Virtual Assistants came with the dawn of technologies and has benefited many people in more ways than they could possibly imagine. From leisure, business, recreation, news and virtually anything and everything under and above the sky, people can now interact and talk about it. Distance is made shorter, travel and communications made faster. One of the most prominent jobs developed by IT industry is the Call Center Jobs and the sub-branch Virtual Assistant.
But how did Virtual Assistant came to be?
Before there were Virtual Assistants, there were first secretaries, and only males were accepted in this position. Sir Isaac Pitman in early 1800, invented the shorthand method and founded the first School for secretarial services for men only. It wasn’t until after the typewriter was invented that women were accepted to the job. The National Secretaries Association was founded in 1942. 54 years later, a new sub-group of secretarial jobs was born the “Virtual Assistant”.
The first idea of “Virtual Assistant” came to be when in 1996 Anastacia Brice had a simple phone call with Thomas Leonard. Although Call Centers have already been developed as early as 1983 or even earlier in 1965, they were more of tech support for a specific product of a specific company. Thomas Leonard dubbed the assistance of Anastacia as “Virtual Assistance”, later Anastacia would borrow the term to use it for the new rising career. A year after that fateful telephone call in 1997, Anastacia founded the first virtual assistant company the “AssistU”.
Technology made the world of virtual assistants closer and faster. From the simple off-office idea of a job, it has now expanded into an offshore industry. Call centers from Asia began to spring in various places. Providing cheaper professional service, companies from the west and Europe were quickly crossing bridges and borders. The idea that a professional virtual assistant can be more economical overseas puts more demands on virtual assistants today.
There is no limit as to what virtual assistants can do, well except maybe do your coffee, you will have to leave that to your personal secretary, but the other secretarial jobs, a virtual assistant can now do all of these for you. There is no doubt that the demand for virtual assistants will continue on a steady rise for many more years. One particular industry that has a growing need for virtual assistants is the real estate. The meticulous nature of the business makes it an ideal opportunity for many freelancers all around the world. Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Real Estate Investors, Agents and Brokers have been such a booming economy. The real estate world has a continuous need for back office and office support, this where the need for a VA has become so familiar with real estate.
For young and seasoned professionals in Asian countries, the idea to earn top dollars while working at home is a great blessing. It is said that around 90% of the VA workforce are women. The desire to personally take care of children, whether motivated by parental love and concern or practicality has driven many parents into the Virtual Assistant industry. This remarkable increase in the workforce is a testament to the integrity and efficiency of the virtual assistants offshore.
In the Philippines, the Call Center industry began in 1992. The Call Center industry which also covers the Virtual Assistants industry made a sweeping popularity of job seekers in the year 2000. It is estimated that this newly formed industry in the Philippines contributes about 2.5% of the annual GDP and yet there is only a record of more than 20,000 employees all over the country in 2010. This means that Virtual Assistant business in the Philippines is still young and far from the brim. The industry of Virtual Assistants especially for Real Estate Investors, Agents, Realtors, and Brokers will continue to provide work for many people in the Philippines and give professionals, efficient and economic services to offshore countries.
Outsourcing or offshoring will continue to minimize production cost and maximize profits for many businesses in the U.S. This is because salaries in many Asian countries are lower than 50%in the US and UK. In a business, labor eats up around 40-60% of the operational cost, so having to outsource it and save half of that expense will continue to drive many businesses into the world of outsourcing or offshoring.