This article was created based on the talk Chris Schwab gave at the 2019 Maid Summit.
Check out replays of all of the full talks at maidsummit.com
Chris Schwab is the owner of Think Maids, a very successful maid service based in Washington D.C.
He is also the CEO of Inova Local, a provider of trained virtual assistants who are knowledgeable on the cleaning industry.
Now, Chris splits his time between Tokyo and London, all while remotely leading a team of 12.
This inspiring way to run a business has caught the attention of many media outlets, including: TIME, The Penny Hoarder, Cleanify, and it has certainly caught our attention too!
Since he has so much insight into the world of virtual assistants, we created two other articles based on a talk he gave at the 2019 Maid Summit.
Create a great VA job application
When it comes to hiring, you need to be specific about what it is you are looking for.
It’s a good idea to really detail the type of employee you want in this position because you will be relying on them to help you grow.
Things like the experience desired for the position, hours, duties and other requirements should be detailed accurately. The last thing you want to deal with is a VA who disappears on you because the application and the job don’t match up.
VA experience necessary(?)
When considering who you are trying to hire, think outside of the box in terms of the number of years experience you expect.
Individuals who are just starting in the VA industry are not only cheaper, they are also fresh to the field and excited to be doing this sort of work.
If you find a new VA that is familiar with the maid service industry, this might be the best possible scenario.
Not only will they know the ins and outs of your maid service, these prospects will be eager to impress in this new role.
Plus – if you think about it – a VA with 10 years experience is more likely to have moved forward into social media management or some other specialty less pertinent to your current needs.
Skill sets for a home cleaning service VA
When you’re designing the skills portion of the application, be sure to notate that you want for the VA to enjoy these skills.
They should really love and be great at what they do, this will increase efficiency as well as performance in the position.
Ask for those who love working in their planner and playing with their schedule. State that you need someone who really likes talking on the phone.
There are plenty of those folks out there, and some who might prefer to work through text or email.
Consider the things that you aren’t good at or don’t enjoy, your VA should have these skills in order to support you out effortlessly.
Duties of a maid service VA
Notate in the draft of your job application the main duties you would like for your virtual assistant to accomplish.
Make sure that you are very specific and brief when describing the different things you would like your VA to take care of.
In the application, put focus on the most important aspects to the position.
A few duties you might prefer for your VA to perform are:
- Handling teams
- And many more!
Hours, packages and other requirements
A VA’s organizational skills can be utilized within your cleaning business as well as in your personal life.
Just make sure to ask for what you need ahead of time. They can do so much to make your whole life more efficient!
When it comes to the hours, put what you want them to be working on a daily basis. This is probably going to be something like 2 or 3 hours a day.
You won’t likely need someone for 5 hours a day throughout the week, as the tasks for the VA can typically be done in smaller time increments.
Many virtual assistants work by the hour, and have packages they will provide you with.
Most VAs will be more than willing to work with you on the bundles they offer, if there happens to be a need for an adjustment.
Posting your maid service’s VA application
Before you post anywhere, go through your own networks. Think of your friends, family, your social media, as well as other email lists that you may have.
Comb through these people first because they will not only be more likely to work with you on payment options, they’ll be personally invested just like you.
Try to avoid turning to Facebook groups at the start. They do work, but you are not likely to get the best candidates.
If you are looking for a more experienced VA, check out some of the VA forums.
When you know there will be weird hours or that the position will only be part-time, go to Upwork and insert your VA application.
This site is great for you and the VA because they can work your hours as well as for others when it is convenient.
Craigslist can also lead you to a quality VA, as long as you are looking for a part-time position in a major city.
Best hiring practices
From the beginning, state what your standard of excellence is.
Approach topics like, how quickly you want phone calls returned and what you expect the mail response rate to be.
Be specific on each task so that you are on the same page from the start and put it into a contract. There should ALWAYS be a contract.
Give applicants sample tasks to complete, things they would actually do for your maid service to see how they will work.
For example: have them respond to a negative review to see how they handle it.
Express transparency with the pay offered as well.
You only want to attract those who are interested in the position you have, and for the pay you offer, otherwise time is just being wasted.
So that you are less at risk, get cyber security. This will come in handy if you have to fire a VA or two before you find the right fit.
LastPass is one of the better options for this. You can give your team access or take it away whenever necessary.
Another thing you should do is ask your VA candidate is about their 5 year plan.
Find out if they intend to be with you for a while or if this is a temporary position.
Staying on the same page will be good for both parties and you will have more success this way.
3 important conversations to have before onboarding
- Decide what you will be handling and what the VA will be handling.
Try and give the VA things that you do not enjoy doing. Take that off of your place first.
2. Talk about how you both communicate best and set up a weekly meeting.
Be consistent with how you communicate with your VA. Decide if contact is best by phone or Skype or Messenger, whatever works best and stay on top of your maid service this way. Regular meetings help to build rapport and to make sure your manager feel comfortable talking with you.
3. Discuss the protocol for unforeseen situations.
When you are working with people, there are bound to be things like scheduling issues, personal issues, deaths in the family, etc. Prepare for these by having some options available that your VA can enact if you are unavailable.
This article was based on a talk given by Chris Schwab at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by Zenmaid.
To see the full presentation Chris gave, check out replays of his talk as well as over 40 other maid service expert’s talks at maidsummit.com
You can find more useful articles on ZenMaid Magazine:
- How to supercharge your maid services with text messaging
- Here’s why you’re losing leads – and how to fix it
- Residential and commercial cleaning services: how to do both
- How to use automations to create a 7-figure business – and find work-life balance
- How to hire great employees for your cleaning business, fast!