Outsourcing lowers quality standards

The standards may be compromised but it might just come from you, the person who’s employing the person in the Philippines.

Topic – Busting the outsourcing myths

Mentor – Mark Engelmann

  • Training
  • How robust is your process documentation?
  • It takes no longer to train someone overseas

Property Management Matters with Tara Bradbury – Maria asks and Tara answers –  “I’m struggling with the balance between size and quantity. I am a property manager and all my boss wants is numbers.


Kevin: Tuesday morning, good morning and welcome to RE Uncut I’m Kevin Turner and today’s show produced in association with PropertyTree from Rockend, Beepo, Printforce, LockedOn, and View. Everything you need to know to build a better business in all in a short chat show everyday. Find us at Facebook and Twitter as Real Estate Uncut. How you can make your office more productive, profitable, and efficient with Beepo. They are experts in real estate outsourcing. Let’s get underway with today’s show.

Speaker 2: The Real Estate Uncut property management update. Presented by PropertyTree from Rockend. The most widely used cloud based property management application in Australia.

Kevin: And this morning on the show another question for Tara Bradbury from BDM Academy. These are questions you’re sending in to us, please keep them coming in cause we love to get them and we want to answer them. We’re going to do it in special series of podcasts.

Tara: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin: This will give you a taste of what we’re doing. Good morning Tara. How are you?

Tara: Very well Kevin.

Kevin: Good to be …

Tara: I’m looking forward to our next question.

Kevin: Yeah well it comes from Marie. Now that’s not her real name. No one said why when we posed the question. Maria says “I’m struggling with the balance between size and quantity. I am a property manager and all my boss wants is numbers. So I would much rather focus on quality properties. Do you have any suggestions?”

Tara: I guess my first question to put forward to this person and anyone else who’s in the same situation is to ensure that you have the opportunity to be heard in the business is first and foremost. So whether that be that when you provide your feedback if that’s your form of a weekly team meeting or do you have regular reviews that are happening every six months. If that is something that’s not the case then you do need to actually take that time to write down your details of concern. Not just kind of go and take the problem forward to the business owner and say “I’m struggling. I mean I don’t know what to do” and not put any time and put it around the work that you are doing within the portfolio.

Potentially keep a time log as well and have that genuine information there because I worked across two different businesses in my career, during my real estate career, and it came down to that for me where it was over probably a six month period where I was feeling that same pain and frustration that you are now and I started to do that I kept a time log of where my time was being spent, the expectations of where properties are I was travelling to, and the I guess when there were concerns coming out properties and the risk behind that my thought process on what needs to happen next. When I got to the stage and I’m hoping we don’t get to this stage for you and I had to make a decision of what I was wanting to do with my career path I had all that information there to say “I’ve asked you on so many occasions and this is something that was really important to me and my own personal health in the position and given that it’s not something that you’ve even review or looked at changing I need to make decisions for myself now.”

So that would be my suggestion to have a real detailed list of where you spend your time during the day, listing those concerns now and then putting that in written form by email’s probably the best because the time to date stamp to the leader, business owner of the team and asking for their time to do that with you one or one or bring it to the team meeting.

Kevin: In fairness I want to give my thoughts on this as well and I do think that a lot of business owners think of nothing other than numbers. That’s all they can really focus on.

Tara: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Kevin: When if they could understand the quality, I’m sorry the benefits of having a quality rent roll is going to mean, you know happier people, probably more successful people and a lot less cost coming out of the property managers business because you’re not constantly, you know putting out fires.

Tara: Absolutely.

Kevin: Yeah.

Tara: And for this person too, you know when you’re putting that list together there’s a really high chance that there are actually different tools on a technology level now that could assist you through some of those processes that you are struggling with. For your business owner they might be thinking “Well hang on the number of properties that you have is within reason to what I’ve been told. You should be able to sustain” but if you’re not getting the support there, if they’re getting that from company that has high level use of technology products and they’re using them to capacity but for the company’s that not there’s a vast difference there of what you can do on a communication level if you’re not embracing where we are on a tech world.

Kevin: Going to leave it there for the moment Tara. We will cover this Maria in our podcast which is coming out very, very shortly. Watch out for that. That and a number of other questions we’ve probably got about ten now that I’d like to cover also so keep sending them in. Just send them in through the website and Tara will answer them in this format but then we’ll take it into a lot more detail in the podcast so watch out for that. Thanks Tara. Talk to you next week.

Tara: Looking forward to it. Thank you.

Speaker 2: PropertyTree is the cloud based property management software designed by Rockend. Being cloud based this means that you can work anytime and anywhere. Providing you with the ultimate in flexibility so you can focus on other things. Rich in a range of features and benefits talk to Rockend about making your working life simpler and how to grow your business with PropertyTree. Call 1-300-657-700 or use the link at RE Uncut. More thoughts now from this weeks mentor.

Kevin: Welcome back once again and we are talking this week about our outsourcing and if you check any one of the pages on RE Uncut you’ll notice that we as supported by Beepo. They are outsourcing from the Philippines, Clark in the Philippines and I’m talking to Mark Engelmann from Beepo this week about some of the myths around outsourcing. We discussed staff having poor English skills yesterday. Quality standards is something I want to talk about this morning. Mark G’day. I touched yesterday on some of the systems that you can bring into play that will help you make sure that your standards aren’t compromised. It’s probably a bit of a two way street this because Mark, firstly good morning Mark. How are you?

Mark: Good thanks Kevin.

Kevin: Yeah sorry about that. I should have done that about forty seconds ago. One of the things that I found is that yes the standards may be compromised but it may just come from you, the person who’s employing the person in the Philippines.

Mark: Yeah so this is a massive area Kevin, you know I could talk for hours about this but basically there’s a couple things I want to say in terms of quality assurance and I think that one of … one thing that it comes down to is training and I guess the robustness of your process documentation. One of the concerns the customers tend to always have that outsourcing, especially to a foreign country, is the length that it’s going to take to train someone and I know from firsthand experience that it’s used … the technology now allows you to train people in pretty much exactly the same amount of time that it would take to train someone sitting next to you in your office in Australia.

You know there’s the web conferencing applications available. We use a programme called Zoom in Beepo and it allows you to record what’s on your screen. It allows you to whiteboard and brainstorm ideas collaboratively in real time. When we’re training someone in a new task in a system we’ll bring them into the web conference, share our screen, tell … show them how to do it but also provide that audio commentary about where we’re doing at the same time. That all gets recorded and uploaded to the cloud and that’s there as a permanent reference tool for that offshore staff member to then refer to when they’re doing that process. So the technology’s available it just facilitates the whole networking environment really, really well.

Kevin: Yeah this was one the blockages for me Mark and that was the training. The thing that struck me and the point you just made was very good that it takes the same amount of time to train someone locally as it does to train someone in the Philippines but the blockage for me was that the person locally is sitting beside me and it feels a lot easier but with technology now and things like Zoom that you just mentioned, they are technically sitting beside you aren’t they?

Mark: Yes I always say to people, you know you can work … the way that you interact with a remote staff member is exactly the same as the way you would interact with someone sitting with you in your office. You can email them, you can instant message them, you can talk to them on the phone, you can talk to them on Skype or Zoom, and have a face to face conversation. The only thing you can’t do is physically be in the same space and sit next to each other but you can show them exactly what you’re doing. You can have a proper one on one conversation with them in the Philippines even the time zone is pretty much the same. The Philippines is in the same time zone as Pert so it’s not like you’re talking to someone who’s struggling to stay awake at two a.m. in the morning because they’re trying to be on … at work at the same time that you are in Australia. It’s, you know there’s really no reason for it not to work.

Kevin: You know in some sense it’s easier to actually try someone in the Philippines then it is locally. Let me give you an example of this. You can wake up at seven o’clock in the morning. You can wake up at two o’clock in the morning and think that “Oh there’s something that I need to do.” You simply go to the computer, you record the training session and it’s there waiting for your person when they first … so that training is actually out of the way. It’s done at a time that suits you not necessarily during working hours.

Mark: That’s right, that’s right and you know you can take that a step further and you can get your outsource staff member to then convert that training video into a written process document. So you can, over time, have someone else other than yourself actually document all of the processes from end to end in your business. If you try to write a process document yourself for some that takes you five or ten minutes it’d probably take you an hour to write the document that you can just do the five or ten minute task, get it recorded on your screen, send it to your person in the Philippines. It becomes a learning tool for them and a training tool for them and they can also transcribe that into a written process document that they’re then responsible for keeping updated over time as things change in your business.

Kevin: A reminder that once again that if you’re a little bit curious about outsourcing, you want to learn a little bit more about it, here’s a great opportunity for you to go to a study course which is being held in the Philippines June 12 and 13. There are links on all of the pages. Just go to the Beepo link, click on that and that will take you straight to a learning page that will give you all of the information, a chance for you to embed yourself in the Philippines, have a look at the Beepo system, learn a lot more about it before you make a commitment. Mark I want to catch up tomorrow. We’ll talk about something that’s, well very important. That is data security once you’ve started to put that online. Mark Engelmann back again tomorrow morning. Thanks Mark.

Mark: Thanks Kevin.

Jet: Lucille Ball once said love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. You know it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes. That’s important. I’m Jet Xavier. Have a great day.

Kevin: Thanks Jet. That’s it for today. Thanks for your company. Look forward to catching up again tomorrow morning.

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