On to scheduling! This is one that I don’t always feel the need to delegate because I have the right tools in place, but you may need to. Please tell me you’re not still just writing it down on a paper calendar! (Outlook is just as bad.)
The key here is to be able to share your calendar with your team and to be able to access it anywhere, anytime you need it – just like your email.
I highly suggest using Google Calendar for all of your scheduling needs. I’ve used paid services that don’t even come close to the functionality of Google’s calendar! I keep 8 calendars that all mesh nicely into one view:
- General Company Calendar – hold my daily, weekly schedule for client work, appointments, recurring events, training courses, lunch (yes, I have to schedule it!), blogging, marketing, etc. I also add into this calendar the “type” of day it is: Client focused, Marketing, Flex, Planning, Development, etc.
- I have 1 calendar for my husband’s real estate company.
- I have 1 calendar for a client who does a lot of real estate transaction that I manage, and we need to both see when items are due and what is needed.
- I have 1 calendar for launches & promotions. I haven’t used this one yet, but just having it there is a great reminder that I need to spend some time in this area.
- I have 1 calendar that is linked to my Google Tasks (in Gmail)
- 1 is for family activities. I keep track of weekly carpooling, cheerleading schedules, school projects, family functions, dinners, date nights (those usually get ignored though), parties, and my personal time.
- 1 have a Team Chick calendar that is shared with the members of my team to keep track of vacation days, personal time, outside work schedules – everything. This helps when determining deadlines or if one team member needs to schedule something for another.
- And the last calendar is simply a US Holidays calendar. When I work with clients in other countries, I’ll add in their calendar as well so that I always know what is going on in their world.
I use Tungle.me to quickly and easily schedule consultations and appointments with my clients. I can quickly and easily “paint” off the times & days that I’m available, and then it’s sent off for the recipient to choose which of those times work best for him or her. Once a time has been established, everyone gets an email, and then it’s automatically added to your Google calendar. It also syncs with Outlook, iCal and there is an iPhone app as well. Tungle, if you’re listening, we’re also ready for an Android app!!
You can easily delegate this to your real estate virtual assistant by giving her access to scheduling applications and sharing your Google calendar with her.