Hiring A VA For Your Real Estate Investing Business

So you’re ready to grow your team but you’re not sure if you should hire locally or go virtual, hire employees or go with contractors, hire full-time or just test the waters part-time to start…

NOTE: Make sure you read my “5 Categories of Accountability” at the very bottom of this article for a good breakdown of what I expect to pay and receive from my VA team.

There are a lot of things you’ll want to consider when you’re growing your team but as a real estate investor just getting started or even just growing to the next level, one of the most common questions I get is:

Rob, how much should I pay a virtual assistant?

So today, with that primary question in mind, I want to address that specifically and give you framework you can work within to help you get the right VA for your next team member.

Before I share how I approach “paying VA’s”, I want to do is address a few things:

  1. What a VA is
  2. Where you can find them
  3. How you should interview them
  4. How much you should pay

WHAT IS A VA (virtual assistant)?

Well, according to Wikipedia, the general definition of a virtual assistant (typically abbreviated VA) is a self-employed person that provides professional, administrative, technical or creative assistance to clients.

  • You can hire VA’s directly as an independent contractor for your business.  
  • You can hire VA’s indirectly through 3rd party sourcing websites or
  • You can get VA’s doing work for you by hiring a 3rd an agency.

Each approach has it’s pro’s and con’s.

I usually hire indirectly through a 3rd party website.  The pro is I can work directly with the VA but the company in the middle handles all the employment paperwork, taxes, etc. 


When I’m looking for a good VA, I usually start at www.Upwork.com.

Upwork.com is the old Odesk.com.

Over the years, I’ve hired a lot of VA’s and I’ve found that I constantly go back to Upwork.com time and time again.

I’ve had success with VA’s from many countries, but for most administrative, marketing or personal assistant type projects I have had a lot of success with folks from the Philippines.

For more technical projects, I’ve had great luck with folks from India, the Czech Republic and Croatia but have worked with folks from many countries.

And that brings me to this…


Here’s how I do it.

I make is really, really simple.

I first post and hire only for a small “project type job”.

The project could be online research or data entry or quick technical work.  Basically, I hire for a project that will take less than 2 to 3 hours and I pay on an hourly basis and I cap the number of hours they’re allowed to work.

I write a simple job description and offer the position to the first applicants that meet the basic requirements by sending them a message that says:

“If I award this job, can you complete it within the next 24 hours?  If you can, I’ll award it right now.”

Then, if they respond immediately and say they can do it, I award the job.

Most of these projects are $3 to $4 an hour so I simple award the job to 2 or 3 people. Yep, you read that right…I award the EXACT SAME JOB to 2 or 3 people.

I don’t want to take time “interviewing” for a $12 project.  I just want the job done and really, what I’m doing is using this “job” to interview the VA without spending time doing it.

At most, if I hire 3 people and they work for 3 hours each and I pay them all $4/hr, I’m risking $36.  But, out of the 3, I usually find one that I want to work with longer term.

It saves me hours of time interviewing and helps weed out candidates fast.

I’ve tried the “interview everyone” up front approach using Skype, but I’ve found that for VA type work, this is the way to go.

And now that you’ve found someone that completed the job on-time, communicated well and was generally good and easy to work with on a small project “test” basis.

You might have just found your next part-time or full-time VA contractor to join your team.  It’s a simple as that.

When you post a job and get 100’s of applicants, this approach works great because without it, you’ll look at the list of candidates and not even know where to start.  Just start at the top and award the job to 3 people that meet the basic requirements.

Which brings me to the question of what to pay and what to expect.

In a sense…


Remember, hiring someone is a mutually beneficial act.

They get compensated to do a job that you need to get done.

It’s a win-win.

Here are some “payment and expectation” rules I apply to my hiring process when I bring someone on my team in an administration or support role usually from the Philippines.

I break what I’m willing to pay based on what I expect to get into 5 categories.

Basically there are 5 levels of ACCOUNTABILITY.

Let’s take a look:


A VA in category 1 will earn between $200 and $300 a month working full-time.  They do what they are told and bring no foresight or creativity to the position.


A VA in category 2 will earn between $300 and $400 a month working full-time.  They do the work, find problems and ask you for a solution.


A VA in category 3 will earn between $350 and $500 a month working full-time.  They do the work, discover problems and offer solutions to fix the problems they find.


A VA in category 4 will earn between $450 and $700 a month working full-time.  They do the work, find problems, implement solutions and immediately report to verify that their solution meets your approval.


A VA in category 5 will earn “whatever they ask for + a BONUS” — obviously within reason and within the scope of the type of work they do.  They will do the work, find problems, implement solutions and periodically report the issue and the solution to you.

This is a guideline for you to follow.

Remember, the currency exchange and the value of the US dollar is significant in other parts of the world so what looks like little money to you, is a very good living for them.

Treat people fair, follow this guide and you’ll be able to find great team members to help you in your real estate investing business.

Tell me what you think.

Was this article helpful?  Comment below.


  • Dwanell

    Reply Reply November 16, 2015

    Good advice!
    My question is what criteria do you fill in on upwork when you looking to hire a V.A!

    Do you ever have V.A’s log in to your personal company accounts to use software to complete their jobs?

    If i want a V.A to send txt blast to sellers on craigs list how do i get around the fact of them not being able to log in on CL from the other country?


  • Ty. Gallishaw

    Reply Reply November 16, 2015

    I would like to hire a VA caller for my Real Estate business to prospect for property sellers,any advice?

  • Victor Grimes

    Reply Reply November 17, 2015


    This information was extremely helpful. I have been seriously considering hiring a VA but was wondering how to go about the hiring process and especially how much to pay the VA. This information explained to process and how much to the VA.. Additionally, you explained the 5 categories of VA, as well as the expectations and payment scale for each category. Overall, the information you provided was extremely helpful.

    Thank You

  • Hadrian Farrow

    Reply Reply November 17, 2015

    I will definitely keep this information handy for the future

  • Gerry

    Reply Reply November 17, 2015

    Thanks for a really good overview. This may seem like a question with obvious answers, but do you have tasks and projects you need completed by VAs living in the USA? Or are the types of tasks and projects handled by contractors or staff in the USA usually at a higher/more complex/specialized level? eg Closings, tasks that require someone face-to-face. etc.

  • Charlie

    Reply Reply November 20, 2015

    Rob you rock!!!!!.This is just what I have been looking for. Thanks. I will use this and pin It to my wall as a guide.
    Thanks. Charlie

  • Joe

    Reply Reply January 22, 2016

    Your salary isn’t that below the national pay rate?

  • Jane Osanife

    Reply Reply August 20, 2016

    Hi Rob,

    I just listened to your free webinar on 200K/month wholesaling houses. It was really awesome. I live in Canada and I’m a novice in Real Estate. I’m not sure I’m allowed to hire a team in the US since I’m a Canadian. I’m pretty much just starting out. I have just concluded real estate training elsewhere but cant figure out how to start in wholesaling. Are you open to partnering? I’m more interested in paying a fee to partner with your group and utilizing the services of your team to find the deals and the buyers and close the deals and then we split the profit. I’m really looking for a real estate organization that can support me in all these steps and we can split the profit. If you are open to arrangements like this please let me know. Thanks. Jane

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