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Best Virtual Assistants for Property Management with AI

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9 MINS
Published
March 7, 2024

A heated debate that rages in the PM industry: should you hire virtual assistants or invest in AI chatbots? This debate is more than just a professional dilemma; it's a clash of two worlds, human versus machine.

The lead communications and follow-ups have become a monotonous task for PMs. And this is exactly why PMs for so long have been opting for VAs as soon as they want to grow their portfolio and boom their business.

According to research 84% of companies now believe AI chatbots are a fundamental change in automating lead communications. This marks a pivotal shift from the traditional reliance on virtual assistants who have been managing lead communications and administrative tasks for years.

In the spotlight of this shift is a compelling narrative about cost-effectiveness. When we crunch the numbers, the cost of a single interaction with a chatbot averages between $0.50 and $0.70. This starkly contrasts with the heftier price tag of hiring the best virtual assistants for property managers. We've calculated the numbers and an AI chatbot can convert 4X the leads than a Virtual Assistant does. This brings AI-powered chatbots to the forefront as cost-effective and less time-consuming in PM business.

But let's hit the pause button here. Are we witnessing the end of the road for virtual assistants in property management? Far from it.

Now, imagine an innovative approach where you don't have to choose sides. We're talking about a masterstroke strategy where the best virtual assistants for property managers collaborate with the powerful AI chatbots.

Let's see how blending the human touch with efficiency can 2X your revenue per door.

Are You Hiring Virtual Assistants for the Right Reasons?

Property managers can receive operational and administrative support from a virtual assistant (VA). They are able to work remotely and complete duties online with task management software.

It is vital to keep in mind that a virtual assistant is hired mainly for specific tasks and trained on them which makes it difficult to hire one VA that can do more than 2-3 of the following tasks:

  • Software Management: Managing property management software to streamline client and contractor data, account management, and data analysis.
  • Schedule Management: Organizing property managers' schedules, handling appointments, and ensuring efficient time management.
  • Maintenance Coordination: Facilitating repairs and maintenance requests promptly to maintain property standards.
VAs for maintenance work
  • Marketing Strategy Development: Crafting and implementing marketing strategies to promote properties effectively.
  • Bookkeeping: Bookkeeping VAs handle the organization and management of financial records, ensuring accuracy and accessibility.
  • Application Processing: Managing tenant applications and conducting preliminary screenings.
  • File and Contact Management: Maintaining up-to-date records and contact lists for efficient operation.
  • Designing Marketing Materials: Producing creative materials for property promotion. Managing social media accounts and crafting engaging content for marketing purposes.
  • Invoice Processing: They are responsible for processing invoices, managing payments from tenants, and keeping track of expenses.
  • Rent Collection: VAs can facilitate rent collection, sending reminders to tenants, and managing follow-ups for late payments.
  • Budget Preparation: Assisting in budget preparation and financial reporting, VAs enable property managers to make informed financial decisions.
  • Tax Document Organization: They organize tax documents, receipts, and invoices, making tax filing more efficient.

Companies Offering Best Virtual Assistants for Property Managers:

  • BELAY: Known for offering a wide range of virtual services including administrative support tailored for property management needs. Average BELAY Virtual Assistant hourly pay is $15.86.
  • MyOutDesk: Provides virtual professionals skilled in various aspects of real estate and property management. The average pay may be between $24 to $50 per hour for a virtual assistant's services, but rates may be higher for specialized skills.
  • 20Four7VA: Specializes in providing virtual assistants for different industries including property management. On average, the hourly pay for a Virtual Assistant is $19 per hour.
  • Virtalent: Offers tailored virtual assistant services, including those geared towards the real estate sector. The average pay may be between $18 to $24.40 per hour.
  • TaskVirtual: Provides virtual assistant services with options for property management support. Experienced virtual assistants' pays is between $15 and $50 per hour, and some may even charge up to $100, but entry-level VAs charge lower rates
  • Time Etc: Known for their versatile virtual assistants, including support for property management tasks. The average hourly pay for their virtual assistants is $21. Some beginner-level VAs are paid $17 per hour, whereas, some experienced are paid $28-$100 per hour.
  • VPM Solutions: great tech option to address your needs. They give you a quote based on consultation with them. It depends on what your needs are and to them rates can vary based on experience and skill set.
  • Virtually Incredible: is preferred for property manager virtual assistants needed to handle last minute tasks. The average hourly pay for their Virtual Assistant is $19.

Debunking the Hype: The Overlooked Downsides of Hiring Virtual Assistants in Property Management

  • Securing the best VAs comes at a higher cost
  • Requires complex training tools especially if they are overseas VAs
  • Takes up your time as you will need to have check-in points/huddles
  • Requires additional monitoring to ensure accuracy and timeliness in task completion
  • Delegating tasks to a virtual assistant can be tricky as you need to assign tasks according to their capabilities and the job description
  • Misunderstanding can arise due to a different linguistic or cultural background
  • Lack of proper onboarding and training can lead to subpar performance so extra time is spent on hiring them, vetting the VA company, and then implementing a comprehensive onboarding program
  • Monitoring a virtual assistant’s productivity and work quality can be challenging
  • High Turnover rate
VAs usually have a high turnover in PM industry

To Bot or Not: Smart Savings or Risky Gamble for Property Managers?

Conversational AI in the form of chatbots are rapidly becoming indispensable for their speed and reliability. They provide instant, real-time support for tenant queries, combining cost-effectiveness with ease of implementation. They operate on pre-defined responses and are excellent for handling direct tenant queries and multiple task completions. These chatbots not only meet the varied needs of employees but also offer the significant advantage of being free of human error. This blend of efficiency and consistency makes AI chatbots a game-changing tool in the industry.

To evaluate the benefits of chatbots for your PM company, consider these steps:

  • Identify Automatable Queries: Assess common customer inquiries, categorize their complexity, and determine which can be automated. For real estate, chatbots effectively provide information on projects, amenities, and locations, handling most frequent queries.
  • Assess Time Savings: With chatbots managing routine questions, agent call times can significantly reduce, freeing them for more complex tasks like lead nurturing and property viewings.
  • Calculate Annual Savings: Implementing AI can help you recover $40K in staff costs.
  • Evaluate Business Value: Chatbots not only save costs but also boost sales and lead generation. A Forbes study showed a 67% increase in sales due to chatbot interactions. This leads to a substantial increase in potential revenue from leads converted by chatbots.

Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of chatbots in property management reveals significant savings and efficiency improvements. Our research indicates that LetHub's AI River has resolved over 95% of standard inquiries, cutting costs by $2-5 per lead.

In comparison to the virtual assistants, who typically cost $20-50 per hour, chatbots offer a more economical and efficient solution. It handles multiple interactions simultaneously and reducing the need for a large team of virtual assistants.

LetHub's AI-Powered Chatbot

The Future of Smarter Leasing Teams

It's clear that automating your workflows with the best virtual assistants for property managers is essential, and not just a luxury, in today's market. You can't afford the time for strenuous vetting processes to hire the best virtual assistants for property managers every time especially with such a high turn-over rate for VAs

Whereas, hiring an AI leasing chatbot involves just a demo and one first hand experience for a PM to assess its utility. Thus, we suggest a strategic alliance of the best virtual assistants for property managers with AI leasing chatbots to achieve a 2X faster ROI.

A Practical Guide for Combining Best Virtual Assistants for Property Managers with Cutting-Edge AI Chatbots

Best virtual assistants for property managers offer a broad spectrum of support, but excel in roles requiring human judgment and personalized communication.

Chatbots, on the other hand, excel in providing immediate, automated responses to routine inquiries, mainly ideal for high-volume tenant interactions.

How you can complement the best virtual assistants for property managers with AI chatbots to lower your OpEx and increase your ROI:

1. Task Juggling between VAs and Chatbots

Utilize AI chatbots for standardized, repetitive tasks like answering basic lead inquiries and VAs for complex, personalized activities.

2. The Art of Transitioning from AI to Human Touch without Stumbling

Implement chatbots for initial tenant interactions, with seamless handoff to VAs for in-depth follow-ups and more complex discussions.

3. Speed vs. Soul: Chatbot Efficiency + VA's Human Element

Chatbots handle high-volume requests quickly, while VAs provide the human touch for nuanced conversations.

4. Penny-Wise or Pound-Foolish? The True Cost of AI-Human Collaboration

Combining both tools can optimize operational costs, ensuring tasks are handled by the most suitable medium. A single VA can oversee updating the AI chatbots, once every few months. This team tactic can help in managing a workload that would otherwise need a 12+ VAs or 12+ member team and incur substantial hours.

5. Elevating Tenant Relations: A New Era of AI + Human Tag Team

A blended approach of VAs ensures quick responses and personalized service. If a tenant is asking for simple basic questions that require a template answer you chatbots are on top of that. This is to ensure that overall each and every tenant is responded to timely.  

6. Numbers Tell the Tale: VAs + Chatbot Research Team

Use your AI chatbots to gather tenant feedback and preferences, allowing VAs to tailor services and communications effectively. The data can be fed to AI for further analysis, while the human judgements can be made based on your VA's logic and expertise.

7. Proactive or Reactive? The Tug-of-War in Maintenance Strategies

Deploy chatbots for routine maintenance requests and let VAs coordinate with service providers for complex issues.

8. Collaborative Marketing: Innovative Synergy

Chatbots can initiate marketing campaigns with set workflows in place. Meanwhile, VAs follow up on leads and conduct in-depth client interactions.

9. Navigating Crisis at the Crossroads: VA and Chatbots to the Rescue

In urgent situations, chatbots can provide immediate guidance, while VAs handle escalated issues with a personal touch. This strategic combination ensures that immediate needs are met with precision, while more intricate problems receive the thoughtful attention they require.

10. The Evolution Dilemma: Adapting in the AI and Human Workspace

Your VAs can update chatbot scripts based on lead communication data and tenant's feedback to refine both chatbot and VA performance. You can also ensure that the VAs and your team members are not bored to death with monotonous tasks and constantly trying new things for your business.

Key Questions Property Managers Can't Afford to Skip When Interviewing Virtual Assistants

Every team lead will want the best virtual assistants available for property managers and to vet the perfect ones for your team, these are some common questions you should ask:

  • Can you detail your fee structure? What is the Hourly Rate and Payment Structure like? Specifically, what fees are charged, and what services are included within these fees? Is there a Placement Fee?
  • What Specific trainings have you gotten for Property Management?
  • Which Property management software are your VAs familiar with? Have you worked with Yardi Voyager/AppFolio/Your PM software’s name?
  • What are the Background Check Protocols that your company has before hiring VAs?
  • How do you handle new owner account setup/ Tenants who pay late fees?:
  • How do you ensure the reliability and quality of tenants? OR could you elaborate on your tenant screening process, including background checks and credit assessments?
  • How frequently do you conduct property inspections, and who is responsible for the maintenance work? Do you have a dedicated team or external contractors for this?
  • How and when do you provide data reports? Are these reports delivered digitally or through traditional mail?
  • What digital tools or software do you utilize for efficient property management? How do these tools enhance the management process?

The choice between VAs and chatbots is not binary. A strategic integration of the best virtual assistants for property managers and AI-powered chatbots can enhance efficiency, ensuring tasks are appropriately assigned based on complexity and nature. Your team can benefit from the speed of chatbots and the nuanced, personalized support of the best virtual assistants for property managers for a comprehensive, effective management strategy.

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Author
Hibah Khan

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