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Growing your Airbnb Business with Virtual Assistants


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This presentation was given at the NYC Airbnb Hosts Meetup-

Published in: Real Estate
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Growing your Airbnb Business with Virtual Assistants

  1. 1. NYC Airbnb Hosts Meetup Sponsored by:
  2. 2. Speaker Background Michael McKay, has been using virtual assistants for 7 years. His previous company operated over 100 short term rentals, where VA’s provided 27/7 guest support and handled day to day operations. He has successfully hired and trained dozens of VAs in multiple businesses. Website: :
  3. 3. Overview ● What can a VA do for your STR business? ● Finding and hiring a rockstar VA ● Training your VA ● Setting your VA up for success
  4. 4. Managing the day to day ● Guest communication ● Replying to reviews and communicating feedback to staff ● Auditing and paying invoices for cleaners or channels ● Managing maintenance requests
  5. 5. Growing your STR portfolio ● Searching for properties ● Reaching out to owners and brokers ● Finding contact info for off market properties
  6. 6. Where do you find a good VA ● Upwork ○ Great for finding someone to help you part time ○ Reviews make it easy to find top candidates ○ Handles payment for you automatically ○ Takes a fee from the VA and a smaller fee from you ● ○ Better for finding VAs that you guarantee 20 or more hours per week ○ More favorable rates since you guarantee hours and there are no fees for the VA ○ Pay a monthly fee to post jobs
  7. 7. You can find VAs who have experience with short-term rentals!
  8. 8. Screening applicants I ask all candidates to: ● Record a 30-90 second Loom video ○ Have them tell you a little about themselves and why they are interested in the position ○ Gives you a sense of their verbal English skills ■ Important if they will be speaking to guests on the phone ○ Disqualifies candidates that are bad with technology ○ Eliminates candidates who are mass applying to every job posting ● Run an Internet speed test ○ 15 mbps download speed or faster, so they can work efficiently with software ○ Have them share a link to the speed test with you ○ is offers free speed tests
  9. 9. Screening applicants (cont.) ● Answer a written screening question ○ Ask a two part question that requires a longer response ○ The question should be relevant to the job, so you can see how they would handle a situation. ○ Eliminate candidates who only answer one of the questions ■ What if your guest asks a two part question?! ○ Tests their written English skills ● Ask if they are ok working the hours you need them ○ You may want your VA to work your hours
  10. 10. Interviewing ● Have at least two rounds of interviews! ○ Would you hire someone local after the first interview? ● Interviews should be video calls ○ Use Skype or Google Hangouts ○ Observe the candidates work environment ● Prepare questions ahead of time
  11. 11. Training your VA ● Use Loom to record videos of you going through a task while explaining it ● Create guides with your policies ○ E.g. What should they do if a guest requests a late checkout? ● Have them teach you how to do the task on Skype ○ After they review your instructions, have them walk you through how they would do the task ○ When someone is able to teach you how to do something, they have a high level of understanding ● Provide timely feedback, especially for new tasks ○ Feedback early on will save you a lot of time later
  12. 12. Setting your VA up for Success ● Schedule weekly video calls ○ Ask how you can make their job easier ● Provide clear instructions ● Set clear expectations ○ E.g. Response time to guests or project deadlines ● Let VAs know how to communicate with you ○ E.g. You may prefer to communicate by Slack, but if there’s an emergency you may want them to call you.
  13. 13. Tools for working with VAs ● Lastpass ○ Securely share passwords ● Loom ○ Record videos of your screen ● Slack ○ Instant messaging for work ● Asana ○ Track projects and deadlines ● Call Hippo ○ A voip phone number for your VAs, so they can call and text ● Time Doctor ○ Tracks VAs hours and takes screenshots, so you can ensure they’re working