Successful Business Owner Michael Trust Discusses Why He Chose to Work with a Virtual Assistant
Michael Trust is a successful entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses including: Michael Trust Realty, Smart Equity Solutions, Best Valley Real Estate, Michael Trust & Associates, Trustworthy Coaching® and Trustworthy Mediation℠. With so many businesses to run Michael knew he needed assistance but didn’t want to commit to hiring an in-house employee, so he turned to professional virtual assistant Janine Gregor of Your Virtual Wizard. Janine provided various business support services to Michael an average of 30 hours a month for 3 years.
Michael took the time to answer a few questions regarding his experience working with a virtual assistant and explains why it’s important for business owners to view the cost of working with a VA as an investment in their business.
Why did you decide to work with a virtual assistant?
I didn’t want to have the responsibility of having to have full time staff given the cyclical nature of the work (especially in real estate) where I may have times that I would have to pay for assistance but had nothing for the assistant to do. I also didn’t want to have to worry about W-2’s, tax withholding, workers’ compensation, and the like.
What led you to choose your current virtual assistant?
I can’t remember the details of how Janine and I met. We worked together briefly when she first opened her virtual doors but then we were reacquainted on a real estate site after she posted interesting comments. Janine was/is unique in that her background has been mid-level management and marketing, so she can take the VA role to a level that most VA’s can’t (way beyond a VA). She was also competitively priced. We spoke and emailed while we were checking each other out, and we both decided that she and I were a good fit – skills, personality, availability, etc.
Describe your virtual assistant in three words:
Passionate, intelligent, savvy.
What changes have you seen in your business since working with a virtual assistant?
Janine was able to take an idea(s) and conceptualize it and run with it. She was able to take the load of manually doing social media, MLS work, and the like off of my desk and to do it for me. She was able to review and edit my written work, marketing materials, etc. and to provide a sounding board for business decisions.
Do you have any systems in place to more effectively delegate tasks to your virtual assistant?
Janine and I used email primarily to explain a project and what needed to be done. She keeps me posted every day as to what was accomplished and we maintain discussion throughout. We work well as a team. I value her opinion and she accepts any changes or edits I desire.
What types of tasks do you delegate to your virtual assistant most often and why?
Marketing, editing, social media, general promotion. While I can do these functions, they are not my strong suit and I’d rather have someone who knows how to do them better and faster than I can do them. The ROI is certainly there.
Can you share a time when your virtual assistant saved the day?
Every day! When I was more active in real estate, I recall a last minute listing that required fast turnaround outside of normal hours in order to satisfy my client. Janine was there and ready to go and it got done.
What was the most recent project your virtual assistant completed for you and how did it go?
Most recently, Janine took a very rough PowerPoint presentation that I needed for a large client presentation and was able to make miraculous tweaks to it to make it look very sharp, and to add in data, without compromising the overall look, feel, and length of the rough draft. She also made numerous good suggestions for improvement.
What advice would you offer to someone considering working with a virtual assistant?
When considering working with a VA, it’s important that you explore how the VA likes to work – personality, style, availability, and the like. Cost of course is also a factor, but it would be disingenuous to think that cost is the only factor – you get what you pay for. View a virtual assistant as an investment and not simply as a cost. An excellent VA like Janine will become a partner in your business and help you to do the work that you went into business to do. I’ve just been fortunate because I found a VA I can trust. Janine knows my business and how I work. But be prepared to communicate regularly with your VA and treat the VA as a business owner as well as a partner.
Readers, would you like to share your own experience working with a professional virtual assistant? Feel free to post your story in the comments!