The Future of Virtual Assistants: What Can We Expect?

Looking at the history of virtual assistants shows how the evolution of technology has grown the industry. Technology, of course, continues to evolve. Virtual assistants will too. What might the future look like? What can we expect moving forward? What technologies will continue to affect the growth of the industry? Let’s dig into the trends impacting the future of virtual assistants and glimpse what 2022 and beyond will hold.

To examine the future of virtual assistants, we will look at:

  • The benefits of virtual assistants continuing to grow 
  • The wider paths being paved for virtual assistants
  • The impacts of innovative technology
  • The diversification of responsibilities across industries
  • The benefits of a real estate investor virtual assistant

The Benefits of Virtual Assistants Continue to Grow

These benefits will continue to grow into the future of virtual assistants. For example, outsourcing property analysis to a real estate virtual assistant allows a real estate investor to concentrate on closing deals.  

 

Cost-effective Growth

 

A virtual assistant development strategy is a two-pronged approach to improving profitability. It lowers overhead costs and increases revenue through efficiency. It is a cost-effective growth solution for start-ups and more mature companies alike. This benefit is not changing in the near future. Outsourcing will continue to expand by providing cost effective solutions that allow companies to grow exponentially. 

 

Expanding Your Talent Pool

 

One benefit of outsourcing is access to an expanded talent pool. By reaching beyond your shores and local limits, outsourcing automatically grows your talent pool. Looking into the future, access to technology will continue to improve. Access to a larger talent pool with diverse skills will continue to improve as well. 

 

Adaptability Solutions

 

The business world has taken lessons from the pandemic that go beyond health concerns. Outside risk factors are real. Not only scenarios dreamt up by risk management. The pandemic proved the need to weigh unpredictable risks. It proved too that the other side of that scale is adaptability.

The businesses that survived and thrived over the past two years are those that responded quickly to shifting circumstances. Unpredictability is a risk. A flexible workforce is a necessity. The future of virtual assistants is rooted in this need for adaptability.

This is true across industries, but especially in ones that need to work lean. This flexibility is important for industries such as real estate investing. Knowing a virtual team can cover back office responsibilities clears the way to act quickly on more qualified opportunities.

Paving A Wider Path for Virtual Assistants 

 

Now more than ever, it is easier for companies to utilize virtual assistants. This ease has expanded virtual assistants’ roles and responsibilities. There is no reason this widening of the path will not continue into the future of virtual assistants.

This wider path for virtual assistants has been paved through:

  • Work-restructuring
  • Unexpected cost-savings
  • Remote systems development 

 

Work-Restructuring

 

Necessity is the mother of invention. When it comes to the structure of work, the pandemic was the mother of many remote work solutions. From work hours to remote spaces, the structure of work had been changing for some time. People did not start working from home in 2020. It was something that had been evolving for some time, but the pandemic catapulted this change forward.

What would have taken a decade or more to realize was done in two years. There is no going back. Work has been restructured. Changes to how and where work gets done has been transformed. This transformation paved a wider path for virtual assistants. It is also an opportunity for a wider range of companies to outsource in areas not imagined in the past. A real estate investor looking to expand can outsource support through every stage of a deal.

 

Unexpected Cost-Savings

 

During the pandemic, businesses found real savings in eliminating costly office space, furniture, and equipment and time-consuming commutes dragging down productivity. Finding viable remote work solutions supported this change. The infrastructure to build these solutions across industries has grown rapidly. This growth feeds the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing. The future of virtual assistants is a part of this growth.  

 

Remote Systems Development

 

Before 2020 there was a psychological hurdle to thinking that in-person work was better, faster, and more efficient than remote work. This hurdle has become smaller through the course of the pandemic. Companies are weighing the pros and cons of remote work differently. More companies are willing to adopt remote working systems.

It is not that remote work does not come with drawbacks. The solutions to these drawbacks are now just easier to find and faster to apply. The human level that is needed for collaboration, decision-making, and trust building can be found through advances in remote technology and video conferencing.

More cost-effective, efficient, and sophisticated remote working systems have developed. From data mining to specialized sales support, more companies can take advantage of outsourcing opportunities. Emerging on the other side of the pandemic means these systems will be further utilized. This streamlining will impact the growth of outsourcing and the future of virtual assistants. 

 

Innovative Technologies and the Future of Virtual Assistants

 

As proven by the past, technology changes the work environment. The future of virtual assistants depends on how future technologies are used and incorporated into the world of work. Technologies that are reconfiguring the workplace and enhancing employee productivity include:

  • Voice technology and natural language processing (NLP)
  • Chatbot predictions
  • Automated intelligent virtual assistants (IVA)

The goal of these innovative technologies is not to replace human analytical power but enable it to be focused on more productive areas. These technologies will:

  • Improve organizational systems
  • Allow for a more productive use of time
  • Create more rewarding work 

 

Improved Organizational Systems

 

Future generations of virtual assistants will be able to be ready to work in any system from day one with the use of voice technology, chatbot predictions, and artificial intelligence. For your remote teams, these technologies will make your company’s organizational systems easier to navigate and more efficiently utilized. The result will be faster and more effective onboarding and a more closely integrated remote workforce. 

 

A More Productive Use of Time

 

The future of virtual assistants will provide an agile workforce leading to a streamlining of your business processes. Routine, mundane tasks can be covered by a digital colleague. Voice technology, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual assistants can work in tandem to facilitate a better use of time. Your remote team will have time to execute more complex work and engage in creative problem-solving. The result will not only be the generation of innovative ideas but the time and energy to execute them..

 

More Satisfying Work

 

An automated intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) computer can handle low-level and routine requests, leaving more creative responsibilities and those requiring a more in-depth human approach to be tackled by your remote workforce. Uniquely human skills can grow and flourish. Empathy, humor, making others feel comfortable, negotiation, and persuasion can be utilized to improve your business and human jobs too. By moving from transactional work to more operative work, your virtual teams will have more challenging and satisfying work. 

 

Diversification of Responsibilities Across Industries  

 

In the past, administrative services were at the core of virtual assistant growth statistics. With more sophisticated remote work systems in place, the more it will be seen where a virtual assistant can fill a gap. The future of virtual assistants will see more diversified skills and expertise being utilized by a wider range of industries. Virtual assistants will bring authority of a specific industry to the table. Real estate investors can use a virtual team to find buyers and nurture leads like never before. Trending forward, virtual assistant business statistics will expand further into digital marketing, IT, real estate, and business startups.

This adds up to VA’s taking on more advanced responsibilities with a closer tie to main business functions. Outsourcing, including the future of personal assistants and virtual assistants, trends toward a stronger contribution to business success.

Roles and responsibilities beyond administrative support include:

  • Social media management
  • Computer systems services
  • Website development and architecture
  • Sales and business development
  • Financial analytics
  • Data management
  • Customer service and client support
  • Marketing campaigns and promotions
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Content creation and management 

 

Virtual Assistant Services for Real Estate Investors

 

One industry where virtual assistants and virtual teams are expanding rapidly is real estate. Outsourcing responsibilities to skilled virtual professionals who are meeting investors’ expectations are well-trained to the specifics of the real estate sector. The timing of deals can be an obstacle for real estate investors. Virtual assistant companies provide a way over and through it.

Real estate investor virtual assistant services include:

Virtual Assistants for Home Service Providers

The labor market is tight. It is more difficult than ever to find workers to support home service companies. But just because it is harder to find the right people doesn’t mean that support is not needed. If you’re self-employed or providing home services is your business, then your time is money. How do you buy yourself more time? How do you find the right home service admin support for the right price to keep your business running? An efficient and cost-effective answer is to hire a virtual assistant.

How can a virtual assistant support the needs of a home service business? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the following:

What is a virtual assistant?

 

A virtual assistant provides administrative and operational support for businesses much the same as in-office support staff. A virtual assistant however is an independent contractor working remotely. They have access to the necessary systems and documents to complete assigned responsibilities and are trained in the needs of your industry.

The use of the Internet continues to increase across a broad spectrum of businesses. This fact has increased as well the types of support a virtual assistant can offer. The range of support filled by a remote team member continues to grow and become more specialized. Experienced remote assistants can provide home service admin support to meet the specific needs of the home services industry. 

 

What a Virtual Assistant Can Cover for Home Service Providers

 

The home service industry covers a range of businesses with any number of support needs.

Need help with billing? Need customer service support? Need someone to manage your work schedule? The range and specificity of home service admin support can be tailored to the needs of your business. A virtual assistant can take the pressure off your back office and free you up to do the work you do best. 

Finding the right virtual assistant to cure the pain points in your specific business is vital. For example, a cleaning company virtual assistant can take on the role of billing and invoicing customers. An HVAC assistant can be hired for the seasonal uptick in inbound sales. Both residential and commercial contractors can find home service admin support in the areas of project management or customer service. An online assistant can offer plumber support with scheduling and a handyman administrative support to enhance your social media profile.

Home Service Admin Support

 

A few areas of beneficial support include:

Project Management Support

The reputation of a home service contractor often hinges on the timely delivery of services to clients. The success of your business hinges on this reputation. Delays may be inevitable, but excessive delays are crushing. Using a highly-skilled contractor virtual assistant to support your project management can make all the difference by:

  • Efficiently dispatching staff workers
  • Minimizing downtime
  • Monitoring onsite progress
  • Organizing permits and work schedules 

Customer Service Support

Filling a gap in the area of customer service with a virtual assistant can cost-effectively up your game. Providing the personal touch to customer support that does not interrupt your busy work schedule onsite. Stopping a job to answer the phone is no way to get a job done, but neither is worrying about missing a customer call. A virtual assistant trained to cover the needs of your customers can be the lynchpin to your success and peace of mind. 

Social Media Engagement

Whether you are self-employed or managing your small home service company, social media is a part of a smart marketing plan. It is an area of your business that can be affordably outsourced to a virtual assistant. It is an investment that takes this off your to-do list while helping you reap the rewards of a consistent and engaging social media profile.

Scheduling Appointments

Scheduling can be a headache. A handyman or home inspector juggling client appointments or a contractor scheduling a job can mean more time organizing schedules than delivering services.

A handyman virtual assistant or a contractor virtual assistant can juggle the appointments reliably and consistently without it dipping into your bottom line.

Billing and Invoicing

Billing and invoicing is the cog in the wheel of getting paid for completing a job. It’s vital. It’s also time-consuming and requires a consistent and efficient process. A virtual assistant can provide the grease that keeps the wheel turning and generate higher revenue. It can create:

  • A more reliable cash flow
  • A higher percentage of invoices paid on time
  • A quicker invoice and billing cycle

Inbound Sales

Outsourcing your inbound sales to a virtual assistant can reap cost savings in a variety of ways. Missing those inbound sales calls costs money upfront by losing jobs to competitors. You do not want to lose someone looking for your services because you couldn’t be reached. Dedicated remote support trained in your industry to cover those calls takes care of that problem. A virtual assistant able to usher an inbound call into a booked job can be crucial to generating revenue.

Depending on your industry, virtual assistants for home service providers can check off a range of time-consuming tasks. Knowing it’s covered frees you up to bring your best to the money-generating parts of your business. Focusing your efforts where they are most effective.

The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

 

When thinking about hiring remote admin support, the first thing that comes to mind is a call center. The second thing is how many call centers do not seem like the answer to your needs. But, what if you had the control of hiring the affordable virtual talent you need without the impersonal experience of a call center? What if you could hire a virtual assistant that could remedy the pain points in your business both efficiently and cost-effectively? What if you had home service admin support, and it was just that–support?

The good news is that none of these situations need to be what-ifs. Now, more than ever, remote team members for home service admin support are available, affordable, and highly trained to meet your needs. The benefits of hiring a virtual assistant are tangible solutions to support shortfalls.

The Benefits of Virtual Assistant Services 

 

One advantage of virtual assistants is the ability to hire to support a specific operation. It is important to determine the best operation to outsource. A virtual assistant service can help identify your home service admin support needs and provide a vital step in this determination. Building a custom strategy that works for your business is key to reaping the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.

Hiring virtual assistant services can streamline your back-office operations by:

The Best Way to Invest in Your Business

 

Getting home service admin support from highly skilled and well-trained virtual assistant professionals can make a big difference in not only how well your business is run. It can be the difference between you running your business and your business running you.

Investing in a virtual assistant does not have to be difficult. Rocket Station is your “easy button” to finding, training, and managing virtual assistants that understand the service industry and help you do your business better.

The Benefits Of Property Management Software: Everything You Need To Know

The property management industry (PM) is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the United States. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global property management market is expected to reach USD $23.63 billion by 2026. 

Property owners and managers are finding themselves with more properties and tenants than ever before as a result of this growth. And thus, are turning to technology solutions like property management software, online rentals, and online payments to simplify their workflow and grow their business.

Consequently, as the property management industry grows, the demand for quality software rises in order to:

  • Beat out the competition by providing quality service (other property management companies) 
  • Maintain an up-to-date streamlined business process
  • Attract the tech savvy buyers and renters of today 
  • Offset labor shortages -as the demand for rental property grows, the supply of labor to service that demand is lagging behind. This influx of residents means that rental property managers are busier than ever, often stretched too thin as they handle an increasing number of calls and requests from tenants while simultaneously managing properties. That’s where PMS can help.

People expect to be able to pay their rent online or schedule maintenance requests with just a few clicks.

According to Chuck Hattemer, co-founder & CMO of Poplar Homes, “ Property management is going through an evolution right now, and tech providers have stepped up to the plate to disrupt the industry”. Popular Homes is a tech-enabled property management company with more than 2,200 doors under management across 10 major metros.

One of the top reasons why residents won’t renew a lease comes down to poor management” said the CMO and “this proves that the property management experience from a renter’s perspective matters to your bottom line as a property owner”.
Streamlining internal workflow to increase efficiency whilst providing accessibility features for potential renters is your solution to solve the high turnover rate.

Ultimately, the aim for every business is to grow its revenue through increased sales while decreasing expenses. Thus, meeting the basic requirements of a virtual buyer’s environment means keeping up-to-date with the latest software and technology, as well as ensuring that you’re doing what you can to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. A good system in place can advance your real estate and property management businesses.

However, with so many property management systems on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which software is best for your needs. Are there certain software solutions that are better than others? How should you evaluate the options?

This guide will walk you through the different types of property management software and give you tips for selecting the right solutions for your business.

WHAT IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE (PMS)?

 

Property management software, also known as a PMC, CRM or ERP, is a system that allows property managers to track and manage their properties and tenants. By using a property management system, you can keep track of all the relevant aspects of your business operations in one place.

While there are hundreds of different types of property management softwares available on the market, they all generally fall into one of two categories: server-based or cloud-based software. 

Here are a few things to help you make an informed decision about whether server based or cloud based is best for you.

Server-based software runs on servers located in your place of business or at a third-party hosting provider that you’ve contracted with. 

The benefit of this is that the control is in your hands over the data, upgrading of hardwares and installation of updates. With that said, this is viewed as an outdated solution for a few reasons:

  • a traditional software model requires that you purchase, install, update and maintain all of the hardware and IT services needed to run the software. 
  • it requires a physical space which adds to the expenses of the organization. 
  • it also comes with the risk of possibly losing all your data should these physical servers get damaged. 
  • and not to mention the costs of maintaining and upgrading the servers.

Situations like Covid-19 have highlighted another downside to server-based softwares. VPN’s go hand-in-hand with server-based softwares so that workers can access the softwares remotely. Therefore, companies must also ensure that the VPNs are setup on every device which could be very time consuming.

Cloud-based software or also known as cloud computing runs on remote servers and data centers that are owned and managed by your software provider. To access the software, you log in over the internet from any device with a web browser and an internet connection. 

An obvious benefit to this compared to server-based software:

  • is the lack of required investments in setting up the infrastructure. 
  • with its ‘pay as you go model’, you only invest on the resources that you need. Saving you costs that otherwise would have gone to infrastructure for server based and maintenance/upgrading costs of the servers. 
  • risk of loss of data is significantly reduced via cloud computing. Data can be backed up to the cloud automatically on a regular basis. Hence, this can help in recovering these valuable data in case of human error or natural disasters. 

Today, cloud-based property management software solutions are quickly eroding the market share of their traditional server-based competitors. In fact, according to Forbes, 90% of companies are already embracing cloud computing based on a study by 451 research. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people, businesses, and essentially all aspects of daily life, there is no doubt that the way we live and work has been drastically changed. On the bright side, this global pandemic has also accelerated many digital transformations and solutions i.e. cloud-based property management software for property management businesses.

HOW PMS CAN MAKE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT EASIER


Whether you rent one or multiple properties, dedicated property management software (PMS) can help you streamline your rental operations.

For example, with the right software, you can:

Simplify Accounting

Property managers and landlords can simplify accounting by using software to generate invoices, keep track of payments, calculate interest and late fees, and automate the process of sending out monthly statements. This can help prevent mistakes, enable faster payment collection and reduce the time spent on accounting.

Communicate more effectively with tenants and prospects.

Software is often used to manage leads and communicate with current and prospective tenants. Property managers use it to schedule showings, collect applications, track leases and communicate with tenants via email. The system may also be integrated with a website so that renters can apply for available properties online.

By extension, it also allows you to provide better customer service by enhancing communication with tenants, landlords or contractors through online portals and automated messaging services such as SMS or email. This can be used for maintenance requests, rent checks or simply just for general communication.

Automate Marketing Tasks

Property managers may choose to integrate software with marketing tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact to automate certain marketing tasks such as emailing newsletters or promotions to tenants or potential renters. Some property management software allows users to create custom reports that they can send out via email or post online. This can help landlords market available units, reduce vacancy rates and maintain relationships with current and prospective tenants.

Automate routine tasks like rent collection and maintenance requests.

It is important for property managers to have quick responses from their staff so that the customer does not feel ignored and loses interest in the business. When technology is being used for managing the properties, then this becomes an easy task as everything can be done with just a click of a button.

Improve data insights

The more data you have on your properties, tenants, and landlords – the better decisions you can make about your business. PMS allows you to collect large amounts of data that can be turned into actionable insights and answers your questions like:

  • How much should I charge for rent?
  • Will my tenant pay on time?
  • How long will it take to fill a vacancy?
  • Who should I market this property to?

If your team is consistently running behind on important tasks, it may be time to evaluate how PMS can help your organization become more efficient and competitive in the market.

So which property management software is the best? That really depends on your business and what features you need.

10 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A PMS

 

The prospect of buying property management software can be intimidating. There are so many options available and every one promises to help with your problems. How do you know which one is right for you?

Here’s a list of important criterias to consider when choosing a property management software:

If you manage fewer than 100 properties, there are many different types of software that can handle your needs. However, if you manage more than 100 properties, you’ll likely want to use dedicated property management software.

A short list of features might include accounting tools (for managing rent payments and tracking expenses), reporting capabilities, and maintenance management (to keep track of repairs and issues). How much automation do you need? Some software can automatically send rent reminders or help with scheduling repairs.

Some services offer a free trial before you commit. Your budget for property management software should also include the time it will take to learn how to use the software.

As mentioned earlier, our recommendation and as is the trend for most companies, cloud-based software is the future.

If you’re running a business, you probably already have various tools and programs that you use to accomplish specific tasks. Ideally, your property management software will integrate well with these apps so you don’t have to spend time manually entering data across multiple platforms.

For example, if you use QuickBooks for your accounting, you will want to make sure that your PMS integrates with QuickBooks so that it can automatically send financial data (like rent payments and security deposits) directly into QuickBooks for you. This saves time and prevents costly errors from entering data by hand.

Look for reviews from industry publications and competitors as well as actual customers to get an idea of what others think about the software you are considering. Does it have good customer support? Is it easy to use? How is the training process? These are all things that you want to consider before making a decision.

You’re not just buying a piece of software; you’re buying into a long-term relationship with the vendor. It’s not always easy to predict how long that relationship will last, but look for signs of stability and growth before you make your choice.

A lot of great property management software companies have focused on one aspect of property management. Some focus on marketing, some focus on maintenance, and others focus on accounting. But you want a solution that covers all the bases and gives you an end-to-end solution for managing your properties. And if it doesn’t include everything you need, make sure it integrates with other systems so you can get everything in one platform.

Some systems are easy for tech savvy users but not for those who aren’t quite as familiar with technology. You want a system that is intuitive and user-friendly for your team to work more efficiently and effectively. It also needs to be able to grow with your company.

Mobile apps are becoming more and more important for landlords. There are so many solutions available for landlords to manage their properties from their phones that it’s almost a requirement now. Make sure their mobile app is helpful and intuitive enough to use before signing up. To expand your presence in the property management industry, it’s important to have clarity about what Proptech is available today, and what types of innovations are expected in 2022.

Property management software comes in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of functionality and options suited to the needs of your business. It can be overwhelming trying to find the right solution that addresses all your issues and meets your budget.

While it’s tempting to go straight for the most expensive system with all the bells and whistles, it might not always be your best option. Keep in mind that more expensive systems also come with a steeper learning curve, which can make it difficult for staff members to adapt quickly.

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be better equipped to choose a property management software that fits your needs.

10 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE TO MAXIMIZE ROI

 

The best property management software is easy to use, but it’s also powerful enough to handle everything from rent collection and tenant screening to maintenance requests, accounting and reporting. Some property management systems are designed for specific types of properties or landlords, such as multi-family residential or vacation rentals. Others are for commercial real estate.

Take a look at some of the preferred PMS in the market today:

  1. Buildium: Designed to simplify the tasks of property managers and property management companies. Supporting multiple property types, including residential, community associations, student housing, and affordable housing, it has all the tools necessary to streamline the management of rental properties.
  2. AppFolio: Best for multifamily apartment complexes, single-family homes, or community associations looking for a complete platform including accounting, applicant tracking and online rental applications.
  3. Rent Manager:  Award-winning property management software for residential, commercial and short-stay properties of all sizes
  4. ResMan: Leading platform for property management, most preferred by owners, operators and investors across the multifamily, affordable, and commercial real estate marketplaces.
  5. MRI Residential Management: The company offers an end-to-end solution for multifamily properties. It is a comprehensive management system that seamlessly integrates strategic planning, daily task planning, and performance measurement.
  6. RealPage: An extensive property management software offering solutions for the single-family, commercial, multifamily, and vacation rental housing businesses
  7. Yardi: Offers a full suite of products to help you streamline your processes. Built for any “size business for all real estate markets” i.e. supports residential, commercial, affordable, manufactured housing, condo/associations and self storage markets etc
  8. DoorLoop: The software can be used to monitor residential properties, commercial spaces, student housing, community associations, affordable housing, and more. Its key aspect is that it provides a single solution for property owners to manage the entire rental cycle, from advertising their property to collecting rent and renewing leases.
  9. Hemlane: An all-in-one, property management solution that offers small businesses a range of capabilities, including property marketing, applicant screening, lease tracking, rent collection and maintenance coordination.
  10.  Tenant Cloud: A free service for landlords and property managers with fewer than 75 units, it’s an ideal option for small-scale property managers working with limited budgets.


With the right property management software you’ll be able to scale your business faster than ever before. And since most property management software comes with a mobile app that lets you manage everything from anywhere, there’s no more need to be tied down to an office.

 

GETTING THE MOST OF YOUR PM SOFTWARE BUDGET

 

You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down your list, and you’ve found the perfect property management software package. You’ve  submitted the purchase order and want to move on to more important tasks. What do you now?

The first thing we have to do is make sure we are getting the most out of our current budget. Here are some ways we can do that:

  • Make sure you have a setup and plan in place for any new hires that will be joining the team. Training them on how to use the software will help them get up to speed faster, which means they can start adding value sooner.
  • Make sure your current employees are using the software properly and efficiently. If you notice people not using the software or going around it, find out why and see if there are any adjustments that need to be made.
  • Get people involved in the decision making process regarding what PMS software should be used. If people feel like they were a part of the solution, they are more likely to use it effectively.
  • Ask for feedback from users periodically to see what’s working and what isn’t. You always want to improve, so having a constant stream of feedback is great for success.

Growing your property management business these days not only requires updated technology and solutions but for you to be well ahead and stay above water from the rising competition, effectively using available resources to its full potential is a turning point. 

You can easily start by doing something simple like offloading routine tasks so you can focus on what matters most — getting more deals and growing your company’s value. Transforming your company to be more virtual capable and hiring professional virtual assistants ensure you cut costs, and maximize your ROI. They can improve your property management services in tremendous ways and what’s better than knowing your company is still functioning while you sleep? Or that your company is able to cope up with the demands of clients on the clock?

Virtual Team Building Activities – Keeping a Remote Staff Cohesive

The most important part of a virtual team is not that team members work remotely. It’s that they are a team. Building cohesion among virtual team members is an essential element for increased productivity. It facilitates collaboration, communication, and problem-solving. How do you build a cohesive remote team? What are effective virtual team building activities that promote bonding between remote co-workers? Can these teamwork activities also be fun? 

Team building is important to business success, but it can also be a challenge. The challenge becomes bigger when your team is virtual. The shared space of the in-office work structure creates organic opportunities for social bonding and trust building between colleagues. Remote work structures lack these built-in opportunities that proximity provides. This lack can create a connection gap, eroding understanding between colleagues and hampering a team’s success. It is not without remedy though. Virtual team building activities can fill the gap.

Teamwork activities, work games, and fun virtual events can replace the convenience of proximity with intentional ways to enable team bonding. Virtual team building activities can create a bridge between remote colleagues and help overcome remote work drawbacks. 

 

The Purpose of Virtual Team Building Activities

 

Virtual team building activities are designed to create human connections between virtual colleagues. They can address challenges by forging stronger bonds and promoting team harmony. Online team building activities can make it easier for teams to:

Tools for Online Team Building

 

Remote work tools are team bonding tools too. Work management tools can be used as virtual whiteboards for team bonding games. Communication platforms can serve remote team fun. Video conferencing tools can promote fun virtual events and team games for social bonding. These are tools that virtual teams already use to get work done. They can also be utilized for virtual team building activities that keep your remote staff cohesive. 

 

Considerations with Virtual Team Building Activities

 

Not all remote team building activities are the same. Goals, structure, and execution matter. The individuals who make up the team do too. One online group challenge that worked well for one team may fall flat with another. Don’t push fun work games that do not have a focus and purpose. That last thing you want is for your virtual team to ask, “what’s the point?” 

Virtual Team Building Icebreakers

 

Icebreakers are not only for new teams. Team members’ lives evolve and change. In a remote work structure, members can feel isolated, which can prevent bonding even if they have worked together for a long time. Icebreakers serve as a check in that can break through the isolation. They are quick connections that can be done at the beginning of video meetings or via group chat.

Icebreaker ideas for fun team check-ins include sharing:

Quick Icebreaker Games

A fun and easy game where each member shares two truths and one lie about themselves. The other members guess which one is the lie. It is surprising how much you can learn about your team members when they tell lies. 

The team is split into two groups, and each group is assigned either pancakes or waffles. The group debates why their assigned breakfast food is superior. This can be done with other seemingly mundane topics too.

Best done with smaller groups within a larger team. The group has to identify three unique things they have in common. It may be all were cheerleaders in high school or have read Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It could be as simple as they all prefer to wear brown socks. 

Elevating the Group Chat

 

Online team building does not have to be an event. There are plenty of free virtual team building activities that elevate the group chat to promote team bonding.

Simply sharing stories or pictures over a group chat can facilitate connection and bonding. Some suggestions for weekly questions are:

Creating social chat channels with a purpose can also serve work-related benefits. A few ideas for different channels include:

  • Discussing anything but work. Like a water cooler chat, but remote.
  • For team members without the manager. It creates a safe place to ask questions.
  • For support. To find help when needed and feel supported. 

Fun Virtual Team Building Ideas 

 

Learning Circles

Teammates make a point to connect on a personal level by sharing and expanding their knowledge. It can be done in teams or across the organization. Team members choose a work-related topic to learn more about and connect with colleagues who want to learn the same thing. They meet over video to discuss articles, books, or a presentation on the topic. 

 

Share Your Passions

Some remote team fun can be ongoing to encourage teams to bond over the long haul and to find common ground outside of work. Through video discussions or group chats, teammates can bond through:

Trivia games

Try to mix it up beyond the pub trivia style. Incorporate video clips, unique themes, or short song clips with a “name that tune” format. 

Game Apps

The best virtual game apps have a non-threatening format built in. For example, Drawful is fun because it is almost impossible to draw well. No one can say, “I can’t draw,” because no one can.

Other virtual  teamwork activities that emphasize collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity include:

Fun Virtual Events

 

Some virtual team building activities are structured as virtual events shared by team members. These events often include kits that are sent to each team member’s home with all the ingredients and supplies needed to participate. The event is synchronous via video conference. The team shares in doing something together. It is often guided by an expert where something tangible is learned, a physical thing they need to prepare or do. It brings the physical world into the virtual.

Some event sessions include:

Don’t limit yourself to virtual events

 

As helpful as it is to keep your employees engaged with one another through virtual team building activities, nothing can fully replace actual human interaction. If virtual activities filled all of our needs, there would be no reason to see our friends and family in person. The fact is, tangible interaction is an incredibly important part of effective relationship building.

One-off events like bringing the team together for a party over the holidays or inviting their families to spend an afternoon at a theme park in the summer are great for building shared experiences. Still, the addition of a monthly group gathering fosters ongoing bond building.

Whether virtual or in-person, team building works best when we are intentional and consistent with it. Maybe your best option is biannual in person meetings, supported by regularly scheduled virtual events. Perhaps you can swing a more 50/50 mix of in-person and virtual. It doesn’t matter what schedule works for you and your team. The important thing is that you take the time to bond and develop relationships beyond avatars and written communication.

 

Time Well-Spent

 

Taking the time for team members to get to know each other as individuals is an investment that pays off with increased performance. Virtual teams bond as people and colleagues, making it easier to balance skills and improve decision making. When remote teams stay connected and have fun, it can move the work forward in more innovative ways. When done right, virtual team building activities can keep remote teams cohesive and working together successfully.

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