Setting up our account with GetFriday took longer than expected, because their fax machine was down for the day and it took several calls and delays to get that figured out. Since then it’s been smooth sailing.

The first major task we requested from our assistant was to set up appointments for viewing apartments in Chicago. We lived there for 4 years before moving to the Boston area last year, and now we’re headed back. Chelsey and I created a Google Map of dozens of potential units, pulled from monitoring some craigslist RSS feeds.

Pros

  • This kind of task can suck up tons of time, and I felt no desire to do it myself.
  • We had so many decent-looking options that I had no concerns about not getting “just the right one” lined up. If our assistant flubbed a few phone calls or miscommunicated, we didn’t care.
  • Being entirely phone-based and requiring no personal information made this a perfect fit for outsourcing overseas.

Cons

  • We asked our assistant to add the appointment info directly into our Google calendar and map, but he persisted in sending us results via an Excel spreadsheet. If this were an ongoing assignment, I’d push to make sure he understood us more clearly.
  • A few people refused to set up appointments via our assistant. Perhaps they were agents wanting to speak to us directly so they could do their best sales pitch and form some kind of “bond.” Or maybe they were just put off the fact that somebody would use an assistant to do this kind of thing. Or maybe (though I hope not), some folks were just a bit racist and didn’t like speaking with a foreigner (sad, but possibly true).

Despite the cons, the task was definitely a success. After 3 days of looking, we chose a place from one of the appointments our assistant set up for us. It’s good to be headed back to Chicago.