The Level Up Your Business Podcast

Show Notes

Episode 003 of Season 1

Clickable Show Highlights

[0:51]  The topic of today’s episode
[1:47]  Working with virtual assistants thousand of miles away
[2:18]  Tools that I use to communicate and manage virtual assistants
[2:45]  Tool 1: Viber
[4:26]  Tool 2: Zoom
[6:33]  Tool 3: Asana
[9:01]  Tool 4: G Suite
[10:18]  Tool 5: Calendly
[11:40]   Putting the tools in action

Quotes:

 "The key to being able to manage a staff located across the globe is to have good tools in place that will ensure you're able to run your business as smoothly as if your staff were local."

Resources:

  • Viber  - Make calls, send messages and much more - freely and securely
  • Zoom - The #1 video conferencing and web conferencing service on the web
  • Asana - Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.
  • G Suite - All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
  • Calendly - Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails.

THE LEVEL UP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG

 5 FREE TOOLS TO RUN YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS USING VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS


I've been running my real estate business primarily with a staff of virtual assistants since 2009.

Most of my staff lives thousands of miles away. I've worked with virtual assistants in the Philippines, India, Italy, and also different parts of the United States. 

The key to being able to manage a staff located across the globe is to have good online tools in place that will ensure you're able to run your business as smoothly as if your virtual staff were working right down the hall from you. 

I'm going to share with you the tools that I use every single day to communicate and mange my virtual assistants. And the great thing is most of these tools are completely FREE - and even the paid versions of the tools cost less than your weekly Starbucks bill. 

Today on the Level Up Your Business Podcast, discover 5 FREE tools to run your real estate business using virtual assistants.

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VIBER

Viber is one of the game-changing tools that’s allowed me to be twice as productive and focus more on revenue generating activities since it makes it very easy to communicate and delegate tasks to my virtual staff - as well as easily share files in real time.

Like I mentioned, I have a virtual team located in different parts of the globe. With Viber, we’re able to communicate worldwide using video and voice calling as well as text messaging in real time...

...and by the way - IT’S FREE.

We also use the app to:

  • Send files - like contracts and purchase agreements
  • Send pictures - like rehab pics for properties
  • Send videos - like property walk-throughs that we need uploaded to a website

We even use Viber like a walkie talkie if I'm not a position to text or call.

For instance - if I'm driving and I want to provide some instructions to my virtual assistant but I obviously can't text and I don't want to make a call - I can choose to hold down a button in the Viber app that that will record my instructions and provide them to my virtual assistant in real time. 

The other nice thing is Viber syncs with your mobile, tablet and desktop so you have your messages and files across all your devices.

ZOOM

The second tool I use to communicate with my virtual assistants is Zoom.

Zoom is a video conferencing app. You can use it for video calls, voice calls, screen sharing, and to host webinars.

You might be thinking, why would I need to use both Viber and Zoom since there is so much crossover in their functionality - such as the ability to make video calls and the voice calls anywhere for free. 

Here's the difference in how I use them in my business:

I leave the Viber app open on my desktop and on my phone at all times. That means anytime my staff needs to message me, or I need to touch base with them, we receive a notification with the message on whichever device we're on at the time. 

I use Viber primarily for text conversation and quick file transfers. I also use it for really quick video calls on the fly.

But when I want to do a longer video call; share my screen to do a training or demo with my virtual staff; host a webinar; or record a video call that I can refer to later and use as a training reference - then I use Zoom. 

Also, the quality of the Zoom video conferencing is superior to Viber.

Some of the other great features with Zoom are:

  • check
    You can create a link in Zoom and send it to anyone in order for them to join you in a video or voice conference. Or you can send a link for a video/voice conference to be scheduled in the future. 
  • check
    Like I mentioned, you can record your sessions so you can refer back to them later. This is especially good if you want to create a video training library for your virtual assistant.
  • check
    You have the ability to remotely control someone's computer once you've been granted permission. This is good if you need your virtual assistant to take care of something that needs to be done on your laptop, such as troubleshooting.

And the other obvious benefit is Zoom is FREE. 

You can use unlimited Zoom video and calling time for one-on-one meetings, whereas conferences of 3-100 people are limited to 40 minutes under the free plan. There are no time constraints regardless of the number of people on the paid plan.

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As real estate entrepreneurs, we know there are a lot of moving pieces in our real business - rather it's keeping track of communication with buyers and sellers, making sure offers are progressing through each stage, or managing  vendors on a rehab project. 

That's why when you're managing a virtual assistant as well as local staff - it's important that you have a system in place to make sure everyone is accountable and nothing falls through the cracks.

I've been through quite a few project management tools, but my hands down favorite tool to manage my virtual team and my personal life, is Asana.

First off, Asana is a tool for organizing personal or team work, basing the system on individual tasks framed into bigger projects.

It’s incredibly helpful when it comes to keeping up with deadlines, keeping track of projects, and making you and team members accountable.

The nice thing about Asana is you can get most of the functionality that you'll need in order to run your real estate business using the free plan. Although there are some features in the paid plan that make it worthwhile, in my opinion.

The plans are very affordable. There's obviously the free plan, but even the the monthly paid plans (as of the time of this post) are only around $6 a person to a little over $10 a person - depending the size of your team and the features you want.

Another nice thing about Asana is it allows you to create custom templates for your most common workflows and projects.  This is convenient because you can save time on setting up processes that are frequently repeated in your business, and ensure that everyone is taking care of their designated tasks.

For instance: With Asana, anytime you have a new deal under contract you can create an SOP (or standard operating procedure) in Asana for what steps are necessary and what should be done by each member of your team to bring that deal to fruition. 

Bottom line - if you’re using Asana it means you and your team don’t have to think through processes every time you have a repeated activity. Instead you'll look at Asana and follow the steps - with each person checking off their tasks as they're completed - so everyone is accountability, and you have one place you can monitor everything happening in your business

I'm not sure I can say enough good things about G Suite. This online app marries your calendar with your email, with cloud storage and additional cloud editing capabilities.

G Suite is the bread and butter in my business because it allows you to seamlessly run a business with a virtual staff since everything is cloud based

We use G Suite for just about everything that’s document-driven in our business. It includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. Those last 3 that I mentioned are Google's online version of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

It also includes Google Drive, which is the most valuable resource for me in this package. That's the tool my virtual assistants and I use to access documents we're collaborating on remotely - in real time.

I could literally write an entire article on how you can use G Suite to make your real estate business more productive while working with a virtual or local team. 

Trust me, getting familiar with G Suite and loading it on all your devices will drastically increase your productivity.  

G Suite starts has a free trail and then it's only $5 a month per user. 

CALENDLY

The last tool I'll talk about is one that will save you more time than you think.

The tool is Calendly. This is an online app that helps you schedule meetings without the hassle of back-and-forth emailsWhat makes Calendly special is convenience. It's so simple, but so incredibly useful. 

Instead of going back and forth in phone calls or via email, using up valuable time in your day to coordinating a time to meet with buyers, sellers, or vendors - you can now just send them a link. Then, they can can choose a time that fits within their schedule based on time slots you’ve already predetermined.

That means no more going back and forth to confirm availability. And if you need to reschedule or cancel, it can all happen through the same link. I'm telling you firsthand, this is a tremendous time saver!

Calendly syncs with your Google Calendar and other calendar apps in real time. This comes in handy if you or your staff handle scheduling appointments.

You may not think it takes much time to schedule appointments - but 5-10 minutes here and there on a daily basis can have a serious impact on your productivity.

Now Is The Time To Take Action


So there you have 5 of my favorite online tools that will help you run your real estate business and manage your virtual assistants as if they were working down the hall in your office. 

The next step is to evaluate your business needs.

  • If you’re looking for a free, versatile tool to communicate with your staff via voice, message, or video as well as easily transfer files and pics - then you have to give Viber a go.
  • If you want to have the ability to conduct video chats, screen sharing, webinars, and create training videos - Zoom is an excellent tool.
     
  • If you need to keep track of to-do lists, assigning tasks, and you want to hold your team accountable - then Asana is the tool for you.
     
  • If you’re looking for a more efficient way to collaborate on files with your staff - or just a way to more easily organize all the documents in your business - then you have to give G Suite a shot.
  • And lastly, If scheduling meetings and calls with buyers, sellers, and vendors has been a time-suck in your business – then ​try Calendly.

Next Up In Season 1


Next up I'll give you a detailed behind the scenes look at my real estate business and my work day using virtual assistants. Hopefully it will get your wheels turning as to how you can also use virtual assistants to level up your business. 


Resources Mentioned In The Podcast:


  • Viber  - Make calls, send messages and much more - freely and securely
  • Zoom - The #1 video conferencing and web conferencing service on the web
  • Asana - Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.
  • G Suite - All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
  • Calendly - Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails.