10 Must Have Virtual Assistant Skills

 

Virtual Assistant Skills

A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to various clients from a remote location, mostly from a home office.

The main things people hire a virtual assistant for is to handle administrative tasks ranging from making and receiving phone calls, scheduling appointments, managing email accounts to making travel arrangements, among many others.

A good virtual assistant should have all the necessary skills required to be able to handle all these tasks professionally and efficiently. These skills are crucial for both the employer and anyone looking to build a career as a virtual assistant.

The 10 Most Important Virtual Assistant Skills

These are the key skills for anyone who wants to become a virtual assistant or for employers trying to write up requirements for a virtual assistant job.

1. Word Processing Tasks

More than 50% of a virtual assistant’s work involves taking and typing notes. A good VA should therefore know their way around word processing software programs and how to format the text properly.

This isn’t, however, limited to word processing but also includes structuring/formatting text and data entry. As basic as it may seem, word processing is one of the most crucial skills for the modern VA.

While your typing speed may help a lot, you still need to ensure there are minimal to zero errors in the text.

Finding the right balance between accuracy, well-laid-out text, and speed is the key. It’s better to type 40 error-free and well-formatted words per minute than typing 80 words per minute full of errors.

2. Written And Oral Communication Tasks

Proper oral communication and writing skills are crucial for every virtual assistant. They should be a good listener and be able to relay information accurately to their clients.

Virtual assistants use everything from chat services (Messenger, Skype, Slack, etc.) to emails to communicate with their employers. For this reason, the VA should be able to communicate effectively both in writing (chats and emails) and orally (phone calls).

This also means understanding the tasks at hand, communicating progress, problems, and challenges encountered, and most importantly, meeting tight deadlines.

3. General IT Skills

General computer skills are a must if you are planning to work as a virtual or executive assistant. Turning the computer on and using a few apps isn’t enough.

You should at least have a proper understanding of some of the most basic programs such as MS Word, Access, PowerPoint, Excel, and Microsoft 365. Internet access and the ability to conduct online research is not only a requirement but will also help make your work much easier.

One of the reasons for this is that you may be required to research or search for contact information, businesses, people, and other relevant information for the employer.

Some employers may want their virtual professionals to maintain and support their business database systems and websites.

Only a virtual assistant with advanced computer and internet skills would be able to handle such demanding and time-consuming tasks, a reason you may want to advance your skills too.

The best thing about this is that these requirements will be listed separately from the basic VA skill requirements. Advancing your computer and internet skills could thus prove beneficial (both financially and career-wise) for you.

4. Self-Driven And Disciplined

Self-motivation and discipline are essential for all virtual assistant tasks. The prospective employers need to be sure that when they hire virtual assistants, they will be able to complete all assigned tasks on time and turn up to work every day without fail. Working remotely as a virtual assistant has its challenges.

With no one on your back, it is easy to get distracted by non-work-related issues, making it harder to meet deadlines, let alone show up on time.

The last thing potential clients want is for their projects to fall back because you aren’t self-driven and disciplined.

Any responsible virtual assistant will keep their employers updated on current tasks and will also inform them beforehand if they need to take a short leave from work to attend to personal issues or emergencies.

The most common distractions that many VAs succumb to include browsing and spending time on social media, watching TV, and even non-essential telephone calls while working. The freedom that comes with virtual assistant jobs also means you have to be highly motivated and disciplined to be able to deliver on time, every time.

5. Effective Decision Making And Quick Thinking

Differences in time zones between the employer and the virtual assistant can make some tasks quite challenging when planning to use virtual assistant services. There are also times when the employer will be unavailable to clarify some issues or answer questions too.

In such scenarios, the virtual assistant must make quick and effective decisions, especially if the matter is part of an urgent project. Although there’s a learning curve for every new VA hire, most virtual assistants are quick thinkers.

They can make critical decisions when the business owner isn’t available.

Part of quick decision-making means being able to prioritize tasks to help avoid running into problems or grinding to a halt. If there’s an unexpected downtime, for example, the virtual assistant can switch to completing general admin tasks before services are restored.

Just because the systems are down and you cannot send a crucial email doesn’t mean you should stop working – take care of administrative support that doesn’t run through the affected systems.

6. Proper Understanding Of Real Estate Listings

Our Virtual Assistants at RealEstateVirtualAssistant mainly specialise in the real estate industry. Most of our clients are in the real estate business, which means our administrative assistants are very comfortable providing support for all types of mundane tasks.

We handle everything from updating and posting real estate listings for our clients.

In addition to knowing how to post and edit listings on different platforms, they are also capable of managing a large volume of listings whenever there’s new information to be updated.

To make filling virtual assistant jobs easier, we offer clients a service that involves training all new hires on general virtual assistant duties as well as complex skills required for the specific project and business needs.

7. Managing Facebook Pages And Groups

Many companies in the real estate industry use Facebook as their primary social media presence.

With thousands of users sending inquiries on Facebook alone, managing several different social media accounts and groups can be time-consuming and tiring. And that’s one of the main reasons to hire a VA and take care of all social media sites.

Although most VAs may have an idea of how Facebook pages and groups work, hiring someone with prior experience in social media management and advertiksing would be advisable. Many VAs can help keep your social profiles active and updated, allowing you to focus on more crucial dollar productive tasks.

8. Email Inbox Management

It is easy for small business owners to end up with an email inbox that is crowded with both important and junk emails.

Regular screening of inboxes is critical to ensure every important email is attended to and isn’t lost in the ‘crowd’ is crucial for the success of the business. A virtual administrative assistant can help with this every day.

With many virtual assistants working in a different time zone from their employers, it is easy to screen inboxes early enough before the client gets to work.

This alone can save employers lots of time and money in the long run. Just imagine arriving at work to a fully organised and prioritised inbox.

Your VA can also filter out important emails and mailing lists to ensure crucial emails aren’t sent to the spam folder. After the VA is done filtering out and categorising different mails, they can start responding to emails, especially if clients are requesting an appointment.

They can use online calendars to respond with a free time slot, meaning the client never has to worry about the email and calendar management.

9. Open To Learn New Skills

Every employer wishes to have a virtual assistant who can work independently with hardly any supervision needed. But this requires first of all finding the right talent, and then training them to become a virtual assistant who will grow with your business.

Finding those kinds of self motivated VAs who will strive to constantly learn new skills and offer a better service is a difficult process.

And that’s exactly what we have worked on for many years so that all of our clients have the right virtual office assistant who will take on new tasks.

10. Identifying The Right Talent

Advertising a position for a VA is one thing; going through the multiple applications from prospective virtual assistants and identifying the right person/talent for the job is another.

Most businesses will hire a VA randomly without checking for required qualifications, only to hire the wrong person. This is one of the main reasons that business owners don’t succeed in building a team of VAs and conclude that they simply won’t work out for their particular business.

Contact Us Today

Here at RealEstateVirtualAssistant we are experts in creating teams of highly skilled VAs for real estate businesses.

Our virtual assistant business has been a proven success story for countless small businesses all across Australia, freeing up time for business owners and managers to focus on tasks that directly improve the bottom line.

We can help you identify the right people to handle everything from managing online listings, scheduling appointments, data entry, email management, and telephone calls.

Call us today to find out how quickly we can have you set up with a dedicated VA who is ready to free up your time.

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