Tips & How To's Archives - Virtual Latinos

18 Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills With Your Clients

Tips & How To's

It is essential to have impressive communication skills with your clients in today’s data-driven business environment. Effective communication is necessary to get to the point because clients are frequently flooded with information and distractions. Virtual assistant services are a great way to ensure that your information is communicated properly and that clients are kept up to date on the details of your business transactions.

What Is the Best Tactic for Effective Communication?

When your goal is to have open and fully understood messages transmitted between your business and your clientele, hiring an affordable virtual assistant can be the key to your success. The professional assistants that Virtual Latinos offers come from countries like Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, and are experienced in handling many tasks, including client satisfaction.

Consider These Tips To Promote Communication Skills

Whether you’re a company that has hired a virtual assistant to assist with tasks, or you’re a virtual assistant hoping to improve and strengthen relationships with your clients, effective communication and feedback is the key. Consider these tips to encourage open communication.

  1. Tailor knowledge to suit both parties.
    Your staff members who communicate with clients must be adept at customizing information to meet specific needs. Some clients prefer to get their information in simple terms and others prefer technical details. Be sure to know which are which.
  2. Make it personal.
    Most communications in the business world today are carried out digitally, but personal touches like handwritten thank you notes are a handy tool in making clients feel appreciated.
  3. Consider the tone of voice.
    When a virtual assistant speaks on the phone with a client, it is important to be interested, friendly, and involved. This makes it easier to communicate, and encourages positive feedback.
  4. Listen actively.
    Anyone who is communicating with clients needs to stay focused and not let their mind wander. They must be fully involved in the conversation to communicate effectively.
  5. Prepare for questions.
    Your clients are bound to ask questions when a virtual assistant is discussing transactions with them. Virtual assistants should anticipate what the client might ask about and have answers prepared. Also, the VA should have questions prepared beforehand.
  6. Consistency is key.
    The first communication with a client establishes the tone of the relationship and the expectations that each party will have. Keep future communications in line with the original tone so that the client doesn’t feel misled.
  7. Be concise in message and formatting.
    As a VA, it is imperative to always be clear and to the point with clients and avoid lengthy or vague communications. When sending digital messages, formatting needs to be clear and readable, with bold words highlighting key points and easy-to-read lists.
  8. Work with your marketing team.
    Anyone who is communicating with clients should be briefed on the information relevant to your marketing so that their communications are on message.
  9. Understand your clientele.
    It is vital to interview new clients and gain an understanding of their needs and goals so that your company’s communication is always focused on their satisfaction.
  10. Make sure messages are easy to comprehend.
    Try to save your clients’ time by providing any information they may need to understand the topic. Sending links in emails and key points to keep in mind before a meeting are ideal ways to accomplish this. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is better to seek clarification to show that you are engaged, and dedicated to completing the tasks to the clients satisfaction.
  11. Always be polite.
    It is vital to make your client feel appreciated. Simple courtesies like saying “please” and “thank you” go a long way in keeping things cordial.
  12. Emphasize your brand.
    Whenever an employee interacts with a client, they must use wordage focused on your company’s mission and style. Consider essential words like “trustworthy,” “cutting-edge,” “industry-leading,” and “reliable.”
  13. Use the right apps.
    It is always important to remember that although we live in a digital world, some clients are more computer savvy than others. Determine which apps will be most beneficial to your relationship.
  14. Be professional, but relatable.
    Communicating in terms that make a client feel comfortable effectively establishes a human connection and forges a good working relationship.
  15. Don’t leave them hanging.
    Following up with clients promptly helps close the loop on communications and lets the client know that you follow through. Report back on the job status so everyone is on the same page.
  16. Ask for feedback.
    Open communication is the key to success in a business relationship. A virtual assistant should ask for feedback, and be open to any improvements or changes the client suggests.
  17. Be Transparent.
    Communicating what to expect will ensure both parties are up to date and on the same page about all expectations. Discuss timelines, tasks, and outcomes ahead of time to avoid surprises or miscommunication.
  18. Track Performance.
    If you set goals and expectations, it is important to stay on top of them. Give feedback to your virtual assistant, and let them know how well they are performing, or what areas could be addressed to improve.

Trust and communication are the keys to a successful working relationship. When you need a virtual assistant agency that can meet all your needs and provide you with a virtual staff member who can communicate effectively, call on Virtual Latinos, (619) 317-1198. Our experienced personal assistants can help your business grow by taking tedious jobs like scheduling off your hands and freeing up time for the staff to focus on their priorities.

Client Highlight: Q&A with Productivity Expert Marcey Rader

Tips & How To's

We’re happy to start this new series of questions and answers with some of our Virtual Latinos Clients. For our first guest, we got the honor and privilege to chat with Marcey Rader from Raleigh, North Carolina, founder of Work Well. Play More! Marcey shares some of her wisdom on being able to reach and live a productive, clutter-free, healthy lifestyle, as well as tips on how to help other business owners and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses

Q&As:

  1. Please share a brief description of your business, how you got started, and why you chose it?
    I own a productivity and health coaching and speaking company. Before starting my business seven years ago, I worked in pharma/biotech clinical research for fourteen years and was a corporate trainer and training manager. People were always asking me how I did it all – work, ultra-race, have a relationship and shut down with inbox zero every night. It made sense to do what came naturally!
  2. What types of businesses or people do you work with?
    Many of my clients are in the pharma/biotech space, but I’ve worked from manufacturing to finance, from North Dakota to Dubai. People in all businesses want boundaries, better focus, and healthy behaviors in their lives. I work with small business owners as well as corporate professionals, typically manager level and above.
  1. What are the top 3 keys to your business success?
    I surround myself with key people. When I was starting, I thought I couldn’ afford a virtual assistant. I firmly believe that because I hired one early on, I am much farther along than other people that started at the same time. It allows me to focus on the big picture. I’m also very persistent, but not in a pushy way. I have systems for follow-up that work well for me. Lastly, I take time for myself. As much as I love what I do, I know that the creative part comes from being away from the business.
  2. Who would you consider your key team members or key roles for your business success? (Marketing, Sales Specialist, Admin, Cold-callers, etc?)
    My full-time virtual assistant has been with me for five years. She does all of my website, marketing materials, and administrative tasks. I know how to do these things on my own, but they are not an effective use of my time. I recently hired a concierge for client-facing activities. A concierge means my clients receive an even higher level of service, and I can focus more on coaching and speaking than program logistics.
  3. What unique value propositions do you offer your clients?
    We declutter the mind, body, and business one habit at a time.
  4. How do you measure your business success, and how do you try to improve it?
    My client’s success is our success. I have a strong track record of promotions, business growth, and health improvements with all of my clients. I also have eight Specialists on my team, all of whom own their own business. Being able to give them work means I’ve been successful. And of course, there is always revenue. Tangible success is also paying all your bills and having plenty of money to sock away and even play!
  5. If you could go back in time 10 or 20 years, what would be the #1 tip of advice you’d give yourself?
    At 36, I was starting to hit a low point where my job was killing me, I had gone into early menopause from a high-intensity, high-stress lifestyle, and my marriage was suffering. I was the primary breadwinner and thought there was no way I could leave my job behind. I would tell myself to walk away. Your health and marriage is a priority. You’ll find a way to make money, and you’ll be happier doing it. It won’t be easy, but you’ll be more fulfilled in your life.
  6. What’s the #1 tip you’d give other entrepreneurs or business owners looking to grow their business?
    Hire a virtual assistant! Don’t wait another day.
  7. Would you recommend others to hire a virtual assistant (VA)? and if so why?
    I recommend it several times a week. I am a strong advocate of working in your line of genius and giving others opportunities they may not have. That’s why I like working with Virtual Latinos, because I know I am giving someone work in a country that isn’t as economically strong as the US.
  8. What are the best tools and systems you recommend for working with a VA?
    I like Asana for project management, Google Chat for instant message, and Voxer for voice and text messaging.
  9. Do you have any tips or advice for anyone who’s starting to work with a VA for the first time?
    Start capturing video screen shares of all the tasks you are doing to handoff. The video makes the training more accessible, and since you are doing it anyway, it doesn’t take up much more time.
  10. What do you think about the future of businesses in regards to hiring VAs as part of their team?
    I don’t like the term virtual assistant because it’s underwhelming. They are so much more than assistants. I think COVID-19 has put to rest the fear of hiring people remotely because so many people had to go remote. It doesn’t matter if they are down the street or a time zone away! Anyone can hire and feel confident with a virtual assistant.

Country Highlight: Colombia

Tips & How To's

Find Your Ideal Virtual Assistant in Beautiful Colombia

Located in the northwestern portion of South America, Colombia is one of the most beautiful and culturally vibrant countries in the world. It boasts nearly 1,800 miles of coastline to the north and west, divided into Pacific and Caribbean coasts by the country of Panama. As a result, the area provides world-class beaches, competition-level surfing, sailing, and scuba diving, and all the adventure, recreation, and sunbathing you’d expect from a tropical destination of its caliber.

Further inland, Colombia retains its tropical climate, which makes for some of the best coffee production in the world. This coffee culture and its focus on persistence and work ethic permeate the Colombian way of life, and together with African, Afro-Caribbean, Spanish, and Catholic influences, serve to make Colombia the diverse mix of traditions it is today. With this central focus on dedication and work ethic, young Colombians of all backgrounds appreciate the ever-increasing growth of the local economy—the third-largest in Latin America.

Why Do Highly Motivated Colombians Seek Remote Employment?

While Colombia’s economy continues to grow, many Colombians continue to seek remote employment. Remote work offers several benefits for potential employees here, including:

Payment Based on US Standards

Despite the recent growth in the Colombian economy, its citizens experience several wage and currency-based advantages by working remotely in the US. Currently, the United States offers minimum wage and average task-based wages that are nearly five times what is offered in Colombia. This aspect makes becoming a VA a smart business decision for Colombians like Luis Lunar, whose favorite experience thus far has been “working hard all week to then find out that my boss wants to reward me with a big bonus on my next paycheck.”

Increased Access to Work

Whether they’re residing in a remote area of Colombia without ready access to a city and its associated job markets, or are located within one of Colombia’s most congested cities, traveling to and from work poses an issue for many Colombians. Not so with remote work – “I have the flexibility of working at home while I’m giving all my skills and effort on making a big company better,” says Lunar.

Improved Professional Development and Work-Life Balance

Remote employment can provide Colombians with professional development opportunities that may not be readily available in Colombia itself, including English-speaking international business contacts and networking benefits. “I have the best team, the best client and I feel so productive all the time! I get to work with a girl from the Dominican Republic and it is so nice to meet people from other countries while doing something that you love and helping a business grow,” says Cristina Cancino, a Colombian VA. Best of all, these benefits are available while at home, allowing a better work-life balance – “I love working from home because it is very useful during these times of COVID,” says Cancino.

How Can You Benefit From Hiring a Colombian Virtual Assistant?

Deciding to hire a virtual assistant from Colombia can benefit you and your business in two significant ways.

A Colombian Virtual Assistant Can Perform a Variety of Tasks

Hiring a virtual assistant takes the burden of the daily tasks necessary for success away from your schedule so you can focus on growth opportunities. Virtual assistants can perform tasks like:

  • Clerical work. If you or your business depends on the completion of paperwork, processing of digital files, assembling of client records, or other clerical tasks, a virtual assistant can ease the burden of these workplaces on your daily schedule.
  • Communications. Virtual assistants in Colombia are fully bilingual in both English and Spanish and can handle incoming phone calls, customer service inquiries, and email communications.
  • Marketing. Whether you need help with social media marketing, email marketing, blogging, or something else, a marketing virtual assistant from Colombia can provide you with what you need for success.

A Colombian Virtual Assistant Provides the Right Mix of Work Ethic and Approachability

Hiring a virtual assistant from Colombia allows you to access the deeply ingrained work ethic that comes naturally to Colombians as a result of the aforementioned cultural influences and values. These values translate to several positive qualities that make Colombian virtual assistants a particularly good fit for US-based clients, including:

  • Productivity. Our clients say Colombian VAs are hardworking and extremely able to train other VAs to perform their tasks as well. “This is where you see [the VAs] have an excellent working knowledge of their job assignments,” says client Jeff Craig of DC Law.
  • Dedication. Colombian VAs have proven extremely dedicated to both completion of the task at hand and learning more about the job in general.
  • Communication. As fully bilingual English and Spanish speakers, Colombian VAs have responded exceptionally well to clients who prioritize open communication and camaraderie.
  • Warmth. Colombians VAs are among the most personable remote workers in the world, a quality that transmits well to your clients. “Having someone showing empathy and understanding to your clients is always a plus,” says Jeff.

Choose Virtual Latinos for Your Colombian VA

Choosing Virtual Latinos as your virtual assistant agency means you’ll have access to the best bilingual virtual assistants in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries. These locales are within the same time zones as the US and allow streamlined communications as well as close cultural ties between the two areas. Together, you and your VA can help you achieve the success you’ve been striving for. Contact us today for more information.

Four Ways VAs Can Help Your Law Firm

Tips & How To's

If you operate a successful law firm, you’re fully aware that the day-to-day operations of a law firm require much more than court appearances and important meetings. As a lawyer, you face an enormous amount of clerical work and other time-consuming tasks that can take you away from crucial meetings and bog down your schedule if you can’t delegate correctly. Fortunately, hiring a virtual assistant (VA) for your law firm can relieve much of the burden by outsourcing many essential law firm tasks.

A VA can provide much more than the surface value of completing the tasks assigned. A VA’s influence can improve multiple internal aspects of your firm, which can help you improve your efficiency and grow your company. We’ve compiled the most important unseen benefits a VA can have for a law firm here.

Benefit #1: Time and Money Savings

One of the primary reasons lawyers give for hiring VAs is the time saved by delegating non-core tasks to a virtual legal assistant. Client Jeff Craig (DC Law) says, “Regarding the reason why I hired the VAs in the first place, which was for intake calls and retaining clients, I have seen how my numbers have increased with the help of the VAs I hired through Virtual Latinos.”

Besides, compared to the cost of hiring a legal assistant locally, the relative price of an affordable virtual assistant is remarkably lower. For smaller firms and solo lawyers, the ability to pay a VA for a variety of smaller tasks is much more cost-effective than hiring in-office personnel to perform smaller jobs throughout the day. In addition, lower cost can be attributed to the reduction in overhead that results when you limit in-house personnel, including:

  • Reduced use of infrastructure
  • Reduced use of resources
  • No responsibility to offer employee benefits

Benefit #2: Enhanced Services for Your Firm

When you hire a virtual legal assistant, you’ll reap the benefits of an experienced VA, readily equipped with the software necessary to work with you. In most cases, there’s no need for extensive software training, setup, or other clerical duties upon hiring. Instead, a quality VA will invest in the resources necessary to perform the job efficiently.

Client Kalani Hawks (Hawks Villafranca Law) says, “My VA is phenomenal; she’s so self-motivated and able to provide the support I need, so I can focus on my business without being bugged out in administrative details that will prevent me from growing my business. She’s also part of [my business] as she’s constantly providing ideas and feedback for me to improve my growth as well.”

Benefit #3: Excellent Customer Service Quality

Virtual assistants can provide several top-quality customer service benefits to help keep your clients feeling satisfied with your law firm’s dedication to their cases. Your VA can remain diligent in completing many day-to-day client-facing tasks while you focus on the cases at hand or engage in firm growth. Customer service-based duties your VA can handle include:

  • Information gathering
  • Client form completion
  • Regular client follow-ups regarding their case
  • Client notification

Additionally, bilingual VAs can interact with Spanish-speaking clients, facilitating communications between client and attorney, and completing the translation of all case-related information. Client Beckie Moriello (Raleigh Immigration Law Firm) says, “Hiring a VA from Virtual Latinos has helped me achieve goals in the sense of getting staff that is more economical for me, capable, professional, and bilingual. I was able to find good bilingual people who follow directions and do as I ask them to do.”

Benefit #4: Improved Work/Life Balance

The final benefit of hiring a virtual assistant for your law firm is perhaps the most intrinsic to your firm’s success—reducing the impact the work of growing your firm can have on your personal and family life. Since many solo practitioners and small firm owners must dedicate a great deal of time to both clerical work and growth-based activities, hiring a VA can help you strike the ideal balance. Best of all, a VA can help you ensure all client work and work to grow your firm is on track while you attend to important personal business.

Choose Virtual Latinos to Meet Your VA Needs

When you’re searching for virtual assistant companies with dedicated virtual assistants, look no further than Virtual Latinos. Our focus on Latin American countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela) means each virtual assistant is within two time zones of your law firm. This enhances their availability to handle all the duties that a legal assistant or customer service provider must provide. Additionally, each VA is fully bilingual in Spanish and English to ensure proper care of your Spanish-speaking clients. Reach out today to begin hiring your virtual assistant, and grow your law firm with the help of Virtual Latinos.

Three Common Problems Between Clients and Virtual Assistants—and How to Solve Them

Tips & How To's

If you’re anticipating joining the growing remote work movement to help your business succeed post-pandemic, the benefits of virtual assistants are numerous. However, as with any business relationship, there are potential pitfalls as well—and it’s essential to be aware of each to avoid issues. To help provide better insight and a clearer path to avoiding problems after you hire virtual assistants, we’ve gone straight to the source.

Virtual Latinos asked our VAs, “What are some of the most common issues between a VA and a client? How can a client go about solving them?” Here are the top three:

Issue #1: Communication

Communication is a common issue for many business relationships of all types, including VA/client relationships. The nature of remote work—with its focus on technology versus in-person contact—can provide additional barriers to communication. “Building a strong communication path since the beginning is a challenge, especially while you work with someone remotely,” says Jennifer Salazar, a Virtual Latinos VA.

To establish excellent communication from day one, Salazar recommends the following:

  • Be clear and concise. You have goals and expectations, and your VA must understand them to meet or exceed them. Do your best to communicate goals clearly from the beginning—and in a way that makes your expectations the primary focus of your communications.
  • Establish a schedule. Salazar suggests asking your VA to briefly summarize his or her activities at the end of the day. Alternatively, you could even schedule daily check-ins and check-outs, so both sides are clear regarding work completed and work outstanding.
  • Perform periodic internal follow-ups. Set a schedule to perform a formal follow-up with your VA—ideally at the one-month, three-month, sixth-month, and one-year milestones. “This will help clients and VAs to see the improvements or challenges they are facing while working together and also find a way to solve them,” says Salazar.

Issue #2: Productivity

Potential productivity issues—the ability to perform consistent, high-quality outsourced work and do so efficiently—are key concerns among professionals new to hiring remote workers. Fortunately (and contrary to popular belief), productivity tends to be even higher for many remote workers than it would be if those same workers were confined within an office setting. Still, that doesn’t mean you should simply assign project after project and then disappear until its due date.

So, how can you ensure your VA is performing as expected and working efficiently when you can’t see them working? Salazar recommends these strategies:

  • Institute a training process. If you want your VA to perform well, you’ll need to train them to do so. Make sure you provide your VA with the necessary resources and information from the beginning and enable them to learn about how your company—and the tasks they’ll undertake—needs to operate.
  • Utilize management tools. A great resource to help your VA manage time, tasks and more is the use of task management and time management tools. “For task management, some good tools are Trello, Asana, Teamwork, and Infinity; for time tracking, try Clockify, Toggl, Hubstaff, and Time Doctor,” says Salazar.
  • Hold short meetings. Often, productivity and excellent communications go hand in hand. Hold brief daily check-ins or weekly meetings to discuss which projects are finished, which are underway, and which may take more time and resources to complete.

Issue #3: Time Difference

The final barrier between a strong, productive relationship between client and VA are the issues a significant time difference between a client and a VA can cause. “Working with a virtual assistant from the other side of the globe can be pretty challenging, and that challenge typically comes in adjusting one’s body clock to a different time zone,” says Salazar. She notes that when there is a large time zone gap, VAs often need to train their bodies to work overnight or late-night hours, which can lead to a loss in productivity no matter how excellent the VA’s work ethic.

The solution is simple, according to Salazar—“Hire a VA who is closer to your time zone. Both of your schedules can be more synchronized, and your communication level will be more optimal.” For those of us in the Western Hemisphere, that means hiring a virtual assistant in Mexico, Central American countries like Costa Rica and Guatemala, and South American countries like Colombia and Venezuela.

Choose Virtual Latinos to Meet Your VA Needs

Virtual Latinos is one of the top virtual assistant services, dedicated to providing Latin American assistants for your needs. Our focus on Latin America means each of our virtual assistants is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and is located within two time zones of your own to optimize communications and productivity. Contact us today to learn more about how to hire a virtual assistant—and avoid the above VA pitfalls with ease.

How A Virtual Assistant Can Help You Manage Your Ecommerce Store

Tips & How To's

4 Steps to Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Help You Manage Your eCommerce Store

When you first started your ecommerce store, you were likely managing every aspect of the business, from fulfilling orders, responding to customer queries at all hours, scheduling and managing social media posts, and keeping track of stock. There are many things that make being a small business owner gratifying but being in charge of it all isn’t one of them.

Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or have 10 employees or more, a virtual personal assistant can help. VAs offer an extra set of “hands” without the extra legwork associated with having an employee.

How to Hire a VA for Your Business

No matter what your small business is or how busy you are, you need time to keep it moving forward and growing. If you are looking to hire some help, a VA could be a perfect and affordable solution. Here’s how you hire your own virtual assistant for your ecommerce store and earn back some of those precious hours in your day.

Step 1: Decide What You Want Your Virtual Personal Assistant To Do

First, make a list of what you want your virtual assistant to do. Will they take on general tasks such as order fulfillment, customer service, or social media management? Or do you require a virtual assistant for more specialized tasks such as marketing, video production, project management, or digital advertising? Specialized VAs require less training, but generalized VAs can help take on repetitive tasks and free up more time in your workday. To determine which type of VA is right for you, spend some time documenting all the tasks you want to outsource, and the types of outcomes that you want your VA to achieve (for example, if hiring a VA to increase sales, what sales targets do you want them to reach?)

Step 2: Create a Job Description

To hire a virtual assistant right for the job, you will need to create a job description based on the types of tasks you wish to delegate. A job description includes:

  • Information about your ecommerce store (i.e., your target customer, the industry you target, what you sell, etc).
  • Desired level of experience, education, and skills
  • An outline of duties and key responsibilities
  • Specialized apps, tools, or software that the VA will be required to use (i.e., CRM systems or proprietary applications, WordPress, etc).

Step 3: Hire Your Virtual Personal Assistant

Once you have a job description outlining roles, responsibilities, and key qualifications, it’s time to do the hiring! At Virtual Latinos, we have two main ways of connecting with the perfect assistant for your needs:

  • Go through our agency. Create an account, fill out a short questionnaire outlining your needs, and let our experienced team find you the perfect virtual assistant. We’ll review your requirements and find the right assistant for your needs. We take on the interview process and choose the top 2-3 candidates for the job, letting you have final approval. Once hired, you will manage your assistant, but we provide ongoing support.
  • Hire through our Virtual Latinos directory. Sign up for our directory and browse assistants through filters like experience, key credentials, and certifications. Get in touch with them via our simple email system, and interview them like you would any other employee. Once hired, you manage them as long as your Virtual Latinos membership is active.

Our assistants are located all over Latin America, from Argentina, Costa Rica, or Mexico.

Step 4: Manage Your Virtual Assistant

Once hired, your small business virtual assistant can help you maintain any aspect of your business that you require. To keep the relationship beneficial, we recommend managing your employee with:

  • Periodic performance reviews. Using the job description and outcomes you designed at the beginning of the process, determine if your virtual assistant is meeting the expectations you have.
  • Resist the urge to micromanage. Small business owners can fall into the habit of wanting to control everything but remember this is why you hired a virtual assistant! Relax and let your new small business virtual assistant take off some of the load.
  • Schedule regular check-ins. Use easy communication tools like Slack to check in with your virtual assistant and see how they’re doing and what they plan on tackling for the day.

Call Virtual Latinos to Learn More About How to Hire a VA

A virtual assistant can help you manage several different aspects of your ecommerce store. To learn more about our process and how our virtual assistant can help lighten your business load, contact us.

3 Tips For Productively Managing Your Remote Team!

Tips & How To's

Leverage These 3 Tips for Managing Your Remote Team

Remote work is more than just a fad. As the COVID pandemic continues to sweep the globe, many experts predict that remote and virtual work will only increase in popularity, even after workers are allowed to return to the office. Employers are increasingly discovering that remote teams are often more productive. However, effective management of these teams is essential. To make the most of your virtual assistant(s), we recommend applying the following tips to effectively manage your remote teams:

1. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

There are a few different ways to check in with your remote virtual assistant, even if they’re located in Peru. Several tools can help you communicate readily with your virtual assistant, such as Slack, email, and phone. However, face-to-face interactions can also be helpful. We like tools like Google Team Hangouts and Zoom. Virtual check-ins:

  • Lead to more effective troubleshooting. When you and a virtual assistant are tackling a business task, problem-solving is much more effective face to face compared to email.
  • Create better non-verbal understanding. While Slack can be an effective form of communication, it can also be impersonal. Video platforms like Zoom can help you connect better with your virtual assistant, even if they’re located in Honduras.

Regular communication over multiple channels is essential to make sure your team is meeting your expectations. Even the best virtual assistant will benefit from direction and dialogue. Making your expectations known and tracking progress is crucial to the success of your remote team.

2. Have Measurable Objectives and Outcomes

To help your team stay on track and manage your own expectations, work to create measurable outcomes and objectives for your virtual assistant. For example, if your virtual assistant primarily helps with marketing, identify time-phased targets that they should be meeting (for example, gaining X more social media followers). Set your dedicated virtual assistant up for success by clearly delineating the tasks they are responsible for, why they are important, and make sure they understand how you will measure success. Define the scope of each task, desired deliverables, and the timeline for completing each task. This will help you all keep on track, even if you are working hundreds of miles apart.

At the same time, it’s also crucial to avoid micromanaging. It’s not possible to manage every aspect of your remote team’s work, and less stress is likely one of the reasons you hired a dedicated virtual assistant in the first place! Don’t focus on things like hours worked or online time. Focusing on outcomes and deliverables can help you manage the success of your virtual assistant and identify new tasks as necessary.

Step 3: Assure The Right Fit

Not everyone can work remotely with success. As such, it is essential to ensure that you have the right person for the tasks you are looking to fulfill. The best virtual assistant:

  • Has the ability to prioritize
  • Can readily adapt to new tasks and environments
  • Is collaborative
  • Communicates well
  • Is independent and self-motivated
  • Has superb organization
  • Is reliable
  • Has a result-oriented mindset, and;
  • A strong work ethic.

To succeed in a virtual environment, it is also essential for a virtual assistant to be tech-savvy. Remote work technology is rapidly evolving, and your business may also rely on proprietary applications, customer relationship management software, and website software. It is essential to find a virtual assistant who, even if they don’t have relevant certifications, is open to learning about new ways of working. To discover these qualifications when hiring a virtual assistant, try holding interviews over multiple channels like email, Zoom, or Slack. Using a multitude of methods can help pinpoint a virtual assistant’s skills. Email, for example, can test their writing ability and responsiveness, while video chatting can determine a candidate’s level of non-verbal communication and cultural fit with your needs.

Find The Perfect Remote Worker With Virtual Latinos

Remote workers are productive and help you run your business more effectively. Whether you are looking for someone to take on general administrative tasks for a specialized assistant to help with marketing or sales or need help with payroll, we have an assistant who can help. Using our Virtual Latino directory, you can browse by certification, location, and more. Our virtual assistant agency can also help you find the perfect candidate for your needs. Our virtual assistants are located all over South and Central America, including countries like Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, and more. To learn more about the services we offer, please contact us or read about our process.

3 Basics of Outsourcing in the Real Estate Business (and Why to Consider a Latino VA)

Tips & How To's

How Latino Virtual Assistants Prove to Be Important in Real Estate

Imagine if, as a real estate agent, your primary job was just to sell properties. No hours spent every week managing online marketing and social media, no scheduling cleaning services, photographers, or landscapers, no booking all of your property showings on your own. If that makes it sound like your life could get easier overnight, that’s because it can. Outsourcing all this work to a real estate virtual assistant would give you just that, so you can turn your focus to where it’s best concentrated: selling.

If you have the opportunity to hire virtual assistants as a real estate broker or agent, it is highly recommended that you do so. They can streamline your business for you and provide true growth potential on many different fronts. If outsourcing some of your workload is starting to sound more enticing, there are three big basics you should consider, going in.

The 3 Big Basics of Outsourcing in Real Estate

1. Identify which of your daily, weekly, or monthly tasks could be outsourced. This may be a matter as simple as figuring out which aspects of your agency do not need to be handled by a licensed real estate agent. For example, a real estate virtual assistant could manage your social media, marketing, client scheduling, landscaping, or other service coordinating, in addition to any number of other activities.

Why hire a virtual assistant from Latin America for your outsourcing?

    • We offer fully bilingual services. At Virtual Latinos, our entire team is fully bilingual. This means they are also able to reach out to a wider range of clientele in the real estate world. Most real estate agencies have a high percentage of clients who speak Spanish. Imagine being able to better engage with and serve a whole new demographic, overnight. A virtual assistant from Latin America can help you achieve that.
    • Latin American professionals working remotely are generally in your time zone. This is a huge benefit that most overseas virtual assistants are unable to offer to real estate businesses in the US. When you work with real estate virtual assistants working remotely from Costa Rica, Mexico, or Peru, time changes are simply not an issue. It ensures the virtual assistants from Virtual Latinos will always be available during your “normal” hours of operation. This means that we are always ready and able to handle any day-to-day real estate tasks that need tending to.
    • The majority of the experienced virtual assistants we work with through Virtual Latinos have spent significant amounts of time in the United States. This speaks directly to their firsthand understanding of American English, and common business practices here, in addition to the nuances of everyday life. In other words, they are uniquely aware of the differences in property types, like condo vs. loft, for example. Our virtual assistants have the necessary experience, not just scripts and theory, to inform their real estate skills.

2. Consider using specific workflow software for coordinating with your virtual assistant. There are many options available for real estate workflow software. Other, more general workflow software is also available, which can help simplify all your communication with your virtual assistants, rather than using texts, emails, and other types of messages on separate platforms to try to coordinate efficiently on a daily basis.

Latin America and the United States share many values, in business, technology, education, and otherwise. When you hire a real estate virtual assistant through Virtual Latinos, you can be assured that they not only understand the culture of the US, but that they’re also familiar with the technology. 90% of our virtual assistants have university degrees, making them among the most tech-qualified in the world. If you need suggestions for workflow software, for example, our virtual assistants can provide you with recommendations tailored specifically to the needs of your agency. They are professionals, after all.

3. Determine the best means to hire a real estate virtual assistant.

Not all virtual assistants can both meet the needs of a real estate agent and do it in two languages. The virtual assistants at Virtual Latinos are able to provide bilingual real estate services in digital marketing, content creation, social media platform management, reception, booking, and scheduling, among many others. Virtual Latinos can help you expand your agency’s reach in ways you may have not even yet considered.

Virtual Latinos can help you find the help you need to conduct your real estate business more efficiently and in fewer hours. Contact us today to invest in a real estate virtual assistant.

Here’s How the Bookkeeping Industry Can Benefit From Latin American Values

Tips & How To's

Why You Should Leave Your Bookkeeping to Virtual Assistants from Latin America

Most businesses and non-profits, whether large or small, would benefit from outsourcing their regular bookkeeping tasks to a dedicated virtual assistant. Bookkeeping is just one of the many reasons that people hire virtual assistants these days, and those numbers are only growing as more and more remote work is being done around the globe. In fact, Latino virtual assistants are especially poised to assist you with your business’ daily needs, bookkeeping, or otherwise. Shared values between the United States and Latin America make the partnership easy, efficient, and natural.

How a Latino Virtual Assistant Can Help With Your Bookkeeping

Here are just some examples of what a virtual assistant can help you with:

  • Payroll. Imagine being able to pass the administrative work of doing payroll off to a virtual assistant each week. A virtual assistant can handle payroll for you, freeing up hours of time, on a regular and on-going basis.
  • Invoicing. Gone are the days when small business owners have to do all their own invoicing. Virtual assistants are experienced in many bookkeeping skills and can even help you to automate your invoicing process.
  • Data Entry. Financials are important to keep organized, and a virtual assistant can help you do just that by helping with a variety of data collating and data entry of any kind.
  • Management of accounts payable and accounts receivable. A bookkeeping dedicated virtual assistant can easily manage these important accounts for you remotely.
  • Organization of tax documents. Take the stress out of taxes when you hire virtual assistants who can get all your tax documents organized and categorized for you ahead of time.
  • Budgeting. A virtual assistant can not only help you to establish a budget but help you stay within it, on a regular basis. This saves you not only time but money, too.
  • Inventory. Virtual assistants can help you to analyze your inventory to help you better track it.

The hand-picked virtual assistants that we connect our clients with at Virtual Latinos can provide you with administrative support for most of your bookkeeping needs and a whole lot more. Our virtual assistants share many of the same values and understanding as to the US-based businesses they work with, which makes them especially qualified to assist you in operating and growing your business or brand.

Here are the top 5 values that Latino virtual assistants can bring to your business:

  1. Our professional virtual assistant team is entirely bilingual, meaning they can better engage with a wider range of personnel you may staff, in addition to increasing the potential clientele you can reach. Imagine being able to engage with a whole new demographic. A virtual assistant from Latin America can help you achieve that.
  2. The US and Latin America share a lot of the same core values in business, education, and culture. Our bi-cultural virtual assistants understand the culture of the US much better than any of their overseas virtual assistant counterparts. This means less time with onboarding, among many other tasks, which ultimately keeps things moving along at a more efficient pace for all parties involved. Furthermore, 90% of our virtual assistants have university degrees, making them among the most qualified in the world.
  3. Virtual assistants working remotely from Latin America are generally in the same time zone as your business, which offshore virtual assistants can’t offer. Coordinating with virtual assistants working remotely from Ecuador, El Salvador, or Mexico is simple. This also means that Latino virtual assistants will always be available during your business’ normal hours of operation to handle any daily issues that may arise along the way.
  4. Many of the pre-vetted virtual assistants that we partner with at Virtual Latinos have spent a significant amount of time in the US. This means that they understand, firsthand, the nuances of American English, how business is typically conducted, and the particulars of everyday life. Our virtual assistants have experience, not just theory backing their skills.
  5. In addition to bookkeeping, our virtual assistants can provide you with bilingual services in digital marketing, content creation, social media platform management, reception, booking, and scheduling, among many other administrative tasks. Virtual Latinos can help you expand your business or brand’s reach in ways you may have not even yet considered.

Virtual Latinos is the leader among virtual assistant companies. Virtual Latinos is the first virtual assistant company dedicated to Latinos, and can find you the assistance you need to do business more smoothly in the new and changing global economy. Our virtual assistants can also help you do that in more than one language. Contact us today to invest in a virtual assistant for your brand.

Answers From Our In House Expert: Why Should I Choose a Latino Assistant Over Other Options?

Tips & How To's

Our In House Expert Lists Four Reasons Hiring a Virtual Latino Assistant Will Benefit You

Anyone who has operated a small business is well aware of just how many daily tasks are necessary to achieve success. Between financial reports, accounting, hiring, payroll, scheduling, client meetings, and client communications, it can often seem like you don’t have time to sleep at night, let alone get started on the tasks that will actually grow your business. Worse, attempting to be a jack of all trades often leads to the other half of the old adage, “master of none.” In other words, spreading yourself too thin on too many tasks has the unfortunate effect of making you less effective in your efforts on each one.

It’s a scenario all too common for entrepreneurs and other business owners, and one that often has unfortunate consequences: 20% of small businesses fail within their first year; that figure grows to a full 50% by year five. While the reasons vary from poor customer outreach (14%) to an inadequate team (29%), it’s clear that attempting to handle everything yourself does not bode well for the future of your business. For that reason, more and more small business owners are recognizing the value of hiring a virtual assistant.

What to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can help you with any of the daily tasks of doing business – from managing customer communications and handling administrative duties to providing customer support, sales, marketing, and much more. What’s important is that you assess your strengths, your areas of need, and then determine which tasks you’ll benefit from outsourcing to a virtual assistant. Then, you’ll be able to focus on the key ventures that will help you grow your business.

While there are a number of purported top virtual assistant companies in existence, however, it’s essential to choose a legitimate, quality business. When Jaime, our in-house expert, was first starting his own marketing company, he decided to outsource some of the administrative tasks to a virtual assistant; upon a recommendation from a friend, he hired an assistant from the Philippines – a decision that had unfortunate consequences. The virtual assistant had relatively poor English skills, was all but unreachable during North American business hours, and provided almost no return on our expert’s investment. Although we’re aware this doesn’t happen to everyone working with Filipino VAs, it does happen to many (including various existing Virtual Latinos clients).

From this experience – as well as his subsequent, much more successful experiences with hiring Latin American virtual assistants, our expert has agreed to provide his insight regarding how to hire a virtual assistant as well as why you should choose a Latino virtual assistant for your outsourcing needs. Consider these recommendations when making your final hiring decisions:

1. Time zones make all the difference

As Jaime learned the hard way, utilizing a virtual assistant halfway around the world can have some unfortunate consequences; hours of operation differ wildly from those of a North American business, such as in the US or Canada, and you or your customer base may not be able to reach your virtual assistant during operating hours. Conversely, Latino assistants live and work within the same time zones as you do, allowing you full access to develop internal relations, address productivity, provide customer outreach, and more. Better yet, the entire Virtual Latino team is located in the same few time zones, allowing excellent cross-communications via phone, email, or video conferencing.

2. Excellent English skills are non-negotiable

Our experts stress the importance of full English proficiency for any virtual assistant you hire. Besides the obvious advantages of hiring an assistant with fluent, non-accented English to aid in your most crucial client or customer service communications, it’s essential to ensure your virtual assistant reads and writes English flawlessly and can adapt to English-language tech in the virtual age. Virtual Latinos hires only highly English-proficient assistants so that each can handle tasks such as cold calling, sales, tech support, customer service, blog writing, marketing, lead generation, general administrative, and more with ease.

3. True bilingualism is a selling point for your business

With over 85% of US businesses relying on Spanish-language employees to conduct business with America’s growing Spanish-speaking population, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of the business you stand to gain by including Spanish-speaking support options. While proficient in English, Latino virtual assistants can easily switch to Spanish if required in the operations of your daily business. According to Jaime, “Being fully bilingual is an opportunity for businesses to offer Spanish services – having someone who speaks both fluently and clearly is important.”

4. Consider the cost savings

While Jaime’s first Filipino virtual assistant experience was a costly failure, yours doesn’t have to be. In fact, Virtual Latinos offers significant cost savings compared to hiring a US-based assistant. For qualified virtual assistants based in the US, the going rate is $25 an hour on average. If you compare pricing from $5 USD/hour for a Latino assistant, you see a 30 to 80% discount even compared to US minimum wage, which is a huge factor to consider!

Virtual Latinos Is Your Source For Quality Virtual Assistants

Recognizing the benefits of outsourcing some of your daily tasks of business is the first step towards shifting your focus towards activities that will grow your business and hiring the right assistant is the second. Ensure your success with Virtual Latinos – our skilled, fully bilingual and English-proficient assistants from locations like Mexico, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico provide you with expert services at an affordable rate. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you.

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