I love a brain that can build a world, so I enjoy writers who create a landscape of characters engaged in all sorts of narratives. 


If you’re a business owner, you’re also a world builder, but there’s nothing fictional about it. You’re creating a landscape and a framework for others to shine by applying their skills to various tasks. 


Isn’t this cool? If you started a business, I hope you can pull back on occasion to that 10,000-foot view and look at what you’ve accomplished and what impact your vision has on other people. 


There is No “Box” When Hiring in Today’s World  


As business owners, we sometimes put our focus on the money, right? Am I profitable? What expenses do we need to incur or cut? It can become transactional. But if you can make a business thrive, this is truly the deeper satisfaction — the knowledge that you’ve built a little world where other people find sustenance, purpose, and satisfaction. I don’t think you can be an entrepreneur unless this fact powers you. Do you have a world-building mind? Do you love that world and its inhabitants? 


Make no mistake: world-building is tough. It’s all in the details; you can’t leave anything to luck. Chance is a factor in everything. Good and bad breaks happen. The weather impacts a homebuilder. But quality homes aren’t luckily constructed. Quality businesses aren’t either. 


My husband Mark and I see HireSmart Companies as our world-building endeavor, and we’ve had our good fortunes, lucky breaks, and bad ones. But our success has been about process, not chance. We are hawks about detail. And the first detail is easy to understand but hard to achieve: We better be good at this. “Being good” means our clients and virtual employees must thrive. If we accomplish those two things, helping them shine, then our personal success is a nice byproduct, but it’s secondary to the earlier aims. If it’s not, our priorities are out of order. 


When Planning Clicks, You Know It’s Right   


That means it’s our business to help your world thrive. You oversee a small world of activity. It’s rough at times, I’m sure. 


Of course, quality staffing is one of the most challenging tasks in business building. Employees are the bedrock of a company. You can’t do everything all alone. Good luck if you try, but I feel bad for you because that’s truly heavy lifting. 


I picture a truck full of heavy boxes, and we’re a team with capable arms. “Hey, we’ve got this. Let us move these for you.” That’s what we are in the office world, not the manual labor department. You have boxes; we have arms. 


The Cost Benefits of Hiring VEs are Undeniable     


We find the best talent in the Philippines to move those “office work boxes,” handling an array of tasks for clients that clog schedules for in-office employees and hinder production. But our VEs can be so much more than “box movers.” They are so sharp. They’re talented, and one of the great pleasures of our international world-building business is clients’ delight when they see how wonderful their virtual employees are. People just don’t understand until they see this daily.   


Hiring Staff For Your Condo, HOA or Co-Op? Consider Community Association Virtual Assistants  


Our employees also get 40 hours of certification training before working with clients, so they are educated about their new role before onboarding. 


“Oh boy, I can tell you what, we work with several companies that provide virtual assistants, and HireSmart is hands down the best,” said Philessia Edwards of Goodwin & Company. “When I look at other agencies that don’t have that training up front, they’re a little bit slower at picking up. We are very busy department. We have multiple avenues of contact, and the virtual employees coming from HireSmart, they just pick it up. They are just able to pick it up a lot faster. And they have a better understanding of what it is we do here.” 


If you feel it, then tell me about your world! What have you built? What are you hoping to build? What are your struggles? Yes, we have staffing solutions for you, which I’m happy to detail, but even if you don’t want that, I love a good talk about building the best business world possible, and I’m happy to listen and offer any help I can.  


Click here to set up that talk. It will be my pleasure.  


A fellow Rotarian recently recounted how his early political mentor always insisted he stay in the room during sensitive talks, even when others suggested he should leave. "No, he needs to stay. How will we have good leaders in the future if we cut them out of every important conversation?"  


The Rotarian said this meant the world to him — how his older mentor invested in him as worthy enough to hear the "real talk." The learning experience was invaluable. This Rotarian has gone on to be an excellent local leader, too, and he focuses on treating highly responsible youth in the same way he was respected, as a potential future leader who needs to hear the "real talk."  


Right on! I'm hearing The Who and that tune, "My Generation." It's easy to think "My Generation" gets it and yours doesn't, but that's pointless talk. Think of the bigger picture: If we're simultaneously on Earth, then we're contemporaries. It's on each of us to listen to other generations' voices and share our knowledge with different age groups while absorbing wisdom, too.  


Over time, we each play different parts in the generational cycle. If you're a business owner, you've got such an opportunity to give back to younger generations.  


I find this thrilling, an energy source in life. I've spent years cramming my head with knowledge about business management, financial planning, real estate, real estate investing, managing staff, entrepreneurship, global hiring, scouting deals in everything, and personal growth.  


Beyond Words: Turning Your Company’s Core Values into Daily Actions    


My mind has raced nonstop for decades, looking for efficiencies and the best situations that match my core values. My husband is the same. We've been successful because we value planning and proper processes.   


When Planning Clicks, You Know It's Right   


I want the same for kids! I want them to be financially literate and energized to better the world. I want them to love each other. We try to have as many good heart-to-heart talks with young people as possible because we want them to have every tool they need to succeed.  


That's precisely why we started our nonprofit, HireSmart Cares. We want to provide youth with the tools, technology, teaching, and time to thrive. We have numerous initiatives aimed at empowering the next generation. 


A call to action: HireSmart Cares aims to help youth realize their potential    


Does this resonate with you? Do you wish to see youth empowered? How can you do this in your business? How can you do this in your community? What needs do you see? What solutions? I'd love to talk to you about this and hear your ideas on giving back to the next generation. I'm an avid learner in this regard, and I also have plenty of ideas because it's a focus for us. 


Here are some tips to help you empower youth on your staff:  









As you think about Valentine's Day and love this February, don't limit "love" to that romantic kind. Think about loving the next generation and what you can do to advance the world positively. What can you do to "give back" effectively?  


If you would like to discuss this, I'd be delighted. Click here to set up a time that suits your schedule.  



Managing a remote team can seem daunting at first. You're not in the same office as your staff, and the distance presents the question, "Will this work out?"  


We have plenty of clients who will answer with an emphatic "Yes!" It will work out. But planning and thoughtfulness are needed to get the most out of the arrangement.  


For instance, I'm not a fan of software that tracks remote employees' computer activity because such setups are adversarial and easily tricked. I want team members to feel valued, trusted, and motivated to help the company thrive. This requires healthy communication.  


Daily close-of-business reports from staff offer accountability and enhanced collaboration. I ask for this from all employees, not just my remote team. I want to know an employee's goals for the day, whether they accomplished them, what obstacles they faced, and what assistance they need from me. I also ask employees to rate their day on a scale of one to five. 



7 Steps to Hiring Quality Staff  



Here are some tips on implementing close-of-business (COB) reports with your staff:  





Tasks You That Can Delegate to Your Virtual Employee   







There is no "box" when hiring in today's world  




I hope these tips help. If you wish to talk shop about business management, I'd love that. My husband and I run six successful businesses and take great pleasure in sharing what we know. Want to know more? Click here to set up a meeting at your convenience.  




Love it or hate it, technology's part of the virtual employee experience.  

It's not only about using Zoom or Microsoft Teams for video conferencing and chat. 

Now there are so many online software tools for business it can make your head spin. 

At HireSmart, we've embraced this new era of communication tech because it makes working with virtual employees much more productive. 

And you don't need to be a computer wiz to take advantage of these powerful tools. 

But, you might need some training or introduction to get started and make the most out of them. 

Don't worry if you're not overly familiar with – 

Online skills-based training has become a crucial part of professional development for almost all our clients.  


As virtual employees become a larger percentage of the workforce, businesses are turning to online training to manage and develop their teams.  

Of course, not all trainings are created equal. 

So, we thought it'd be a great idea to give you some tips. 


Identify the right training program 

You really need to look before you leap here. 

Even though the programs we're talking about are free, they still take time to learn and introduce to your staff. 

Before jumping into any online training program, it's important to identify the right program for what your business needs.  

As Jeff Miller, CEO of Cornerstone OnDemand, says, "The key is to identify the specific skills gaps you need to fill and then seek out resources that align with your needs." 


Encourage participation and collaboration  

Online training programs are often isolating and disengaging, especially for virtual employees. 

Encourage participation and collaboration by creating opportunities for discussion and feedback.  

Ask your team about what they're learning, what they like or don't like about the training, and how their experience could be improved. 

As Karen Sobel-Lojeski, founder of Virtual Distance International, notes, "The key to effective virtual training is to create an environment that promotes engagement, interaction, and collaboration." 


Provide support and resources  

Your employees might have technical issues or need additional resources during the training program.  

If they get confused or stuck, especially at the program's beginning, they may get discouraged. 

Make sure they have the support and resources they need to help them stay with the program.  


Measure the effectiveness of the training program 

This is the only way to determine whether the program is meeting your goals and objectives.  

Monitor your virtual employees' progress throughout the training and gather feedback from them at the end.  

Use this feedback to improve the program and make necessary adjustments for future training. 


Here are some of the free training options we recommend for our clients at HireSmart: 


When you're a HireSmart client, we offer many resources for your business beyond matching you with the right virtual employee for your business needs.  

We want to make sure you have all the tools and information you need for your business and team to thrive. 

Let us help you successfully navigate the exciting world of virtual employees. Click here for a free consultation.  

Virtual employees add diversity of experience and perspective to your team.

Many business owners hire consultants, coaches, advisors to help them see things in a different way, to get a different perspective from a trusted source.

It’s especially common in real estate and commission sales-type businesses where outreach and messaging are critical to success.

There is value in bringing in not only an extra pair of eyes but an objective outsider point of view that isn’t bogged down by too many details.

The outsider holds a valuable perspective simply by being an outsider.

When you’re so caught up in your business, knowing all the problems, all the details – you might be missing the forest for the trees.

Consultants and coaches and advisors are usually pretty expensive – especially the ones with good reputations.

So, you might not be ready to pay for that kind of outside analysis and support.

There’s another way to get a fresh take on your business from people who are already on your payroll and care about your success.

Yes, I’m talking about your employees and in this case specifically HireSmart Virtual Employees.

Virtual employees have an outsider perspective that can be valuable if they’re encouraged to express their ideas and insights.

They’re an excellent way to diversify your team.

Diversity is a term that gets thrown around a lot.

Where I’m coming from, it’s not about showing that you have a diverse staff, so people think you have enlightened business ethics.

Diversity is valuable in business because fresh ideas, new ways of understanding, and creative approaches are born from being able to see things in different ways.

When your staff is diverse, you can benefit from a diversity of experience, cultural values, styles of education – even different ways of thinking.

HireSmart Virtual Employees are known for their high quality and low labor cost value.

They also have value because they bring their own unique cultural approach to business, work and life.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of highly skilled, dependable and motivated virtual employees who can also see your business from a fresh perspective, click here for a free consultation.

In today's competitive business landscape, HOA management companies recognize the importance of supporting their key employees. 


Community manager burnout and high turnover are major problems in the industry. And yet, the solutions to these problems have traditionally been the same handful of ideas: higher salaries, software efficiencies, outsourcing services, or adding more employees. In short, throw more resources at the problem. But, as the famous quote goes, trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. 


It's time to try something different — a fresh perspective on how to organize your company. 


Dynamic Association Managers Wanted 


Community managers must have dynamic skills to be successful in their roles. And must be adaptable and flexible to tackle the fast-paced HOA industry. 


The ever-changing demands of board members and homeowners require crystal-clear communication and exceptional problem-solving skills. A community manager must also be organized and have excellent time management skills.  


Finding talent with a combination of these skills can be difficult — no wonder management company recruitment efforts often feel like searching for a needle in an impossible-to-find haystack. 


Reevaluating Workloads 


Community managers often struggle to handle the influx of responsibilities due to high staff turnover, contributing to burnout or leaving the profession altogether.  


A significant way to support community managers is to lessen their workload. This is not about taking away core tasks but reassessing how to perform specific tasks.  


47 tasks a virtual employee can handle for you 


According to the Foundation of Community Association Research: 





Outdated and Ineffective: How Traditional Organizational Structures Hold Management Companies Back 


Community managers today wear many hats. They handle covenant enforcement, community maintenance, project management, board meetings, new employee training, and more. Many HOA management companies offer support through an assistant or care team. 


The Costs of a High Turnover Rate 


The "assistant community manager" helps with administrative tasks, including answering homeowner phone calls, handling invoice payments, and preparing welcome packages and mailings. Often, they assist a team of community managers and multiple properties to keep company costs down. 


Community managers report they are barely keeping their heads above water. The work piles up, and they're trying to keep from drowning. 


Getting to the Crux of the Matter: Unfulfilled Career Aspirations 


The outlook is not so bleak, though. There are some things about the job community managers enjoy and find rewarding. 


According to the Foundation of Community Association Research, these key factors contribute to longevity in the profession. 





Hiring is Hard; Here’s How We Help  


Motivate overworked and underfulfilled community managers by enhancing these positives. This requires a fresh perspective on how to organize your company structure. 


Rethinking Traditional Organizational Structures through Community Association Virtual Employees 


So, how do management companies reduce workloads, hire more support, and keep prices down?  


The new emerging trend — virtual employees (VEs). Save costs and improve operations by utilizing virtual employees. Reduce the burden of administrative tasks and optimize efficiency. 


The Cost Benefits of Hiring Virtually   


Virtual employees can also lead to improved customer experiences. Train VEs like the rest of your employees. They can easily communicate with customers in a personalized and conversational manner using your HOA software system, through email, chat, or over the phone.  


Rethinking Job Duties: Sample Organizational Structure 


Every management company functions differently. When considering how this may best work for your company, remember your unique needs. Here is a sample organizational structure that can aid in rethinking job duties: 



Check Out Our Hiring Process  


Reduce turnover and costs related to hiring and training new employees. Improve company morale, productivity, and customer service. Let managers do what they do best.  



Tap into the existing talents of your newer employees as your company grows. Assistant managers have the skills needed to advance into Manager roles. Reduce recruitment costs and minimize the learning curve associated with new hires. 



Productivity increases, homeowners communicate better, and your board members are happy. And the cost is less than hiring an in-office administrative assistant! 


When Tom Quits, Consider a VE Team Instead 


Start by assessing your employees' strengths and interests and realigning their responsibilities accordingly. Think outside the box to unlock your managers' full potential and keep your best talent. Gain a competitive edge and position your company for long-term success.  


Click here to set up a free consultation and let us embark on this transformative journey.  

A good listener helps work through problems, allows the person to feel validated about their concerns, and to feel recognized as human beings.

We seek out relationships with people who will listen to us carefully, thoughtfully, and without judgment.

They won’t teach you this in business school, but a huge part of being a successful manager is learning how to listen in a way so that your employees feel heard. I’m not saying you need to be a therapist or that you need to connect emotionally with your staff.

I’m saying that you’ll keep your staff longer and they’ll be happier and more productive when they know you care about what they have to say and what they think.

In real estate, the motto is Always Be Closing (ABC). I like to modify that when it comes to employee retention – Always Be Listening.

Every employee interaction, when you’re paying attention, has clues about how people feel about their jobs and their lives.

Naturally, you care about your staff and want to know about their lives, but the day-to-day grind can keep you focused only on your own challenges. You might not have the bandwidth to entertain conversations outside of strictly work-related topics.

This is understandable, we’ve all been there many times.

Still, when you consider the value of a strong employee and the many costs involved in replacing that employee, it’s pretty plain that you need to prioritize their sense of job-related satisfaction.

After all, you know that you need to listen to your customers, or you’ll lose their business. It’s the same with employees – when you take their issues and concerns into consideration, you prove to them that they are valuable and respected.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees we understand that workers aren’t only motivated by their salaries, which means we understand how to help you keep your costs down and your morale up.

We have trained and competent virtual employees available who are worth being listened to.

If you’re looking to make some staffing changes to build a great team, we will help you find and keep employees for the long term. Book a free consultation here so we can listen to you and find solutions together.

The community association management industry is facing a serious drought: qualified community management professionals simply cannot be found. They are overworked and underpaid and yet still somehow cost management companies a small fortune whenever a new hire does come on board. But there is a solution. This series will cover the roles a virtual assistant can easily and affordably take on to help your staff take back their workday! This article will talk about why an HOA Maintenance Coordinator could be the best choice for your management company.

In our last article, we talked about how hard community association management companies are struggling to acquire and retain staff thanks in part to The Great Resignation. An already depleted pool of qualified management professionals is slowly getting smaller and smaller, hiking up staffing costs and forcing managers to overload themselves and burn out.

We then talked about all of the reasons why a HireSmart Virtual Employee (VE) or virtual assistant (VA), like a virtual HOA Accounting Assistant, solves a lot of the problems most management companies face today. But what if you’re already happy with your accounting staff? What other options are available to you?

When you think about a traditional “assistant” you might imagine someone running around fetching coffee or dictating a day’s worth of calendar events to an executive–but this isn’t the 1980s, and assistants have so much more to offer today. That outdated concept makes it a little hard to come up with all of the ways a virtual assistant can be valuable. They aren’t even there to keep you caffeinated, how good can they really be?

Now think about all of the menial, tiny tasks that take up a truly shocking number of hours for your staff. Specifically, think about the time your staff spends handling the minutia of community maintenance.


The Mess of Maintenance Management

There are a lot of important parts to managing a community association. Arguably, one of the most important is staying on top of community maintenances. Supporting boards in fulfilling their fiduciary duty means more than just running numbers. It is the responsibility of all community trustees that their decisions are both financially sound, and contribute to community success, like upholding safety and curb appeal. Right now, most management companies task community managers with maintenance tracking responsibilities. That means they’re spending hours of their time researching vendors, filing paperwork, making phone calls, and fielding the back and forth between community and service provider.

Can they do the work? Absolutely. Your managers are qualified, trained professionals with an intimate knowledge of the industry. They can do anything. But should they be? Not if they can better use those hours elsewhere!

Managing community maintenance tasks doesn’t require the specialties that a certified property manager has to offer. It takes organization, time management, and planning (all of which are important skills!), which is something you can get from the right virtual assistant.


3 Tasks to Pass Off to a Virtual HOA Maintenance Administrator

Giving your managers back their workday is simple if you know where to offer support.


Let HireSmart Help You Hire Smart

When the time comes to start onboarding a new support system for your accounting team, HireSmart Virtual Employees is here to help. Book your 30-min discovery call today to start the process of getting paired with your future HOA Maintenance Coordinator.

A business owner we know had enough work to keep a staff member very busy for the first two weeks of each month. It was all computer and telephone work. They hired a local administrative assistant to work on-site providing the space and tools for them to work in their office.

The payroll costs, including benefits, came to about $25 per hour, and were busy and only productive about fifty percent of the time.

The time that work was slow, rather than productive, they were counterproductive to the remainder of the staff. Interrupting others, meddling and from the view of the other busy staff, getting away with murder by not having to work hard. This environment wasn’t good for business and caused most of the Human Resource issues this business person had to deal with. When this staff member gave notice they were leaving, an opportunity to change and improve presented itself.

Looking for a better solution than just hiring another person and having the same issues, they contacted us for information about our Hire Smarter Solutions. The business owner had heard about Virtual Employees and found out that it was an excellent solution to getting the work done well and not having the counterproductive time since the virtual employee was working from the Philippines. It became an excellent solution and better yet, without having to provide space and tools, the cost was only 28% of the on-site employee.

As business owners, we sometimes forget the additional benefits that can come in addition to direct costs savings. In this example, our client not only saved on the staff costs – but also saved on the cost of having other staff members feel more productive, a happier workplace environment, and less interruptions in the office.

If you'd like to learn more on how you can take advantage in hiring your own virtual employee, feel free to book an appointment with me today!

One’s ability to communicate effectively is the difference between being average and being fabulous. You see, people who are great communicators have better relationships with everyone – their boss, colleagues, spouses, and friends. 

The good news is that improving communication is a skill that can quickly be developed & improved. I am going to share 5 tips that, if used, will impact your communication and help you in your business and personal life.

Be Clear. Most people are not specific as to what they want and, therefore, can’t or are not able to articulate what they are trying to say or achieve. It is hard to have someone meet your expectations when you aren’t specific and clear.

I manage a dispersed team of over 200 people around the globe. To do this well, I need to be very clear about my expectations for client interactions. I developed a “Guide to Excellence,” which everyone reads and acknowledges so that there is no ambiguity as to what is expected of them and me. 

For example, one of our commitments is that we have a 2 minute or less response time during business hours to any client request. The response may be an acknowledgment of receipt, but it tells the person – “I received your request, and I will address your concern.”

Being clear about my expectations allows there to be no ambiguity in communication. 

Be Curious. It has been said the frustration is expectations not being met. When you are not getting the interaction or results you are looking for, I recommend being inquisitive rather than judgmental. 

I believe most people are doing the best they can. Sometimes they fall short because they don’t understand, they don’t want to disappoint, or for some reason can’t comply with the request. When you seek to understand their point of view, this transforms relationships. Don’t assume they are trying to be difficult.

Once you understand their point of view, you can determine the best course of action.

Be Consistent. There is safety when there is consistency. Mixed messages and inconsistency in our words and actions lead to distrust. When trust has been broken, communication almost always is broken. 

When managing teams, it is essential to treat the team consistently. Communication is more than words spoken. It is also promises kept. If you have a deadline and are clear about that commitment, then there needs to be action taken if the commitment isn’t met. Consistency goes hand in hand with clarity. Let your yes mean yes and your no, no. Your team will come to rely on you and perform at a higher level when they understand the objectives and know that there are rules to abide by.

Be Trustworthy. Don’t violate someone’s confidence. When people take the risk and share things to deepen the relationship, honor that trust. Sometimes people need to be heard so that they can move past whatever it is that is keeping them from moving forward. 

Being able to allow people to share what is happening deepens trust and, therefore, the relationship. Listen intently. Involve active listening skills, and don’t interrupt. Let them know that it is safe to speak with you. 

Be Transparent. If you make a mistake, own it. Acknowledge it. We are all human, and no one expects perfection. You will gain respect when you stated you made a mistake and ask how it can be made right. 

While good communication is simple, it isn’t easy. Like any skill, it must be practiced. However, if you work at it, no skill will net you more in terms of rewards. 

Having put these techniques into practice, I know it has helped me build relationships with my team, my husband & business partner of over 22 years, my strategic partners, as well as my family.

If you're looking to increase your business productivity, feel free to set an appointment with me today!

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