New Note

Create a note for yourself from this lesson. Notes allow you to quickly jot down any valuable information you'd like to review later. You can find your notes by clicking on "My Notes" in the profile navigation menu.

Business Development

Freedom through Outsourcing (Part 3): Breaking Down the Virtual Barrier & Hiring the Right Way

wallFace-to-face conversations are rare these days.

As the human race discovers new methods for breaking down communication barriers, even phone conversations are becoming obsolete.

With Face Time, IM, text, Skype, email and all the other “umpteen million” ways we can now connect to people, our everyday communications have gone virtual.

This is reason to rejoice!  Especially if you are interested in distributing your workload to one or more capable assistants.

Which leads me to today’s lesson – Part 3 of our 5-part series about “Freedom through Outsourcing”…

In Part 1 (“The Meaning of Life & Why Outsource”), we identified your goals as an investor and we explored the ways that outsourcing work to a virtual assistant can (i) save you time, (ii) give you freedom to make your business more mobile, and, most importantly, (iii) put more money in your pocket.

In Part 2 (“How to Fire Yourself”), we encouraged you to (i) recognize and embrace that you are replaceable, (ii) find someone who can do the job just as good if not better than you, and (iii) delegate your ever-growing “To Do” list.

Now, you’re ready for the next step, which is all about outsourcing the right way – to intelligent college grads around the world – as well as breaking down the barriers and fears of hiring overseas.

profanity“Virtual” is Not a Dirty Word

When you hear the word “virtual”, do you think “overseas”? It’s not uncommon for some of us to freak out when we hear the “virtual” in virtual assistant, because we imagine someone trying to help us get the job done from some far away land somewhere over the rainbow. “Virtual” can seem so intangible and downright impossible.

Truth is, “virtual” isn’t a scary or dirty word at all. It simply means that delegated tasks don’t require face-to-face interaction. Virtual business isn’t just possible in today’s Internet age, it’s necessary and it’s profitable, and that person living somewhere over the rainbow just might be the key to making your investment business more profitable.

Here’s what I mean…take Eben Pagan, one of my mentors. He runs a $25 Million per year business out of his condo in LA. He has 109 employees. All virtual.

One of my companies – Real Freedom Properties – just transitioned out of our physical office in Tampa and now the entire staff works from home. And the business is thriving!

And another one of my companies – Freedom$oft, LLLP – is run by 4 partners in 4 different states (Hawaii, California, Florida, & South Carolina). Our developers are in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Lithuania, and China while our support team resides in Texas. Some of our repetitive, administrative tasks are completed in India.

See where I’m going with this? Virtual business is entirely possible, and I believe we have only scratched the surface on how to effectively run a virtual business.  

I know what you’re thinking: “With the real estate investment business, virtual may not always work.” And, yes, there are times when folks like us need to have actual feet on pavement, eyes on our properties, and hands delivering paperwork to sellers. Do these tasks all require a physical presence? Sure. But why so they require our physical presence? To that I say, “probably not”.

cheapWhy Pay $25 per Hour when You Can Pay $2 per Hour?

Truth be told, you could probably find a virtual assistant in less than an hour on Craig’s List, and it wouldn’t break your bank.  Much of what you need done daily to keep your business running can be done just as easily by an assistant in the Philippines for just $2 per hour. The same, local employee, on the other hand, would cost you more like $25 per hour. Do I even need to break down the savings here, my friends?

Now, it’s only natural to have some concerns and objections to hiring a virtual assistant in another country. “What if they can’t speak English?” is the most common concern, but rest assured that many countries teach English from a young age. Plus I’m talking about hiring VA’s with college degrees, so they are well-rounded and speak English better than many U.S. citizens I know!

And “What about $2 per hour slave labor?”, you ask. Just remember that minimum wage in the Philippines, for example, is just $0.79, which makes $2 a much-appreciated hourly wage. (More experienced virtual assistants are typically paid $3-4 per hour.)

Bottom Line: Capable, competent help can be had for less – much less – and the Philippines is the perfect virtual destination for American real estate investors.

Isn’t it Time to Hire Your Virtual Assistant?

So, where can you find these talented virtual assistants?

First, check out www.yourvas.com to see our friend Tim Mai’s Filipino job board. Most virtual assistants listed here have real estate experience and college degrees, and they speak English very well. Access is usually $97 per month with membership to his leads service, but Tim agreed to waive all costs for Freedom$oft members.  If you're one of us, then just click the “Sign Up Now” button, then use the coupon code provided to you inside Freedom$oft to eliminate the $97 monthly fee.

Most of Tim’s virtual assistants cost $300 per month for 40 hours per week each week (which translates to slightly less than $2 per hour), and they’ll work for you during U.S. business hours.

Or, if you’re not a Freedom$oft user (what's wrong with you?) or into the whole discount thing, here are some other respectable sites for finding virtual assistants:

Now you know where to look for your VA.  But how do you go about hiring one? Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be well on your way to saving time and money…

01Step #1: How to Hire a VA

The key to hiring success, simply put, is “keep it simple”.

Have someone screen candidates for you (if possible), then focus only on the top 3 contenders.

Here’s an example post for your reference.

(Let me preface this example ad by saying that some parts may seem a little cheesy, but the idea is to be you. You want to hire a VA that “gets” you, someone who can see through the fluff and extract what’s important.)

(Keep in mind, too, that less is more in your ad. Only list the most tedious or complicated tasks. If your VA can tackle the big stuff, he/she won’t sweat the small stuff.)

(Oh, and don’t include compensation if you can help it. You want someone to want the job, not necessarily the money.)

Wanted: A Bada$$ Virtual Assistant with Real Estate Experience

I’m looking for a full time VA to help me with my real estate investment business.

Responsibilities Include but are not Limited to:

  • Screening buyer/seller leads
  • Addressing, stamping, stuffing 100+ mailers daily
  • Running comparable sales & determining value
  • Coordinating paperwork and closing
  • Receiving and making calls with provided script
  • Unstinting my buying criteria and recommending a course of action

Must Have:

  • Hawk-like attention to detail
  • Dog-like dependability
  • Ox-like work ethic
  • Cat-like reflexes

02Step #2: The Responsiveness Test

So you’ve posted the ad and you’re in resume heaven (or hell, depending on if you’re a half-full or half-empty kinda person). Whether you do it yourself or you have another person or VA weed through the applicants, you need to narrow down the list of applicants to your top 50.

Once you have your top 50, you’ll want to send them a response email, short and sweet, that goes something like this:

Thanks for responding to my VA opening! We’re going through a ton of applications, and we plan to make a decision this weekend. Please let me know when you can start and what your pay rate is. Thank you.

You’re looking for responsiveness here. How serious are your candidates about this job? Did they respond immediately, did they wait a week to reply, or did they blow you off completely? Anyone who responds after 18-24 hours should be immediately eliminated from the running.

03Step #3: The Final Cut

So now your list should be significantly diminished, and this is a good thing.

But you’ll want to cut it back even more to your top 3 candidates...

...then make the final cut.

Remember, your time is key here. You're following these hiring steps to save yourself time and energy, so focus just on your top 3, and follow up with a phone call to each.

Talking with them, hearing a live voice, will help you gauge their interest, professionalism, enthusiasm, and intelligence.

Just remember to keep the calls brief, under 10 minutes each.

Step #4: Go with Your Gut

You’ve seen what they can do on paper, and you’ve talked with them to get to know them a bit. Now listen to your gut. What are your instincts telling you, and who are you drawn to?

Just go with it, and make your offer.

A word to the wise though: Keep your second choice in your back pocket, in case your top choice bombs. Doesn’t happen often, as your gut is usually right, but it can happen. So, just be prepared.

You and Your “A” Game

Now you know that “virtual” isn’t a scary word. In fact, it’s an amazing word – a word that will open doors for you and your business.

Virtual assistants and virtual business is the way of the world, and we’ve only just begun to understand and utilize all that virtual technology has to offer. It’s time to get on board and ride the virtual train, and now you’re equipped to do just that. You know where to find virtual assistants, how to hire them, and how to effectively communicate with them. The rest will fall into place.

You’ve got your “A” player. Go generate some “A” results.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Choose a Job Board (or Two) – Check out the VA-related job boards referenced above.

Post a Targeted Ad – Post a “Help Wanted” ad designed to attract Vas who “get you” (and your business).

The Responsiveness Test – Subject your top 50 applicants to “the responsiveness test”.

Call Your Finalists – Call your top 3 finalists on the phone for a 10-minute chat.

Make an Offer – Go with your gut and make an offer to your top choice, while maintaining a relationship with your other finalists (“Plan B” and “Plan C”).

Is there a topic you'd like to learn more about? Request a Lesson


+ Mark as Learned

Valuable Lesson? Share it:


Request a Lesson

At RealEstateMogul.com, mogul_guarantee.pngwe’re committed to delivering the awesomest, most practical, actionable content to our members … and that a big part of that is getting YOU to tell us what you'd like to learn from us. Since our REI resources are basically endless, we’d love to tailor our upcoming training as much as possible to precisely match what you, our members, really need and want out of us.

jpsig.png Request form