SUMMARY REAL ESTATE OUTSOURCING CATCH UP
Dig into Stephen's talk with Levi Turner of Bellarine Property. Hear how Levi stumbled upon the world of Outsourcing and how it changed the way his Real Estate Business has run.
As expenses in Real Estate seem to be getting higher and higher, with new software coming out to keep his competitive edge in the market place or increases in wage, Levi started Outsourcing tasks offshore to cut down cost. He begun to closely analyze the systems and processes that they already have, thought of ways on how to make his business work better and figured out what can be done in-house and what can be Outsourced to his VA in the Philippines. Discover how he made it all happen through Real Estate Outsourcing.
“Stephen Atcheler talks to Levi Turner of Bellarine Property about Real Estate Outsourcing.”
Stephen: So I’ll start.Today I’mgonna be shooting the shit about real estate outsourcing with my good friend Levi Turner. How you doing?
Levi: Yeah Good Stephen. Yourself?
Stephen: I’m doing well. So yeah I’m just gonna ask you a couple of questions. You’ve been outsourcing with us now for about 3-4 months now.
Levi: A little bit longer actually, about 5 months now.
Stephen:5 months down the road. Now, quickly. How did you discover outsourcing and what was the key reason that made you come to the point of wanting to outsource?
Levi: Yeah. Sure. I found it thru just with other people from the industry. I went to a conference in Sydney with some other Real Estate Leaders and quite a few of thosewho were using outsourcing, you guys specifically. So it came from there. One of the guys we spoke to Michael Garside, similar business size to us you know regional area. Sowe thought if it’s working well for him,it’s something we should look up. Then that was it I got a conversation with you and it was all a really smooth process I suppose, getting it going, getting it up and running, you guys providing all the info. The reason why we probably went down this path, we’ve grown in our staff and turn over about 40% in the last eighteen months.So we just thought, how can we do thing better and
I’m just trying to bring our cost down just like what other business owners do.
Stephen:And you’ll find I guess in real estate, I’ve been out of it for a while now, expensesdon’t seem to be going down the leak; getting higher.
Stephen:Always getting higher; there’s always new software coming out; increases in wages and all those things you gottadeal with. So, I think probably, obviously there’s a cost part of it as well but I suppose outsourcing and setting that up. We’ve only set it up with Sales part of our business so far. We’ll roll into rentals in the future. It makes you analyze all your systems and processes that you already got. So I supposed that’s the first step,
you analyze what can be done in-house and what can be done offshore.
Let’s try and make this thing really efficient.
Stephen:Sounds very similar to when I first started. I didn’t have any systems and then I thought how could train this person through a computer when I’ve got no systems? So yeah by default, it made me start writing some system. Is that what you’ve found? Like you’ve gone and sort of tidy things up now and should’ve help out with the flow.
Levi: Yeah. I think we in real estate people probably one or two wise that don’t have a lot systems and they just do things because that’s what we’ve been doing for years. We do have check lists and procedure for every single thing that gets done in the business, admin wise. So we quite got lucky in that; that was already there. But by going to this outsourcing path, we just analyzed that it even closer. Called out all the task that can be done, not by us which has allowed probably the three (3) main staff, sort of our PA’s I supposed you call them, they’re marketing coordinator, just released the work load on them and become more efficient on what they are doing.
Stephen: So what are some of the key things that were the easiest to I guess that you plucked out first that’s freeing them up good time.
Levi: So probably mostly around what a PA would do for an agent. So if you look at all the different steps in the procedure, first is the appraisal, then in new listing, then something goes on aconditional then thereunconditional,so when something settles. So there’s sort of check list for each of those steps. So we just got a step by step check list for all those steps. So we probably pooling the little parts of each of those check lists out and our Real Estate Staff Member working on those. So that was probably the easiest part because we already being done here and we already knew what they were. We just said, “Alright, we’ll let’s just use these task for somebody else to do.”
Stephen:Just uhm being really raw with it. What are some of the thing you found difficult to train, like I said because I know when I first started getting the understanding across here, Philippines is very different to Australia, housing types are very different, real estate is very different. What are some of the challenges that you’ve had in getting these staff in?
Levi: What you said is probably spot on. It’s probably, you get used to slang here, or just not describing something properly. So you just got to really put it in one proper English, but to simple and layman’s terms so then –
Stephen: -- Proper English, not Australian lol
Levi: Proper English.Yeah Yeah It just means that your communications and delivery’s gotta be right. You can’t leave some sort of margin for misinterpretation which is fine because you know you got a system there and if it’s spelled right, then it’s done properly.
Stephen:And is there some things or staff that you wanted to add in there that you sort of not gone yet in that level yet or?
Levi: Yeah there will be. So there’s been a little bit of assistance with our marketing coordinator in that role there. She books all the photos and downloads and crops brochures and you know all that sort of stuff so there’s been a little bit of work done with her that probably our next step to pull apartthat role and go okay how to make this better and from there probably property management.
Stephen: Cool. And with the PM, I probably did the same as you. You’re probably the same as me. Sales Person, starts, goes into business.
Levi: You know sales. That’s right.
Stephen: We do what we like. We start to run with sales first because it’s exciting and PM we think ugh what a drag but it is when I get to start doing Pm, it is by far easier than it is with sales because like sales things just come up at you like unconditional, you don’t know when it’s coming or new listings, you don’t know when they’re coming. With property management, it is just one big simple circle and it’s the same task everyday. Have you thought about what task are you might want to outsource with the property management?
Levi: Not specifically yet. My business partner Christian, he’s just sort of just pulled the whole property management department system apart and sort of re-built it similar to sales really it should be done in a similar way, but it sorta it hasn’t been. His role now is to manage business and focus on the property management. So he’ll get to that. We probably don’t have a specific task at the moment but we’ll get there.
Stephen:Awesome so yeah the pm staff like the lease renewals and all of that, that’s probably the easiest.We’ve got clients who has 12,000 managements and only one girl handling it, just taking it off the PM’s, which is a huge help. Have you thought about going down the path with like any sort of design, marketing stuff, ads like Facebook ads, Google ads, SEO? Have you considered any of that with the outsourcing at all?
Levi: No, we haven’t actually. So, not at this point of time but obviously we’ll always going to be open to other parts of our business because I think you know as our business grows and that’s our way here to grow it. Yeah I think the amount of staff we got her is all we need in house anyway.
Stephen: Just a final message for anyone viewing this, why do you think based on your situation how it’s gone for you? Do you have any reasons why, “Look, this is why I think you should start outsourcing?”
Levi: Yeah, I think for any business owners that are out there, I think you get especially if you’re in sales, which a lot of the owners are, that’s sort of their background, you get so busy with you day-to-day stuff that sometimes you don’t step back and go, “How can I make my business work better and make it more efficient?”, which then will allow me to have more time, better head space all that sort of stuff.So that’s probably first and for most. Sometimes, you just got to step away for a second and go hang on a second, I’ve been doing this for so long this way, I actually can probably do it better. Yeah so that’s probably my message I think.
It’s definitely has changed the way our business has run.And it’s definitely changed the culture within the admin staff that has helped and it’s only going to continue to help with other staff as we grow it.
Stephen: Awesome. Alright. Yeah I appreciate you having a chat with me today, Levi. We’ll get in touch soon.
Levi:Legend. Cheers, mate.
Stephen: Awesome, mate. Thank you.