12.07 - What Is a Virtual Assistant?

Services for Real Estate Pros with My Faithful Assistant
  • A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly skilled administrative professional with years of experience and a mixture of skills and talents.  Because VA's are an independent contractor, you'll receive the benefits of an assistant, without the expense of an employee.

  • A VA is just like an executive assistant, secretary or personal assistant...with the exception that they handle your affairs from a distance "virtually" through internet, email, fax, phone or mail.  A VA can be a permanent or temporary staffing solution that works from a remote location.  Another way to view it is...They provide support, across the board (not with just one specific function or task), in long-term and collaborative relationships (no matter how short or ongoing that may be) without being geographically present in the client's location.  Therefore a VA can fit your staffing or business needs...whenever...and only...when you need them.

  • There are a variety of services that a VA can offer their client.  What makes a VA isn't that the services they provide are at a distance from their clients, nor the fact that they obtained their skills and knowledge from working in the corporate field.  What makes a VA is that the services they provide are a wide range of administrative services and the fact that they provide multiple functions or tasks for their clients; not just one.  Here are just a few examples of services that can be combined for your VA to perform:

    Administrative Assistant, Bookkeeper, Event Planning, Executive Assistant, Marketing Assistant, Personal Assistant, Receptionist, Technology Assistant, Travel Planning

  • While the VA industry has been in existence since the 1980's; it has only recently became more mainstream.  VA's are considered the "secretarial pool" of this century.  The knowledge of how a VA can help your business has risen due to their national exposure in TIM, The Today Show, USA Today and BusinessWeek.


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Zen Ziejewski
Keller Williams Realty - Laguna Niguel, CA
Laguna Niguel Real Estate

Thanks for the great info about VAs.

Dec 18, 2007 08:12 AM #1
Renee Stengel
Houlihan Lawrence, Associate Broker - Katonah, NY
Westchester County


I have an Advanced Access web site and wanted to tune it up a bit.  They have the names of virtual assistants on their website for a client to hire independently.  Yikes, I explained exactly what I wanted to one that I chose and nothing that she did was even remotely what I described.  What a waste of money!   Now I use the support department and they walk me through whatever I need.

Dec 18, 2007 08:16 AM #2
Sherri Fowler
My Faithful Assistant - Circleville, OH

Hi Renee,

Thanks for your reply!

I'm sorry to hear that your Virtual Assistant experience was not a positive one!  Maybe one day you'll give us another try & have a more positive outcome!!

Great to hear from you and I hope you have a Merry Christmas ;-)

Dec 18, 2007 08:22 AM #3
Sherri Fowler
My Faithful Assistant - Circleville, OH

Thanks Zen!!

If you ever need some assistance - don't hesitate to contact us!

Have a Merry Christmas & profitable New Year  ;-)

Dec 18, 2007 08:27 AM #4
Armando Rodriguez
Orlando Homes 4 Sale, Real Estate Broker-GRI

Great info! What and how does a VA charge?


Dec 18, 2007 10:49 AM #5
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


A great way to be productive and have the needed details handled.

Have a great holiday.

Dec 20, 2007 02:04 AM #6
Sherri Fowler
My Faithful Assistant - Circleville, OH

Hi Armando,

A Virtual Assistant charges by the hour or on retainer.

If you need a one-time project handled, than most likely a VA will charge by the hour and give you an estimate before beginning work on your project.

If you need on-going assistance each week, each month, etc. than a VA will most likely ask for a retainer.  Again, an estimate is given before any work begins.

VA's probably vary on their pricing.  Website design and graphic design are of course going to be more expensive than say...farming postcards.  Virtual Tours are a little more costly than just taking photos for an MLS upload also.   Also keep in mind that if you're needing a full marketing plan for a new listing - than those are more likely to be cheaper if purchased in a package instead of at an hourly rate.

Here's an example of services that My Faithful Assistant has been asked to handle for other clients & an hourly cost, as well as some other helpful information.

My Faithful Assistant provides administrative, marketing and technical support on an hourly basis or by retainer.  New clients are asked to pay a deposit.  Deposit amount will depend on hours needed for your project.

Clients who need services on a weekly, monthly or consistent basis are asked to pay a retainer for the month.  Retainer clients pay for a specific amount of hours each month and are guaranteed availability for that amount of hours.

Clients who need short-term or occasional administrative support, or do not require the services of a virtual assistant on a regular basis will be charged an hourly rate.

Services are generally $20. per hour, with a few exceptions.  Services that have been requested by Realtors so far at the above rate are:

  • Various Advertising & Marketing, Brochures (Flyers), Email Marketing, Newsletters, News & Magazine Ad Write-up and Placement, Database Mgmt, Mail Merge Preparations (Various Mailings), Word Processing (Letters, Announcements), Farming, Just Listed, Just Sold, MLS Data Input, Photo Upload to MLS, Document Upload to MLS, Sign Ordering, and Website Presence For Properties & Services (CraigsList, MySpace, Various News Boards & Groups), Bookkeeping and Various Clerical/Secretarial duties.
  • Packages are available for a discounted cost for New Listings or Just Solds.

Services that have been requested so far at the rate of $30. per hour are:

  • Person Website Maintenance, Spreadsheets (Market Analysis), Research, Event Planning, and PowerPoint Presentations.

Virtual Tours are also available.  Tours include 30-40 panaromic photos; including property photos, community photos and area photos (i.e. City property is located in & Community or Development if located within one).  Tours also include 8 still shots for MLS.  An unbranded link for MLS.  And a branded link for your personal website.

Services are tailored to each clients needs.  For a variety of requested services, please visit http://www.myfaithfulassistant.com/.

Clients are required to sign an Agreement for Services before any work can be done.  The Agreement will be for the benefit of the client, as well as My Faithful Assistant.  It will outline the description of services.  Once you are ready to begin, the Agreement will be emailed or faxed to you.  To discuss further the extent of services you would like for us to perform, please feel free to give us a call Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.  So that we won't have any interruptions, we can easily arrange a time that will have us both free to discuss further details of your needs.  If termination is necessary by either party a 30 day notice is required.

Clients receive an invoice by email at the time services are rendered.  Payment is due upon receipt of invoice.  Retainer clients are emailed an invoice each week in order to keep track of hours spent for projects.  It doesn't matter if you are an occasional client or a consistent client; Clients are only charged for the time they need, which is the time required to complete their project.  Additional expenses would be incurred for outside printer services (i.e. postcards, brochures, newsletters, etc.) postage, shipping, courier service or specialty office supplies (i.e. your company logo or branding that cannot be used by another client) and the cost of any internet programs (i.e. postcard, newsletters, programs by email or direct mailed for direct marketing or email blast marketing).  There will be a $25. service fee on all returned checks.  All past due payments will incur a late fee.

I hope that helps answer any questions Armando - if you have any additional questions or need any further help; just let us know.

You can contact me at Sherri@MyFaithfulAssistant.com - or call direct at 239.707.2906.

Have a great Christmas!!

Dec 20, 2007 02:24 AM #7
Sherri Fowler
My Faithful Assistant - Circleville, OH

Hi Dan,

Thank You so much for your comment!!

Have a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love, laughter and yummy food!!!

And of course, let us know if you need any administrative, marketing or technical assistance!! ;-)

Dec 20, 2007 02:26 AM #8
Alex Paul

The services of virtual assistants are very helpful for growing small business intially. It helps a lot in financals issues, transactions and the records of accounting books.

Aug 10, 2014 10:46 PM #9
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