12 Tasks to Delegate to Your Virtual Assistant Property Manager
More and more companies are realizing the need to outsource jobs that were traditionally done in-house and on-site. In the real estate industry, desk-bound property managers are increasingly relying on assistant property manager VAs for help with their daily tasks.
Over the years, these remote professionals have been supporting property managers by taking on recurring busywork that can be done online or over the phone. This frees up their employers’ time, allowing property managers to provide better services to tenants and clients.
What is a property manager?
A property manager is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operations of residential, commercial, or industrial properties. This includes meeting with potential tenants, collecting rent, supervising repairs and maintenance work, handling marketing and advertising, hiring maintenance and security staff, acting as a liaison between the property owners and the tenants, and other tasks as mandated by the owners.
As you can imagine, property managers have their hands full. Hiring a virtual assistant property manager allows them to delegate some of their responsibilities, particularly those that can be done remotely. This frees them up to take care of tasks that require face-to-face interactions, such as giving property tours or meeting with tenants and service providers. And since they’ve unloaded some of the responsibilities at work to their virtual assistant, they don’t have to take their work home. That means more quality time for themselves and their family.
If you’re in the property management business, you’ll benefit from having a VA (virtual assistant) take on some assistant property manager duties. But first, let’s look into what a property manager VA can do.
What are the responsibilities of a virtual assistant property manager?
There are many types of property managers, but let’s focus on the two main ones: residential and commercial property managers. Residential property managers handle single-family and multi-family residential homes, condos, and co-ops. Non-residential property managers, meanwhile, oversee commercial real estate such as office spaces, retail stores, shopping centers, self-storage spaces, recreational centers, commercial buildings, and other assets.
The duties of an assistant property manager for commercial properties differ slightly from those handled by an assistant property manager for residential buildings. But for both of these VA types, the goal is for the virtual assistant to take some of the work off of the property manager’s hands so that each one can be properly attended to. If the property manager has to do everything, some problems may be left unfixed, tasks may be rushed or done haphazardly, and important issues may slip through the cracks. That’s not good for any business.
However, if you’re working with an assistant property manager, you shouldn’t dump all the work on the VA’s lap either. At the onset, you should be clear about what the property manager VA’s responsibilities are. The main ones are:
1. Handling property management software
Property management software is used for keeping the information of clients and contractors, managing accounts, analyzing data, and automating reminders. Your virtual assistant property manager can make sure the property management software is utilized to its full extent. Since all data is stored and backed up online through the software, the need for paper files is negated and your VA can do the job from anywhere in the world.
2. Managing schedules
As a property manager, you need to stay on top of your schedule. You have to meet with current tenants and prospective ones. You also have to collect rent, make sure repairs are completed on time, and manage the budget, among other tasks.
Time management is a key factor in successfully overseeing properties. One of the primary duties of an assistant property manager will be organizing your schedule. They will be in charge of your calendar and will make sure you don’t miss appointments. They’ll respond to initial queries and contact people to schedule meetings. They will also follow-up on tenants who fail to respond and make sure you get to meet with them.
3. Handling complaints and maintenance requests
Maintaining the property is vital to your business. You don’t want existing tenants complaining and potential tenants being disappointed by the appearance of the property. The assistant property manager will help ensure that requests for repairs and maintenance work are acted upon immediately.
4. Developing and implementing marketing strategies
Without proper marketing, any business will struggle to succeed. If you can’t focus on marketing because of the other equally important things you have to do, then an assistant property manager will do the task for you.
Property manager virtual assistant tasks
What does a virtual assistant property manager do on a daily basis? The bulk of the work will be administrative, but you may also need your VA to perform marketing tasks like copywriting or graphic design, or IT work like website maintenance. Here’s a sampling of a virtual assistant property manager’s tasks:
Administrative VA tasks
1. Receiving and processing applications
Virtual assistant property managers are responsible for receiving application forms from interested parties. They can also give the initial interview through Zoom or other online communication tools. Property manager VAs may also conduct credit checks and contact the references that the clients provided.
The VAs will start processing the tenant’s application after they verify the requirements. They may also have to request more information and documents at this stage.
2. Giving virtual tours of the property
Property manager VAs can create a photo gallery, slideshow, or video of the property and its amenities so that they can give prospective tenants a “tour” online.
3. Managing files
The assistant property manager will enter all collected data into the property management software to keep the database up-to-date. It’s important to keep personal information and contact details updated to make communication with tenants easier and more effective.
The virtual assistant will also keep a record of complaints, maintenance requests, and other concerns. Each file will include the issue, before and after photos, urgency level, the action that was taken, and other vital information. This process will ensure that all matters are resolved in a timely manner.
4. Managing contacts
Property managers need orderly lists of contractors, vendors, tradespeople, local government contacts, and other individuals and businesses. These lists should be kept up-to-date with current contact details and rates.
An assistant can keep these contact lists accurate and update them with new service providers and suppliers they discover, along with their rates. The assistant will be actively seeking companies that offer lower prices and provide specific services. This will help the property manager provide better services and respond to requests as quickly as possible.
5. Receiving maintenance requests
The virtual assistant will not be on-site but they can take calls, emails, and direct messages regarding various concerns. The VA will record each request so that the property manager can review them and refer to them in the future, if necessary. The virtual assistant will also forward the request to the professional tasked to do the maintenance or repair work.
Some property management companies have a maintenance professional on the payroll. Others have contractors on file that they hire when the need arises. However, there will be instances when maintenance professionals are unavailable or preoccupied with other requests. The property manager can task their VA with finding and hiring an available contractor to do the job.
6. Processing bills and payments
Virtual assistant property managers can make sure that all utility bills and invoices are paid on time. They can manage payrolls, send out payment notifications, and file receipts and bills.
7. Following up on late payments
When a tenant fails to pay the rent on time, the property manager can ask the assistant to follow up on the payment. They can call or send an email to the tenant to remind them about their unpaid bill.
8. Assisting with bookkeeping tasks
An assistant property manager can use tools like FreshBooks to record financial data. They can help organize tax documents, receipts, invoices, and other financial records so it will be easier for you or an accountant to keep track of finances.
9. Listing vacant properties
Property manager VAs can keep an updated list of properties and list vacant ones on the company website and syndication sites as soon as they become available. To reach more clients, the VA can also put together a list of websites where you can publish listings for vacant properties.
Specialist VA tasks
10. Handling social media accounts
Aside from admin tasks, assistant property manager duties may also include crafting marketing strategies to promote the property and engaging with social media followers, and answering comments and messages on social media. They may post photos and videos of the property, optimize content by using hashtags, and repost real estate-themed memes, quotes, testimonials, and graphics.
Social media management is a time-consuming task, as there may be dozens of messages, questions, and comments to respond to every day. Property managers can’t afford to ignore these as they can lead to a bad review or an interested tenant deciding to look elsewhere. Luckily, this is another task that a VA can take off the property manager’s plate.
11. Writing copy, blogs, and website content
One of the best ways to increase your property’s visibility online is to create and maintain a blog. If your company doesn’t have a blog, an assistant property manager with content writing skills can write and publish articles for you regularly.
These blog articles will be SEO-optimized so your website will rank higher in search results. When someone types “house for rent in [your city]” on the search bar, for example, your property will be listed on the first page. This will lead more people to your website and, ultimately, to the property you’re managing.
A virtual assistant property manager may also write content for ads, announcements, social media, and marketing collateral.
12. Designing marketing materials
An assistant property manager with graphic design or video editing skills can help create marketing collateral to promote your property. They can design brochures, catalogs, business cards, and billboards for the company. Aside from creating promotional materials, your property manager VA can also create posters, banners, and other printed material for announcements to post around the property and for celebrations such as birthdays, holidays, and other events.
Property manager virtual assistant skills
A property manager virtual assistant can help make your workload lighter and your day less stressful. Convinced you need a property manager VA? These are the skills you need to look for when perusing assistant property manager resumes and interviewing candidates for the job:
Communication and interpersonal skills
Verbal and written communication skills are important in this line of work. The assistant property manager will be dealing directly with tenants and service providers, so they should be able to communicate well. They need to be clear and concise in their emails and polite and informative during phone calls.
A property manager VA handles concerns from and among the tenants, management, staff, security personnel, maintenance personnel, service providers, and other individuals. When handling complaints, the virtual assistant has to be able to stay calm and resolve the matter efficiently and tactfully.
Blog writing and copywriting
Because you may have to designate the creation of website and other written content to your virtual assistant, the candidates should have demonstrable skills in writing engaging content and copy. Ideally, they should have experience writing different types of content — from business letters and press releases to sales copy and social media ads.
Computer skills and IT know-how
Aside from being well-versed in basic data entry tools like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace, your property manager virtual assistant should also be able to use online communication tools like Skype and Zoom, project management tools like Slack and Asana, scheduling apps like Calendly, document signing tools like DocuSign, and other apps vital to the job.
When interviewing prospective property manager VAs, ask questions like “What do you think is the best app for [task you perform on a regular basis]?” Virtual assistants who have an awareness of which online tools will work best for your company are an asset. The ability to quickly learn how to use an unfamiliar tool is also important.
Graphic design and video editing
If you handle a lot of promotional tasks for your property or if you think you need to start actively marketing your property, a VA with graphic design skills will save you heaps of money and time. When checking VA profiles, look for a background in graphic design and/or video editing. Graphics-based and video-based ads and marketing collateral are the most effective when promoting real estate. Look for a VA with knowledge of graphic design trends and experience creating designs for printed materials, social media, and websites.
Assistant property managers should have excellent research skills. They will need to look up service providers to compare prices and find the most reputable businesses. They will have to keep an eye on similar businesses or properties to see how they’re promoting themselves. Knowing what people are looking for in potential homes or commercial spaces is integral to the success of the property you are handling.
Being organized is one of the most important qualities a virtual assistant needs. Having good organizational skills allows VAs to perform their duties well and in a timely manner. Virtual assistants take on many different tasks; without the ability to juggle various responsibilities, they won’t be effective in their role.
Solid organizational skills are even more important for assistant property managers who are managing a large property with hundreds of tenants or for those managing more than one property. Look for assistant property managers who have impeccable time management and task prioritization skills. During your interviews, ask the applicants how they go about their workday and how they handle tasks with various levels of urgency and importance.
Your records need to be in order so you can easily find what you’re looking for, update files with new information, and remove unnecessary or outdated files. A virtual assistant property manager with knowledge of different filing systems will be of great help to your operations.
Aside from being organized, a property management assistant has to be meticulous. When you’re handling tenant’s personal information and financial data, you need to be very careful and thorough.
Managing properties is no easy feat. Problems of all sizes and severities are bound to come up daily. Your assistant property manager should be able to find solutions for simple issues. When the problem is beyond their skill and understanding, they should know when it’s time to escalate the issue. They also need to be decisive in case you are not immediately available to answer a question or make a decision.
A career in property management has a lot of perks. You get to meet new people every day, make visits to investment properties, and enjoy employment in a growing industry. But it’s not without downsides either. Tenants can be difficult and there are constantly issues that need to be dealt with instantly.
If you’re struggling with your daily workload, don’t hesitate to delegate! Cut out your recurring tasks by outsourcing anything that can be done remotely so that you can free up your time for high-impact work. Hire a virtual assistant property manager and take back control of your workday.