The Different Real Estate Outsourcing Models
There are all different models that you can utilise. Myself, I’ve tried all different models and I’ve had some successes and some failures. The first way I started was hiring someone that was a home based, part time, administration assistant. Now, at first this worked OK and it was going all right. However, the consistency became very poor. The educational level of this particular staff member that I had was quite difficult to work with. One of the reasons being, she did not work in one of the capital cities or the business district. She was working straight from her home, on her home computer, with her home internet.
Now, anyone that is committed to work, in the Philippines, in the BPO industry (that is what this industry is called) will be living in cities, around areas where there are many BPO’s. These areas are Clark Freeport Zone, Manila, Cebu or Baguio. They will not be in the provinces, working from their home computer. The inconsistencies that came with this were around the Internet. It is very frustrating in the Philippines when there is things like typhoons, brownout blackouts and many different factors which can stop the Internet from working very easily. It is a third world country and the infrastructure is not like that of a country like Australia US or New Zealand. The other thing that is a factor is the electricity in local areas in provinces.
They have local blackouts which they call brownouts. Once again, this is another thing that will take your staff member offline. Once you’ve committed to all the training with a team member, and you need them doing work on a day to day basis, the most frustrating thing you’ll find is when you can’t get access to them, because of an Internet issue or electricity issue. All these things can be avoided in some other models, which we’ll talk about in a second. The other thing to consider with a home-based staff member, is that there can be other inconsistencies. They tend to not stay with you very long, tend to move around for more money and find other online job platforms where they can go and command a higher salary.
So, let’s just talk now about an outsourcing method that a lot of people utilise around the world – freelancing sites like Atlanta and up work. Once again, this can be a very good way to get started. However, if you’re looking for something for the long term, I would suggest otherwise. For many of the same reasons that I just discussed with the home-based model, a freelancer is somebody that will engage in many different jobs. Now, even if you hire them full time, it’s more than likely that they’ll be working for other clients and other accounts doing other tasks also.
Therefore, they’re never going to be 100 percent committed to your business. The other issue being, if you think you found someone on freelancer, that has a great profile, or an off work that their profile looks fantastic, the chances are they’re going to charge a really high salary. The world will actually dictate the price, because if somebody has found this person to be really good, they’re going to leave good reviews. That’s going to create a demand on this particular person and they’re going to stop put their rate right up . Once you are paying a global market rate then it defeats the purpose of outsourcing. People that are committed to working in the BPO industry, are not looking on sites like Freelancer, because they want job security.
The employee is concerned about consistency and job security. They are aware that sites like Up work or Freelance offers positions that are not going to last a long time. Therefore, they have always got a second option that they’re waiting for. So, with Freelancer and Up work, yes, it may be something that you can look at to get started, but if you’re a long term player and you have a long term plan, it is not going to be the method for you.
In 2013, I discovered what was called The Seat Leasing Model or Staff Leasing. I went on a tour through the Philippines, checked out all of these capital cities to see all of these different models and different BPO companies and decided to go with a Seat Leasing model, with a staff member. What this essentially meant was, I would pay for a desk in somebody else’s office and I would be entitled to a computer and infrastructure to ensure that the staff can work. The company would then look for talent hire recruit offer a job to them and then they would work specifically for our business.
This is the model that I would suggest looking for – a company that can provide a secure platform where your staff will have the security of a job, long term, where they’ll be offered a specific job contract with all the benefits of a Filipino Employee, employed in The Philippines. This will create good job security. Look for a Company that has solid infrastructure. If you find something that may seem cheap check into the infrastructure. The reason that it may be cheap is they do not include some of the things that are needed, to ensure there is no downtime with Internet and things like electricity. What you will receive is a space, where essentially, it will be your team in somebody else’s office.
The reason for me choosing this model was that I did not have to worry about high billing and all of these things with my staff member. The company in the Philippines takes care of making sure that the staff member is locked in for work, looks after if they are sick, looks after if they are late and I am reimbursed for any of those things. They take care of all of the HR and payroll. My job was to allocate tasks to this particular staff member, ongoing training, mentoring and making sure that this particular person could do all the tasks required that I needed in my business.
This model allowed me to scale the business and I ended up hiring five people on this model. At that point, it was the most affordable model. There are other models out there. If your team is larger, (once you get above 5 to 10 or maybe even 15 people) you may want to look at a different model – where you can purely rent the space, in somebody else’s office, fit it out by purchasing desks and computers. These and other costs you’d be up for, upfront. However, you would make a saving on the other end.
About the Author
Managing Director – ShoreAgents
With 14 year’s experience in Real Estate, 7 years running businesses, 6 years running offshore teams, and importantly the Managing Director of a Real Estate Specific Offshore Staffing Solution for the past 3 years, Stephen Atcheler is an expert in helping businesses implement offshore solutions to help them scale, reduce internal wage costs, create automation, and develop an online footprint.
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