In this 3 part series, we will answer the most common question asked of us over here at Cutyourpayroll.com.
What can a Virtual Assistant do for my business?
Glad you asked! I wrote an article a few months back titled, The first eight tasks you should outsource. It was well received, but it was just a quick fly over on the topic. Over the next two weeks we will dive deeper and generate some more ideas for you.
This is high impact stuff and will change your life for the better.
Question: How are wars won?
Answer: By winning many small battles.
Winning your war I imagine would something look like this:
You doing 100+ transactions per year
You working 20 hours per week
You taking 2 to 3 vacations per year (not the keep it short or get fired kind either)
We have to win the small battles to win the war, but what are they? Let’s start with 5-10 minutes blocks of your day.
Saving 5-10 minutes of work, 5 to 6 times throughout your day ads up to a minimum of 6 hours a week. Here we go from 40 hours to 34 hours per week. Winning!
Yes It is a lot of work to put this in place, but if we methodically remove ourselves from the minutia of every day business, it’s a victory. Small battles. This allows you to work with clients, convert leads or close deals. It allows you to do the big money / high impact tasks.
This week we will discuss the #1 timewaster fidget…Email. Let the battle begin!
Realtors spend an average of 3 hours checking and responding to email per day. Don’t bother looking for the stat, I couldn’t find one. I just asked a lot of Realtors. Email is a time waster. Period. You’re doing one thing and then you stop to look at a new email. You know it feels so wrong, but you just can’t help it. It’s distracting.
If we could allow ourselves an email diet of 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, that would save us 2.5 hours per day or 12.5 hours per week. Want to see someone move with a purpose? Give them 15 minutes to clear their inbox at 12pm and 15 minutes again at 4pm.
This is a major battle win and puts us on the path to winning the war.
Email is the world’s desires on your time. Don’t bow down to their whims. Do what is important to you first and let Email be an after thought. Like checking your real mailbox. (All mine has is bills and junk mail, so it can wait! Haha)
Here are 3 tips and strategies to responsibly unplug from the matrix and hand off your Inbox to your Virtual Assistant.
Tip #1 Email Rules
Most servers like Gmail and Outlook allow you to assign “Rules” to certain routine emails that come into your Inbox. Setting these rules up allows your server to recognize a routine email, forward it to your VA and file it away. All while you are away. I personally use this feature to cut my emails down by 50%. Thats 50% less time spent in the inbox trap.
- – Leads and customer inquires (My VA processes, enters them into our CRM, puts them on an MLS search E-Alert, Puts them on a drip and assigns them to a referral broker. <= Shake your money maker!)
- – Showing Feedback reports
- – Showing Requests on our listings
- – Junk mail I want opted out of.
- – Broker questions on our properties
- – Listing status edits
- – Etc. Etc.
Note: All the items above require a process to complete. Write the process, as you want it done, share it with the VA and set the rule up. Do it right once and kiss the task bye-bye forever.
Tip #2 Random Acts of Task-ness
No doubt, you get lots of non-routine tasks that you kind of would like to get done as well. These can also invade your valuable real estate of the mind. Remember the highest and best rule.
I try to think as little as possible about emails as they come in, because I have my own agenda. Making X amount of $, while working X amount of hours. Anything else is a roadblock or mental hurdle.
- – Editing listings or putting in new ones you just locked down.
- – Attending webinars that interest you. (I have the VA take crib notes and send them to me after)
- – Checking portals for your goodies. Ie, blog replies, Facebook trolling, Google Analytics key metrics.
- – Helping respond to clients
- – Researching things
- – Setting up and responding to utility companies
- – Etc. Etc.
Quickly delegating these things will save you hours of valuable time. Delegating also allows your brain to stay sharper longer. You only have so much brain-power to last through the day. Save it for important stuff, like getting clients to walk in the door. Delegating pays HUGE instant dividends.
When I look through my email inbox, very rarely does an email get more than 1-3 seconds of my time before it is forwarded off the proper assistant. That’s how we can save so much time.
The 3 important questions to ask your self are:
- 1. “Do I need to do this task”
- 2. “Is it the best use of my time”
- 3. “Can I influence the outcome by doing it myself?”
Tip #3 Auto-responders
A well crafted auto-responder is great when it directs the email intruder to another human’s email inbox besides yours.
“Hello, This is Jane Doe I will be out of the office from August 1st to August 14th. If you need assistance, please email my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org She is here to help with anything you may need during my absence. “
Have the VA forward you anything that resembles an emergency to a private email, or have them leave you a text or voicemail. It works like a charm. A few years ago, I would have told you to leave a cell phone number in case of emergencies, but the problem is, they will call it, even if it’s not an emergency. (I had a client call me during our 2nd child’s birth for some non-sense that my staff was already on top of).
Let your VA decide. Make them your screener. Your protector.
In closing, Time invested in teaching your VA how to do the things I have described above will pay immediate dividends for around $100-200 per week. Would you pay $100-200 per week to work 10-20 hours less? Yes for me. Many times, YES!
P.S. We only covered one topic today.
Next week’s topic Starts with a “P”
If you are still with me, share this article or comment on it. I would be happy to further the conversation.