Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A question we get asked a lot is “What is a Virtual Assistant?” A Virtual Assistant or Outsourced Worker is typically someone who works from their own office using the latest technology to work remotely to complete assigned tasks.
Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits, except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VA’s fees. Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies.
Why use someone from the Philippines and not someone locally?
Most of our Filipino staff are university educated and have previous office and corporate backgrounds. English is their second language so their written and oral skills are excellent. We hire staff from the Philippines for a number of very good reasons.
- Work Ethic
Currently Outsource Workers can supply our clients fully trained full time employees at $7 per hour including GST. Australian invoices are issued monthly.
If your virtual assistant has a sick day (which is EXTREMELY RARE) payment is not required. Most employees will make up the lost productivity after hours or on the weekend. Filipino staff take immense pride in their work and their work ethic is second to none. Their systematic approach and time management skills are exceptional.
Do I have to have someone full time or is part time ok?
Yes we can provide part time employees, however it is our experience that in time you’ll want to upgrade to a full time worker. Once you get your head around all the different tasks that can be outsourced, you’ll start to redesign your business around your new employee.
Depending on the size of your business, it might not be long until you have a team of virtual assistants!
If I commit, am I locked in to any contracts?
If you are not 100% happy with your virtual assistant, bring it to our attention and we’ll either replace them or end your agreement immediately. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
How quickly can I get my new virtual assistant?
Once the paperwork is completed, we aim to have a fully trained worker in your business within one to two weeks.
Do I have to be a Principal of an agency?
Not at all! In fact we wish we had a virtual assistant back when we were agents. We can’t remember how many training sessions were attended over the years where it was told that if we wanted to take our real estate careers to the next level that we had to get an assistant. If only someone had told us we could have got one for $7 an hour!
How do I communicate with my VA?
Generally you’ll communicate with your employee via email and Skype. We recommend each day you say good morning, how was your weekend etc just like you would any other employee.
Do I have to be in the real estate industry?
No you don’t. We can supply virtual assistants to many different industries. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements, no matter your industry!
How do I keep track of hours worked?
Each virtual assistant is monitored on a daily basis by one of our management team members using state of the art software that tracks exactly which tasks your employee is working on. A daily report is generated showing the following:
- Time & task tracking
- Webpage monitoring
- Screen shot recordings every 3 minutes
- Start & finish time
- Breaks taken
How much do you charge and how do I pay?
The cost of your virtual assistant is currently $7 per hour including GST. This works out to be $140 per week including GST. (Based on a 20 hour work week.) You will be issued with an Australian invoice to be paid monthly in advance.
You do not need to pay:
- Sick Pay
- Recruitment costs
- Office Space
- Furniture & Computers
Who will be my main point of contact with Outsource Workers?
Each client will have their own Manager who will be available at all times to assist with any general questions or any issues that may arise. They will be fully aware of how your particular business operates and your expectations. One of their roles will be to communicate with you if your virtual assistant is ill and to ensure start times and work efficiency is carried out to our high standards.
You will also have a second Manager who will be available if for any reason your unable to make contact with your usual point of contact.
Will my virtual assistant be able to work unsupervised?
Yes most definitely. In fact we find that the level of output is generally higher than most Australian workers! Your virtual assistant will not have anywhere near the level of disruptions that occurs in a typical office environment. Each staff member’s performance is individually monitored on a daily basis.
After our training and a short settling in period where systems and procedure are put in place, your virtual assistant will for the most part be able to work very efficiently unsupervised. Checklists and spreadsheets will be used so you can see what tasks have been completed at the end of each day and week.
Can we put our virtual assistant’s details on our website?
Yes you can. In fact we recommend it. We encourage you to treat your new worker as one of the team, just like you would with any new employee.
Can we issue our virtual assistant an email address?
Yes you can. You may want to even set up an email header with your office details and maybe even a photo.
What happens if the internet gets disconnected?
If in the rare event of disconnection or a power failure, your virtual assistant will communicate with their team leader who will contact you via email, phone or via text message. There are often many tasks that can be completed during this time.
Are there any special computer systems required?
We do use specific software to record each employees tasks completed and working hours and a few other programs however these are installed from our end. We try and keep things as basic and as user friendly as possible. Some of the programs such as Skype you may already use. Some programs may need to be installed from the business’s end to complete specialised tasks which we can walk you through installing if necessary.
Can we reward our virtual assistant for their efforts?
Yes you can. Our recommendation would be to let us know the amount you would like to give and we can add it to your next monthly invoice and we can pass it on in full. We do not recommend the post as their postal services isn’t as reliable as ours here in Australia!
Bonuses are certainly not expected but are highly appreciated. Here at Outsource Workers we have our own in house bonus system to reward their efforts.