February 10, 2012 ~ Boca Raton, FL
Wow! Who knew having a Virtual Assistant was going to be so much fun...or have so many unique challenges. I decided to keep a diary with our new Virtual Assistant and share it with the blogging community.
My husband Dan and I are full-time residential Realtors living in Boca Raton.
We are really gearing up our business now that the economy is starting to recover in South Florida and needed help with marketing, especially learning how to make social media work for us. Jennifer Oliver had the exact talents we were looking for. The only problem was that we are based in South Florida with RE/MAX Services and Jennifer is in Nashville, Tennessee.
ARE WE CRAZY???
Little did we know how easily the start up would go. Having the right technology made all the difference in getting our Virtual Assistant up and running quickly.
Problem One - How do we communicate without spending a fortune on the phone bills? Don’t you just love these prehistoric phones? I think Dan and I were on a conference call with Wilma and Fred Flintstone!
Solution - We got Jennifer her own Skype account.
Problem Two - How do we set work priorities and keep track of what our Virtual Assistant is doing?
Solution - Dan and Jennifer use Google Calendars to keep track of tasks. Much of the time I email priorities to Jennifer, she then adds them to her calendar. At the end of each day she highlights the completed tasks in red and moves any uncompleted tasks over to the next day. Dan can pull up the calendar on his phone or email to keep track of how the days are progressing.
Problem Three - How do we share real estate-related documents but keep our own files private?
Solution - The answer is Dropbox.
Signing up for Dropbox was the smartest move we’ve made in years. We’ve got access to documents, photos, etc. on our computers, Ipad and our phones. Setting up our Virtual Assistant Jennifer with access only to specific folders was a piece of cake. Now we all access the same files which automatically sync in just seconds.
We got through our first week together with a few minor glitches and misunderstandings but we made serious progress moving all of us up the learning curve.
February 10, 2012 ~ Nashville, TN
I first met Dan and Linda when I lived in Boca Raton and was working for the RE/MAX Services as Director of Marketing.
I completed some print marketing projects for them which gave me a one-up on the look and feel of their marketing campaigns and brand image. When I relocated to Nashville, I stayed in touch with Dan and Linda and helped them with a few projects. I was thrilled when they selected me as their Marketing Coordinator / Virtual Assistant.
Google Calenders has been a great way for us all to keep track of schedules and tasks. I don’t so much use it as a clock, but more of a task list. When an assignment isn’t completed on Monday, I drag and drop it onto Tuesday, etc... The Tublitz’s may log into the GMail account we’ve set up to view the calendar anytime online or via smart phones.
I work from my home office and whereas Olivia is a fantastic personal assistant, my office needed more..
There is a lot of market research involved in this position and the constant popping open of windows and sliding from tab to tab in my browser was highly inefficient. I needed a second monitor and Dan and Linda were happy to help out.
We all knew there would some challenges along the way, yet we were all optimistic that we could all further ourselves with this new-found working relationship. II had seven year’s experience working as a Realtor’s assistant so I was already familiar with the in’s and out’s of the real estate industry, i.e. the MLS system, client needs, ActiveRain, print and online marketing, tax records, CMA’s, etc… This made the transition to working with the Tublitz team quite smooth. I cannot imagine becoming a Virtual Assistant to a real estate agent without previous experience in the industry. Going in ‘cold’ is just not an option.
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