Investing in real estate is hard, and I don’t mean memorizing facts hard. Investing in real estate is hard on a physical, emotional and philosophical level. And the piece that no one talks about? Investing takes incredible organization and decision making. Investors constantly question their decisions to buy, to sell, to rent, to rehab. The decisions are endless. Organization is crucial.
Real estate investors typically start off their journey while also working a full time job, only complicating things further. Amidst all of this chaos, investors must find ways to simplify. Employees are incredibly helpful in these situations, but they can be very costly.
One way that I was able to boost my team and get time back was through hiring virtual assistants. These employees are located all over the world, from the Philippines to Egypt. Workers can be found in all different countries speaking multiple languages. I know several business owners who are hiring employees from South America. These employees are already living in a similar time zone and also have Spanish proficiency that many American workers don’t have.
The most pivotal event for me in hiring my first virtual assistant was when I took a course on how to hire and manage virtual assistants. The course was created by Anna Li with Outsourceyourtasks.com. Li taught herself how to capitalize on these workers as she was running a successful wholesaling company in Philadelphia, while herself residing and working full time in Switzerland. Li has since expanded from the course to hiring, training and guaranteeing placement of these workers with companies worldwide.
One of my biggest realizations about having a virtual assistant was choosing the time when I wanted them to work. My first hire was for someone to work from 5 pm to 3 am, thinking that would give me more time to be with my family. However, this meant that I had to train them during these hours, taking time away from my family at first. I also realized that these hours were very slow, so I was paying my assistant to sit around, creating bad habits.
My second hire was for a virtual assistant to work during business hours. These are the hours when my phone rings the most. I also had other staff members working and they also needed help with their growing responsibilities. Over the years I’ve worked with many virtual assistants and many of them are like family to me. I am incredibly proud to have them on my team. They serve my businesses very well and I am proud to give them steady work and a positive environment to work in.
I have spoken with many entrepreneurs who are opposed to using virtual assistants on many levels. As someone who has hired and worked with many, I’ll tell you that these employment opportunities are great for both sides, just as every business transaction should be. Many of the virtual assistants that I have hired have told me stories about getting yelled at constantly (one worked at Comcast, if you can imagine) and almost all of them have had stories of either not getting paid, or not ever knowing when they would get paid. Like you and me, they want to do a good job and be rewarded for it. They want to take care of their families and better themselves.
As you grow and scale, keep this option in mind. Virtual assistants can answer calls and texts, schedule appointments, keep you on task, etc. My best advice is to hire carefully and guarantee a full time position, even if there isn’t enough work at first. You will attract the top candidates with steady, guaranteed pay. These positions are rare and very valuable. Using the services of professionals like Li can also help with your success. The worst thing you can do is be inconsistent with your expectations and your care of your employee. Create the work environment where you would also want to show up every day.