Distant Helper

Q: I started a real estate business earlier this year and it’s starting to pick up. I’m on the road a lot and I need help but I can’t afford to hire anybody at this early stage of my business. I’m thinking about using a virtual assistant part-time to help me with some of my work. Can you recommend a reputable service? How much will it cost?
— C. Ruesa, Via e-mail

A: Hiring a virtual assistant is a practical and affordable solution to help you manage your small, but growing business. For an hourly fee of $15 to $35, you can take advantage of highly-skilled, computer-savvy professionals who can complete your projects at the click of a mouse.

A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur who provides Internet-based administrative, creative, or technical support for your business from a remote location. This is an ideal arrangement since you spend a lot of time away from your office. Your virtual assistant can perform basic word processing, phone answering, or appointment scheduling on an as-needed basis for only a few hours a day or week.

You can contact the International Virtual Assistants Association by visiting it’s Website at www.ivaa.org. The site has a comprehensive directory of virtual assistants listed alphabetically by name and geographic location. It also includes a separate directory of real estate support specialists. Find the VA who most closely matches your need and contact him or her via e-mail.