Do you own property, especially buy-to-rent properties? Then, it would be best to consider hiring a virtual property management assistant.
In property management, a property manager will oversee the daily operations of a commercial, residential, or industrial property. The everyday tasks of such a person would include holding meetings with potential new tenants, ensuring all rent is paid, arranging for repair and maintenance work to be completed, managing advertising and marketing, and hiring staff. Moreover, the manager is the link between the property owner and the tenants but works for the property owners.
This can be a bit much for a single person – additional help can be helpful. Many businesses are simply outsourcing and hiring a property management virtual assistant.
These virtual assistants are then assigned several tasks that can be completed remotely. This means that the workload for the property manager is reduced. Sometimes, having an onsite manager is not essential; a virtual assistant could easily cope.
What is a virtual property management assistant?
A virtual property management assistant works remotely, assisting the property management department. On average, as with other outsourced roles, the fees charged by such a person are much lower than would be demanded by onsite employees.
A virtual assistant is not a company employee. Such a person is a consultant who primarily assists with non-core tasks. It pays to consider the benefits of a virtual assistant for property management after studying precisely what they can do.
The responsibilities and duties of a virtual assistant property manager
There are two main types of property management − residential and commercial- demanding specific standard tasks. Residential property managers deal with houses and apartments, while commercial managers deal with non-residential property − retail stores, self-storage spaces, office spaces, and commercial buildings.
There are a few minor differences in the tasks for commercial and residential managers. Still, overall, the goal remains similar – to manage the property to benefit the owner. A well-run property is typically well sought after − tenants know that attention is paid to problems. By comparison, a poorly run property is one a tenant steers away from.
The responsibilities of a virtual assistant property manager
1. Managing property management software
Managers use property management software to maintain the data on tenants, contractors, service providers, and accounts, among other things. The virtual assistant property manager will ensure that the property management software is expertly applied.
Subsequently, all information is stored and backed up online using this software. As this is a fully digital process, there is no need for paper files, so costs are reduced, and the work can be done 100% remotely.
2. Handling schedules
Managers need to be on top of their schedules. This involves meetings and collecting the rent while ensuring all maintenance is completed timeously; time management is crucial.
A virtual assistant can ensure that the program is organized correctly. The virtual assistant will manage the calendar to guarantee no appointment is missed. Also, they will handle the inquiries and arrange meetings.
3. Managing grievances and maintenance requests
Even a brand-new building will have some degree of maintenance to be done. This can include servicing air-conditioning units or cleaning communal areas. It is a good idea to keep these areas clean and neat, setting the tone for the status of the apartments.
Current tenants need to be retained and catered for. No one wants tenants to complain or to look for alternative rental space. A virtual assistant can check that all the maintenance issues are handled. This can be achieved by eliciting quotations and arranging for repairs.
4. Developing and applying marketing strategies
Marketing is also part of a successful property business. This is the method used to attract potential tenants. Marketing is also about promoting the name of the property to draw in footfall, especially in the case of a shopping center.
A virtual assistant can help with marketing, including influencer marketing to promote a shopping center or the running of competitions.
The tasks of a virtual property manager assistant
Many of the tasks of a virtual property assistant are admin-based. Here are the critical functions of an administrative virtual assistant:
1. Obtaining and handling applications
Virtual property manager assistants must receive application forms from concerned parties. These assistants can also conduct the first interview through Skype, Zoom, or other online meeting apps.
A virtual property manager can also handle credit checks and communicate with referees to check references. After that, the virtual assistant can begin with the application.
2. Offer virtual tours of the property
A virtual property manager can generate a slideshow, photo gallery, or video of the property and its facilities. This can then be shared with the tenants as a virtual property tour.
3. Handling files
The virtual assistant property manager will enter the data into the property management software to update the database. It is imperative to keep personal info and contact details current to make communication with renters easier and more effective.
The assistant will record all maintenance requests, complaints, and other issues. Each file will contain the problem, before and after pictures, a note on the urgency level, the steps taken, and additional important info. This process will certify that all issues are timeously addressed.
4. Managing contacts
Property managers need a list of vendors, service providers, tradespeople, local government contacts, and other persons and companies. Such contact lists should be kept current in recording the last contact details and charges. A virtual assistant can maintain an accurate list of providers and their rates.
Additionally, such a person can seek new providers and negotiate with them for better rates. This will not only enhance services but also help to reduce your business overheads.
5. Gaining maintenance appeals
Although an assistant works remotely, such a person can still take calls, respond to emails, and send direct messages to assist the tenants. More so, the assistant will record and supply all viewing requests to the property manager and conduct follow-ups, if necessary.
6. Handling bills and payments
An essential task for a virtual assistant property manager is to ensure that all the invoices and utility bills are paid promptly. The assistant can handle the payrolls, release payment notifications, and file accounts and receipts.
7. Following up on overdue payments
If a renter fails to pay their rent on time, the property manager can request the virtual assistant to follow up on the outstanding price. The virtual assistant can then call or email the tenant to alert them to the amount owed.
8. Assist with bookkeeping errands
An assistant property manager can use online tools like FreshBooks to record financial information. In addition, these managers can assist in organizing tax papers, invoices, receipts, and other financial documents. Such will facilitate access to the data and keep track of your funds.
9. List vacant properties
A virtual property manager assistant can update the website and third-party site when new listings become available. To market these vacant properties, the assistant can also search for new websites to post the listings.
Professional virtual assistant tasks
10. Managing social media accounts
Apart from administration tasks, a virtual property manager assistant’s duties could include generating marketing strategies for the property. These efforts are also made to engage with various social media followers, responding to messages and comments on social media.
A virtual assistant could also post videos and photos of the property, add hashtags to optimize the content, and post quotes, real-estate-themed memes, infographics, and testimonials.
Social media management is an uphill task but is also a preferred choice for clients. It is essential not to lose any good potential clients or to receive bad reviews. Instead, hire a virtual assistant to take on these mitigating tasks.
11. Writing blogs, copy, and website content
In terms of SEO, content is king. Content helps to reach more people online and enables your website to be in front of your customers. Such content requires regular release.
Over time, a virtual assistant will help optimize your website to rank higher in online searches. A copy for advertisements, social media posts, and emails will also be needed.
12. Crafting marketing materials
Some virtual property manager assistants will have these skills; otherwise, it would be preferable to outsource these tasks to a virtual graphic designer or a virtual video editor.
Graphic design and video editing can transform your marketing and take it to another level. Visual design can be used for such marketing as posters or catalogs. This provides a professional look to the final product.
What are the benefits of hiring a property management virtual assistant?
There are many benefits to hiring a property management virtual assistant, including:
- Save time and money: Virtual assistants can take care of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks associated with property management, such as tenant screening, rent collection, and maintenance coordination. This frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business or personal life.
- Increase efficiency: Virtual assistants are typically property management software and procedures experts. They can help you streamline your operations and improve your overall efficiency.
- Access expert help: If you’re new to property management or need help with a specific task, a virtual assistant can provide you with the expertise and guidance you need.
- Get peace of mind: Knowing that your properties are being well-managed by a professional virtual assistant can give you peace of mind.
What tasks can a property management virtual assistant perform?
Property management virtual assistants can perform a wide range of tasks, including:
- Tenant screening
- Rent collection
- Maintenance coordination
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Marketing and advertising
- Customer service
- Administrative tasks
How much does it cost to hire a property management virtual assistant?
The cost of hiring a property management virtual assistant varies depending on the experience, skills, and services you need. However, virtual assistants are generally much less expensive than hiring a full-time employee.
What are the qualifications of a good property management virtual assistant?
When hiring a property management virtual assistant, look for someone with the following qualifications:
- Experience in property management
- Knowledge of property management software and procedures
- Excellent communication and customer service skills
- Ability to work independently and meet deadlines
How do I find and hire a property management virtual assistant?
Here are a few ways to find and hire a virtual assistant for property management. You can search online directories, post job listings on social media, or ask for referrals from other property managers.
Once you’ve found a few potential candidates, interview them thoroughly to assess their skills and experience. It would help if you also asked for references from previous clients.
Bonus tip: When hiring a virtual assistant, it’s essential to set clear expectations and provide them with the training and resources they need to be successful. You should also communicate with them regularly and give them feedback on their work.