Not All Offshore Service Providers are the Same! | ShoreAgents

Not All Offshore Service Providers are the Same!

When you start looking around at offshore service providers, it can get confusing to figure out exactly what they offer. It’s pretty different to hiring staff locally so you may not even know what questions to ask.

Basically, not all service providers are the same. Unless you educate yourself about how they are different, it’s tough to know what value you’ll be getting.

For that reason, I’ve written this article to help you identify the key factors you need to know before making a decision about your offshore service provider.

Keep in mind, I have been on both sides of the equation here. I used to be a real estate business owner and I know all about the highs and lows of trying to find my perfect real estate virtual assistants. These days, I am an offshore service provider, and now I know exactly how that business works. 

 

So here are the top four questions you need to ask your real estate offshore staffing provider.

 

Do they know your business?

First up, does the service provider know your business and what you want to achieve? There are plenty of ‘generic’ providers who service many different business types. But if they don’t know anything about the real estate industry in your country, how can they help you find and train the right staff?

This was my major frustration when I first engaged a service provider. They just didn’t know my business and had a limited understanding of what I wanted to achieve. This became a significant problem during recruitment, performance reviews, and the ongoing management of staff.

Basically, you can’t just chuck an ad up on the Filipino version of Seek and hope for the best. The reason that you are going to a service provider is because they are experts in supplying offshore staff. It’s crucial that you go that extra level and get one that specialises in your business or product, someone who knows what kinds of tasks need to be done, and who understands the various complexities we need to deal with in real estate.

Choosing a service provider that’s real estate specific, like us, is key. You’ll be dealing with a business owner on the other end who totally understands the real estate industry. They will be there on a day to day basis to help manage the process and make sure everyone is working effectively. 

You don’t need anyone to hold your hand when it comes to staffing. But it’s nice when you don’t have to explain the basics of the biz. Working together with a real estate specific service provider will speed up the process and avoid any pitfalls later on down the road.

 

Who is responsible for what?

Next up, you want to be clear about who is responsible for training and managing your staff. It’s important that you find out exactly what your service provider will be providing. Do they offer any pre-recruitment training? Do they have onboarding procedures to help facilitate the transition of the staff into your team? Do they have a training package that they can recommend? How much involvement will your account manager have? Are they just there to process the timesheet, or will they provide support to you as a manager and to your staff member?

The majority of providers will only provide a person, a computer, and a desk. A bum on a seat, basically. The rest is up to you.

We do things a bit differently at ShoreAgents. We have a complete course that our hand-selected recruits do before we even put them forward to clients. They sit our mentorship course, the super agent course, and also our Australian and New Zealand real estate training course before they even get started.

We have a very high level of training specifically in the real estate industry which sets us completely apart from every other provider out there.

 

How much is your VA paid?

This is something that a lot of business owners overlook. Of course you know exactly what you’re paying the service provider. But how much is your VA receiving in their hand?

I think this is really important. Companies that charge an hourly rate are usually forced to hire as low as possible. They’re obviously going to have a high turnover as staff get more qualified and move on to better opportunities.

Others will charge you an end figure and it won’t be clear how much you’re paying your staff. So when it comes time to grow your team, it gets difficult, because you don’t know what salaries they are getting. And if they’re a superstar and you want to give them a raise, you need to know what they’re currently on.

You know exactly what each of your local staff are paid, so you should absolutely know the same about your offshore staff. 

You can check out my article How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Real Estate Virtual Assistant to find out all the different ways that service providers structure their contracts. You want to work with a company that makes it super clear where your money is going.

 

What are the terms of the contract?

Like any good business owner, you gotta read the fine print. What does an agreement with the service provider look like? Will you be locked in? Are there exit fees? 

A lot of companies have a one year term so if you decide that you’re not happy, you can be hit with a full year of fees. Even if there’s an exit agreement, you may be liable for a penalty of three months. Even then, you’re not allowed to take the staff. So if the service provider has failed to perform, but you’ve invested a lot of time into your VA, you can’t move your offshore staff to another provider. 

Again, we do things differently at ShoreAgents. We have a transparent 60 day contract and we’re not sticky with anything. We know we provide a great service, so if anyone were to be unhappy and want to relocate to another service provider, they could simply take their staff over there.

If you’re reading this then you’re already doing a lot of research into what you need to know before taking the offshore plunge. I hope you’ve found these four tips useful and if you want to discuss anything else about how a real estate virtual assistant can supercharge your business, just get in touch.

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Contributors

With 13 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.

Stephen Atcheler

Currently the Marketing Manager and Coordinator of ShoreAgents, Angie Dayrit has built her career in the Marketing field for 5 years.
Since the early age of 20, she has been exposed to the positivities and possibilities of top career industries.
She’s a firm believer of the power of out-of-the-box thinking–taking in the key things of traditional marketing while openly embracing the technological advancements of Marketing.

Angie Dayrit

CIPS, TRC, Founder and Managing Director of property management business solutions company ireviloution is an international real estate identity who has coached, mentored and trained over a thousand of property management teams and business to success and thousands of individual property management business owners and property managers worldwide.

Jo-Anne Oliveri

A co-founder of LockedOn – a powerful, easy-to-use real estate CRM platform that makes listing and selling simple. With over 15 years in software development experience in the real estate industry, Iain has helped create software solutions that have enabled thousands of agents create lasting relationships with their customers.  

Iain French

He is the Founder of the hugely successful Offer Management Platform, Market Buy, and a career real estate agent spanning 22 years. He has worked in all facets of real estate and has won many awards over the years for Innovation, Sales volume, and office performance. Dave is dedicated to improving the real estate industry and providing agents with the tools they need to survive and thrive in an ever-evolving business environment.

Dave Stewart

She is the founder of Rent Roll Starter and specialises in helping independent real estate agents to start and build their own Rent Rolls, using affordable (and sometimes free) marketing and growth strategies.

Ellen Bathgate

He is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Melbourne-based proptech start-up Rental Heroes. He is passionate about applying innovative digital solutions to help people connect better. Like many Australians, Ben and his co-founder Dom, have been both tenants and landlords. They founded Rental Heroes because they saw an opportunity to speed up issue resolution and automatically handle common tenant requests 24/7 (everything from a broken dishwasher a to pet requests!). Rental Heroes have launched their AI-chatbot “Alex” - who helps property managers by liaising directly with tenants to handle everyday requests and issues.

Ben Burton

With more than 15 years experience as a professional real estate photographer, Brad has a deep understanding of what it takes to showcase a home in its best light. After photographing homes all day and editing them all night, Brad decided to create BoxBrownie.com, which has become the ultimate photo editing portal for everyone from professional photographers, real estate agents, to property managers.

Brad Filliponi

With extensive digital experience spanning over 30 years, He is a full-service mobile marketing business specialist and chatbot ninja. Mike helps empower small business owners and real estate agents to achieve marketing success on Facebook by generating leads through conversation.

Mike has built the marketing platform and designed the Facebook strategy using old school systems so that Real Estate Agency owners can build the most effective marketing lists as well as own the data from advertising and marketing. Following Mike’s vendor paid 12-point strategy over 12 weeks will build a list of over 1,000 prospects segmented into Buyers and Sellers that teaches Facebook who should see your ads in the future.

Mike Hillsdon

A marketing consultant, writer, and a social entrepreneur. For the last two years, he’s been engaged in Australian real estate marketing, media broadcasting, and shared services marketing.

He has a great passion for evolution in terms of learning which develops a holistic facet in his personality.

Ejay Manalansan

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