Category: Blog

Millennials are not known for structure but productivity in today’s business context is dependent on it. On the surface it seems putting the words “millenial” and “structure” together in a sentence is next to impossible. However, in a way unique to this generation, these so called “unstructured” and “unproductive” millenials managed to surprise us with productivity tips. Read on to see the some productivity advice from millenial entrepreneurs.

Eat a live frog every morning…

And you will go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is over. When you look at your calendar, tackle the more difficult challenges first. Get them out of the way so you can work on the other “easier” items.

“Do the most difficult task first. You only have so much energy to expend in one day, and your ability to concentrate will dwindle as the day goes on. Therefore, you should complete the task that requires the most mental effort first.”Shaan Patel, CEO

Focus on the big picture

During team huddles and it is best when your team members see the big picture and they understand their contribution to how it will be accomplished. It helps boost team morale and individual motivation.

“When it comes to productivity, I use the Steve Jobs approach and set big milestones for my whole team. I give speeches every week and create an opportunity for everyone to work together in their capacities so that we accomplish the outcome we are looking for as a company.”Gerard Adams, Visionary

Plan Before Daylight Begins to Burn

Plan your activities the night before using your calendar, notebook, or any productivity app.

“The big key is to write out your daily tasks before the day even starts, and I usually do it the night before. This way when I wake up, I’m not wandering around. I’m focused. I like to check things off like a checklist. It helps create momentum and create a feeling of accomplishment.” – Adam Wenig, Digital Marketing Consultant.

Delegate…

until the only tasks left are those critical for you and your position. Using the Pareto Principle (where 80% of your intended results are delivered by doing the critical 20% of your tasks) delegate the mundane tasks to other people. Hiring a virtual assistant is a cost effective way of scaling your business without breaking the bank.

“The 80 / 20 principle is useful way beyond just business. I’ve been able to apply it to multiple facets of my life by asking myself the right questions. After years of being busy and not effective, I started to ask myself, out of all the tasks on my agenda, which ones will directly result in making money or achieving my current goal?.” Cody Mclain, CEO

For other productivity hacks check out codymclain.com 

Selling is an Art, but it is also a Science. Selling real estate is one of those industries that rely heavily on the application of both. Do you want to take you real estate business to the next level? Hire a Virtual Assistant! Your Real Estate VA can help you manage the following process.

Listings

Marketing! This is how your business will be known. Hiring a VA who can handle your social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – will help in getting the word out!  These platforms will drive business to you. There’s so much repetitive work that goes into the development of online marketing and this is where a virtual assistant can help.

Leads Generation

This is key in making your real estate, or any business for that matter, flourish. As an entrepreneur engaged in real estate your cold calling and converting them to hot leads is the most time consuming. Generating and qualifying leads can be done by someone trained by you. Not to mention Leads Generation in this day and age have changed. Blog writing, website management, and legitimate social media accounts can help in generating a pool of leads.

Leverage

The third is sales support. Having someone call and talk to clients is important in pre and post sale. Most agents focus on making two or three contacts to someone. The challenge is what if they’re not ready to buy today or sell on the day they were called? As a real estate entrepreneur you can have your VA follow a call system so you wont lose touch with your clientele. You can also have your VA manage the paperwork and contracts.

There are plenty of things that automation can handle but for everything else, there’s VAs. Your virtual assistant can take care of just about anything you can think of, and plenty of things that you haven’t even considered.

It honestly depends on your definition of “administrative”, but a virtual assistant can do anything, including the following tasks:

📊 Research & Analysis

They’re experienced in helping companies with a variety of services capable of meeting the demands of any fast scaling enterprise. All you have to do is let them handle all the hard work of researching and analyzing.

📸 Photo Editing

VAs have saved hundreds of hours for photographers and other creatives by handling photo retouching, tagging, and organization.

💻 Online Research

Whether your team needs information for product releases, intelligence for staying on top of what your competitors are doing, or finding supporting information for blog posts, your VA can do it.

📓 Data Entry

Whether you need a team of people to enter information, scan or even convert it, you can bet that a VA has got you covered.

📑Human Resources

Scaling a large organization can be a hassle when you have to sort through a large number of candidates. The VAs that I have been fortunate to work with can do everything from managing screening tests, assisting your HR department and much more.

The “in thing” these days – superhero movies. What’s awe-inspiring about these movies is that it is a world where individuals make the impossible happen and such character is Iron Man. If you’ve seen the movies or read the comics you’d find that Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) is a multi-billionaire and has a strong desire to help humanity and he does this by donning an iron armor. Between running his company and being Iron Man, you’d have to wonder how he gets things done? That’s where J.A.R.V.I.S. comes in.

Just A Rather Very Intelligent System (J.A.R.V.I.S.) is Tony Stark’s AI computer. He programmed it to speak with a male voice in a British accent mainly because he was patterned after his butler, Edwin Jarvis who is a key person in his childhood. He was described by Tony Stark in one of the movies as just a natural language UI. Now he runs the Iron Legion. He runs more of the business than anyone besides Pepper.

What does J.A.R.V.I.S. do for Tony Stark that allows him to function between his business and calling?

He Keeps Tony Stark/Iron Man Up to Speed

Managing his calendar? Yes. System failure? He got it covered. Makes phone calls and appointments? That too. J.A.R.V.I.S. has been shown plenty of times to manage all of these and more in the movies and comics.

He is a Business Partner

Not in the strict definition of the word, but whenever Iron Man is in a bind, J.A.R.V.I.S. has his back. He also manages Stark Industries with Pepper. 

He Manages some Areas of Business

In one of the movies, Iron Man had J.A.R.V.I.S. control the Iron Legion and he has each and every one of them to fight along side Iron Man.

He takes Care of Tony’s Personal Affairs

J.A.R.V.I.S. doesn’t only have access to Tony’s calendar but his whole home. Heating, Security, you name it, he has it covered.

Guess what? You can also have your very own J.A.R.V.I.S.. You can make your business work and spend some time doing activities that you are passionate about. Isn’t that a liberating thought? Just send us a message and we’ll set it up.

Mark Twain was once quoted saying “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” This quote is commonly used to refer to our efforts to manage time. In working with many entrepreneurs, I have come to realize that time is a very precious commodity. In fact, it is too precious that it becomes an overwhelming activity for them to make sure that every second count.

If you are an entrepreneur, more often than not, you are caught doing tasks that do not really contribute to the business goals. Writing emails, making phone calls, managing your calendar and the like are important activities but may consume too much of your time that less of it is spent being productive to more strategic activities. Let us change that. Here are some tips for you to be able to make the most out of your day and triple your productivity.

Know Your Goals:

You must first know your business goals. What is it that you aim to achieve and how soon do you want it done? The answer to this question will depend on which stage of maturity your business is in. Whether it is generating leads, building a demand, or penetrating the market, the answer to this question will allow you to do the next step.

Prioritize:

Based on the goals you have identified, you can now see your different objectives and prioritize them based on Feasibility (the ease/difficulty this goal can be achieved) and Impact (effect this goal has on your business). The common practice is, you prioritize the goals that have the most impact as the most feasible.

Know the Activities to Complete the Goal:

Armed with the knowledge of which goals to prioritize, identify the activities necessary to achieve the goal. At this point, you may also begin sourcing for business partners that will serve as support to achieving your goals.

Filter:

Once you have the activities clear. You can cluster them according to the following:

  • Do: The activities that have the most impact should be done by you.
  • Defer: Some activities that have the most impact can be deferred to a later date or can be accomplished after a set of other tasks are completed.
  • Delegate: These activities are important to achieve your goals but can be delegated to someone else. For these activities, you can hire contractors/virtual assistants that can give quality and output. To know where to get the kind of Virtual Assistants that are topnotch and can help you 3X your Productivity click here.

Once you have done all the activities above, you will be able to conserve your energy to complete bigger and more strategic tasks and optimize the use of your time. To know more about how to do this, send us a message and we’ll be more than happy to assist you to achieve your business goals by multiplying your productivity.

Just an observation…

As a Virtual Assistant recruiter, I’ve browsed through a lot of VA CVs and noticed that most would have short stints with their clients. Although some are contractual by nature, some had the unfortunate experience of being replaced by another cheaper VA even when it is at the expense of expertise. Now a lot of factors can be blamed for this, but I’d like to focus on an item called “Customer Retention”.

Customer Retention is one of those business terms that simply means the manner by which you as a service provider gets repeat business or sustains the business of a particular client. This is important to understand especially in a highly competitive VA environment where other people can provide the same service you can faster, cheaper, and sometimes better.

The best way to retain your VA client is by answering this question “What value do I offer my client?”. These are the “non-tangible” or “non-skills based” items you can offer the client that makes you stand out from those who are more skilled or even those who provide cheaper services. Having your clients see your value will certainly lead to a long-term business relationship with them.

Here are the Top 10 behaviors you can focus on to increase your value. Please note these are subjective and its importance may vary from one person to another. As such it is best that you have a conversation with them if you are exhibiting one or more of the following and ask how you can practice these in your business relationship.

  • Reliable
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Agreeable
  • Resourceful
  • Innovative
  • Loyal
  • Accountable
  • Grit
  • Able to Multitask

Now that you know what your clients are looking for, go and have a discussion with them about it. Who knows? Maybe that’s all they’re waiting for.

Maybe you’ve had enough…

The cubicle feels like it’s closing in inch by inch every day. The white noise created by the AC vent gets louder and louder. The length of time it takes to get home gets longer and longer while sleep gets shorter and shorter. Weekday work overlaps to the weekend. Not to mention the arduous traffic you have to go through. One morning, while browsing through social media you see a job ad for a “Virtual Assistant” and you think “Hey, I can do this!”. While it is true that telecommuting (a term for working anywhere at any agreed time) is quite attractive, one question remains to be answered… “what am I expected to do?”. Let this post break it down for you.

A “virtual assistant” (VA) is a person who provides support to a business by taking on the daily and mundane tasks and responsibilities that allows other individuals/businesses to focus on more strategic items. Essentially, what virtual assistants do is take on the clerical (emails, calls, mails, appointment setting, etc.); templated (to do lists, inventory management, etc); or specialized (accounting, graphic design, web building/design/management, etc) services. Because of the different improvements in technology, these tasks can now be done and accomplished by you… if you’re willing.

What kind of services will potential clients be looking for? Some of them are listed below:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Management

  • Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the other platforms of social media is a critical part of the business. As such, entrepreneurs will be looking forward to having VAs who will ensure that their companies come up on top when people search for particular services. The same goes for social media… followers, likes, shares, reposts is a way of advertising that is organic, natural, and effective. If you know how to navigate these platforms, it is something that potential clients are looking for.

Clerical Tasks

  • Managing calendars, appointment setting, note taking, hotel and plane bookings, everything that can be done using a phone and the internet can be done by a VA. If one day the technology to teleport coffee is possible… then you can to get your client’s morning coffee too!

Specialized Tasks

  • Are you a graphic designer? How about a sound and video editor? Music or soundtrack composer? Accountant? Voice actor? Counselor? You can add it to your resume to add value to your being a VA. Skills-based VAs can work per project as a primary or supplemental human resource. Although some system and tools will be needed to make the work easier, especially with file transfer… as you can only attach up to 120mb on emails. The provision of these tools and systems can be discussed with your client.

You think you can do the above-mentioned tasks? Visit “Careers” on www.assistninja.com to launch your VA career. Good Luck!

We all know the value of virtual assistants for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a startup owner or an executive of an established company, the benefits of having a VA is undeniable. Aside from having lower operational costs, you can actually focus on the more crucial aspects of your business.

Hiring a virtual assistant can be both exciting and terrifying. It’s exciting to know that you have someone to delegate tasks but terrifying knowing that you’re letting go some control in your business. If you’re considering hiring one, here are 5 things to consider before moving forward:

Create a list of what you’re looking for

A lot of business owners are complaining that they have too much to do and that they need help. However, they did not take the time to sit down and write the areas wherein they need help. If you’re a business owner thinking of having a VA, it is suggested that you write everything that you do for your business. This means everything – from the most mundane tasks to the big ones. Label these tasks according to which ones only you can do and which tasks can easily be automated, systematize and hire out to. You’ll be surprised to know that there are tasks that doesn’t necessarily have to be completed by you.

Do your research

You should never be hasty when hiring. Don’t be afraid to source out multiple VAs to understand packages and pricing. Most importantly, you need to assess personality types. This person will be a part of your business so it is crucial to select the right fit. Conduct interviews and background checks and ask for references.

Create systems in your business

It is highly recommended to create systems for your business prior to having a VA work for you. You should be able to understand first how you do what you do in the business. This way, you can train your VA effectively and eventually seek feedback on additional systems that you need or revisions to those who are already in pace.

It’s a team effort

You’re hiring a team member that will be a crucial part of your working life. At the same time, this person is also letting you in in his/her life. It’s very important to remember that the success of the relationship is dependent on both of you. Set and define your expectations for your VA, and let them do the same for you.

It doesn’t always work the first time

While you may hear success stories from those who are fortunate to find the right fit VA on their first try, understand that this is not always the case. Diligently look for a good fit and don’t give up on the first try, no matter how bad the experience.

Being a real estate agent or having a real estate firm is not an easy job. You have to deal with buying and selling clients everyday. You tend to work longer hours to secure leads, finish paperwork and learning new tools in your industry. You barely have time to have a work life balance because it seems that there’s no enough time of day to accomplish everything. While it crossed your mind to hire another person, you also considered revenue and cash flow.

There are businesses who have included outsourcing to a virtual assistant as part of their strategy since it has various benefits. As a real estate professional, you should consider this too. Now you may ask yourself, where to start, or what tasks should you outsource first? Here’s a guide on the tasks you can delegate to your assistant:

Administrative tasks

You surely deal with a lot of administrative tasks or rather, you don’t have the time to deal with these. Having a virtual assistant (VA) to act as your Administrative Officer would be a great help as it would free hours from your workday . This can include managing your email and calendar; setup and confirm appointments; as well as take minimal calls. Aside from the ones mentioned, here are other tasks that your virtual assistant can do for you:

  • Prepare conference, seminar materials;
  • Order business cards for you and your team;
  • Email old clients for referral;
  • Draft list of questions for your meeting;
  • Proofread listings

Social Media and Marketing Tasks

To keep up with today’s digital technology, you should have a digital presence for you or your business to stay relevant. Your competitors are online as well as your clients. Your assistant can manage content for your social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. They can also manage your website for uploading new content and moderate comments. Other tasks you can include are:

  • Run online advertisements through AdWords, Facebook or LinkedIn;
  • Create marketing brochure;
  • Preparing and managing newsletters;
  • Handle feedback forms

 

Research

Research is a vital task in the real estate industry as you deal with information. Having a VA can lessen hours of finding a property’s ownership and deed type, or a comparable listed properties in the area. These information are valuable when pitching to a potential buyer. Other research tasks you can ask your VA to do are:

  • Research a property’s curb appeal on Google Street view;
  • Research for public schools and other establishments within the area;
  • Check out the types of businesses in the property’s vicinity;
  • Research on taxes and applicable prorations;
  • Research on agents for the property seller’s destination

These are just a few of the tasks you can outsource to your VA. You can get started by outlining the things you need to focus on and the tasks that hinder you from doing so. From there you can have a defined job description for your VA and you can start hiring and take back the work life balance you always wanted.

Businesses now include hiring virtual assistants (VA) as part of their strategy as this come with various benefits. However, there are still those who are skeptical in doing so. The main reason for this is that they don’t know what sort of tasks to outsource. If you’re a newbie to virtual assistance outsourcing, here’s a guide on the first tasks you can delegate:

Email management and filtering

You can assign to your VA the management of your business’ email inbox and filter your messages into predefined categories. Your VA can group your messages according to priorities so you only deal with important emails.

Autoresponder setup

Email marketing tools such as AWeber and Mailchimp are used for auto responding to your subscribers. Your VA can setup responses using these tools to automate your marketing campaigns and nurture client relationship.

Research

Your VA can do research for your on possible topics for blog posts, newsletters, podcasts and others. Being on tops of trending topics in your niche ensures  that your content stays fresh and relevant.

Basic reports creation

You can task your VA to create basic reports for you such as weekly sales report, deliverables, and other metrics you are monitoring.  This wouldn’t take much time since there are automation tools that they can use such as Whatagraph.

Slideshow preparation

Slideshows are part of business presentations and your VA can help you with this. Just give a clear brief of what you want in your presentation and they can handle it from there. All virtual assistants are adept in using Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.

Liaison between you and other team members

If you’re a businessman who has several team members doing different tasks, you need someone who can be a liaison between you and the team. Your VA can be the point of contact of everyone.

Recruitment

Recruitment is another task you can assign to your VA. They can help you out in sourcing other talents such as developers, graphic designers and writers.

Set-up,manage and update social media accounts

Your business needs to be in the the appropriate social media channels to promote your digital presence. Your VA can help out in setting it up, daily management and update. Social media management tools such as Buffer can make this task easier. 

Blog commenting

Commenting on relevant blog posts in your niche is still an effective way of gaining links towards your site. You can task your VA to do this for you, just make sure there’s a set guidelines on how will they comment on blog posts.

Discussion forums participation

To increase your personal online presence and be an authority on niches you’re targeting, you can participate on discussion forums such as Quora. You can have your virtual assistant do the posting for you, with predefined set of guidelines.

These are just a few tasks for you to get started with a virtual assistant. There are other aspects  that you can outsource so you can focus in scaling big for your business.