Outsourcing is not for everyone. Outsourcing works if it is set up correctly. Today we look at how and why it sometimes goes wrong.
Outsourcing from every angle
Mentor – Nick Ogden
- Is outsourcing right for you?
- The biggest problem you will face
- This is not a holistic solution
Marketing Monday – Know when to shut up!
Kevin Turner: Recently, I took you on a tour behind the scenes at Beepo in the Philippines. They’re one of our supporters, one of our sponsors, and they actually support a lot of agencies in Australia. The thing that really … Well, it didn’t really surprise me, but the uptake on that video has just been phenomenal. It just shows how much interest there is in this and probably also how much mystique surrounds outsourcing, whether it’s right for you, how do you implement, and so on.
Kevin Turner: That’s why this week my special guest is Nick Ogden from Beepo. We’re going to have a look at the pros and cons, whether … It’s not right for everyone, I’ll say that upfront, because I tried it, and I’ve tried it for several years. It’s now working successfully for me, so that’ll help us bring a little bit of that to the table as well. Good day, Nick. How are you doing?
Nick Ogden: Yeah, great. Thanks Kevin.
Kevin Turner: Yeah, sorry about that long-winded explanation bit or introduction, but I wanted to say that upfront because I don’t believe it’s right for everyone, but it can be if you approach it in the right way. Let me ask you firstly, Nick, what do you see as the number one problem from this end, that is the owner of the company, in bringing outsourcing into their own company? What do you see as the biggest problem?
Nick Ogden: Kevin, I’d say that the number one problem would be looking at this like it’s a holistic solution, that it’s going to solve the problems of a real estate business at the flick of a switch. Of course, that’s not the case. We’re one small piece, but a very, very important piece in a business running successfully long-term.
Kevin Turner: You see, that surprises me because so many people approach it on the basis that, “Oh, well, I’ll just bulk this in and expect it to work without properly implementing any systems around it.” Is that, do you think, because we don’t fully understand how to do it?
Nick Ogden: Yeah, yeah, I do. I think one of the challenges for us in the early part of an engagement with a new real estate business is that there’s a view that this is … We’ll send our task offshore. A big grey machine will churn away, and the tasks will come back completed. Of course, that’s not the way we operate as a business. Our business is around the people and full-time engaged staff, so full-time staff members working for the business and working exclusively for the business. The business owners really need to treat this no different than bringing a new team member on board locally. If they can embrace best practice when it comes to that, that’s what we’ve seen, be most successful when starting an offshore team for the first time.
Kevin Turner: Yeah, it’s also the lack of a squeaky wheel. When I say that, I mean it’s not like having someone work outside your office, so that if they have a problem, they can just stick their head around the corner and say, “Hey Nick. Tell me how to do this,” or, “What do I do here?” You’ve got to have those disciplines, those procedures documented right at the start, and the training can actually be a lot easier is what I’ve found, but that was one of the biggest problems for me, Nick, at the outset.
Nick Ogden: Yeah, look, it’s a great point. It’s actually one that we’ve recently put some extra resource in to solve ourselves. We had a strong sales team in taking our business owners down this direction for the first time and doing a really good job of that, and a really strong support team in the Philippines helping people get started. Then we support training of their team. But there was a bit of a gap in the middle of those two parts of our business, and so what we decided to do was just actually employ an account manager, Marcia Da Silva, who I know you’ve met, Kevin, who has really strong leadership qualities in real estate. She’s there really to help business owners with what’s best practice looks like when it comes to working with an offshore team for the first time.
Kevin Turner: What impressed me was when I did talk to Marcia … Is it Marsia or Marcia?
Nick Ogden: Marcia.
Kevin Turner: Marcia. When I spoke to Marcia, I think I called her Marsia. Anyway, when I spoke to Marcia, it surprised me, impressed me, that she was able to know just from talking to a leader whether or not they were going to be able to implement this in their business, pretty much their attitude to outsourcing. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Nick Ogden: Yeah, absolutely, I do. I’ve seen this work incredibly successfully, and of course, I’ve seen the opposite too. I’ve seen the times where it just doesn’t work. One of the keys to that, I think, is what I mentioned earlier is that they’ve really got to embrace this person as a person. If you’ve got really good practice when it comes to on-boarding a new staff member, implement those when you’re on-boarding your staff member offshore for the first time as well. Take the time to introduce them to your team. Take the time to share your culture of your business, and make them feel welcome. It’s a really important key.
Kevin Turner: Yeah, that’s very much a part of what I want to talk about tomorrow, and that is getting buy-in from this end with our team. Certainly implementing them from the Philippines in is one thing, but getting that buy-in here is pretty important. All right, mate, we’ll catch you again tomorrow morning. We’ll talk about that then, and we’ll continue to talk about outsourcing. If you want to reach out to the guys, just use the link on any one of the pages on REUNCUT here. That’ll take you straight through to Beepo, put you in touch with Nick and the team, and they can determine whether or not it’s going to be right for you. I promise, Marcia, I will call you the correct name next time I meet you. Good on you, Nick. Talk to you tomorrow, mate.
Nick Ogden: Awesome, Kevin. Thank you. Look forward to it. Bye.