No, I’ve only used Odesk before and managed it through there, but I’ve never done it to where I was … Like they stayed in the middle the whole time, you mean?
Joe: Yeah, so this particular service …
Alex: No, nothing like that.
Joe: Here’s my take on it. There are a lot of services out there that do that. I would strongly recommend, and I think Alex would agree, you’re going to be much better off finding your own virtual assistant to do … and it’s not that hard. People complicate it.
Alex: It’s simple.
Joe: It’s really not that hard. There’s a couple things…
Alex: Put an ad out there and they will be on that like white on rice.
Joe: White on rice. I’ve found plenty of really good VA’s on oDesk before, and Virtual Staff Finder. I’ve used Virtual Staff Finder a couple times. In fact, the last time I used them, I hired two of the three that they gave us, and so far, they’ve been working out great, so I would recommend getting your own VA. You’re going to save a lot of money, and you stay more in control of the situation, and you can stay more in control of what they’re doing. There is another service I’m using right now to do a lot of data entry. We have about 70 clients that we’re doing marketing for right now, and I have another guy that was recommended to us from somebody in our mastermind, but it’s a little too early in the process to tell you how that’s working out. He’s charging us three-fifty an hour and he has the VA’s actually come into his office in the Philippines and work from his office.
The thing that’s interesting that I found is in the Philippines, you have different kinds of VA’s. You have some VA’s that they just want to work from home and they will work with 20 different employers. That’s the kind of VA you’ll get from oDesk. Virtual Staff Finder, those VA’s will want to work from home, but they just want to work for one person. They like the stability of having one employer to answer to and not jump from project to project because a lot of times one of the drawbacks with oDesk is you may get a great VA, but all of a sudden they’ve got 20 jobs. It’s either feast or famine sometimes for them, but Virtual Staff Finder, you’re more likely to get a dedicated VA that wants to work just for one person.
The other thing I’d say is there are services out there that I would be more open to using if those VA’s were required to work inside of an office during a specified period of time because you get a lot of benefits with that. They work in an office that has much more reliable internet, and when they’re in the office, they have somebody managing them and they’re more likely to have higher productivity for the most part, generally speaking.
Joe: I’m going to keep on using this one company for the next several months and see how they do, and I might start recommending them, but this is a guy, he’s from America. He’s from the United States. He lives in the Philippines, and he’s taking off about $1.50 an hour from each of these VA’s that he outsources, but they come into his office and work for him. So far, it’s been pretty good, but anyway, I would suggest you would probably, I would suspect, probably don’t go use a third party that’s going to mark up. I can pretty much guarantee you he’s probably marking it up several hundred percent for those VA’s, so it’s going to be a lot cheaper if you go out and get your own VA and you bring them in-house, pay them in-house, and which leads me to another question, Alex. Can you discuss real quickly how do you train your VA’s?
Alex: It depends on what the task is. If it’s a simple task of data entry, I’ve got a video. I simply send them the video and say, “Here, this is what I want you to do. Go do it. Let me know if you have any questions.”
Joe: How do you do the video?
Alex: I do the video through a Jing project or a Camtasia. Usually, a Jing is real easy because it’s a free service that you can do videos of five minutes and that’s usually all that you need, or you can stack two or three videos on top of each other and break them into portions like that for the task. That’s really the easiest and most hands-off way to do it. If we’re doing phone work, then they’ll get on the phone with me and they’ll listen to me talk to a seller or talk to a prospect or whoever it is, and then we’ll discuss it and we take it from there. They’re always in contact with me via Skype throughout the day and through email and things like that, so it’s a hands-on process and you’ve got to be available because they don’t feel they have the support, they’re not going to be motivated and they might end up leaving after you’ve put in all the work in training them.
Joe: Do you use Google Docs to write your instructions down and then have maybe a Google spreadsheet for them to input the stuff into there? How are you … ?
Alex: No, no, usually I should probably use Google Docs, but usually they email a spreadsheet to me or they’ll put it directly into a CRM or they’ll send me a daily worksheet at the end of the day telling me what they did.
Joe: Yeah. You got to find out what works for you. I’d recommend looking at Google Drive because you can write down your instructions step-by-step what you want to do, so that’s what I do. I give a bullet point outline of this is what you’ve got to do, and then I do a video of me walking through that and actually doing it with Jing, and I’ll put the Jing links to those videos at the top of that document. Then I share that document with my VA. I share it through Google Drive with the VA. That way, if that VA quits or they leave or whatever, I let them go, I can unshare that document and then just share it with my next VA. It’s like your process manual. You’re building it as you go, and then I use Google spreadsheets for them to put the data in when they’re scraping it off so it comes into Google spreadsheets and then I use Podio once they’re taking the leads and then putting it into my CRM. Anyway, good stuff. That was a, I think, well thorough answer to that question.
Alex: Absolutely. That’s what we strive for here.
Joe: That’s what we strive for here at Real Estate Investing Mastery. All right, Jesse.
Alex: That’s right.
Joe: Hey, listen. There’s going to be a link down below if you guys want to ask us more questions. We’re going to try to come out with these more regularly. We already got a good half dozen questions that we’re going to be going through and releasing them out, but if you have more questions, go to the link down below or go to our website RealEstateInvestingMastery.com and you’ll see a little bar on the right hand side where you can click that and you can send us a voice message. We’ll play your question and try to answer it the best way we can. All right.
Alex: Check it out.
Joe: RealEstateInvestingMastery.com. See you, guys. See you, Alex.
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