Hiring a virtual assistant for property management at affordable rates has never been easier. In fact, hundreds of sites online can do this for you. Now, businesses have access to a large pool of talent thanks to platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. However, the reality is hiring freelance won’t be as cut and dry as you’d think and many companies have had to learn the hard way that outsourcing is not a simple “plug and play” business strategy- it takes time, effort, training, collaboration, and the right partner.
As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and certainly you can go online and find an ocean of people willing to do VA work for incredibly low rates. But will that freelancer improve productivity for your in-house operations or cost you more in the long run whether in prolonged training, mistakes (big and small), loss of reputation, and eventual loss of clients, revenue, and business?
Choosing to outsource can already be an intimidating and daunting enough task for most companies and knowing who to trust can muddy the waters even further. So, where do you go to get the best value and how do you know you have made the right decision?
Process of Onboarding Virtual Assistants
When selecting a virtual assistant, property managers don’t just spend money – they also spend time and resources. Choosing a freelance virtual assistant for property management does come with lower rates, but there are caveats.
You will still need time to train them and supervise them- which outsourcing companies often will do for you, at least to some degree. And, if the freelancer doesn’t work out you need to repeat the process again and again while potentially losing all of the data that you entrusted them with.
You also will have to deal with more technical issues, no escalation or remediation process, no legal recourse, no official payment structure (ie. remittance), and massive data security risks. Some companies are willing to accept these pitfalls and forge ahead while others require a more complex and official relationship that can be counted on for years down the road.
For those that don’t work out, instead of getting more free time – you’re stuck using resources to source talent and continue the same process. Meanwhile, hiring an outsourcing company can handle all of this with ease.
To put it into an everyday example, perhaps you need a birthday cake for an upcoming party. Certainly, you can save a little money by baking your cake at home, but have you really cost out your time, energy, equipment, and the end result vs the cost of buying that cake from a well-regarded baker?
Granted, there are some excellent hobbyist bakers and that might be you, but for the rest of us, we generally prefer to rely on the experts and know that we are going to get the right cake required with no surprises and to the right specifications that we need.
Back to non-cake-related terms, instead of going through all that trouble, a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company can do it for you. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about VAs suddenly leaving or ignoring your messages if they work in a BPO. You always will have layers of support and escalation. You will have confidence that they are using the right technology. Maybe most importantly, if you partner with the right BPO team, you will know that your critical data is safe and not being pilfered away by someone who can simply go dark on you and walk away with your trade secrets.
Usual Rates for Filipino Virtual Assistants in Property Management
Some freelance Filipino virtual assistants charge $3 – $5 per hour on the low end, which again, comes with its own potential drawbacks. Meanwhile, hiring locally can cost you an average of $16 – $20 for entry-level, and more for higher-skilled roles. Looking at the price difference alone is enough to urge any business to start outsourcing.
Studies suggest that businesses that outsourced repetitive administrative tasks save 70% – 90% in operational costs. Currently, 89% of property management businesses already outsource to service providers. Meanwhile, 67% of landlords or leasing agencies already invested in outsourcing.
Still, we can’t just look at the lowered costs as the only factor when choosing a virtual assistant. Looking through online real estate forums, we’d see several mixed reactions when it comes to hiring property management virtual assistants.
One property manager said they had a poor experience hiring freelance VAs as they couldn’t handle complex tasks. On the other hand, one said that hiring a PMVA worked out for them, but they added that it took a bit of time to find the right one. Keep in mind that when hiring outside of your locale, there will be specific knowledge that is simply impossible for you to have, that took years for others to obtain, and that allows them to provide their expertise in the process whether it be in assessing, hiring, training, or managing. It is not impossible for you to eventually acquire this knowledge, the same way one can learn to bake a great cake, but don’t discount the 10,000 hours benchmark of expertise in any industry, especially outsourcing.
In contrast, the rates for Filipino virtual assistants that work in BPO companies depend on the minimum wage in the Philippines. Currently, the Philippines still has a low cost of living. As a result, the minimum wage is also lower and thus rates from Philippines-based companies can be lower than many of their other counterparts while also providing high-level English ability as well as a good attitude and strong technical skills.
Administrative Tasks You Can Easily Outsource to Property Management Virtual Assistants
The learning curve for property management admin tasks can be steep. However, thanks to innovations in technology and the rapid expansion of the industry, virtual assistants can be easily trained in a short amount of time.
When it comes to freelancers, their experiences may vary. The same can be said about their training in the property management niche.
On the other hand, VAs working with a BPO company are professionally trained in-house and by property management professionals. Among the tasks you can outsource to a Filipino VA include the following:
- Phone and Email Support
- Creating and Processing Work Orders
- Creating Bills/Invoices
- Reconciling Bank Accounts
- Screening Property Applicants
- Status Reports
- Listing and Online Management
Cost Of Outsourcing to The Philippines
There are several things to account for when considering the cost of outsourcing to countries like the Philippines. For starters, we need to take a look at labor costs, services, and government-issued charges, not to mention any other overhead in terms of operating the company. There is a wide range in pricing when outsourcing and it will depend on the role, skills required, technology required, and the company itself.
Naturally, not every Business Process Outsourcing company has the same pricing model or structure. However, every company still needs to follow certain guidelines and adhere to laws that could affect how they charge clients. Any salesperson within one of these companies should be able to break it down for you and generally the majority of companies who decide to outsource wind up doing so with a private company rather than engaging their own freelancers, sometimes after taking their lumps via the freelance method. Many businesses often do not realize the hidden costs that are present with this model and the large risks that they are undertaking in choosing to outsource in this manner.
If you want more information on the pricing structure and how outsourcing can save you money, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If you think a Virtual Assistant may be a good fit for your business, contact us today to learn more about how Global Strategic can help solve your staffing needs while also saving you money.