Consider this when using a Virtual Assistant

Services for Real Estate Pros with Always On Time

Recently while searching the web and trying to find "social marketing" type of activities, I came across and Q&A board and another Virtual Assistant posted the question - for those of you that have used Virtual Assistants, what worked and what didn't? 

She got an honest answer about the fact that you have to be extremely careful when selecting a Virtual Assistant to help you perform tasks related to your business.  He said that the couple of VAs that he went through he realized that there is not one person that can do it all.  Also, he said that you none of them had the same passion to make him successful as he did. 

Well, the second one makes perfect sense... no one will ever market you better than you.  No one will ever be more of a proponent for you what you are doing, other than YOU!  (Well, and maybe your dog, if you have one as a side kick :P) 

The first one though, I had to think about it.  As a Virtual Assistant who feels that am I a one-stop shop for anything administrative, I also realize what my boundaries are.  For instance, I am great when it comes to data entry, marketing assistance, making marketing collateral material, etc.  I'm not that great when it comes to telephone calls.  The main reason is not lack of effort, but the fact that I sound 10!!  In that case, when I do have a client that wants to have us make telephone calls, I do not have to turn the client away, but instead I go to my network and make sure that we get the job done, even if it means outsourcing.  All of my clients know that this is the case when I do have to outsource and none have ever questioned it.  Because I am not doing the work myself, does that automatically make me not a one-stop shop?

In addition to these thoughts, you do need to consider several things when deciding to work with a Virtual Assistant.  A couple are:  Time Zones; the strengths and weaknesses of the particular VA; what is their definition of success and how are they going to help you with your success; do you like them; do they know what they are talking about and do they live up to the professional standards that you set for yourself and work within the same professional principals that you do. 

Again, these are just a few, I am sure that the list goes on... but, I would find feedback incredibly interesting on what has worked for you, what you look for and why/why not you are using one now! :D  Looking forward to it.

Until fingers meet keys again...

Comments (3)

Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

I know one person who was using a virtual assistant for marketing who had quite a few problems.  The va posted comments here on active rain that were hijacking posts and offensive.  I've used a VA for updating our website and more . . . a fresh set of eyes can do a world of good!  We can't do all things and if we can put a VA to work it helps our business grow with less growing pains!

Feb 12, 2009 07:46 AM
Courtney Fontenot
Alpha Prosperity Management - Missouri City, TX
NAR Certified REPA, REW

I do agree that as a Virtual Assistant, you have to be aware of your limitations. I believe this goes for any profession. (You don't see a general practitioner doctor trying to deliver a baby now do you?) But as my doctor, when I go to him or her to explain what I need fixed or help with, he would refer my situation to one who can get the job done. Same with a Virtual Assistant.   I believe you do what you have to do to get the job done for your client, and yes even if that means outsourcing and relying on other Virtual Assistants to help. 

Feb 17, 2009 01:31 AM
Skye Hawk
At Your Service! Virtual Assistant Specialists - Fountain Hills, AZ
NAR Cert. REPA "Rockstar REVA"

One key aspect of being a good support (team/person) for your clients is realizing your limitations and being able to to pull experience and assistance on those items. Even though you may not have the expertise, knowledgeor ability to handle all items I think having the back up or network to fill that void does allow you to be a "one-stop-shop" so to speak. Your client does not need to find ten VA's if his/her VA has their own network and can manage and handle the work that needs to be "outsourced".  

Feb 19, 2009 03:49 AM