Whether you’re trying to narrow down the skills for your next virtual assistant hire, or you’re trying to make sure you have the skills needed to become a better VA candidate for an employer, there are typically 9 important skills.
Even those who have finished higher education don’t necessarily have these different virtual assistant skills.
But what’s great to know is that you can develop these skills and grow the necessary knowledge as a virtual assistant and employer.
Let’s take a closer look at the most important skills needed for virtual assistant duties.
Focus On These Virtual Office Assistant Skills
1 – Word Processing Skills
Word Processing is one of the most basic and important virtual assistant administrative tasks.
If you take a few minutes to look at your own business or what potential clients do on a daily basis, then you’ll quickly realise that everything is in some way reliant on being able to format text properly.
Most people just think of this as being able to use word processors and the ability to type at a certain speed. But word-processing also includes data entry and structuring pieces of text. Examples of correctly structured and competently written texts can be found on the Study Crumb platform. Here you can also check your texts for grammatical and punctuation errors using free tools.
Here’s what I mean.
You can learn to type at 80 words per minute, but if that just ends up with large blocks of text and many errors, then it can cause more problems than you’re trying to solve.
Finding the right balance between speed, accuracy, and well-laid-out text will make a huge difference to a business as it requires less supervision.
2 – Oral Communication And Writing Skills
The one thing that businesses need to be able to rely on with virtual assistants at a remote location is that they can depend on the information they receive from each virtual assistant.
In most cases, communication between an employer and a virtual assistant will happen through email and different chat services like Skype, Messenger, or Slack. Being able to communicate effectively in writing that you understand a task, what your progress has been, problems you encountered, and whether you can make certain deadlines is vital to an employer.
But a virtual assistant also has to be able to communicate these things verbally, as there are plenty of employers that prefer to bridge the long distances to their VAs with daily or weekly team meetings.
And then there’s also the need to be able to effectively communicate as part of the administrative support a VA might provide to clients, vendors, and other members of a team. That means effectively creating reports and presentations, sending emails, or scheduling meetings.
3 – Computer Skills
All VA tasks are done with the use of a computer, so it’s vital that all VAs have more than just the most basic computer skills. It’s simply not enough to be able to turn on a computer and launch a few apps.
A virtual or executive assistant will need to have a good understanding of software programs like Microsoft 365, Access, Excel, and Powerpoint.
In addition to this, knowledge of the internet and being able to conduct online research is also very important. Virtual assistance tasks can often expand to providing project support by searching for people, businesses, contact information, and anything else to support an employer.
Advanced internet skills may also be needed if the client requires maintenance and support for his business website or database system. These would generally be listed as separate skill requirements, and having such skills can boost the value of virtual assistants quite significantly.
4 – Self Motivation And Discipline
Across all virtual assistant tasks, motivation and discipline are absolutely essential.
Turning up for work on time every day is important to all employers as they are reliant on the work that VAs complete in a timely way.
Sometimes, there are non-work-related matters that distract virtual assistants while dealing with their tasks, which then result in employers falling behind on important project schedules. VAs have to understand that if they don’t stick to agreed deadlines that this has a negative impact on the business they are working for.
Things that could get in the way of concentrating on tasks are non-important phone calls, a favorite television show, or browsing social media accounts. Because the nature of the job allows more freedom, it’s important to be motivated and disciplined enough in order to succeed.
And success means delivering great work on time every time.
5 – Quick Thinking And Effective Decision Making
While there is a learning curve for every new virtual assistant hire, it’s important that a VA or team of VAs have the capability to think quickly and make the right decisions in situations where time zone differences might mean that a client or employer isn’t immediately available for questions.
In such instances, it’s great to have a virtual assistant who has the experience and confidence to explore different resources for possible solutions rather than waiting for the client to respond.
It’s also important for a virtual assistant to be able to prioritize tasks when they encounter problems. An unexpected system downtime might mean that the highest priority inbox item can’t be completed, but this might provide the opportunity to get general admin tasks out of the way sooner.
Taking a quick initiative like this can be the difference between a great and a good virtual assistant.
6 – Understanding Real Estate Listings
Here at Outsource Workers, our own VA business specialises in providing virtual assistant services for real estate businesses. This predominantly means that a job description for prospective employers will require skills in posting and updating real estate listings.
These can be on many different online platforms where for sale and rental real estate listings may require maintenance work on a daily basis.
This is not just about understanding how to post a new listing for sale but also about being able to manage a large volume of listings with new information as it becomes available.
These are admin tasks that are ideal for handing over to virtual professionals as the amount of time involved in carefully managing these tasks can seriously impact how dollar-effective a business can become.
7 – Managing Facebook Groups And Pages
Facebook is still one of the main social media platforms used by real estate companies. And while it’s a highly efficient way to communicate with potential buyers and sellers, it’s one of those time-consuming tasks that are ideal for virtual assistants.
Outsourcing your social media efforts becomes even more important if you use other social media sites where you might replicate the posts and information you share.
For small business owners, that can end up taking many hours per day, and if you don’t keep on top of your social profiles on a very regular basis, then people will quickly notice that, and it could discredit your social media presence a lot.
8 – Email Management
The more crowded the inbox of business owners and managers become, the more critical it can become to have an administrative assistant perform some regular inbox screening.
This is particularly important first thing in the morning, and time zone differences to virtual assistants can become very favorable. If a virtual assistant can screen an email inbox before the client is at work, then it can save a ton of time.
The screening should follow carefully chosen categorisations where things like mailing list emails get filtered out and the remaining emails separated by the type of query and importance they may have.
Once this process works well, it’s also a great opportunity for a virtual assistant to respond to emails that are requesting to schedule appointments. A VA can respond with a free time slot in online calendars saving the client a lot of time and hassle out of email and calendar management.
9 – Love For Continuous Learning
Ultimately, every business owner wants to get to a stage where a virtual assistant can work under minimum supervision. And to achieve that, a VA should be able to demonstrate a willingness to learn new skills.
As the common saying goes, if you don’t love what you do, then you won’t succeed no matter how hard you try. This kind of attitude will provide the opportunity to take on additional specific tasks.
A virtual assistant who looks out for new learning opportunities and the skills required for valuable work will always succeed and become a valued member of any business.
Finding The Right People
Creating virtual assistant job advertisements is an easy enough task. But going through the recruitment process and then training and managing virtual assistants can become a lot more difficult.
And it’s where a lot of businesses make common mistakes that lead them to believe that a VA isn’t suitable for their organization.
Unless you have experience running your own virtual assistant business, most people are going to be better off with a more hands-off approach.
Here at Outsource Workers, we specialise in creating exceptional teams of VAs with all the skills required to support real estate businesses. Whether you need help with data entry, scheduling appointments, managing online listings, or even making phone calls, we can help you create the ideal team.
It won’t even feel like they work remotely, as they become fully integrated into your daily business process.
Contact us today to find out how we can support any small business in the real estate industry.
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