Virtual Assistant Success Stories: 3 Virtual Assistants Who Made it Big

If you’re a Virtual Assistant today, you’re probably in a better place in your life. You work from home. Clearly, you don’t miss the daily commute to work when you were a 9 to 5 office employee. You can wake up at your leisure. Of course, unless a client requires a morning routine; but otherwise you can savor your morning cup of coffee.

And you have financial independence. The gross income a Virtual Assistant earns will depend on his or her ability to manage time and negotiate rates. Many virtual assistants manage multiple clients that provide various streams of income. A Virtual Assistant can have 10 clients where 4 pay per hour while the remaining 6 pay per project.

But is it possible to earn more than you have ever dreamed of?

Apparently, there are 3 ladies who are living testimonies of the financial windfall that is possible as a Virtual Assistant.

Here are 3 Virtual Assistants who have turned their profession into an enterprise that earns in the hundreds of thousands of dollars:

  • Michele Dale

Michelle is the Founder of Virtual Miss Friday. Originally from England, Michelle had her share of working in various office jobs until the daily stresses finally got to her.

On a whim, she quit her job, sold her house and went to Egypt. There, Michelle spent time pondering on her career. She decided to become a Virtual Assistant and started out by offering Virtual Personal Assistant services.

Currently, her VA company offers Marketing, Administrative and Creative services. She does consultation, online office support, social media, content creation and website design and development.

She estimates her company generates US$30,000 every month. Michelle spends her year traveling all over the world but has never returned to England.

  • Sherry Carnahan

Sherry is the Founder of Total Office, Inc and has been in the virtual assistance business for over 20 years.

Sherry started out with just a typewriter and business cards. She offered data entry, accounting, appointment setting and customer support services to various companies.

After an interview for a magazine in 1997, Sherry was signed up to provide virtual assistance work for many financial companies. It was from there that she expanded her business to include other services.

Total Office Inc. offers services in accounting, content writing, marketing, website design and general office administration.

Sherry estimates the company makes US$13,000 to US$16,000 per month.

  • Michelle Mangen

Michelle is the Founder of Your Virtual Assistant, LLC. Michelle got her moment of inspiration from reading a romance novel where the heroine was a Virtual Assistant!

Tired of the long drives in Wisconsin especially during the winter months, Michelle finally quit her job and decided to do more research on becoming a Virtual Assistant.

After 3 years, she was able to bring her annual income up to US$100,000.

Michelle’s company offers bookkeeping, general office administration, social media marketing and business management services.

Are you ready to become the next Virtual Assistant success story? All you need are drive, determination and the willingness to take on all risk and succeed!

Virtual Assistance Provides Employment Opportunities for the Disabled

The virtual assistance profession does not discriminate when it comes to providing employment opportunities. If you want to succeed as a Virtual Assistant, it will take more than just technical and fundamental skills. You should have the determination, passion and confidence to render high quality work and service to clients every time.

Who best exemplifies determination, passion and confidence than the disabled? While the able bodied in society gripe, complain and compare their lot in life with others, the disabled quietly about their own business. Life has already dealt them a cruel blow. But instead of complaining, they choose to move forward and embrace what life has given them.

Even though their conditions limit their physical abilities, it does not deter them from leading productive lives. They just want to be part of society and be like everyone else. Have a job; a stable source of income and a business to grow.

The virtual assistance profession offers all these and more for disabled people. Technology has helped make this a reality.

Here are reasons why the disabled can have successful careers as virtual assistants:

PC Hardware for the Disabled. For the last 10 years, technology companies have been designing hardware that will allow people with various disabilities to use computers. These customized hardware include:

  • Impulse activated systems
  • Eye scanning devices
  • Braille Output Screen Readers
  • Braille keyboards
  • Foot operated mouse
  • Camera mouse head tracking systems
  • Light operated keyboard and monitor
  • Sip and Puff systems

Software Programs for the Disabled. Technology companies have also designed software that will allow disabled people to perform various work tasks. These specialized software includes:

  • Screen Reader systems
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software applications
  • Non- assistive e-mail and instant messaging programs
  • Text and image magnification software
  • Voice recognition software
  • Dictation software

Safety at Work. A disabled person who wants to become a Virtual Assistant only needs to make sure the place of work is not only conducive for productivity but safe and hazard free.

  • Aisles and doorways leading to the office must be free of obstruction.
  • Telephones, filing areas and bathrooms must be accessible.
  • Work area must be free of clutter and distractions.
  • It must be sound- proof and insulated from outside noise.

To be sure, ask an interior designer or an accessibility Architect for advice on arranging and organizing the work area.

Wide Range of In- Demand Skills. The virtual assistance industry has grown to a point that you can find a professional to carry out the skill you need for your business.

There are no limits to the services you can offer in virtual assistance. You can offer consultancy services, social media marketing, content writing, translation, accounting, IT or transcription.

Your disability may hinder but not prevent you from rendering top quality deliverables to your client.

As a Virtual Assistant, a disabled person can find a rewarding career which he or she could ultimately turn into a private business.

5 Key Oversights Clients Make When Qualifying a Virtual Assistant

When qualifying a Virtual Assistant, it’s not always about administrative skills. You can easily find candidates with the requisite skills to render excellent work. The bigger question is: Can you entrust work with your Virtual Assistant?

Once you give your Virtual Assistant access to your network and begin transmitting work documents, your business already becomes vulnerable. Trust becomes an important factor when working with a Virtual Assistant. But trust takes time to develop and ascertain.

You will have to rely on your good judgment, intuition and creativity to determine if the Virtual Assistant should work for you.

Here are 5 oversights clients make when they are qualifying candidates for Virtual Assistant:

Aligned Values. Set aside the technical and fundamental competencies for awhile. Are you and your Virtual Assistant compatible?

Compatibility is an overlooked quality but will have significant repercussions on the working engagement. Definitely there will be differences in opinion; how resolutions are arrived become of paramount importance.

Compatibility comes down to having aligned values. Do you share common beliefs about work and life in general? The true test is actually working together but knowing that you have similar values is a good sign.

Offline Reputation. Your Virtual Assistant may have aced you interview and tests. But how is she when she is not working? There is no distinction between the candidate as the VA or the private person.

Take some time to conduct due diligence work. A simple Google search may yield surprising results. Check her social media accounts especially Facebook. Social media gives people a false sense of entitlement.

Is it snooping? Put it this way, 68% of hiring managers check the Facebook accounts of potential candidates.

Professionalism. Does the prospective VA respond to your messages within a reasonable time frame? When you contact her mobile number, does she answer in a professional manner?

How a Virtual Assistant manages her business is a reflection of her level of professionalism. It will give you a preview of what it is like to have her onboard your company.

Client Feedback. If a Virtual Assistant candidate refuses to submit or provide references or contact numbers of previous and existing clients, immediately consider that a serious red flag.

The best virtual assistants would be eager to show off their client testimonies or references because they are confident of the services they rendered. Don’t buy the excuse that they are covered by a Confidentiality Agreement.

All they need is to provide at least 2 credible clients with the updated e-mail addresses and contact numbers.

The Intangibles. If your Virtual Assistant candidate has a website, take the time to visit it. Take note of how it is designed; the use of content, navigability and usability. It is a reflection of how they view their work.

Check the online profile of the Virtual Assistant. Is it current or updated? Is it the same as the one submitted to you? Are there obvious spelling and grammatical errors?

If the work portfolio is accessible, click unto it and make an honest assessment.

When it comes to qualifying virtual assistants, it pays to be thorough. Remember, you are conducting work through the virtual world. It is very difficult to oversee performance in the absence of shared space collaboration.

8 Time Management Hacks for the Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant is a virtuoso when it comes to time management. But believe it or not, they could get overwhelmed too. Here are 8 time management hacks a virtual assistant should consider to maintain productivity:

  • Get 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep Every Day. Productivity begins the night before. Doctors have long advocated getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep for better brain and body functioning. If you get less than 7 hours, you will feel sluggish and your level of cognition will be compromised.
  • Do an End-of- the Week Review. At the end of every work week, ask your client if he or she is amenable to do a review of the previous 5 days. Assess performance, identify potential problem areas and draw up courses of action for implementation the following work week.
  • Target 4 Hours of Productive Work Every Day. According to research, regular office workers only accomplish 90 minutes of productive time per day. That’s only an efficiency rating of 18%. If you dedicate 90 minutes to complete a task, 4 hours or 360 minutes would mean you could accomplish 4 tasks every day!
  • Never Multi-Task. Even in this day and age of smart phones and digital technology, you should never multi-task. You will open yourself up to making mistakes because your focus will be divided. Dedicate full and undivided attention one task at a time. Always keep in mind that it’s the quality of work that counts, not the quantity.
  • Set a Target of 3 Goals Every Day. Goal setting is a powerful tool for improving productivity. But make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. Review your list of tasks and determine which ones are urgent and have more immediate deadlines. Then rank them in order of priority. Do this at the end of your work shift.
  • Schedule Work Breaks. If you work too hard, too long you will eventually break down. There is a limit to your capacity to remain focused and productive. The more you work, the less productive you become. Put in a 30 minute break every time you accomplish a task. It could be a nap, a quick meal or a short walk to clear the mind and get circulation going. Short breaks help recharge your batteries.
  • Learn to Say “No”. It’s great to be in demand but you should not be taking in any more clients if it will affect your commitments to others. The clients that you have now will help build your business. As long as the quality of your work remains consistent, you can be rest assured your clients will continue to give you more business.
  • Get Help. Another solution if you continue to get job offers is to hire your own Virtual Assistant. You can delegate spillover work to him or her. Start out with an easy project; one where the probability of mistakes is very small. Propose an income sharing arrangement. For example, if you are getting paid $12 per hour, pay your assistant $7. You may not get everything but you get a new client nonetheless.

Effective time management will get more things done and improve productivity. It’s not just about watching the clock. You have to be mindful and strategic on how you utilize time on a daily basis.

real estate virtual assistant productivity

How To Increase Productivity Using A Real Estate Virtual Assistant

In the real estate profession, you have to wear many hats: marketer, salesman, researcher, financial consultant and administrator among others. A typical day can require you to constantly switch hats depending on what needs to get done. And that is the problem confounding many real estate agents. Are you doing things that need to get done or have to get done? Having a need implies urgency which is a consequence of poor time management. Productivity demands effective time management which you can achieve by using a real estate Virtual Assistant.

Take a moment if you will, to review your calendar from the previous work week. Ask yourself these questions:

  • On average, how many hours did you work every day?
  • How many goals were you able to attain per day?
  • How close are you to converting your warm leads into sales?
  • Are your files, social media accounts and MLS records updated?
  • Do you have a backlog on e-mails and other correspondence?
  • Do you feel exhausted, tired and stressed out?
  • Are you frustrated with your progress and wish you could get more things done?

Everyone wants to be productive. The problem is many believe that productivity is measured by the number of items that you can cross out of your “to-do” list. Yes, productivity is a numbers game. But it is about accomplishing tasks that directly contribute to the growth of your business.

Meeting clients, showing properties, delivering corporate or group presentations, negotiating contracts, attending open homes and auctions are activities that can translate to money in the bank.

Filtering e-mails, taking calls, updating MLS records, posting in social media, setting appointments and managing your calendar do not. Although these tasks need to be done to keep the business organized, for entrepreneurs, these are time- wasters. You will be better off delegating these tasks to a real estate Virtual Assistant.

Research has shown that we only average 90 minutes of productive time every work day. That means in an 8 hour work day, people are only productive 18.75% of the time. At that rate, you will have a difficult time building your business.

By hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant, you can increase your productivity by 300%. Here’s how:

1. Identify Your Business Core Functions

Review your business model. Write down all the tasks and responsibilities that need to be done. Next, identify the core functions of your business and separate these from the non- core functions.

The core functions are those that you as business owner have to attend to. These are the activities that will grow your business and make it succeed. The non- core functions are non- essential tasks that serve to support and organize the business but do not directly contribute to revenue.

2. Qualify Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Once you have identified the non- core functions, use them to qualify the type of Virtual Assistant you need for your agency.

In real estate, you have to cover 3 key areas of responsibility: marketing, sales and administration. Ideally, you should hire a Virtual Assistant with the following skills:

  • Phone handling
  • E-mail filtering
  • Scheduling
  • MS Office
  • MLS management
  • Social Media
  • Website management
  • Customer relations

Adjust your qualifications accordingly. For example, if you have several warm leads you may want to focus on finding a Virtual Assistant with experience and a good track record in conversions.

3. Delegate the Non- Core Functions to the Real Estate VA

When you have hired your real estate Virtual Assistant, take the necessary steps to clearly explain his or her scope of work.

  • Attach a copy of the Scope of Work as an addendum in the contract.
  • Orient the Virtual Assistant on each and every item on the Scope of Work.
  • Encourage feedback to make sure the Scope of Work is understood.
  • Include guidelines or benchmarks to serve as the Virtual Assistant’s references for quality of work.

It is very important to have a system in place that ensures effective communication, proper collaboration and clear protocols for work submissions.

4. Establish 3 to 4 Goals Every Day

Now that you have delegated the non- essential tasks to your Virtual Assistant, you will have more time to focus on the business side of things.

Goal setting is a proven method for increasing productivity. Identify 3 to 4 goals that you want to accomplish on a given day. Dedicate 90 minutes per goal; this means 100% focus, no distractions. Once you have accomplished your goal, give yourself 30 minutes to rest.

The rest period is meant to “recharge your batteries”. You can use this time to eat, nap, take a walk or do errands.

Assuming you picked out 3 goals to accomplish this means you worked a total of 360 minutes or 6 hours on that day. If you accomplished all 3 goals, then your productivity rate can be measured at 270 minutes/ 360 minutes or 75%. This is a 300% improvement over the average productivity rate of 18.75%.

5. Track Business Performance

At the end of every work week, schedule a meeting with your Virtual Assistant and discuss the following:

  • Summary of Targeted Tasks
  • Summary of Accomplished Tasks
  • Metrics on performance
  • Issues, problems and other pressing concerns encountered during the work week
  • Courses of action and alternatives that can be implemented to resolve the problems
  • Summary of Targeted Tasks for the following work week
  • Summary of goals to be achieved the following work week
  • Updates or news on latest developments

When it comes to productivity, your best approach would be to remain conservative. It’s not the number of tasks you accomplished but how you achieved them that matters. Quality of work must always take precedence over quantity.

Do not aim to accomplish 4 goals if upon thorough review, it may seem likely that 2 goals is the more realistic target. Keep in mind that conditions may change on a daily basis. There are unforeseen factors that may come into play while working on a goal and sometimes these will be beyond your control.

However what should be clear is that by delegating work to a real estate Virtual Assistant, you will have better time management practices in place. And this alone will increase your level of productivity every day.

Renting In Australia- A Tenant’s Guide

Renting In Australia: A Tenant’s Guide

If buying a home is out of your budget, renting in Australia is the next good option. But renting a home isn’t simply a matter of choosing a place you like and paying the required deposit to the landlord. There are factors that must be considered and procedures to be observed. And in a market where supply is tight, renting a home could present some challenges.

Finding Your Own Place

Renting a home is a decision that must be well- thought out. You must consider all factors and scenarios covering a specific property. The conditions can change depending on where you plan to rent in Australia.

1. Practicality:

  • Is the cost of rent within your budget?
  • Will your current source of income be enough to cover rent and other cost of living expenses?
  • Is the place near your place of work or study?
  • Will you be renting within proximity of commercial areas?
  • Is the place accessible by public transportation?
  • What is the peace and order situation in the area?

2. Cost:

Australia has some of the most expensive real estate in the world. It should not surprise you that its cost of rent could likewise be expensive. Again, this would depend on the city state you plan to rent. But there are upfront costs to be considered and these could be quite significant.

For example, if you are planning to rent a place that goes for $250 a week, the cost of moving in can be broken down as follows:

  • Advance Rent equivalent to 2 weeks rent – $500
  • Security Bond equivalent to 4 weeks rent – $1,000
  • Pet Bond assuming you own one – $260

Take note that we have not factored in the cost of moving furniture and other related expenses. In this scenario, you are looking at a total upfront cost of $2,000 or more.

The Process of Renting Property in Australia

Once you have found a place that suits your needs and fits your budget, the next step is to comply with the requirements of renting property in Australia.

Property rental in Australia is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 1989. These laws are designed to protect your rights as a tenant and outlines the responsibilities of the parties to a rental agreement.

There are forms that have to be submitted and fees to be paid before you can be accepted as a tenant:

1. Tenant Application Form – The landlord or Property Manager will ask you to fill out a tenant application form which will be used to assess if you qualified to have exclusive possession of the premises.

In addition to the application form, you may be asked to submit the following:

  • Proof of Employment or pay slips
  • Photo ID
  • Cover Letter
  • Proof of Previous Rental History
  • Character References

In order to save time, make sure you have all the documents ready. The place you are interested in renting could have a long line of suitors. The landlord will award the premises to the first party that qualifies as a tenant.

2. Option Fees – The landlord may require you to pay an option fee while they verify your application and the documents you submitted. The amount of the option fee would depend on the cost of weekly rent and the location of the property.

Always verify the option fee before proceeding with the application process. If you decide not to push through or if you are not awarded the use of the premises, the option fee should be returned to you in full within 7 days.

If you are awarded the lease of the premises, then find out if the option fee can be applied to first month’s rent.

3. Tenancy Agreement – Renting property in Australia may require both parties to enter into a written tenancy agreement.

Although non-written tenancy agreements are recognized under the law, a written one gives more clarity on the terms and conditions covering your use of the property. It presents little room for argument in the event of disputes or arbitration.

The landlord may offer you a fixed-term or periodic tenancy which specifies a start and finish date. Another option would be a periodic tenancy agreement which could cover an indefinite time period for leasing the premises.

The written tenancy agreement is an important document. It outlines the provisions of your relationship with the landlord or Property Manager. Take the time to fully understand its stipulations and what you are agreeing to before affixing your signature.

If possible, ask an attorney who specializes in real estate law to review the contract and explain the conditions to you.

Once both parties have agreed and signed the tenancy agreement, the landlord must give you a copy.

Australia certainly has a lot to offer. A stable economy with good job opportunities, some of the world’s best universities and plenty of wonderful sights to see. These are just a few of the reasons why Australia’s real estate market continues to attract both local and international interest.

Thus, when planning to rent in Australia, have all your documentation ready and make every effort to fast track the tenant application process. Properties can easily come off the market as more people are looking for places to rent.

Three tips on becoming a more successful real estate agent

Three tips on becoming a more successful real estate agent

As a real estate specialist isn’t simply to offer or purchase a home for your customers, however, to likewise give quality information and experience that relates to the business. There are numerous classes that can separate you from your immediate rivalry, as you pick up validity for being the territory’s land master. Execute these three tips to end up a useful real estate operator and expansion your upper hand:

1. Have an abundance of local knowledge

Numerous purchasers and vendors are searching for a real estate virtual assistant that offers more than only a useful reputation. Truth be told, you can emerge from different operators by highlighting your insight about neighbourhoods. At the point when a customer is hoping to purchase or offer their home, they need a land operator that is acquainted with the range to guarantee ideal results. Expand your nearby information, and increase that upper hand.

2. Have strong communication skills

Nobody needs a real estate specialist who’s hard to get tightly to. Continuously decide every customer’s favoured technique for correspondence and also the recurrence they seek – and focus on it. Purchasers and merchants need a land specialist that they can believe, one that will be immediate and let them know the genuine actualities about their circumstance. Impeccable the ability to be straightforward and careful about everything from the deal cost to timing, and advanced entirely through the purchasing procedure.

3. Have connections

All of the top real estate operators have a considerable rundown of associations, whether it’s a review of potential purchasers or other land specialists in the range that they can work with. Begin systems administration to wind up more fruitful inside the business. You additionally need to hone up on your association abilities, which will permit you to be more productive and brief when speaking with your customers.

Turning into a fruitful real estate specialist is as simple as having these three standards. Devote yourself to your clients and to giving astonishing administrations, and the achievement will take after.

How to increase your earnings without selling more homes

How to increase your earnings without selling more homes?

Some may assert that the present subsidence is behind such small numbers, yet as a general rule, they’re not that different today than they were five, 10, or 15 years prior. Tragically, the pay levels as depicted above have dependably been around.

Here are four tips for expanding your yearly pay throughout the following 12 months:

Plan Ahead

plan earnings increase

Tragically, numerous land geniuses enter the business with no arrangement. Most exceedingly dangerous yet, most experienced specialists I know have no arrangement! In the wake of contributing hundreds (and here and there thousands) of dollars, significant time, and a tiring examination, numerous newcomers wind up with a land firm that has no arrangement for the following 30, 60, or 90 days.

A strategy for success is vital in the real estate. Without a stable arrangement, you’ll likely wind up wasting your time.

Take Action

take actions for better earnings

At the point when fabricating your activity arrangement, utilize a layout and run down every one of the things that you plan to accomplish for each new posting you take. One great approach to fabricate activity arrangements is to duplicate or print out three or four schedule pages and decide when and how frequently you might want to speak with your customers. What promoting tries do you have to execute through the span of the assertion? Pretty much as you need a “marketable strategy” for your business, each new posting and each new purchaser you go up against necessities a different commercial strategy.

Work Your Sphere

work your sphere

As per a few pieces of information, according to For Sale By Owner, 57 percent of first-time home purchasers discovered their land operator through the proposal of a companion, relative, or collaborator. Thirty-nine percent of all shoppers and vendors said they found their specialist through this procedure.

If this information does not fortify the way that you require loved one’s individuals prescribing your administrations, then please rehash those insights above. Working your authoritative reach is one of the best things a land ace can do consistently. Send cards and letters every month, make telephone calls, and, if the open door emerges, make a trip and make an individual visit.

Prospect

prospect homes

Prospecting is the soul of a striking deals vocation: Without new business, you’ll, in the end, leave the business. Make it a point to set objectives on what sorts of prospecting you’ll accomplish for the day, week, or month. Monitor your calendar and figure out where you’re squandering time, and roll out any essential improvements to achieve your prospecting objectives. Likewise, make sure to record your prospecting goals where you can see them and be helped to remember your jobs needing to be done.

The way to expanding your wage as a land proficient is to stay industrious and do the right things. When you have a firm composed strategy for success, set objectives, prospect day by day, and have a decent state of mind, you’re sure to succeed.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Services

As we head off toward 2017, the future looks bright for companies that have been outsourcing services. Outsourcing is a process that capitalizes on regions that provide a comparative advantage in cost without affecting revenues or productivity. It functions by providing a hedge against uncertainty and turbulent economic periods.

If you have been keeping track of the news, times have never been more uncertain and turbulent. Equities markets worldwide are unstable. Political regimes are collapsing. Threats of war and conflict appear more imminent. Global warming continues to wreak havoc and destruction in different parts of the world.

All of these events have established conditions that lead to an increased demand for outsourcing services.

But is outsourcing the “be-all” cure for what ails your business?

There are pros and cons of outsourcing services that you have to be aware of before you decide on implementing the process:

Pros:

  • Reduces cost of business – The greatest comparative advantage lies with labor. If you hire virtual assistants or outsource work to home based workers, you only pay for the hours they render service. If you outsource work to remote locations such as the Philippines and India, the rate per hour can be 50% lower.
  • Improves productivity – By outsourcing non-core functions, you can focus more on the core functions of your business. You can also re-purpose cost savings to fund revenue-generating projects.
  • Increases quality of work – Not only do you improve your quality of work but even the non-essential tasks are managed properly. You can even outsource technical skills to people who are more qualified than you.
  • Improves business flexibility – Do you want your business to be managed 24/7? Outsource work to talent from the Philippines and India. Time zone differentials make it possible to have your business supervised even after office hours at no extra cost.
  • Reduce the risks of business expansion – If sales volume did not increase enough to warrant additional manpower, simply terminate the outsourcing agreement. There are less legal issues to be concerned about when you outsource services.

Cons:

  • Cultural and Social Nuances – If you are planning to hire virtual assistants from other countries, you will have to deal with cultural and social nuances that may impact on the working relationship.
  • Language Barrier – Another problem when hiring virtual workers or contracting service providers is language. A difference in perspective in combination with social and cultural nuances will lead to miscommunication.
  • Data Security – Whenever you work across the virtual world, you are at risk of transmitting confidential data or giving access to your business network. There have been cases when a breach of information has lead to the downfall of business.

The answer to whether you should be outsourcing services or not comes down to one question: “Are you managing your business from the position of revenue generation or cost savings?”

If you are focused on generating revenue, then you should outsource services. Although outsourcing reduces business costs, it provides you more options to improve revenue. The risks or “Cons” of outsourcing can easily be managed through smart planning and the implementation of adaptable security protocols.

Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant or Download an App?

Technology makes it seem appear the days of the human Virtual Assistant are numbered. Apple started the revolution last 14 October 2011 when it launched its virtual assistant “Siri” with the Apple iPhone 4S. Since then other technology giants such as Motorola, Black Berry, Facebook and of course, Microsoft followed suit.

But does that mean the human Virtual Assistant will go the way of the dinosaurs and become extinct? Is Siri the virtual comet that ends the civilization of human virtual assistants?

The answer is an unequivocal “No” for the following reasons:

Human VA’s Have Foresight. In an unpredictable business environment as we are in right now, you need to implement flexible strategies.

The key to having effective flexible business strategies is foresight because it helps you anticipate changes in conditions before it happens.

People have the capacity to foresee because they are constantly working, learning and thriving. Tech VA’s functions depend on their programming capabilities.

Human VA’s Can Adapt. When a human VA foresees change, he or she can conceptualize strategies or introduce revisions to the current one in order to accommodate potential problems.

Tech VA’s are limited to the extent they can design, adapt and implement changes to strategy. Even if they can, they will not conduct tests and assurances the human VA does to ensure risks are mitigated.

Tech VA’s Have No Empathy. If you think dealing with human Customer Service is frustrating, try dealing with a customer service with a tech VA.

Customer service is all about creating a feedback loop between the end user and the service provider. The feedback loop allows a consistent exchange of ideas that will hopefully lead to a resolution.

It is common for human VA’s to deal with irate customers online or over the phone. In order to placate the customer, the Virtual Assistant must know how to re-route the negative energy and navigate it toward positive solutions.

You need empathy for this; the ability to place oneself in the position of the customer. Siri and the rest of the tech VA’s do not have empathy.

Tech VA’s Have a “Hidden Agenda”. Before you decide to download a tech VA, you should understand there is a price to pay for the convenience. These technology giants use the tech VA’s to compile information about users.

Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and all of these giants want to know your online behavior so they will know which products or services they can sell to you.

It should be no surprise that over the last few years, Facebook has been moving away from being a social media site to becoming an advertising company.

Big Data is Big Business; if they have information on you, they can monetize this in a number of ways.

Despite their imperfections, human Virtual Assistants remain more valuable than a tech VA. If your human VA makes a mistake, it is easy to rectify the issue and come up with an immediate solution. But tech VA’s may require program reviews and further analysis.

In a volatile and unpredictable world, perfection is not a realistic objective. In fact, it is precisely because of the imperfection of the human VA that makes him or her more valuable in this day and age.