This article is based on an incredibly informative talk that Chris Schwab gave live at the 2019 Maid Summit, which was hosted and organized by ZenMaid.
Check out replays of talks from Chris and over 40 other cleaning industry experts at MaidSummit.com
– About the presenter –
Chris Schwab is an entrepreneur who spends less than an hour a week (yes, we’re deadly serious) running his cleaning business, Think Maids.
The techniques he has created and implemented within his cleaning company allow for such a relaxed hold on this business.
With all of this spare time, Chris started Inova Local, a provider of trained virtual assistants ready to help you run your maid service with ease.
He explains that “the goal is to replace yourself” at your residential cleaning company.
After all, having a self-running business that doesn’t require your undivided attention is what we all dream of.
Imagine being able to make it to all of your son’s baseball games.
If you don’t have kids, imagine having the flexibility to head off to the beach just because you want to smell the surf.
That, is the dream.
What Can A Virtual Assistant Do For A Maid Service?
One of the bonuses to having a VA is that there are none of the extra expenses that come from having an office manager.
No breaks, no getting distracted, no water cooler banter, you don’t have to worry about any of these little time-suckers that come with an in-house employee.
Plus, a VA can be super helpful with the organization to your home cleaning company.
They can take care of things like:
- Booking cleaning clients
- Making follow-up phone calls
- Managing your cleaners and other staff (if you have them)
- Reaching out to leads and closing them
- Organizing your cleaner and client schedules
- Answering emails
- And so much more!
Basically, a VA can take a lot off your plate, including the stuff you really don’t like to do. You know, the things you procrastinate about the most.
In fact, it is actually recommended to pass off the tasks you hate the most as soon as possible to free your mind for more creative aspects of your home cleaning business.
Imagine a world where you go to work and all of the things you avoid doing have already been completed. Doesn’t that just make your day to day seem more enjoyable already?
Of course it does.
However, before you hire the first person you see, there are a few factors to consider once you decide to hire a VA.
Which is better: an independent VA or an agency VA?
As with anything, there are pros and cons to each.
An independent VA will usually charge a cheaper rate, but you also have more control over how they manage your maid service responsibilities.
However, independent VAs are typically untrained and there is no quality control, so you will have to weed out the bad ones on your own.
Another issue is that there will be no one to replace your virtual assistant should something occur where you cannot reach them or they are sick. At this point, you will have to do everything yourself.
If you decide to go with an agency VA, you may pay more upfront, but the benefits are worth the money.
Before a VA represented by an agency begins, they will be trained to the specific needs of your maid service.
If your usual VA is out for any reason, the provider will then be responsible to issue a replacement to take their place.
In addition to these pros, an agency VA will be a little more guaranteed in all of the ways independent VAs are not.
They will also have the agency to be on top of them to do better, rather than you having to stress about any re-training.
However, either one you choose should be able to make your life easier in a variety of ways.
Should I hire an international VA or a local VA?
In short, a local VA is the way to go, but let us explain why.
If you are running a US-based residential cleaning business, a local native English speaker is best.
This isn’t to say you cannot get a great international virtual assistant, but in reality most cleaning clients want to communicate with someone who sounds local and understands their culture.
It just eliminates a lot of miscommunications that may occur from having an international VA.
You might be able to get a qualityinternational VA who works hard and efficiently, but they could be costing you in unexpected ways.
A common issue is the risk of poor-quality phone systems. We all know how aggravating can be to be on the phone, let alone if the connection is bad.
Furthermore, there is no way to connect an international VA to your phone system. This can cause missed calls and a loss in cleaning clients.
Internet connection or software can also cause problems with communication.
If the international VA has a poor connection or malfunctioning software, there is no way for you to be sure tasks will be completed in a timely manner.
On top of this, international VAs have the common habit of disappearing on you.
This happens a lot due to the common reason for hiring them, for the low wages.
For example: if someone offers your international VA a job $6 and you are only giving them $3, they will likely leave without notice.
Even though this is only a little bit of a difference, there is nothing tying them to you or your home cleaning business.
If you happen to have a VA drop out on you without notice, this can be detrimental to your business. You could even go weeks without realizing no one is managing your maid service.
Any VA is better than none, but if you want to work toward a self-running home cleaning businesses, hire a local VA.