What benefits virtual assistants give you in the property management industry
A good property manager is responsible for tending to tenant issues, maintaining the property, handling repairs, and handling all legal and regulatory compliances. They also collect rent, resolve conflicts, and respond to emergencies.
Now, all of this is not as time-intensive as it sounds. You’re collecting rent once every month, and you don’t have a maintenance task scheduled for every month. Emergencies are rare (hence the name); if you’re lucky, you’ll have one or two per year.
So, what’s the issue?
The issue is that this is just for one property. When you manage more than one property, the workload can get overwhelming quickly. One of the ways to handle this is to hire a virtual assistant. Here’s how and why.
1. Reducing costs
Hiring virtual assistants and virtual employees is always a much cheaper alternative. Virtual assistants can be cross-trained for many responsibilities, meaning you can effortlessly fill any organizational gap.
The most important thing to consider when discussing the reduction of costs is to compare your current financial decision with an alternative. For instance, what if you don’t hire a virtual assistant? Is there a cheaper way to improve your productivity or your operational capacities? If not, what is the value of the loss of opportunity compared to the cost of hiring a virtual assistant?
This is how the majority of business decisions should be made. If you have a problem, devise many solutions and pick the most cost-effective one. Now, the cost-effectiveness in the future might be a slightly different thing, and you must also take scalability into account (something we’ll discuss a bit later).
While not all solutions suit every problem, property management and virtual assistants are complementary.
2. Better time-efficiency
Some tasks cannot be handled without a property manager, and those just need a slight administrative effort. For instance, you don’t have to be a property manager to issue an order for a routine maintenance request. So, with that in mind, would it make much sense to delegate this to a property manager?
The truth is that property managers have so many executive decisions to make, but they sometimes don’t have the time to dedicate themselves to this because they are overextended. It’s not just that tasks like outreach and data entry take time; they are also incredibly exhausting. This means that, after 2-3 hours of sending emails and prospecting properties, you probably won’t be capable of giving it your 100% for the more important tasks.
This is why a virtual assistant can make so much of a difference in the quality of your work. It helps you save time and energy for those tasks that anyone else couldn’t do.
3. Leveraging all the necessary tools and platforms
Being a property manager in 2023 completely differs from what it used to be. One of this industry’s advantages is that it relies on sophisticated property management technology that can drastically improve your productivity. A good virtual assistant with access to this tool and oversight from a good property manager can achieve more than a team of seasoned property managers could in the past.
The problem is that while these tools automate most of the process, they still need human oversight. This is where the assistant comes in.
These platforms help you centralize all the property-related data and allow you remote access. This makes collaboration (with external services) and an international team easier. Also, through the help of superior customer service (via a more efficient platform and an attentive staff), you can drastically improve your reputation in this field. Through this, your industry reputation and tenant retention grow while your vacancy time goes down.
Let’s say that you can handle all the property management tasks now and that there’s no need for a virtual assistant. Do you have plans to expand in the future? If you do, what is this going to look like?
It’s an honest question that is far more complex than you expect it to be. How will you delegate tasks when the workload becomes so significant that you don’t have the time to be everywhere? It’s much easier (more scalable) to start in time and give some tasks to an assistant, then slightly add to their responsibilities as the workload increases. This way, you’ll supervise and coach them while you still have time.
Also, a jump from one virtual assistant to two, three, or five is much simpler than hiring your first virtual assistant. It’s like having eight children; eventually, the older ones start helping you with parenting.
The truth is that hiring virtual assistants is incredibly scalable and is never too easy to start. You’re also never too big for this. Most importantly, this gives you a much higher degree of financial flexibility.
5. Accessing the global talent pool
When looking for help, you can’t hire just anyone. You would be surprised at how much some people can botch the job, even if it’s just data entry or administrative tasks. You’re looking for people who are committed, ambitious, and dedicated.
You want someone who understands that while it’s a property-related business, it’s about people. You’re handling tenants, negotiating with plumbers, electricians, roofing companies, and more. In other words, you need someone who can be polite and empathetic. Even though you may be in charge of larger negotiations, you never know when they must step up.
So, you’re looking for the right person for the job, and it becomes a lot easier when you have a global talent pool. There are just two things to keep in mind.
- First, their country’s real estate and property regulations may differ, so you’ll probably have to improve your onboarding process.
- Second, there may be a difference in time zones. Still, this can even be positive since it will be easier to provide 24/7 support.
Overall, when your work increases, you’ll need help. This help can come from virtual assistants without sacrificing too much in the property management industry. Nowadays, this work already takes place in the digital world, meaning the line between virtual assistant and assistant is blurrier than ever. In other words, there’s no downside to it.