Category Archives: Outsourcing

How A Real Estate Virtual Assistant Can Help

a real estate virtual assistant can help

a real estate virtual assistant can help

Opportunities for profit abound in the real estate market. In the case of Australia, even with its high cost of property demand continues to trend upward because of rapid population growth, a stable economy and a tight supply of real estate. In such a competitive market, your agency should focus most of its resourced on profit building activities. If you find yourself tied down by non- essential, non-revenue generating tasks, it’s time you hire a real estate Virtual Assistant.

Otherwise, you are becoming your own real estate Virtual Assistant.

As a proprietor of a real estate business, you probably prefer to operate lean. Do as much as you can with the resources you have in order to keep costs down. While this may benefit you at the start, eventually as your business gains traction it will be more difficult to stay on top of every single task that you have to do. Working from the principle of lean eventually becomes subject to the principle of diminishing returns.

The idea behind a business is to make a profit. In order to profit, you should work to grow your business. Given that you only have limited hours in a day, the best course of action is to find ways to manage your time efficiently so you can become more productive without compromising your budget.

Hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant will give you the best of both worlds; your productivity will sky rocket without breaking the bank. You will be able to shift more focus on revenue- generating tasks while ensuring the stability of your business.

Let’s see how a real estate Virtual Assistant can help you grow your agency.

1. Administrative Tasks

Before your business can become effective, it must become efficient. This means it must be highly organized.

In the real estate business, you constantly find yourself besieged by phone calls and e-mails. You also have to update client records in the CRM. Of course, research is part of the business.

You have to keep track of new developments in the market, prepare presentation materials and review the provision of contracts to stay in line with city state legislation.

If you had to attend to all of these tasks, you wouldn’t have enough time to attend to profit- oriented activities such as closing a sale, presenting properties for sale or negotiating sales contracts.

A real estate Virtual Assistant can provide you the following services:

  • Phone handling
  • Appointment setting
  • Calendar management
  • E-mail filtering
  • Preparation of spreadsheets and PowerPoint
  • Market and legislative research

You must have taken a deep breath after reading this short list of administrative tasks! And there are more equally important tasks a real estate Virtual Assistant can do for you.

2. Marketing and Promotion

In a competitive industry, your marketing and promotional activities must remain consistent and on point. In real estate, you have to do both traditional and Internet- based or online marketing.

Studies show that adapting a strategy that integrates both marketing methods generate the most productive results.

A real estate Virtual Assistant can contribute to your marketing and promotion strategy in the following ways:

  • Website – If you’re using WordPress or Joomla, these Content Management Systems (CMS) have plug-ins that can help you capture leads and connect to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data bases in order to get more sales.An experienced real estate Virtual Assistant can manage your website expertly and maximize its sales- generating possibilities.
  • Social Media – Of the 3.5 Billion people online every day, 2.34 Billion are on social media. That’s an astonishing 67% of the population of online users. In Australia, 25% of real estate investments come from foreign buyers particularly China.By staying active on social media, you may get more inquiries from foreign investors who plan to contract your agency’s services in order to buy property in Australia.
  • Create Marketing Collaterals – Real estate virtual assistants are also proficient in graphic design. They can help conceptualize and create designs for your marketing collaterals that can be used for flyers, posters, streamers and print ads.

3. Sales Generation

You can find a real estate Virtual Assistant who has had a great deal of experience in the industry. He or she knows how to move prospects down the sales funnel.

  • E-Mail Marketing – E-mail remains one of the best forms of online marketing. In fact, it results in higher sales conversions that social media marketing.Real estate virtual assistants can use e-mail marketing to get referrals or secure repeat business from existing clientele and find qualified prospects for your agency.
  • Outbound Calling – When you have amassed a number of warm prospects in your sales funnel, you should find time to touch base with them. Real estate virtual assistants know how to establish rapport and build a good relationship with your prospects.

It could just be a customary call to present market updates plus a few pleasantries. The idea is to slowly win trust by being persistent but respectful at the same time. If you want to reel in clients, you must to what you can to remain visible.

Hiring a real estate Virtual Assistant can help you grow your agency. But you must learn to let go of some of your responsibilities in order to free up more time to activities that matter the most. It is less a question of trust and more of you acknowledging that you cannot be a Superman and do everything on your own.

Read More

Tips On Outsourcing Property Management

Tips on Outsourcing Property Management

Outsourcing has evolved from a strategy for streamlining costs to one that directly contributes to revenue growth by introducing greater efficiency in the work flow. In its early years, only administrative tasks were outsourced. Today, you can basically outsource any type of responsibility regardless of industry. If you own properties and don’t have enough time to oversee them, you should consider outsourcing property management.

Benefits of Outsourcing Property Management

When you hear the word “outsourcing”, the first images that probably come to mind are those of a remote office managing all the different tasks delegated by a client. For those who have never outsourced before, the idea of entrusting a set of responsibilities to a third- party service provider may be difficult to accept.

But outsourcing offers many key benefits for those who are in the property business:

  1. Encourages Cost Savings – Yes there is a cost to outsourcing property management. But in the course of the long run, you will be able to generate savings because of economies of scale. The cost can be distributed over a wider range of services and a larger number of properties.
  2. Improves Productivity – When you outsource property management, you will no longer feel like you are being pulled in different directions. Now you have people who are designated to take inquiries on rentals, organize repairs with contractors, collect rent from tenants and create collaterals to market and promote your property.
  3. Greater Efficiency – For some people, just having 1 property to rent out can be a handful. Then there are those who have 20 properties to manage. Regardless of your ability, outsourcing property management can give you better organization and greater efficiency in your business. You have people who can update information through research, review and prepare contracts, manage payments and keep track of maintenance work.

Qualifying Your Property Management Outsourcing Partner

There are many agencies that offer property management services. But like other service- related industries, you will have your share of good ones and bad ones. How do you know which service provider to choose?

  1. Conduct Online Research – You can find outsourcing companies that offer property management services online. Many of these are located in remote locations like the Philippines.You may be asking yourself, “Why should I entrust my properties to a company thousands of miles away and where there is a time zone differential to deal with?”The answer is “Because you can and you should.” According to Application Check, the primary function of the outsourcing company is to organize your business. They do not have to be in the same place physically. Work can be done through online channels and frequent phone communication.There’s also a reason why the Philippines remains one of the top 2 outsourcing centers in the world, the other being India. Aside from cost advantages, Filipinos are widely reputed for consistently delivering high quality of work.
  2. Get Recommendations – Do not be surprised if associates and colleagues from the real estate community have outsourced property management services before.Find out who among your network has and get recommendations for prospective service providers.
  3. Identify Your Needs – Before actively searching for your property management company, conduct a review of your business and identify your immediate needs.Create a summary of all the different tasks in your company and categorize which ones are “essential” or “non- essential”. Essential tasks are those which you should manage yourself. These tasks are those that directly correspond to sales.Non-essential tasks are more administrative and supportive in nature. These could include phone handling, client support, rent collection and client vetting processes. These are the tasks that are usually outsourced to third parties.
  4. Prepare a List of Questions – When you have compiled a shortlist of potential property management companies, schedule each one for an interview. Prepare a list of questions to ask. Among the key questions you should ask are as follows:“What is your experience in property management?”
    “What services or tasks are included in your workflow?”
    “What is the breakdown of your fees?”
    “How would you manage different properties?”
    “How often would you send me reports?”
    “What is your approach in dealing with vacancies?”
    “How would you oversee repairs and maintenance work?”
    “What is your approach in collecting rental payments?”
  5. Get References – Before finalizing any agreement with a service provider, ask them to give references. These could include previous or current property owners who have hired their services. Take the time to contact these references. Find out what their experience was working with the property management company.

Be suspicious if the company does not want to provide references. If they say a Confidentiality Agreement is still in place, don’t buy into it right away. These agreements usually lose their binding nature after 6 months.

You should also be wary of companies that do not have a mobile responsive website and social media pages. It could mean they are not invested in their business or have a suspicious reputation in the industry.

Outsourcing property management services is a proven way of increasing productivity, improving work efficiency at the least possible cost. Take the time to qualify the prospects and make sure the company has the competency and experience to effectively manage your properties.

Read More

People are People: Why Outsourcing Customer Services is the Best Solution

people-are-people-why-outsourcing-customer-services-is-the-best-solution

Outsourcing services has become an increasingly popular solution for businesses that want to introduce efficiency in operation. Over the last 20 years outsourcing provided several benefits for businesses which include the following:

  • Reduced cost of business
  • Greater productivity
  • Increased business flexibility
  • Lower risk to business expansion
  • Improved quality of deliverables

Businesses that are outsourcing for the first time, usually delegate non- essential tasks such as administrative work or back office support. With the growth of global outsourcing, businesses are beginning to outsource more specialized tasks one of which is customer service.

Customer service plays an important role in developing a business. Its main purpose is market retention. With the expanding role of the Internet and the increasing influence of social media, consumers have more access to information while becoming accessible to your competitors.

If your customer service isn’t spot on, you could easily lose your customers to proprietors of the same trade.

Just how important is market retention? Here are the statistics from a survey conducted by ProvideSupport:

  • 13% of dissatisfied customers will tell 20 other people.
  • 78% of customers report competent customer service are responsible for a great customer experience.
  • 45% of consumers will abandon an online transaction if their concerns are not properly addressed.
  • Loyal customers are worth 10 times more than their first purchase.
  • A 5% increase in customer retention will improve profitability by 75%.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%; the probability of selling to a new customer is 5% to 20%.
  • 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your existing customer base.

At the crux of customer experience is customer service. If your customer service team cannot satisfy the concerns of your market, you stand to lose much more than failure to generate new sales.

The problem with customer service is companies are resorting to automation. In their effort to minimize mistakes they have been implementing Artificial Intelligence or AI systems to take the place of human customer service agents.

Technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google have come out with AI assistance to standardize the level of service and reduce the risks associated with human error. The goal is to introduce large scale AI systems that can manage customer support services.

But the results have been far from desirable. Apple’s Siri AI system has been the object of much scorn and vilification as Microsoft’s Tay AI.

Perhaps one day these technology companies will understand customer service is a function that is best conducted between humans. A customer service transaction is typically emotionally charged. An irate customer wants an immediate resolution to his or her concern because time lost could be opportunity cost.

Machines do not have the capacity to manage customer support services because they have no empathy. They do not understand “need” and therefore exhibit no sense of urgency.

The most effective solution to customer service is also the simplest, least presumptuous one. Outsource customer service to providers of human virtual assistance. Let the customer service agent become human and relate to the customer as another human being.

Forget the automated scripts and spiels. These can remain only as references. For the most part, allow the human in the customer agent to shine through. It is in man’s imperfection that customer service becomes perfect.

Read More