If you’ve read this blog long enough, then you know I’m big into finding ways to be more productive. Time is valuable — I have a full-time job, a company, a wife and 20-month-old son, and a ton of other things going on my life. I’m sure most of you have similar life situations. That’s why maximizing each second most on tasks that drive the following are the most important:
1. Spending time with my family
2. Generating revenue and maximizing conversion for my full-time job
3. Increasing revenue and opportunities with my company
If I stick to those rules, that leaves little time for the mundane tasks. You’ve seen me write about TalkTo in the past. This is the great app that allows you to text any business and they’ll make the calls for you and text you back the answer. You never have to dial. I’ve used it for everything from trying to find a Christmas tree to locating an iPhone 5.
Recently though, I had been hearing a lot of chatter about a new “virtual assistant” service called Fancy Hands. How Fancy Hands works is you email a task, which is assigned to one of their “assistant” team members. They ask that the tasks be no more than 15 minutes though. The amount of tasks you’re assigned is based on the plan you have. At a minimum, there is a $25 per month plan that gives you five tasks, and the top-level plan offers 25 tasks for $65 — plans cost less if you pay on an annual basis.
I signed up for the $25 plan to test out Fancy Hands and definitely found value in the service. First off, you’re not charged a task for having someone manage your calendar. So if I need to set up a meeting with my lawyer for next Thursday, the assistant will use my Google Calendar (with my permission, of course), make the call or email and set it up.
Over the course of the month, here’s how I used my Fancy Hands assistant:
1. Please get a quote on a property survey for my new home.
Result: Two quotes were provided. I was a little underwhelmed since two quotes didn’t save me that much time. I was hoping for more.
2. Please get a quote on tree services for my new home.
Result: I chalked up the disappointment of my last request to the learning curve and decided to be even more specific. This time I asked for three quotes, told the assistant which companies not to call (I already had quotes from them) and what exactly I was looking for — someone to come check out the house and analyze trees that need to come down or branches to be cut back. Three quotes were provided detailing the company name, phone number, insight into the conversation and when I can expect to hear from them. This was a very positive experience and huge time saver.
3. Please reach out to three home security companies to find out all costs and coverages.
Result: This time, I got very specific about my needs. I defined the three companies I’m exploring and which coverages I’m looking for. I then asked for installation costs, monthly costs, contract terms and any other fees associated. Furthermore, I provided the exact home address and date I’m looking to have service started. The assistant provided a well-detailed account of their conversation with each of the companies. That single email will allow me to make a decision easily without having to spend a lot of time on the phone.
4. Call my dentist and see if you can get me an appointment for next week.
Result: There were no open appointments for the times I was available. The assistant got me on the wait list, however, which I guess is as good as it gets. For a simple task, the result is expected. And, I actually did get two calls the following week after being put on the wait list.
5. Check with a chimney company listed on Groupon to see how much a chimney cap is.
Result: The first message from the assistant said that they had left a message. I would have liked them to try back a few times before leaving a message. Regardless, a couple days later the same assistant sent another email saying that the company has a few different chimney cap options starting at $99. Not exactly a clear response, but I would have likely gotten the same thing.
Overall, Fancy Hands is a solid service for assistance with minor time-consuming tasks. I definitely recommend taking it for a spin on a trial period though to see what plan, if any, fits for you and your needs.
Remember, be very clear in your requests to the Fancy Hands assistants. If you want them to leave messages to call you back if they get voicemail, tell them. If you want four quotes, include that detail. The more, the better, and the closer you’ll get to an outstanding response.
If you’d like to sign up, you can use this link right here: http://fncy.it/18aNZvY For full disclosure, I’ll receive a $10 referral credit if you do sign up through it. You’ll also receive 50% off your first month of Fancy Hands.