Effective Ways To Find (And Use) A Virtual Rent Coordinator

The goal of utilizing a virtual rent coordinator is to make everything function at a very high level and for you to be able to focus on other ventures while they take care of the necessary ones.

As property owners or managers, your success depends on your ability to improve operations and increase profits. But when you’re dealing with a lot of tenants simultaneously, coordinating tasks like collecting rent and responding to maintenance requests can eat up a significant amount of your time and energy. Thus, resulting in shifting your attention elsewhere. Hiring virtual rent coordinators can help supplement the growth of your property management business by gaining back the opportunity to get back on track and pursue your core goals.

With major shifts in today’s rental property market, there is no better time than to start considering using a virtual rent coordinator. Two reasons:

Over the past few decades, more and more people have been moving back in with their parents. The cost of owning a home has risen so much that it’s becoming hard to afford any kind of real estate investment, let alone a home. 

You can credit the COVID-19 crisis for the rental property business boom and the housing market crisis, as many people lost their homes, got divorced or had to relocate for jobs. Since then, there’s been a surge in families becoming renters for the first time. According to iPropertyManagement, 34.6% of occupied housing units are now renter-occupied and is only expected to grow in the next five years. 

This is great news if you are in the rental property business or if you’re considering investing in one. Not only will there be plenty of demand, but with the rise in single-family home rentals come more opportunities to make money as a landlord. 

To keep up with the demand, companies in the U.S. have started employing virtual assistants through agencies like Rocket Station. This increased by 41% in 2020, as many companies laid off their staff due to the economic restriction periods (COVID-19).

One of the most common tasks that real estate professionals delegate is rental property management, as it involves a number of repetitive tasks that take hours of the day away from growing their business. The amount of time that can be spent on a single rental property is tremendous, considering all the different aspects of managing them. Thus, delegating these tasks to professional virtual rent coordinators can be a huge time-saver and cost less than a full-time employee.

While there are plenty of virtual assistants who can act as a virtual rent coordinator, the right one will hold a bachelor’s degree, have several years of experience in property management, and is comfortable taking on management projects with little to no supervision. 

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL RENT COORDINATOR (VA RENT COORDINATOR)?

They are often referred to as “rental agents” or “rent administrators” because they are hired by property management companies and landlords to help with renting apartments, condos and homes. They have a great deal of experience in locating tenants for properties and will know what type of tenants are looking for which types of rental properties. They also ensure that the property is maintained in a manner that fosters an environment that is comfortable for tenants while enhancing the value of the property. A virtual rent coordinator’s main objective is to act as the primary point of contact for prospective tenants and renters.

Most virtual assistants, even those holding a position of virtual rent coordinator are sometimes misconceptualized as a simple administrative clerk. However, that’s not the case anymore. They are part of the larger field of property management, which involves overseeing and maintaining a property and its occupants. This can be broken down into three major buckets:

  1. Tenant Screening
  2. Tenant Management
  3. Overseeing Maintenance/Repairs and Rent Collection

Which can entail the following responsibilities:

VA rent coordinators allow you to allocate your time to tasks that deserve priority such as the business development, marketing or other strategic activities that can help drive your business forward in the long term. It’s an indispensable role that doesn’t disappoint.

With the technology that exists today, hiring a VA rent coordinator makes it conveniently simple to seamlessly integrate these experts into your regular office operations. The best thing about it is that they can work and function just like any other in-house employee as if they are right there with your team. The advantages of hiring one are endless.

THE VALUE OF A VA RENT COORDINATOR

Landlords and property managers often feel overwhelmed by the tasks associated with renting out their apartments for multiple properties. Simple everyday duties, such as:

  • scheduling showings 
  • writing rental agreements
  • Monitoring the move in/move out process of old tenants

These duties can take hours for landlords and property managers to accomplish.

By employing a virtual rental property coordinator, you can streamline all the handling of your rental property transactions. You won’t have to worry about missing important deadlines or incorrect handling of your paperwork either! Everything will be taken care of and processed. 


The advantages of hiring a virtual rent coordinator include:

In the past, VA rent coordinators were hired only by large companies. Nowadays, they can be found in start-ups, small businesses, and large corporations alike. This is because these professionals can help you manage all of your property management transactions at every level.

As a result, business process outsourcing companies are emerging in record numbers in recent year, giving you plenty of options for finding reliable, high-quality virtual assistants. With a the right business process outsourcing company by your side you don’t have to allocate your own resources to finding and hiring a VA. You just need to give them your requirements, and then they will take care of everything else.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING COMPANY

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a method of subcontracting various business-related operations to third-party vendors. The BPO industry has been growing rapidly, with an annual growth rate of 8.5%. It has also become increasingly complex, with different types of processes and functional areas being outsourced.

The most popular BPO services currently are call centers, accounting and payroll functions, transaction processing and customer relationship management. Other services include human resources administration, supply chain management, real estate, property management, logistics and data processing.There are many providers who will offer VA property management services, but not all of those providers are reputable. Consequently, before you partner with a BPO (business process outsourcing) company, a background check on their reputation is required. Do they have clients that are willing to vouch for them? What do customers say about them? Are they happy with the services they receive? For solid feedback start by:

  • Reading reviews and testimonials on Google, and Social Media pages i.e. Facebook. These are some of the more popular resources to see what previous and current clients have to say about them. There is nothing better than hearing directly from past customers about their experience with a company or person you are looking into hiring for services.
  • Asking friends, family members, and colleagues for referrals. If they have used the services of a VA rent coordinator before, they will certainly be willing to refer someone they believe in.
  • Checking how the company screens virtual assistants. Most companies will include criminal background checks before offering them an agreement for your property.
  • And of course checking out their website. If there aren’t many details available on the company, it’s probably because the company has nothing to be proud of – avoid them at all costs.

After you partner with a dependable BPO company, and start assessing potential candidates, there are many things to consider when choosing your right fit. 

HOW TO SELECT A VA RENT COORDINATOR

You’re not alone if you’re worried about how to find an established VA rent coordinator. What if you hire the wrong one? As with any other profession, there are good and bad rent coordinators out there.

Choosing the right person is so important because it directly affects your:

By doing some research on their experience and qualifications beforehand you can evade needless mistakes or issues. Below are some key points to look for in a VA rent coordinator:

  • Organization. Whatever you need your VA to do, if they don’t have good organizational skills, then you’d better start looking elsewhere. A good virtual assistant should be able to effectively organize and manage their time so that they can complete tasks on time and without reminders or follow-ups from you. They should also be able to organize the items that they’ve completed so that they’re easily accessible whenever you (or your clients) need them.
  • Attention To Detail. Whether it’s making sure that no typos or grammatical errors slipped through in an article, fact-checking information before posting online, or ensuring everything is properly formatted before sending you files, attention to detail is definitely one quality all good VAs possess.
  • Communication Skills. Since communication will be done mostly via email, Skype or phone, look for someone who has excellent English communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • Education. BPO companies like Rocket Station only work with VA’s who are college degree holders. A college degree or certification may be essential especially if the position requires specific skills or expertise. Through these BPO companies, filtering the right VA to suit your business needs becomes simplified. 
  • Experience. Hiring an experienced VA in the real estate and property management industry can save you time, money, and energy. They already know the ins and outs of being an effective rent coordinator, plus they also know how to provide services that are specific to your industry.
  • Personality. Working with a virtual assistant can be challenging due to the distance between you and your employee. You need someone self-motivated, flexible and able to deal with problems independently even if he/she does not have direct supervision from you all the time.

These factors are crucial when selecting your VA rent coordinator. After all, this is someone you’d be looking to keep as part of your team, so it’s best to find somebody who can do a great job for you, both now and in the future.

WORKING WITH A VA RENT COORDINATOR

Virtual rent coordinators exist to ease your tensions in this competitive industry. They have the capacity to enhance the efficiency of your business and improve client relations. Since many of their responsibilities are time-consuming, they need to be done as efficiently as possible with minimal supervision. Here are five ways you can ensure your VA will work to their highest potential so that you get the best outcome for your business:

If you want something done right, it’s important to be specific about what you need and how you want it done.

Business process mapping can be used as a communications and coordination tool to keep everyone focused on the big picture, know the steps required to achieve a company’s goals, and ensure the whole organization is working together toward the same objectives.

Otherwise, vague instructions or ambiguous requests leave too much room for error.

Just like any regular in house employee they want to know why they’re doing the things they do — and this doesn’t just apply to new VAs; it also applies to VAs who have worked with you for years. It helps them understand how their work fits into the bigger picture and gives them context beyond “do this because I said so.”

Make sure you set aside time each day or week to communicate with your VA rent coordinator about projects you have for them. Your VA rent coordinator may have questions about your requests, and it’s helpful if they can reach out to you in real-time and get clarification as needed.

A system is a set of instructions or rules for doing something. We all have systems in our lives – from making coffee in the morning through to checking emails or driving a car. A system is simply the steps we follow each time we take on a task.

Proper systems help your virtual rent coordinator get started straight away without having to wait for you to provide the resources they need. Rocket Station helps you set up systems and processes from day one so there’s no delay in getting started when hiring our virtual assistants.

Many entrepreneurs fail when it comes to working with a VA because they don’t have realistic expectations. It’s important to remember that just as no two businesses are alike, neither are two VAs. They are an extension to your business and you should treat them as such.

In an ideal world, all your tenants would pay their rent on time and in full every month. But in reality, that just isn’t the case. A virtual rent coordinator speeds up the process of growing your portfolio by:

  • ensuring manageable rental income each month 
  • and by creating an efficient system to deal with rental situations that come up

They offer a “tenant experience” that will make your residents feel like your company is doing everything possible to help them out.

In the virtual world anything is possible especially for those who are held back from pursuing their business objectives due to the limitations of their budget. There are tons of property management and real estate virtual experts available for all sorts of positions. For example, if you are in need of virtual professionals who solely focus on ensuring that your buildings are properly maintained and that equipment is operating correctly, then consider virtual maintenance coordinators.

Are you wondering how they can maintain and uphold your properties according to your expectations virtually? Here’s an informative guide on all things maintenance coordinator.

The property management is a fast growing industry so if you’ve been thinking about getting into the business, now is a great time to get started — but remember, you don’t have to do it alone!

Your virtual assistant is a human being with a personality and emotions (just like you!) and your role as the one who leads them is to make sure they are motivated. It is important for your business because it keeps your employee engaged and willing to perform better work for you.

11 Tasks To Delegate To Your VA Property Manager

The internet allows for countless opportunities for businesses to go virtual. But what about companies that need to be in a physical location? What about property management and real estate companies? How do they go virtual? 

If you’re a property manager, you know how much of a hassle it can be to take care of your properties. You also know that the more properties you manage, the more time and effort it takes to maintain them.

Let’s dig into how property management companies can go digital through the use of virtual teams and the benefits of doing so.

THE REASON BEHIND GOING VIRTUAL

Due to these rapidly changing times, many companies have been forced  to adapt and are looking for ways to save money. The property management industry is no exception to this. Many PM Companies are now offering virtual office services to their clients as a  more efficient way to operate and to help cut down on operating costs as well as meet changing tenant demands.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider taking your property management company virtual:

Property management companies have faced a problem for decades: handling the thousands of tenants and landlords in their database. Records, payments, and important documents were scattered across multiple locations and formats, making it time-consuming to access them when needed. There’s no better time to consider exploring opportunities to convert your organization into virtual mode than now. Especially when technological advancements show no signs of slowing down.

CAN YOU RUN A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BUSINESS VIRTUALLY?

One of the biggest myths about running a property management business is that you have to be on-site to manage rental properties. The reason this misconception persists is that some landlords apply old-school methods to modern day property management i.e. analog solutions. They might call their tenants when they have issues and even go to their properties to fix it themselves.

So, in short, YES it’s completely possible to run your entire business from anywhere you want. For those of you who want to be location independent and travel or relocate anywhere you desire, having a virtual property management business makes it possible. In fact, many different types of businesses can be operated virtually from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. 

Times have changed and so has technology. But it comes down to the details. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your employees will need to use technology wisely. If they’re having problems with the various tools you’ve adopted, they can’t just walk over to the IT department and ask for help. Make sure your team is technologically savvy and knows how to use the apps and programs you’ve adopted. Better yet, get a professionally experienced IT specialist virtually! It’s very doable especially considering they cost much less than if you were to employ locally.  
  • Third party and outsource as much as possible. Build comprehensive, local vendor lists for anything your business may need. From virtual assistants that support your internal staff, to local repairmen, evaluate every function of the business and ask “is this the best use of my team’s time? Is their someone out there that can do this better and cheaper?”
  • If you’re in charge of your own facility, make sure you have vendors who can handle occasional on-site tasks like repairs and maintenance. Talk to local handyman services about becoming a regular customer, or hire the work out on a per-project basis. The more you can do remotely, the better off you’ll be. While onsite or in house maintenance is sometimes the best options, for a lot of operators, the extra you spend contracting third party vendors is more than recouped in employee cost savings.

You’re probably asking, “Well how do I coordinate and handle all the logistics associated with virtual property management?” This is where your virtual property manager comes in. Your virtual property manager can conduct 3D home virtual tours, answering any questions tenants may have about the property. They can also research maintenance and repair services in the area, thoroughly vet and negotiate, and then make arrangements for services without making phone calls or driving around town looking for vendors. And then there’s cost: Virtual management companies often charge lower monthly fees than traditional ones because their overhead costs are much lower. This makes your company that much more attractive to potential owners and investors.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL PROPERTY MANAGER?

While there are many different types of virtual assistants, a virtual assistant property manager (VA PM) specializes in handling all aspects of running a successful property management business — these can include anything from bookkeeping and basic accounting work to lead generation. Virtual assistant property managers can also take on more sophisticated management tasks such as tenant screening, maintenance coordination, and financial analysis.

VA PM has become a popular option for property managers who want the flexibility of working from home and the security of having their assets professionally managed by an expert team.

HOW CAN A VIRTUAL PROPERTY MANAGER HELP YOU

If you are a full time property manager, you are always trying to balance having enough employees to handle the workload or manage your clients, while not adding too much expense to your bottomline.

And especially if you’re managing your properties alone, how can you keep up with so many tasks? Even if you have an assistant who works for you in the office, what happens when you need help on the weekends or after hours?

To save you time and money, a virtual property manager can take care of many tasks that are crucial to the success of your property management business. Many VA (virtual assistant) companies have portfolios covering both residential and commercial properties. Hence, they possess proficient knowledge and experience to suit your business needs. Also, utilizing VA’s instead of regular employees helps increase your return for your investment, while minimizing the cost to your bottomline. With the diverse range of VA’s, that can cover a variety of tasks ranging from general to specialized, there is an abundance of options for you to pick from to help you focus on your key goals.

Here are some advantages of using a virtual property manager for your business:

  • A virtual property manager offers flexibility. A VA is available whenever you need them, whether it’s during business hours or after hours. You also don’t have to worry about managing their schedule as they already have one that works well with yours.
  • A VA who specializes in real estate and property management has the skills necessary to manage all aspects of running your business as it is a cost-effective solution for real estate companies and investors to outsource their property management activities. With a virtual property manager, you can access an experienced professional who can take care of all your rental property needs without the costs associated with hiring an in-house operations team.
  • A virtual property manager provides exceptional support. When you hire a VA, you get someone who will be there for you every step of the way. They know how challenging it can be to manage properties and will do whatever it takes to make things easier for you and your tenants.

In a world that’s becoming more and more digital, you might be surprised to hear that some things are best left to the professionals. Sure, you could take your own passport photos or maybe even get away with doing your own taxes, but some things simply require an expert’s touch—things like property management.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF VIRTUAL ASSISTANT PROPERTY MANAGERS (VA PMs)

While VA PMs are becoming more commonplace, there is still some confusion about what exactly they do. Below are some typical tasks for a Virtual Assistant Property Manager:

Responding to maintenance requests

Property management maintenance requests might include informing tenants about upcoming inspections, resolving complaints arising i.e. noise disturbances, resolving pest control issues, locked out of apartment or unit and so much more.

Additionally, if you’re an Airbnb host who needs help managing the cleaning and logistics of your rentals, a VA PM can be of great use here too. Managing an Airbnb property is no easy task. There are a lot of moving parts: you want to provide a high-quality experience for your guests, you have to make sure your home has the amenities they expect.

Regardless, when a tenant calls about a leaking faucet or a broken A/C unit, you don’t want to be the one who has to show up at their apartment in the middle of the night. You also don’t want them to think they’re bothering you by asking for help. Instead, forward those maintenance calls to a VA PM who will only contact you if there’s an emergency. All non-urgent issues can be handled through your VA’s routine scheduling process.

Rent collection

Collecting rent from tenants can be a hassle for landlords and property managers. It involves sending out invoices and reminders to tenants who don’t pay on time. Then there’s the time-consuming task of depositing checks at banks or money orders through mail. All these tasks can be automated with software like RentTrack’s online rent payment software — but this is where virtual assistants come in handy. A VA can upload the tenant information into an online rent payment system and manage the entire process from start to finish. They can also send out reminders when rent is due or late so landlords don’t have to worry.

They can also help with collecting outstanding payments from tenants by following up with them through phone calls and emails. VAPM’s are adept at client-facing situations, maintaining balance between friendly and firm stances to uphold client relationships while ensuring timely collections.

Screening applicants

Another role of virtual assistant project managers is the screening of applicants. This is done by handling all applications and conducting background checks, verifying employers, calling references, pulling credit reports, and criminal records on the potential tenants. Once a tenant is approved, the VA PM can assist in finalizing rent agreements, coordinate move in days and provide the new tenant with the best customer service experience as they prepare to move in.

Marketing and Promoting Property Listings

Another task that the VA PM’s can take on is conducting marketing and promotion of units. Writing and posting ads on real estate websites ( Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, RedFin, etc.) and social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, etc. as well as publishing them on commercial real estate directories such as LoopNet and Costar; creating eye-catching flyers; taking photos of the properties and writing catchy descriptions to go with them. These are essential to generating leads, hence a professional touch is required to effectively deliver the key messaging in the promotional efforts. 

Performing 3D home virtual listing tours

Renting an apartment can be frustrating. You might have to schedule time off from work, take time out of your weekend, or even pay for a cab just to visit a few places you’ve found online. But it doesn’t have to be that way. More landlords are letting tenants view apartments through video chat or more technologically savvy property managers, via 3D home virtual tours. Thus, eliminating the hassle of visiting a property in person.

Assistance in signing the lease agreement with the tenants

Once a potential tenant finds the right property to suit their needs, there is still the issue of signing the leasing agreement. Fortunately, this can be done online as well via e-mails and e-signature applications, thus making the whole process possible to be done from remote locations. 

Bookkeeping and accounting

A virtual assistant can help manage your accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and payroll. They can also set up charts of accounts for you, reconcile bank accounts and credit card statements and prepare financial reports.  They can also provide recommendations on how to improve a company’s financial health.

Serving as a point of contact for your tenants and owners

Manage security deposit funds from tenants, including the administration of tenant move-in/move-out procedures and the subsequent return of security deposits, as applicable. They can also handle owner communications, approvals and property updates to ensure your owners always know what’s going on with their assets

Manage and organize daily operations

Virtual assistants manage calendars and schedules, make travel arrangements, create sales plans, and presentations, and respond to emails. They also maintain databases, organize files, conduct online research and assist with social media marketing campaigns.

They make sure you’re always where you need to be on time. They can also set reminders and ensure you don’t forget important recurring events. You might send them your schedule by email or give them access to your online calendar so they can see when you’re busy, when you have free time, and what other commitments you have scheduled.

Streamlining operations

Any type of waste in a business, be it money or time, is inefficient and would  directly and negatively impact the business. A responsibility of virtual assistant property managers is to streamline the business in order to minimize these kinds of waste. For example, tracking time spent on each task and identifying the ways to remove redundant tasks or improve efficiency on existing ones. 

Handling Property Management Software

Property management software allows managing your property efficiently. It helps in tracking rent, producing reports and budget calculations, complying with legal and safety regulations, and much more. While this software is an essential tool for keeping your PM business running smoothly, it’s a good idea to let your virtual assistant help you handle it. The software is the tool, but the virtual assistant is the master.

VA PMs can use PM software to easily manage all your properties from one place and can maintain them immediately without needing to drive or fly across town.

When you’re running a business, it’s important to have all the tools at your disposal to make sure that your team is on the same page. For instance, if you don’t have a property management system in place, you can’t manage the day-to-day upkeep of properties and make sure they’re being properly maintained.

When it comes to choosing a property management tool, there are several options available. While some features are specific to one platform or another, most can be used by both landlords and tenants.

PROPERTY MANAGER TOOLS

Exciting new property management tools are emerging as startups bring their automation and big data insights to this century’s biggest property management challenge—the multi-family housing industry. By leveraging the latest in automated communication and distributed ledger technology, new companies are using machine learning and computer vision to build software that will reshape the property industry.

Here are some of the must-have tools for property managers:

  • Buildium allows you to market and advertise you rental properties, find tenants search for tenants online, manage finances, and handle maintenance requests
  • Appfolio is a web-based management system that streamlines the processes of business. The cloud-based software contains various modules for administrative purposes, such as inventory management, customer support, and financial and operational reporting.

The product is currently in use by over 400 businesses and has over 50,000 users worldwide.

  • Rentify is an online application that allows renters to apply for housing online and manage their lease online
  • Rent Pro is an app designed specifically for landlords and property managers. It offers tools to schedule inspections, view your tenant’s credit report, track their rent payments, and more
  • Propertyware is an all in one, open-platform property management software designed for performance-minded single family property management companies. With propertyware, monitoring your business is simplified with its powerful dashboard, unlimited custom reports and self service owner portal, while the customization features allow you to develop unique workflows and automate processes.

The property management department is constantly on call. If a toilet breaks at 2 a.m., you’re going to need someone to fix it. To manage all of this, you need the best property management software and apps on your side. Knowing more on the 7 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TECH TRENDS [2022] can help you pick the right software, that allows you to automate many processes, perform tasks more efficiently and save money in the long run.

BEST PRACTICES OF VIRTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 

Virtual property management comes with its own set of challenges but can be mitigated. By Implementing these best practices it will allow you to reach your business goals, while at the same time creating an excellent customer experience for your residents:

  • Have clear written policies and procedures, that are accessible to all virtual assistant property managers.
  • Using a standardized contact management system across a virtual property management team.
  • Using a shared task manager to assign, manage and track tasks for all property managers in the team.
  • Sending daily task reports to the head of virtual property management (or whoever is managing the team).
  • Using cloud-based software services for all aspects of property management (including financial, client/tenant, and maintenance areas), so that every property manager has access to up-to-date data from anywhere in the world.
  • Ensuring that there is an easy way for clients to contact their virtual assistant property manager directly, so they can ask questions or request changes at any time!

It’s important to know how to work with virtual assistants in a way that gets the most out of the relationship. After all, they’re not just another piece of software or some random person you’ve never met before — they’re part of your team.

Virtual property management can be the answer to a property management company’s prayers, especially in a market like today’s that is straining a property managers time and resources. 

While challenges to using virtual assistants may still be floating in your head especially ON THE SECURITY AND PRIVACY CHALLENGES OF VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS. There’s an easy fix to calm your worries. Implementing firewalls such as:

  • Norton 360
  • TotalAV
  • Intego
  • Panda
  • Bullguard 

And many other solutions can address any worry you may have. Either way, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reap the benefits of having a virtual assistant to help keep your lives organized.

As the world becomes more globalized and people start doing business across borders it’s no surprise that more companies are shifting towards remote operations.

2022: 7 Property Management Tech Trends To Watch

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic requiring organizations to shift towards more virtual solutions, the use of online systems and apps, innovative marketing techniques, and sophisticated CRM tools has become more and more essential for a sustainable business model. Technologies such as cloud computing, mobile apps, and even artificial intelligence have been implemented to improve the way you manage your properties. 

Proptech encompasses the marriage of property management technology, with cloud-based infrastructure, AI, and software for more efficient operations of daily real estate business activity. It is revolutionizing how property managers operate and manage their businesses. Over the next five years, technology will continue to expand its role in various types of real estate.

It may be difficult to grasp exactly how we can incorporate technology into property management companies when in reality they’re already replacing a lot of work for property managers and leasing companies. While there are several interpretations to Proptech, James Dearsley, Co-Founder of Unissu – Trusted PropTech Procurement, stated that it is generally viewed as a small part of a wider digital transformation in the property management industry. This covers practically any digital adaptation in real estate. If you look closely, you can see the evolution of proptech and how we use it — to do things like improving customer service over the phone or building a system that allows us to seamlessly move tenants from one property to another. 

As supply channels are getting negatively impacted by the pandemic across all sectors (including real estate and property management), cost of goods rise and supply chains get stalled. Additionally, with the average property manager spending a staggering amount of dollars per year on the operations of the business, you would think that the solution to their problem would be simple: automating tasks like rent collection and save money on labor. And it is! These strains on organizations provide a strong argument to consider adopting PropTech in order to counterbalance the financial burden. 

In this article, we take a look at some of the trends to watch out for this 2022.

WHAT IS PROPERTY TECHNOLOGY (PROPTECH)?

Property technology or proptech is the process through which real estate agents, investors and property managers use technology to increase efficiency, reduce cost, help with decision-making and improve customer service.

It is most commonly associated with the use of computers in the buying and selling process — software platforms that automate tasks like finding a house on Zillow or marketing your property on Redfin. These allow you to manage your listings online from anywhere at any time and from virtually any device. They also make it easier for you to use and stay organized by helping with tasks such as managing leads or tenant applications, managing your calendar so you can get to everything on time, dealing with maintenance tickets, billings, and much more. 

Proptech solutions are designed to help you run your business more efficiently and save money. They can help you deal with customers more effectively, automate your processes, and make important decisions easier for you. Proptech products include services like virtual office technology, computerized property management systems, digital marketing platforms, mobile apps, and more.

It is a rapidly growing industry that should be taken advantage of by everyone in the real estate space.

WHY SHOULD YOU START USING PROPTECH?

If you’re a property manager that relies on paper processes like leases, applications, and rent payments, you’re missing out on a lot of savings, of both your time and money:

The number of tasks property managers have to perform has increased significantly over the last decade. The need for more efficient processes is common in all segments of the industry. And with technology making it easier than ever to find out how other companies manage their properties, there’s a lot of competition out there for your business.

The word proptech may be new to some people in the industry, but many of these tech products have been around for some time. For example, computers are used heavily in real estate businesses already. And some features of proptech have existed for years as well — like property management software or the MLS online listing platform.  In addition, proptech companies are able to secure more funding as of 2021 at US$ 7.1 billion compared to its previous year, and is expected to continue to grow. Reason being, millennials make upto 65% of first home buyers and these consumers show interest in smart technology according to FinTech Global.

A lot of property organizations have invested in this at the top level because it really does have a place in the property tech world.

But why? The answer is simple: the advantages of this technology are clear. Property technology powers the sector, enhances transparency and ultimately enables better working. Here are six advantages of using the most relevant property management software for your properties:

Save Time

Managing multiple rental properties can be very time-consuming — especially when you use archaic methods like paper and pen for everything. But when you switch to proptech, you’ll save loads of time by automating common tasks. For example, when you use electronic leases instead of paper leases, you don’t have to waste time manually inputting all that information into your database since it’s automatically collected for you. Virtual home tours, a service currently offered by several companies, save landlords and property owners plenty of time they’d normally be spending on property viewings.

Increase Efficiency

In addition to saving time, proptech has other efficiency benefits as well. For example, online portals allow residents to submit maintenance requests at any time instead of having to call and email you. Cloud based property management softwares like appfolio or propertyware allow Property Managers to keep connected to their teams and customers, ensuring business continuity. By properly utilizing these apps, the efficiency increases as work can be done from anywhere, anytime.

Reduced cost

Paper processes are slow, error-prone, and expensive. The more time you spend on paperwork, the more money you lose on things like late fees, because it takes longer to chase down delinquencies when you’re relying on paper checks. Proptech automates many tasks that were once done by hand, saving your company money. Platforms like Zillow help automate the process of advertising property listings – reducing costly man made errors, or reducing the time to advertise the listing, allowing the business to save on the labor cost

Improved accuracy

You won’t have to worry about lost or damaged documents with proptech solutions, because they’re all stored digitally and backed up regularly in the cloud. Data is always accessible and safe from damage in proptech systems. Additionally, you can even accurately determine the best investment plans to determine how much you could earn by renting out property based on over 500,000 calculations.

Streamlined systems and processes

Automation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can just mean streamlining processes and making sure that as many tasks as possible are completed on time. Take your rent checks, for example. Your landlord might have you mail them, or you could have a system that automatically deposits money into your account so you never miss a payment. Services such as Intuit QuickBooks allows tenants to pay you with a click of a button and consist of many other great functions. The more automated your tenant management systems are, the more you can do.

Automation reduces the amount of time you spend on tasks like verifying rent payments and communicating with tenants. It also frees up your valuable staff members so they can focus on other things

Better insights into your business

When everything is automated, data becomes much easier to analyze because there’s a lot less of it to deal with — and you know it’s going to be accurate in each case because it was machine-generated instead of entered by hand by people who might make mistakes or copy information incorrectly.

The right software can help you manage your property, streamline maintenance work orders, and ensure that you’re being paid on time.

There are so many factors driving change nowadays that you need to be able to adapt quickly if you want to keep ahead of the game.

WHAT ARE THE TOP PROPTECH TRENDS?

Proptech can come in many forms. Some tools are more akin to advanced search engines that let brokers quickly locate properties they want. Others are applications that automate common tasks like scheduling appointments or entering data into CRMs. Many of these tools have been around a while, but they’re now catching on with property managers because of the unlimited benefits that help them work smarter, not harder.

Consider these top trending PropTechs that can grant you the competitive advantage you’ve been looking for:

The Cloud enables property managers to:

  • You can access your data from any device, anywhere, anytime.
  • You can collaborate on projects more seamlessly and effectively with your team members (Zoom, Slack, etc)
  • Your data is more secure and less prone to errors.
  • You can keep your costs down because you don’t have to pay for servers or IT infrastructure.
  • You’ll improve communication with your residents by allowing them easier access to rent payments, maintenance requests, and other critical information.

It is quickly becoming a worldwide standard. In fact, according to a survey conducted by findstack., 80% of respondents said that they either use or plan to use cloud-based software in the next 3 years. While 56% of them save they have already adopted multi-cloud.

If you’re still using on-premise or desktop software, it’s time to consider migrating your system to the cloud. Yardi Breeze is a top contender.

The introduction of 3D virtual tours, which allow prospective buyers to virtually walk through a house with ease, will help them envision just how comfortable the space might feel.

There are already several companies offering virtual tours of property by using your smartphone or tablet. Instead of calling up a property manager and asking them to take you on a tour of your dream home, you can now use your iPad or smartphone to ‘walk through’ the property with a virtual tour. Buyers can literally feel what their house would be like before they even move in.

With this kind of technology, there’s no reason why you couldn’t have beautiful virtual tours for your properties on your website, as well as an interactive 3-D model that offers multimedia experiences such as 360° video and laser scanning. Some known software include iStaging, Tourwizard, My360, etc.

it’s a comprehensive solution that provides all the tools required to run a rental business. Most of the rental management software products available in the market are highly customizable and can be used for renting out a wide range of products, including vehicles, equipment, media, furniture and accessories.

Here are some of the key features offered by rental management software:

Rentals tracking: This feature allows users to track the status of their rentals. It also provides several filter options to find the required information quickly and accurately.

Inventory management: This feature allows users to manage their inventory efficiently by tracking the movement of rented items. The feature also allows users to track item availability and maintain stock levels. It also helps in scheduling maintenance activities.

Reporting: This feature offers advanced reporting functionalities that provide insights into various aspects of an organization’s performance, helping them make informed decisions. Using this feature, users can generate reports based on various parameters such as rentals due, overdue rentals, reservations or payments due, etc.

Rentals billing: Rental billing is one of the most important functions performed by rental management software products. These products efficiently manage rental billing activities including preparing invoices, processing payments, sending out reminders and generating financial reports.

Top PM rental software include – Buildium, TurboTenant, AppFolio, Propertyware

Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to provide the best assessment of what will happen in the future.

This approach helps you make proactive decisions around your business, instead of relying solely on hindsight. For Instance, property managers can better understand

  • their target resident demographic
  • create targeted marketing campaigns
  • and streamline operations 

— especially when it comes to maintenance requests.

Tango is a great software for property management industries.

This can be employed by property managers in a number of ways, including:

automating routine tasks like responding to tenant inquiries

  • handling rent payments
  • improving customer service via chatbots on websites 
  • or managing maintenance needs automatically with AI-powered sensors that monitor appliances and other equipment in units


ensuring they’re working properly or signaling when they need attention.‘Different’ is one of the leading Ai technology for property management companies.

It is technology that is quickly becoming a key component of real estate tech. It’s used for tracking and storing all kinds of data that are needed to complete the sale, lease, or transfer of a property, including finance, title, and property management.

Blockchain is also crucial when it comes to the exchange of payments between buyers and sellers as well as communities and smart contracts that enable buyers to purchase properties in new ways. The use of blockchain will enable greater privacy by eliminating the need for intermediaries and the risk of fraud. An example of this would be ConsenSys.

Property management technology has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years. The introduction of cloud-based software and mobile apps has led to greater access, streamlined workflows, and smarter reporting for property managers.

But one trend that’s taken a bit longer to materialize is outsourcing. Offshoring tasks like administrative work, accounting, and marketing have long been a part of the business world. Property managers are just now realizing its potential benefits. 

THE TOP REASONS TO HIRE A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT:

  • it can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house staff member
  • is more efficient because you don’t have to train them or figure out how to use their technology. 
  • They can also be accessed remotely, 24/7.

Rocket Station has built a platform that allows you to build your own unique team to support your business, with each virtual assistant receiving training on your specific needs and processes (including any onboarding needed by your software systems).

Outsourcing is a trend that will continuously grow as technology allows more processes to be streamlined.

The days of managing your property in a binder and shuffling paperwork between your office and home are long gone. Today’s property managers have the luxury of using technology to manage their properties, tenants, finances, and much more – all from the comfort of their phones. They’re using them to connect with other people, and that leads to an increase in what’s called “virtual” space.

Virtual assistants and property management technology are only the beginning of an exciting new frontier that will revolutionize the way people do business. Soon, businesses will have on-demand access to virtual assistants who can be tasked to complete tasks across multiple platforms, who have access to all relevant information needed to complete each task, and who can do all of this at a low cost.

The combination of both proptech and virtual assistants is a game-changer.

How Rental Property Owners Can Leverage Using A Virtual Assistant

Over the past few years, there has been a major shift in how business is conducted. According to Mashvisor the tenant segment trend is rapidly shifting towards the Gen Z’s and is expected to increase in the next decade from 8 million to over 55 million. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent in our society, the job requirements have also swiftly transformed from frequent business travel to (almost) everything being done virtually instead.

Along with the upcoming younger generations that are entering the workforce being more digital savvy, our society has seen a big shift in how people prefer to do business. A correlation that is evident from this shift is that more and more people are conducting their operations remotely, from their phones or home offices.

This has created a huge opportunity for rental property owners who want to maximize their time and property management profits. If you haven’t already upgraded your system, processes, tools and/or strategies through the use of virtual assistants, you are missing out on a lot of money.

Let’s take a look to see if rental properties can really hire a VA to do it all.

WHY YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY SERVICE SHOULD CONSIDER GOING VIRTUAL

Mastering resource management is the key to operating an efficient and profitable rental property management organization. The most straightforward way you can achieve this is by integrating VA’s into your company. They are adept in helping you with:

It’s no secret that being a landlord or rental property manager isn’t always easy — tenants can be challenging:

While they don’t have all the answers, VA’s can be an indispensable tools that helps you come up with the right solutions for your business. You’ll be able to go from not knowing what you need to do, to having a plan for success that is highly specific and actionable. That’s why leveraging the power of a virtual assistant is pivotal in helping you succeed in this industry.

The following are just some of the ways in which integrating virtual assistants with your property management team can be incredibly advantageous:

Scale up and improve sales conversion

Lead generation is one of the most important functions of the real estate industry. However, your rental property’s success is highly dependent on actual conversions. A recent survey done by Buildium indicated that 47% of property managers plan to grow the size of their portfolio in the next 12 months. Having a dedicated virtual assistant that can contact local investors, schedule meetings with top performing agents/brokerages and follow up consistently is the key to portfolio growth. Most property managers don’t have time to pull lists, make calls and then consistently maintain contact. A virtual assistant can ensure your calendar is always full of motivated prospect appointments.

By hiring trained real estate virtual assistants it can help to:

  • Conduct local market research
  • Call, text, email or even reach out via social media to prospects
  • Consistently follow-up on possible prospects
  • Manage and confirm appointments, calendars and post-meeting deliverables

Scale up and improve sales conversion

The labor market is unlike anything most property managers have ever had to deal with. Finding talent is tough, and affording the right talent can be a challenge. By hiring a rental property management VA, you can save upwards of 50% on employee overhead. This can allow you to better maximize you local A+ talent, while hiring a virtual assistant support staff that can take on a lot of the administrative and communication roles that slow every property manager down. Your local employee wins, your business wins and your bank account wins!

Flexibility

Virtual assistants typically work remotely, which means you can conveniently enlist help whenever you need it. They tend to be very knowledgeable about the programs they use and will do things quickly, saving you time in the process. From 24/7 call coverage to jobs that just require a few hours of attention a week, a property management trained virtual assistant can give your company the flexibility it needs to excel.

Specialized expertise

Virtual assistants have expertise in many different fields and are valuable assets to help you take on even the specialized tasks such as:

  • Managing the social media accounts of the business – I.e. dealing with queries, posting promos or posts
  • Providing marketing services to help you get the attention of potential owner leads. Inclusive of your advertising, your reputation, SEO to help you rank higher in searchre to get four by more property owners on the internet
  • Through utilizing a CRM platform, our VA’s are capable of effectively managing and analyzing customer interactions throughout the customers lifecycle
  • Handling the bookkeeping of the business to post financial transactions, review and update statements and reconcile accounts

This allows you to focus on your own strengths and interests while still getting important work done.

Through a combination of timing and experience, VAs can help businesses achieve greater success than ever before.

WHAT ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES CAN VA’S PERFORM FOR YOUR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY?

While many think of virtual assistants as providing administrative and logistical support, the truth is that they can do much more than that. From simple roles to working across multiple departments (even managing a portfolio themselves), the following are areas where you can use a virtual assistant in your rental property management business:

Marketing support.

Another major issue that landlords face is finding new renters after they have lost a tenant or want to expand on their rental portfolio. Marketing is costly, time-consuming and requires knowledge of different strategies.

Virtual assistants with marketing experience are one of the most valuable assets you can have when you’re running a business like this because they can provide assistance in all sorts of ways, including social media engagement, researching potential advertising channels, creating graphics and managing email campaigns.

Rent coordinator.

Finding quality tenants is one of the biggest issues that landlords face. With so many applicants, it can be difficult to choose which tenant will be the best fit for your property. A virtual assistant can help you manage and schedule interviews with potential tenants in addition to taking notes during the interview about each applicant and their rental history. Once you have found suitable tenants, they can assist you in drafting up leases and preparing tenant applications.

Maintenance Coordinator.

Your VA can handle maintenance problems so you don’t have to pick up the phone and deal with the tenants building issues right away. For instance, your VA might call the plumber or handyman to fix problems while you’re at work and then report back to you with an update later in the day.

Market research.

Using your VA for research makes it easier to manage your property remotely. For example, if you want to know about neighborhood crime statistics or local schools’ test scores, your VA can pull that information together in one place for you.

Vendor Management

VA’s provide all inclusive support in terms of vendor managements. This covers anything from:

Without missing a beat, the entire management of vendor process would be handled and managed by our VA’s.

Data entry

If you’re short on time, a VA can help you get more done by entering data into spreadsheets or databases. This is particularly useful when it comes to tracking rental income and expenses, keeping track of warranties or organizing inventory (this is especially important if you have a large inventory). With a proper CRM tool in place, VA’s can assist with new property setups, handling matters related to rental insurance, ensuring compliance with the homeowners associations rules and regulations among other things.

Administrative support

As a rental property company, you’re responsible for numerous things: collecting rent payments; maintaining the property; marketing the unit; dealing with contractors; answering tenant questions; performing maintenance and repairs — the list goes on.

That’s why many rental property owners and managers hire virtual assistants to handle those tasks and much more basic ones like correspondence and invoicing, scheduling appointments and researching. It is also possible to hire VA’s to handle bookkeeping services i.e. bill-paying, bank transfers and creating reports that help you manage your finances.


With the ready availability of virtual assistants and the many roles they can help you accomplish, rental landlords are using them to streamline their business.

HOW DO YOU STREAMLINE YOUR BUSINESS?

If you want to turn your property management business into a successful, profitable venture, you will need to get it ready for the future.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can streamline your business and get it into a “virtual” mode:

  • Support your team with a virtual property management assistant

The rental market is competitive, which means you need to work as efficiently as possible so you can serve more clients. One way to do this is to outsource certain tasks that don’t require a high level of expertise. For example, some property management companies hire virtual assistants who are responsible for creating ads, answering emails and making phone calls. These responsibilities fall outside the realm of what a normal employee would do but are great ways to make sure your cash flow stays healthy while freeing up time for more important tasks.

  • Build a web presence that shows you are able to handle new tenants

There are many prospective renters looking at properties online before they even come into contact with an agent or manager. That’s why it’s so important to have a web presence that lets you take advantage of new tools like software that instantly posts available apartments on Craigslist or Facebook. You can also add a blog to your site so prospective tenants can get to know you and learn about the properties you manage.

  • Construct a scheduling system that creates workflow convenience.

Combining digital tools with regular communication will help make sure nothing gets left undone in between tenant visits and walk-throughs. Create an online calendar system so everyone who will visit the property — from yourself to contractors — has access to upcoming appointments. This way, if there’s an issue that needs immediate attention, you’ll know about it right away. A couple task management tools that could be used to properly distribute and monitor status of tasks are Proofhub, Trello, Wrike or Chanty. Which ever you choose, make sure these systems are integrated with your property management software.

  • Transform your rental services to be virtually led

Can you handle online rent payments, or do you still insist that tenants mail your checks? During this pandemic period especially, digital transformation is evidently the future and laggers to this transformative change would be left behind. Just between 2019 to 2021, there has been a 600% increase in the use of a 360 degree virtual home tour technology. This period of digital acceleration is crucial for businesses to capitalize on new ways to reach their audiences.

The way you handle rent payments will be a reflection of the way your entire business works. People expect things to be done quickly and efficiently these days, and if you can’t deliver that service, your potential tenants will go somewhere else.

  • Incorporate a property management system and process.

There are plenty of options that can help you manage work orders, data entry, and even social media accounts with ease. What’s more important is that you get in the habit of using such a system. Rocket Station hands you curated yet effective systems and processes proven to bring you a streamlined workflow operation.

There are several differences between in-person and online rental property management services, but the biggest one is convenience. People expect things to be done quickly and efficiently these days, and if you can’t deliver that service, your potential tenants will go somewhere else.

TOOLS TO HELP WITH RENTING PROPERTY

Troubleshooting problems with a tenant can require significant time and effort, so it’s important to try and streamline the process as much as possible. By using some of these tools and resources, you can make sure that you’re always prepared for handling any tenant-related issues that may arise around your property.

this allows you to manage all aspects of your rental property business and any associated staff. It will streamline the process so you can spend more time doing what really counts – running your business.

online tenant screening services provide reports on prospective tenants based on the information that they provide you in their application form. These reports contain information on previous addresses, rental history, credit history, bankruptcies and more. You can then use this information to assess whether the applicant is a suitable tenant or not. Ideally, you should use a service that also provides advice in relation to your criteria for accepting tenants and what kind of references and documentation you should request from a tenant when they apply for a home.

this is another tool that will save you time and effort by automating the collection of rent payments from tenants for example. It will also let you keep track of rent payments in real time as opposed to having to wait until the end of the month or quarter to find out how much rent has been paid into your account.

Renting out a property can be a great way to generate rental income while keeping your money invested in alternative assets. However, the process of managing a rental property is more complicated than it initially seems. Using the right software can help you save time and increase your productivity, so that you can spend less time doing busy work and more time growing your business. 

 

WORKING WITH A VA 

Many business owners who have never employed a VA before are unaware of how our virtual assistants can help streamline their operations. Once you take a deep dive into your business operations, you’ll likely realise that multiple areas of your business could benefit from the support of specialised, qualified and adaptable VA’s. It’ easy to see them as task robots however, they are highly valuable members of your team that are able to skilfully insert themselves into your company’s culture. Over time, your business will begin to experience significant growth if you take advantage of the services that VAs offer.

However, it is best to learn how to work with your virtual assistant. Like any employee, think of it as managing a business relationship rather than outsourcing tasks.

Treating a virtual assistant well has the potential to be one of the best investments you make in your business. If you do it right, the only regret you will have is why you never hired one sooner. With that said, what are the basic requirements for treating a VA well? Simple, just with any other employee in your organization, for a VA to perform at their best, you need to provide the following:

  1. Make It Clear What You Expect From Them

Effectively communicating with remote teams in the new work from home environment  is a must. Of course, you want your VA to know exactly what tasks they’re responsible for. Therefore, a detailed job scope is essential, describing the necessary training plans, standard operating procedures within the company, and a clear candidate profile so that the right VA will be provided. 

With that said, it’s also important that they understand how they can expect to be treated by you. After all, if they’re not feeling appreciated, there’s no motivation for them to continue their hard work on your behalf. In addition, make sure that they feel appreciated for their efforts.

  1. Be Fair With Their Compensation

As with any other employee in any other position of employment, it’s critical that your virtual assistant understands what compensation is expected of them and when it will be provided. For your reference, in the US, average income for virtual assistants is approximately USD 19 per hour, ranging from the low end of USD 7 to the high end of USD 62.

Rocket station provides a standard USD 10 per hour for quality VA’s. In addition, if there are any changes in compensation – whether increases or decreases – make sure that everyone is aware of these changes.

  1. Give regular feedback so they can improve.

Working with someone remotely can make it easy for either party to neglect giving/requesting feedback about how things are going. If you don’t provide regular feedback, your virtual assistant might not know if there’s room for improvement — or what exactly makes them valuable to your business in the first place. We recommend having structured consistent meetings with the VA’s in order to manage expectations of what is required in order have aligned KPI’s/goals. Aside from this, it is beneficial to instill a culture of curiosity within the organization. The more questions that the employees ask, the more knowledgeable and unified their direction will be.

Your VA is a critical member of your business as well as your team, and as such, you will want to retain them for the long-term. This way, you will be able to ensure that your relationship stays on the road to success.

The goal of this article is to provide you with some basic tips to help you reap the maximum benefits of bringing a virtual rental management assistant into your team. If you take it slow, one step at a time, it’s much more doable and manageable than it sounds. And once you have your systems and processes set up and humming along, your company will streamline which would undoubtedly help you with the tough tasks of data entry, importing property management software, and more. Use it as an opportunity to make your life simpler—that’s the best way to use this useful tool.

Must-Have Skills For A VA Maintenance Coordinator

Nothing is more important to property owners and managers than making sure they are meeting the standards and regulations that tenants deserve. With every rental unit comes a responsibility and to meet this responsibly, there are several daily tasks that need to be accomplished.

And as your business grows, you will find yourself even more overwhelmed with more tasks than you have hours in the day to complete. These time-consuming tasks can involve:

If left unattended, it can fall through the cracks especially when you don’t have someone to delegate them to. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day things that need to be done to keep your business running smoothly, which could in the worst case, lead to your own mental burnout. So when do you have time to get more leads or accomplish something in your personal life?

With that said, several of the top property managers have discovered a great preventative fix for this – Virtual Assistants.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR?

A virtual maintenance coordinator is someone who is in charge of all of the property maintenance for a company.

They are not just secretaries or administrative staff but skilled professionals who can help you manage many of your engagements so you can focus on what’s most important – growing your business and serving your clients.

Managing the logistics of maintenance alone is a daunting yet essential task in property management. This aspect requires thorough planning and organization to ensure the availability and reliability of physical assets. Thus, a trained and reliable virtual maintenance coordinator is a valuable asset to the team to be able to free up the property managers time and handle these tasks.

Other assignments that they will take up range from administrative duties such as:

To more specialized (maintenance coordinator) duties:

For most of us, the idea of hiring a virtual assistant is pretty intimidating. After all, you’re giving someone access to your business, with all its intricacies. You’re also trusting that person to do a really good job. Have a look at what defines a good VA to secure that you are hiring the right kind of team.

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD VA?

Many business owners acknowledge the benefits of having virtual assistants (VAs) on their teams. No doubt, technology is making the world easier and saving people time, and virtual assistants are no exception!

With the success rate of having matched hundreds of clients with professional virtual assistants, take a look at what Rocket Station considers to be an effective checklist in identifying the paramount qualities of what a great maintenance VA should entail:

If you have not yet tried a virtual assistant, you can start small. It’s an economical choice for any business on tight budgets who may or may not have the resources to hire staff members.

WHAT SKILLS SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A VA MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR?

To make sure you get the most out of your VA maintenance coordinator, your VA must-have skills revolve around possessing strong attention to detail planning abilities with exceptional organizational and time management skills, strong communication abilities both written and verbal; as well as a willingness to learn new things quickly. They are there to support you and even act as managers whenever you are not around, so it’s important that they have an open mind to take on new tasks and responsibilities.

Your checklist for a good property maintenance VA should look something like this:

There is no reason why you can’t maintain your property efficiently and effectively when you have the right team behind you.

When it comes to choosing a virtual assistant, make sure that they know what they’re doing before you actually start working with them. That way, you don’t end up creating more work for yourself by getting the help of less qualified people whom you can’t really rely on.

WHAT PROPERTY MAINTENANCE TASKS CAN A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT HELP WITH?

Many people believe that only an on-site property maintenance coordinator can provide the level of service needed for any property, but this is far from the truth. A VA maintenance coordinator is capable of:

  1. Screening job applicants
  2. Sourcing the right vendors and/or service providers for making repairs, such as replacing a broken window or fixing a leaky faucet
  3. Estimating costs for repairs or new equipment, based on information from repairmen or suppliers
  4. Scheduling contractors and other experts to make repairs or do routine maintenance work, such as changing furnace filters
  5. Tracking equipment and material used to ensure your company is getting the most out of its resources. For example, a virtual assistant might track how much electricity the company uses and flag areas where energy use is unusually high—which could mean you need to replace an old air conditioning unit or add insulation to the attic
  6. Gathering information from vendors about new products that could improve your business, such as more efficient heating and cooling systems
  7. Ordering supplies and equipment, including scheduling projects that meet your company’s timelines
  8. Keeping track of safety procedures and equipment, such as fire extinguishers, so they are ready when needed
  9. Managing your calendar and organizing events for your company
  10. Transparent and open communication to ensure all parties involved (tenant, vendor, service provider, owner) are up to date with the tasks and to manage expectations.
  11. Monitoring the status of tasks to ensure that all tickets are settled within 7-14 working days – depending on the severity of the issue.

These virtual employees are also a great clearinghouse on non-billable tasks that contribute to the success of your business. 

A virtual assistant has the skills and expertise needed to manage all aspects of any rental property without actually being there. If you are looking for someone to handle all of the day-to-day tasks involved with property management, then this type of service should definitely be considered.

Here are just some of the ways in which you can benefit from using a virtual property management assistant:

Time management – As well as handling multiple tasks at once, a good VA will have their finger on the pulse when it comes to knowing when something needs to be done immediately

Saving you money – hiring a VA is about one-third the price of a regular employee while producing the quality output of work required day in, day out. Several outright benefits that you gain from this more affordable workforce are scalability due to higher return on investment for labor, cutting down on labor costs, and more profits that can be kept for the company.

Growing at a fast pace – VA’s make it possible for you to operate your business on a global scale, opening up a world of new opportunities. They can be an invaluable asset to any business.

Efficiency – With a VA in place, you are sure to have lots of time on your hands and you will be efficient in performing all tasks related to your work. “As an entrepreneur, It’s best to save your time and attention for activities that are really central to your value proposition”.

Hiring A Virtual Assistant is a Smart Move For Your Business whether you’re a big property management company or a small one. They can take on tasks that would otherwise fall to you, freeing up your time and energy to focus on what really matters.

WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR MANAGING VIRTUAL TEAMS?

You need to understand what you are getting yourself into before hiring a VA so that you can save money and time. Take a look at these 5 Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring Your First Virtual Assistant. You can find plenty of tips guiding you through the process.

Now when it comes to managing a virtual team, the hardest part is managing distance. You don’t have the option to walk over and ask a colleague for help when you need it. Virtual teams require you to be more strategic about your communication and how you schedule your work.

One of the biggest challenges for leaders of virtual teams is that they sometimes feel isolated from their team members. As a manager, you may feel like you are not getting the feedback needed to effectively manage your team. This is why it’s so important to create strategies that encourage regular communication with your employees on a daily basis.

The best property managers always set their team up for success. This can be done with an onboarding session to ensure that the VA’s understand the organizations goals, objectives, vision, mission along with mapping out the processes involved so that they are able to kick-start with the right foot forward and lead with success. Not forgetting orienting the virtual assistant on SOP’s of the organization to ensure seamless integration and minimal disruption of workflow. Afterwhich, you can employ several strategies to effectively manage the virtual team as per below:

  1. Schedule regular meetings – Once every couple of days, schedule a time to talk with all of your team members with an online video or voice-conferencing software like Skype. Use this time to check in with each person about what they’ve accomplished since the last meeting and what they plan on accomplishing over the next few days.
  2. Organize one-on-one meetings – Schedule one-on-one meetings with each of your team members on a weekly basis. This way, you can get any questions answered immediately and make sure that everyone is functioning at their highest level of productivity. When you hire a virtual assistant, you need to manage your relationship with them. The best way to perform this management is to set up the environment for success and then get out of their way.
  3. Treat them as you would any employee in your office. You need to be able to trust that they are performing the tasks assigned to them. Set up systems to check on their work product and make sure they are accomplishing what they are supposed to do every week.
  4. Include them in decisions when possible. If it makes sense, talk through decisions with them and get their input. Hire them because they have a unique skill set that you need, but also include people in the decision-making process as often as possible.
  5. It’s important that you respect them. Even though they’re not in the same room as you, they still have feelings and should be treated with the same courtesy that you would show another employee in your office.

They need to feel motivated and appreciated. That’s why it’s crucial to learn how to build a culture for your employees and virtual assistants.

WHAT SHOULD YOU PAY YOUR VA?

Whether you’re a solopreneur or run a large team, leveraging virtual assistants as a part of your company is an excellent way to scale your business,

And it’s not just for the “fancy pants” entrepreneurs – even the most bootstrapped business owners can benefit from having a VA on the payroll.

For many people, it is their first foray into outsourcing. But before you start shopping around for candidates — not all VAs are created equal! – So if you’re looking for VA-finding services, you might want to look into their experience. The company should have experience in not only placing virtual assistants with businesses and organizations but also specializes in finding them.

Otherwise, you might end up wasting time. There are many good virtual assistant companies that can provide you with the right virtual assistant for your business or organization such as:

You can find freelance VA’s on upwork that can offer a range of services. The popular freelancing websites allows you:

  • to post jobs and get proposals from freelancers with skills to match your needs
  • find talent faster by searching through profiles of qualified freelance pros with specific skills
  • view verified ratings and reviews from previous clients to make better hiring decisions, including seeing an average score across all freelancers on Upwork

In regards to cost it varies between an average of $4-35/hour, depending on how specialized the task required is. 

If you want to manage your VA yourself, then Upwork is a good choice. You’ll have complete control on the entire hiring process and be able to choose from thousands of VAs across the world. However, it will take up more of your time as you’ll have to post job descriptions and vet candidates.

There are more dedicated organizations offering VA solutions such as GetMagic. For $10/hour, you could get dedicated assistants to work remotely for you on your terms.

Going with a company like GetMagic, they work with you to understand your needs and assign a VA who has the right skills and experience for your business.

However, they do not specialize in property management or the real estate industry. Service providers like these are great for basic administrative functions (calendar management, email management etc).

Other than leading the BPO industry (business process outsourcing) Rocket Station’s unique selling point is that Rocket Station is the expert in the property management field and are more than capable of satisfying the requirements of any property manager or owner.

And unlike freelancing platforms, you do not have to filter out which VA profile works for you. Rocket Station handles all the tiresome aspects of hiring so you don’t have to.

Virtual assistants with a bachelor degree are competitively priced here at:

$10/hr for full time 40 hours per week

$12/hr for part-time, minimum 20 hours per week

Each VA goes through a stringent screening process to be hired. All assistants must complete an interview, training, and pass background checks before being endorsed into further, real estate industry specific training and evaluation.

OUR PROVEN PROCESS

Our proven process enables us to deliver the highest level of quality assurance and control over your outsourced services. From custom training materials to quality monitoring and reporting, you will have complete control over every aspect of your company including:

Process Documentation – We start our process by clearly outlining the scope of work to create custom training material based on your preexisting processes.

Recruitment and Screening – Our hiring managers identify and recruit agents with the right skills to meet your PM company’s requirements. The talent pool is then screened through a series of interviews and tests before moving on to our intensive training program.

Training – Every agent who joins Rocketstation receives state-of-the-art training and certification based on client processes, systems, scripts, etc. The goal is to ensure that all virtual assistants are well versed with your business processes and deliver outstanding performance.

You might still be wondering: is this really worth it? Well, do you fit in any of these categories:

  • run a small or large business
  • freelancing
  • or just need to get some important jobs done with limited time and resources

If yes then hiring a virtual assistant can save both time and money—and in most cases, do a better job than you ever could alone. The benefits of using a virtual maintenance coordinator are plenty, and it’s no wonder that many people are taking advantage of this opportunity to save time and increase productivity.

Business Development Strategy: A High-Growth Approach

One thing the pandemic provided was evidence that the more agile a company is, the more it can cope with unpredictability. This evidence cannot be put aside. Unpredictability is not going away. Taking a high-growth approach to your business development strategy requires a look at more than just your sales and marketing but encompasses the processes, procedures, and systems that make the core of your business tick.

Let’s examine some answers.

What is a business development strategy?

First, let’s establish a working definition of a business development strategy. For a lot of companies, this means sales or marketing, but to develop a strategy that drives consistent growth, this definition needs to go deeper and broader.

According to business development expert Scott Pollack, the goal of business development “is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.”

Breaking that down:

The function of your business development strategy plan is to open up channels and make intentional connections to make deals happen. To reach your strategic business goals, your business development strategy needs to align your company’s processes and procedures to better leverage opportunities and relationships, acquire new clients, and enter new markets. Creating that alignment sets up a framework to meet your goals and create high-growth over the long-term. The plan is a set of actions towards meeting your goals and accelerating growth and profitability.

A few questions to ask about your strategic goals:

Considerations About Your Business Development Strategy

Startups Vs. Mature Companies

Where long-term value is placed or how it is achieved through customers, markets, and interconnected networks differs according to the maturity of your business. Start-ups are going to look at strategy and business development differently than more mature companies, but having a plan to identify and open up growth opportunities remains a vital focus.

Long-Term Value

The emphasis on long-term value means that business development growth strategies that drive growth and profitability do not rely on habit, quick fixes, fads, or a reliance on doing it the way it has always been done. A business development strategy is a plan for the long-game, and decisions need to be based on that insight.

High-Growth

A business development strategy is a plan to achieve business growth. Implementing a high-growth approach to your business development strategy involves planning to scale to achieve your business objectives.

Professional service firms will view scalability differently than businesses selling a specific product. Business development strategies for professional services will be nuanced with this in mind to facilitate growth. What innovations can be employed to enact that approach? What measurements should a strategy and business development analyst be focusing on to identify solutions for critical business decisions?

Business Process Development

A tactic is the “how” of going after what you want. If high-growth is your goal, then you need business development tactics that follow steps to create a business development strategy with a focus on high-growth. One tactic that is crucial to long-term growth and success is to ensure everyone is working towards the same business goals.

Business process development creates alignment for long-term growth through a series of actionable steps taken to achieve concrete business goals. Each step in the business process denotes a task that is assigned to a specified team member. By analyzing the system, you can extract the process, document it, and implement changes and standard operating procedures (SOP’s) that standardize each step and facilitate training. This aligns your team to work on the same goal and identifies gaps in the process. Those gaps can be staffed by virtual teams to extend your reach.

Some questions to ask:

This process stabilizes your business development platform, which in turn is the foundation that opens the gates for organizational growth over the long term. It weighs the factors influencing business growth and development and then aligns them with your goals.

Steps to be taken:

How can a virtual assistant help your business?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, business growth depends on the ability to cope with unpredictability. Having the right personnel at the right time increases your ability to leverage growth opportunities and close deals. Hiring a virtual assistant gives you this ability.

Managing your time is a crucial skill at any stage of your business, but you do not have to do everything. If you are focused on scalable growth, then balancing time between operational and business development activities is less productive. It is more vital to allocate your time to leveraging opportunities and generating growth.

Investing in new methods and process workflows frees up time to:

Virtual assistants are the source of these innovative process workflows that free up your time to do income generating work.

Strategy is like a chess game, where you look for moves that strengthen your position further down the game, spotting ways to open revenue channels. When you hire a virtual assistant, your time is better spent on the strategy of the game rather than moving pieces around. Outsourcing time-consuming support roles gives you the space to act when the opportunity is ripe.

Scaling Up with Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are an investment to boost long-term revenue. A VA can boost your success by increasing your company’s flexibility and pinpointing opportunities for productivity and growth.

Outsourcing to virtual assistants can grow your business by:

Things to outsource to a virtual assistant include:

High-Growth Approach to Success

As 2022 gets underway and you plan a business development strategy that will yield the best results for your investment, looking deeper into your processes and procedures along with your sales and marketing allows you to build the agility needed for a high-growth approach to success. Focusing on what you do best and then creating a solutions-based plan to outsource the rest gives you the agility, scalability, and sustainability you need for long-term growth.

On the Security and Privacy Challenges of Virtual Assistants

Cybercrime, security breaches, ransomware attacks, scams, hacks, and stolen data. The headlines abound, and with the increase in remote work, privacy and security threats have also increased. But the headlines are not the whole story. Risks exist, but you can meet these security challenges by understanding a few fundamentals and implementing a few best practices.

Remote work environment benefits were discovered by many over the last two years as employees moved to work from home arrangements. In addition, outsourcing has made virtual assistants a vanguard of remote work. The security challenges in these situations do not need to outweigh their benefits, even for small and mid-sized businesses. When it comes to the digital workplace developing a risk-based security strategy can help identify vulnerabilities and determine solutions. IT teams along with remote employees and outsourced contractors can work together to maintain any size company’s privacy and security.

Let’s pinpoint:

Common Remote Work Security Challenges

Maintaining privacy and security is a top concern for companies, whether employees work remotely or not. Security issues with working remotely may become more complex, but the foundations of mitigation remain the same. A fundamental understanding of these remote working security risks is the first step to determining solutions.

Public WiFi Networks

Accessing sensitive data through vulnerable home wireless networks invites malicious actors to spy on connections, leading to cybercriminals intercepting unencrypted data and stealing sensitive information for profit.

Weak Passwords

Private data can be accessed and stolen when hackers crack account passwords. Frequently used, weak, or repeat passwords are vulnerable to attack, leading to data breaches and identity fraud.

Email Scams and Phishing

Email phishing is still the number one form of cyberattack. Emails sent to an inbox that appear to be sent by a legitimate source trick recipients into giving login credentials and privileged information, leading to data theft, identity fraud, and ransomware and malware attacks.

Internet Exposure

Exposing data through the internet can lead to ransomware, malware, and virus attacks. Ransomware cuts off access to computers and files. Viruses and malware damage, delete and steal files. Exposure is costly and can cripple operations, sometimes for months.

Cybersecurity risk management helps prevent these breaches by correcting negligent security infrastructure, implementing fundamental IT tools, and educating workers as partners in prevention.

Remote Work Security Best Practices

Remote working security risks can be diminished with work from home cyber security best practices. Employing preventative measures magnifies the benefits of the digital workplace and shrinks the risks.

Risk and Security Management Essentials

Firewalls

Acting somewhat like traffic cops, firewalls monitor network traffic and block unwanted traffic from reaching a remote endpoint. An endpoint detection and response (EDR) system remotely prevents next generation malware and data leakage. It prevents potentially damaging emails from getting into a user’s inbox. System administration can also manage software installation and patches.

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

Securing remote connectivity through Virtual Private Networks (VPN) helps address security issues with working remotely. A VPN allows a remote worker to securely connect to a shared network by masking the IP address and encrypting the connection. This makes it difficult for intruders to find workers or intercept data.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

By adding an extra step to the login process, 2FA is an effective solution to cyber security risk. In addition to a password, a user uses a verification code when logging in, drastically reducing security challenges.

Encryption

Encryption methods are essential to security risk management. Encrypting emails disguises their content, making it possible for only the email recipient to see transmitted information. Using an encrypted password management system allows access but conceals the actual password.

Data Storage

Basic security rules governing data storage include:

  • Keeping database backup secure and accessed locally
  • Testing to ensure data usability
  • Scheduling routine maintenance checks 

Protective Software

Install antivirus, malware, ransomware, and spyware protection for all company computers. Paid versions are recommended because of robust functionality and auto update capabilities.

Reliable software includes:

  • McAfee
  • Norton 360
  • TotalAV
  • Intego
  • Panda
  • Bullguard 

Company Computers Only

Employees using personal computers for work opens up huge security and privacy holes.

It risks:
  • Confidentiality, trade secrets, and proprietary information.
  • Information loss when an employee leaves the company.
  • Data integrity when transferring files from a work computer to a personal computer.
  • Wider security holes by making updating software and installing patches difficult. 

The best rule of thumb is for employees to only use company computers when doing company work. If budget or logistic restraints prevent the use of company computers, ensure the use of a desktop computer with VPN and 2FA procedures in place. The computer should also be equipped with protective software.

Email

In addition to firewall protection, employees offer another line of defense in protecting email from phishing scams.

Employees need to:
  • Read emails carefully.
  • Look for details that appear out of place.
  • Trust when something doesn’t feel legit.
  • Contact IT if an email is suspicious.
  • Separate work email from personal email. 

Passwords

Passwords can be troublesome when it comes to security challenges, but simple steps go a long way. 

Strategies include:
  • Updating passwords regularly (every quarter)
  • Create robust passwords with numbers, letters, and symbols
  • Require long random passwords
  • Use a password manager that encrypts the login information. (More on password managers later).

Policies and Education

Employee Education

Educating employees with straightforward, in-depth policies that outline the rules, responsibilities, and consequences of non-compliance helps put everyone on the same page about security challenges. Security risk management is undermined when employees do not understand the reasons behind the rules and are not given the tools to follow them responsibly. The goal is to safely share the information necessary for work while maintaining the integrity of the data.

Cyber security policies should:

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)

An NDA is a legal contract that outlines confidential material, knowledge, and information that will be shared between two parties but is restrictive to third-party disclosure. NDA’s should be well-constructed with specific details.

Security Risk Analysis

Cyber security risk management includes regular internal audits and third-party testing.

A third-party offers an objective, unbiased view of your risk and security management. With a different skill set and an external view, expert testers detect security gaps, poor methods, and system misconfigurations. They challenge cyber-defense systems in ways an internal audit cannot and are much cheaper than paying for the effects of a breach.

About Data Privacy Virtual Assistant Challenges

Virtual assistants deal with sensitive information through administrative processes, customer support, and data entry. For virtual assistants, privacy and security concerns can be addressed with preventative measures that protect both virtual assistants and data privacy. It is in the best interest of both the VA and the employer to have a clear virtual assistant privacy policy in place.

Virtual Assistant Security Measures

  • Become educated on different types of viruses, malware, and ransomware and install the best anti-software that fits your requirements.
  • Understand the data breach protocol for your client
  • Understand the general data protection regulation (GDPR) for both countries
  • Notify client immediately if a breach is suspected
  • Understand the granted access and policies on privileged information
  • Use trusted cloud services for backup
  • Use a secure phone for client call logs
  • Install a password manager

Here’s More on Password Managers

Password managers provide encrypted passwords for logging into a corresponding website. It provides secure passwords for virtual assistants and adds layers of protection for both the VA and the client. There is no reuse of a password and no memorization. VA can navigate to websites but has no direct access to the master password. The level of access is determined by the client. Programs include LastPass, Password, and Dashlane.

These managers can also store:

For virtual assistants knowing what data you have access to and how often is important to understanding the processes and protocols around maintaining data security and privacy.

For start-up and small to mid-size companies this can be a lot to track, especially if you do not have a dedicated IT department or security resource. If you are going to leverage a virtual assistant through an agency make sure they provide you with security support to protect the integrity of your business online.

Ask your agency:

Reducing the Risk of Remote Work

Privacy and security challenges do not have to be barriers to reaping the benefits of working virtually. With a proper understanding of cyber security risks along with the implementation of fundamental digital workplace solutions, virtual assistants and company employees working from home can be partners with a company’s IT support professionals. Together they can rise to these security challenges and mitigate a company’s risk.

Here’s When (and How) to Hire A VA For Maintenance Coordination

Property Maintenance coordinators are an integral part of a business’s maintenance activities, quality assurance, and process control.

However, managing rental properties is a demanding operation. Consistently having to follow up on whether or not they’ve completed their routine inspections, collating overwhelming amounts of maintenance requests, tracking supply and material inventories, the list goes on. These painful tasks drag Property Managers down the whole day and preoccupy most of their time.

Although managing properties comes with a stacked number of responsibilities, it is vital they get handled accordingly to avoid unnecessary pitfalls and drawbacks.

WHY SHOULD YOU STREAMLINE YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES AND WORKFLOWS?

According to the UiPath survey, most employees in the U.S. feel that they waste about 5 hours a week on repetitive tasks. 70% of them commented that they are unable to effectively and efficiently help their customers due to these tasks.

Email management and scheduling calls (& meetings) were some of the top vexing tasks they determined to be the most time-consuming for them.

While these repetitive tasks can vary for every business, in the case of Property Managers handling maintenance, these could be administering weekly maintenance checks, scheduling daily cleaning and maintenance activities, conducting follow-ups on all repair work, and sometimes even providing customer service. Regardless, they clutter up our days and keep us underwater.

Property Managers constantly get stuck performing low-level administrative tasks, limiting their opportunity to perform core functions of their role. Let’s face it, with limited time, the ability to strategically concentrate on gaining new clients greatly suffers. Instead, sacrifices on things such as quality control are at risk with existing clients.

Thankfully, technology has enabled all businesses to leverage a global workforce. Enhanced global network infrastructure, cloud-based property management software, and voice-over IP phone systems (or VoIP) have enabled every property management company the ability to leverage Virtual Assistants in their business. 

Enter, a property management trained Virtual Assistant Maintenance Coordinator.

Who are these skillful experts? How do they benefit you? What can they do?

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT ( VA MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR)?

A Virtual Assistant is, in short, a professional that supports entrepreneurs, start-ups, and businesses with various professional services from a remote location at a much more affordable rate. It’s as though you have a regular employee that just works from home.

They are well versed in most fields and are able to take over any tasks designated to them, for example, a virtual assistant Maintenance Coordinator helps your Property Manager with scheduling, procuring, work order management, and managing maintenance tickets.

Not only is it safer during the pandemic, but it also saves you on costs! Most entrepreneurs in the industry ask broad questions like ‘WHAT ARE THE TOP REASONS TO HIRE A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT?’. However, many are unaware that VA’s can further specialize in all things Property Management! So the real question is, what can’t they do? On top of maintenance coordination, here is a shortlist of common positions property managers leverage Virtual Assistants for:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A VA MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR?

Nowadays, Property management companies are transitioning to streamline their processes through the use of Virtual Assistants. By doing so it allows companies to:

Save on Time

Forbes released an article in 2020, ‘The Cost of Manual Repetitive Tasks In CRE’, which stated that the volume of these tasks alone costs companies millions of dollars in staff time every year. With that being said, hiring virtual assistants streamline business workflows and immensely speeds up these tasks, freeing up your Property Manager’s schedule every day.

Cut Costs

The cost of loss of productivity in the U.S averages around $2.87 trillion annually, making the US one of the top countries in the world in regards to the cost of non-revenue driving, administrative costs.

Alongside the cost of productivity, there’s the cost of labor. Labor is in fact the largest expense most companies face and accounts for about 60% of their total costs, on average.

When you leverage Virtual Assistants in your team, you cut labor costs by one-third. Utilizing Virtual Assistants could save you anywhere from 10%-15%. Not only do you automate your business but you now have a business with a clear path to enhanced profitability.

Increases Productivity

VA’s ensure your company follows a well-documented and system and process that sets you up for success.

When administrative tasks get delegated to professionally skilled VA’s, it enables multiple processes to now be handled simultaneously while Property Managers finally get to focus on revenue-generating activities.

Minimizes Errors

With a system and process in place that carefully, yet tactically places a VA to manage the maintenance aspects there are fewer errors and more positive outcomes. The skills and capabilities of a virtual assistant maintenance coordinator are well equipped to perform well above the average in the industry.

Quality Assurance and Internal Audits

Receipts, bills, and other relevant paperwork are a way for you to track your business’ performance. That pile of paperwork sitting on your desk every day can be challenging having to sort, document, and track bills, receipts, and fixed overhead.

Hiring a VA Maintenance Coordinator forces focus on effective procedures, efficient communication, and improved reporting channels that ensures all the tedious (but essential) processes are handled properly.

Improves Tenant Experience

Some of the key traits customers look for when comparing different providers are convenience and swift access to a service.

Property Management companies understand how closely related the success of your business is with customer service. When your clients are happy, they tend to always come back for more. However, to get powerful/impactful results, making sure your clients are happy takes a good amount of time.

By incorporating a VA to handle maintenance clients you’ll be doing a great favor to you and your clients. Not only does it free up your time but it reinforces your property management company’s capabilities by hiring VA maintenance coordinators who are experienced professionals.

It’s a win-win!

Increases scalability

As new VA’s are added to your business, processes are standardized, errors minimized, and goals are met at a much faster rate. Leading to a larger pool of client portfolios since property managers are better focused. For instance, manually submitting 10 invoices is not the same as producing 1000.

Property Managers understand that time is imperative amid a maintenance transaction. If coordination takes longer than expected, or if sourcing a vendor takes longer than expected, your tenant relationship suffers. Automating your business opens up doors through the transaction chain to undergo coordination and tracking more accurately and timely.

WHAT CAN A VA MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR DO? 

VA Maintenance Coordinators lead, plan and acquire maintenance supplies (and services). They have a range of extensive capabilities handling various types of responsibilities.

Some KEY TRAITS of a VA maintenance coordinator include:

Identifying some of the must-have traits of a VA Maintenance Coordinator is a great way to understand just how prominent they can be for your Property Management organization. Let’s dive right in. Here’s a quick list of what a VA can do for Maintenance Coordination and help Property Managers out:

1. Organizing Maintenance Personnel

A virtual assistant maintenance coordinator ensures there are proper coordinating processes for maintenance staff to follow and carry out various tasks. This includes:

  • Calling in electricians, mechanics, plumbers, etc. for specific maintenance requests
  • Making sure to upkeep the quality control and compliance with the building’s safety codes
  • Effectively delivering any orders given by property managers to on-site workers
  • Facilitation of job rescheduling and appointment confirmations
  • Ticket status follow up with on-site teams

2. Manage Facility Maintenance and Upkeep

Most professional property management companies have a system that guarantees facility maintenance needs are successfully met. They:

  • Track rental properties cleaning needs 
  • Coordinate with the management to plan maintenance schedules
  • Oversee repair processes as they arise and log each procedure for future reference
    • Ensure that the work that gets done meets the necessary quality level while still complying with the company policies and legal requirements.
    • Ensure all appropriate proof of completion is collected and saved in the correct files.
    • Handle the preventive aspect of maintenance. They don’t just take care of repairs as they come but take the measures to prevent them from happening.

Through labor automation, you could minimize the overall repair costs and save on resources for other expenditures.

3. Procure Equipment and Tools

Property maintenance VA coordinators are responsible for coordinating with the technicians on the equipment that is needed and procuring it for them on behalf of the company. Your VA Maintenance Coordinator will be able to:

  • Get various quotes from vendors to find competitive prices
  • Schedule the repair needs of the equipment
  • Properly manage the company budget reserved for the department 
  • Create reports of purchases to be sent to the property manager
  • Handle the log of procurements
  • Negotiate numerous maintenance contracts and one-time service agreements with suppliers.

Property managers, like you, are leveraging teams for back-office procedures, like rent collection, maintenance, leasing applications, and much more. They are figuring out the secret to running a successful business whilst reducing on costs.

WHO SHOULD HIRE A VA MAINTENANCE COORDINATOR?

Whether you classify yourself as a small, medium, or large Property Management Company you can start hiring anytime. VA’s, in general, are cost-effective yet come equipped with all the essential qualifications to operate your departments with ease.

Ultimately, adding a VA Maintenance Coordinator means Property Managers can utilize their workdays better. The moment you start incorporating virtual assistants (of any profession) in different departments of your business and hone in on each of these areas, it ensures that any future tasks can just as easily be delegated to anyone who steps in. Virtual Assistants automate workflow and create a systematized process for your company that works to bring you success.

Here’s a Property Maintenance Coordination Playbook you can download anytime. It serves as a guide in implementing best maintenance practices.

Property Management Issues To Look Out For And How To Prepare For Them

Property Management companies face their own unique set of problems. When they aren’t able to resolve certain situations, they can incur a substantial amount of loss.

Determining the main challenges of your Property Management company allows you to gain better insights by:

  • Pinpointing the current issues your company faces, but aren’t aware of yet 
  • Using this knowledge to decrease business risks and exploit opportunities to the fullest

Only then can you begin to explore the solutions that best fit you and your company’s needs.

What Issues Do Property Management Companies Face?

You’ve likely encountered your own set of challenges when it came to dealing with all things Property Management OR you’ve heard multiple horror stories from your friends in the industry. In any case, you know it’s no easy job. With proper systems and processes in place and the right kind of virtual professionals on your team, managing properties becomes a breeze.

If you want to reduce the number of headaches you might face in the future, it’s necessary to consider and plan for:

Issue #1: Maintenance Concerns

Establishments and Buildings (i.e.residential, multi-story, high-rise, etc) need constant care. Tasks including plumbing, installments of electrical systems, and other daily repairs are necessary concerns in any building’s operations and must be done effectively. These types of situations can occur at any given time and you need to be quick and ready to attend to them. Inspections that are done routinely help you uncover critical maintenance issues before it gets to a point of no return, or you get hit with a really expensive bill.

Solution: Preventative Maintenance Care/ Applying Preventative Maintenance

To reduce cost and stress, it is imperative to take preventative measures to keep both the interior and exterior of a property from wearing down. The best way to do so is to incorporate a program, run by your property manager and skilled virtual professionals, to take on this initiative. Their sole focus would be on preventative maintenance measures for quality maintenance/structural care. The reasons are obvious. It’s cheaper to maintain than to replace, and less time is spent doing smaller fixes than huge irreversible damages. This is a vital part of a property management company and ensures the future longevity of a building.

Issue # 2 Payment Matters

Collecting rent on time is a hassle. One of the most common issues Property Owners face is cash flow setbacks and the occasional legal troubles. Tenants miss their payment due dates for a number of reasons but this can be reduced by exerting more time and effort into scanning the right tenants.

Solution: Improve Tenant Screening

Joint Center for Housing of Harvard University did a study on the number of people who were not able to afford their rent. They reached a conclusion that tenants are spending about 30% of their overall salary on housing.

When the respondents were asked how they felt about it. Most of them stated that was a ‘cost burden’ to them and paying that much of their income for housing was a little out of their way. Nonetheless, this does not mean they are unable to pay. It is advised though to consider tenants with a good income-to-rent ratio before accepting renters.

While there is no sure and clear-cut way of avoiding late payments since situations can change at any given point, you can do your best to avoid them. The measures you take can lessen the number of times it can happen. A proper vetting process in place helps you scan for good quality tenants before signing a leasing contract with them.

Some other methods and best indicators for screening out unqualified tenants are to consider contacting landlords (prior to you), reaching out to their company to confirm their employment status, and implementing guidelines for them to follow.

Issue # 3 Managing Tenants (and their complaints)

On a daily basis complaints from renters of all sorts pour in. They can be small issues involving complaints on fellow tenants to bigger issues regarding property damages.

Each complaint needs to be taken into account and thoroughly reviewed, prioritizing those repairs that involve potential problems in the structural aspects of the business.

By making sure complaints are not ignored can help your tenants feel heard and build on the reputation of your company in a positive way.

Solution: Proper Systems and Processes

Most successful businesses have an operations manual for execution, consistency, and scalability. Here are some powerful yet simple tools for streamlining your systems and processes:

  • APFOLIO – manages properties for all property management companies i.e. creating work orders, handling service requests, and managing repairs by coordinating with vendors and tenants
  • ZAPIER – automates all workflow that binds you to your desk i.e. deals to track
  • AMITREE FOLIO – organizes transactions and documents automatically by attaching itself to your Gmail account. It can set reminders and updates service providers to make sure all parties stay on the same page
  • TRELLO – Project management tool used in the real estate industry to streamline transactions

Virtual assistants or Property management VA’s are part of the tech world and are able to handle all forms of tenant communications through the use of these apps so you won’t have to.

The article ’2022: The Year of the Experiential Office’ states that those companies whose strategies involve the use of technology are “best positioned to succeed and cement its future”

Issue # 4 Profitability

There are several factors that can affect your company’s profitability. Two of the most prominent reasons are vacant units on the property and charging rent below the market value.

Solution: Marketing Strategy and Research

The overall impression of a property can either make or break your selling point. It makes a huge difference in the amount of “right” renters you attract. By allowing your property manager to center on market research along with advertising and marketing strategies in place, they can fill up units faster with quality tenants. 

Sometimes, even though your units are occupied, you can still encounter and run into losses. This could be due to the fact that you may be underpricing your rental properties below market value. Having your property manager get your place assessed to determine the actual worth of the lodgings can help probe what others are willing to pay for it. Consider also following this scale which suggests pricing rental properties between  0.8 and 1.1 % of the assessed value of the home. For instance:

A – If a  home is valued at $250,000, you could charge between $2,000 and $2,750 every month.
B – However, if your home is valued under 100,000 or less it’s best to charge rent close to 1% of the value.
C – And if your home is valued at over 350,000 then it’s ideal to charge less to attract more buyers.

Other reasons for incurring profit losses could also be due to improper management. Property managers offer comprehensive series for handling all aspects of the property and are your best bet to eliminating these issues given that they have the time and help needed.

Cue in Property Managers. They oversee and handle the daily operations of a real estate property. It’s important that experts, like them, understand the challenges they face and their remedies for them, referring to both the short-term and the long-run solutions. 

Regardless of the size or situation, all issues faced by your business require a professional on board who has a good understanding of more than just the tenants who live in the rental properties.

Sounds like a lot of work for property managers to handle doesn’t it?

Introducing Virtual Assistants or in this case Property Management VA’s. It should come as no surprise that a lot of this work can be outsourced to help lighten the load for your property managers.

Not convinced it’s a fit for you? Let’s check out the challenges property managers face and then you decide if they and your business need the help or not.

What are the main challenges a Property Manager faces?

The overall objective for property managers is to effectively run a successful business. A study by Unicom revealed that there are about 13 challenges they constantly face, which distracts them from their main responsibility, amongst the top of which are: 

Challenge # 1 – Hiring (and Maintaining) Skilled Professional

49 % of property managers placed acquiring quality team members to be one of the biggest challenges they faced. This industry requires a wide range of skillsets and finding the right ones who are knowledgeable and are capable of keeping up is quite limited.

From searching to interviewing and onboarding of new staff, it requires a ton of time and money. When the wrong team member is brought on but fails to deliver it can create unnecessary delays and hurt your company’s performance.

Both your property manager and your business accomplish nothing at the end of the day.

Challenge # 2 – Increasing Revenue Growth

38 % of the respondents noted that growing their revenue was a difficult task to do since it is not only tough finding contractors to work with but also hard trying to keep up with the unpredictable inflation of costs. 

Challenge # 3 – Handling Property Damage

26% of the individuals’ voiced that unanticipated maintenance occurrences can be very challenging for them. In order to ensure successful handling, preparation ahead of time is necessary.

Challenge # 4 -Time Management

30% of the interviewees revealed that property managers spend most of their time on resolving redundant problems that come their way.

Every minute that is taken away from achieving core business objectives, property managers lose out on the opportunity to increase their revenue, lower costs and increase customer satisfaction. There is just not enough time in the day to do admin work and focus on the main responsibilities.

Challenge # 5 – Lowering Operating Costs

For most businesses, there are two ways in which you can increase profitability which is either by boosting revenue or lowering costs.

When dealing with fixed and unexpected costs, lowering expenses can be difficult. 45% of property managers listed this as one of the most challenging aspects of their job.

As you know, to be a successful property management company, your property manager needs to be able to focus. They must be able to approach objectives thoughtfully and make the most out of available resources. But how do they do that?

How a Property Management VA can help Property Managers?

A property management virtual assistant (VA) is a professionally skilled individual who operates any assigned tasks and duties from home, at an affordable rate. Despite their remote location they are fully committed to your company.

Here’s a brief list of the positions a VA can be placed into within the industry:

If your company faces a restricted budget, opting to go the virtual route is the prime choice. You are able to employ highly qualified property management VA professionals without overexerting yourself or your finances. Hiring as little as one or even growing into a team of 20 is feasible. 

Below is a list of deliverables that a property management VA can achieve for your company:

1. Drive Business Growth

Having a team of professionals is a strong weapon that can propel a company to move forward. With more hands-on-deck, assignments are getting ticked off the list, property managers and owners are able to gain more time within a day and centralize their attention on increasing revenue growth.

The main purpose of hiring a VA property manager is to help landlords and assist property managers in protecting your real estate investment and passive income.

2. Lower Operational Costs

Reducing expenses is something most businesses struggle with. Unaware of the ‘FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF HIRING VIRTUAL EMPLOYEES’ they tend to continue to drown themselves in unnecessary costs.

That being said, outsourcing is essential when cutting on overhead costs since it helps to eliminate having to spend on:

  • Office Space rent
  • Equipment
  • Taxes 
  • Desks

Additionally, virtual assistants are much more affordable than hiring a regular employee and you would not lose out on quality either with our VA’s taking care of the admin responsibilities within a property management company. They are well trained and skilled in their profession to handle all the relevant tasks from rent collection to maintenance care.

The money you save on hiring a VA property manager is now extra cash flow you can allocate to a department more in need.

3. Save You Time

Property managers do not have the luxury of time to effectively handle the core business and repetitive tasks all in a day. The number of tasks they have to perform may involve handling delinquent payments, collections, and evictions. These are considered repetitive or ongoing tasks that happen month over month. A VA property manager can ensure that these tasks are handled efficiently to save owners (and property managers) money and time to focus on core business tasks and opportunities.

4. Efficient Customer Handling

Incorporating a property management virtual assistant into the company ensures emails get answered on time, tasks are completed on a daily basis, and no appointments will be overlooked. On the maintenance side, it would be making sure all requests from tenants involving anything from damaged appliances to infestations of pests or wildlife are attended to.

If there is a lack of support with issues in the rental properties it can lead tenants to take their business elsewhere when their lease is up. So making sure a professional VA is there to provide a positive presence to take care of tenant needs is imperative.

Your VA property manager counterbalances your company’s weak points. You would be updated with all of the real estate management trends, strengthen different aspects of your company while lowering expenses, and increase revenue in no time.

You are now able to clearly identify if you need a Property Management VA or not.

Download a copy of our free Property Management Playbook to get your company heading in the direction of a worry-free business that focuses on driving revenue growth

 

Why Google & Other Successful Companies use Outsourcing

Why Google & Other Successful Companies use Outsourcing

Several of the world’s most successful businesses have one thing in common – they outsource some of their business operations work. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Slack, Apple, Walmart, and IBM have embraced that outsourcing can bring numerous benefits to businesses. These benefits include reduced costs, time savings, employee flexibility, improvement in control of internal resources, and increased access to talent – among others.

Here is why these successful companies use outsourcing to help grow their businesses.

GOOGLE – demand and customer service outsourcing

Although google has an in house team of around 90k employees, they continue to use a lot of contractors. In fact, starting in 2018, the number of contract workers at Google outnumbered their direct employees. 

Google outsources to vendors for two main reasons: it allows them access to global talent that they do not have in house, and it covers their needs during US employees parental leaves. Outsourced employees at Google help maintain profitability for the tech giant year after year.

WALMART – back office operations and accounting outsourcing

As the world continues to transition towards a digital space, Walmart realized they needed to change how they work to reflect changes in how their customers were shopping. To them, this meant outsourcing their back office operations and accounting needs. By doing so, were able to improve quality, reduce process lengths, and deliver more value to their customers. 

MICROSOFT  – customer service and management outsourcing

Microsoft employs 131k in-house employees that are largely supplemented by a contract employees.  Microsoft uses outsourcing to manage the day-to-day of their contract workers, which reduces the workload of their in-house team members. 

SLACK – development, branding and marketing outsourcing

Slack is one of the most widely used workplace communication services. In order to reach their success, Slack outsourced their app design, logo creation, and marketing efforts to help create their product as it stands today. 

Slack vouches for the versatility of strategy when outsourcing – verifying that hiring global talent is crucial for success in building and refining an organizations structure.

WHY DO US COMPANIES OUTSOURCE? 

In addition to decreased labor and operational costs, outsourcing gives businesses access to global talent. The benefits of outsourcing are not limited to large corporations – with the right partner, even startups and SMBs can successfully outsource their business operations. 

A wide range of services, such as call center staffing, telemarketing, lead generation, virtual assistants, and more can be utilized within any organization to grow your business and streamline operations. 

Rocket Station is a Business Process Outsourcing company that is ready to integrate with your business. Contract our part-time or full-time virtual teams to support the growth of your business, products, or services. Contact us to discuss how our company can help you compete with the big corporations.

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