Have you ever hired someone and wished you hadn’t their second day on the job?

Allowed a non-performing staff member to continue way past their effectiveness date, just because you didn’t want to face letting them go?

Hired a friend or relative because you knew them and thought they would care, but later found out, they were ripping you off?

Have you had a revolving door of people because you couldn’t find consistent talent that wanted to do a repetitive job?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

As business owners, we know we can’t effectively do all the work ourselves and have any true scale. We need people and systems to leverage so we can enjoy our work, provide better service, and have a life.

Yet, hiring the right person can be challenging. We are great at what we do, but very few business owners are good at hiring and managing people. We aren’t taught how to hire people, and so we just “wing it.”

At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we are in the staffing business. We help clients find global talent from the Philippines by doing all the heavy lifting for them. We provide excellent staff for a fraction of the price of local employees.

My husband and I own and operate several businesses. One of which is a property management firm. I have worked in staffing and HR for most of my career and have always been great at building good teams that work well.

I was shocked when several years ago an employee of 4 years quit via a text message while we were on our first vacation in 7 years. It was devastating. Looking back, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. But at the time, it was pure chaos.

It was frustrating trying to rebuild my team. We had been overstaffed in the past, and with the new laws and regulations, payroll was continuing the escalate. I wanted to do something different. When we were introduced to hiring and using global staffing, I put my HR skills to work and figured out how to hire talent in the Philippines for a fraction of the cost.

In the beginning, trying to figure out the technology, how to pay my virtual worker without incurring payroll costs, and how to integrate them took me a while. Then there were the cultural differences. But what I learned, was I could create a hiring system that allowed me to get it right 95% of the time.

When a friend asked me to help her with her staffing needs, it was an easy task. She still has those initial placements working in her business today. They have become integral and valuable parts of her team.

Fast forward and today, we have hundreds of placements. Happy clients who enjoy the benefits of our virtual professionals.

Here is what a few of them are saying:

“I think we are finally getting all of the Virtual Employees settled in their roles and feel like we have a good team. We have been really happy with the results so far and are very grateful for the service that you provide.” D.R. – Property Management Firm in Utah has 8 Virtual Employees

“Thank you for reaching out. Hazel has been doing great here with us. We love using your service." S.B. – Property Management Firm in CA has 1 Virtual Employee

“I have been very satisfied with how quickly April and Hazel have caught on. Kat and Allan have been wonderful as well and very flexible with policy and procedure changes!” R.H. – Property Management Firm in NC has 4 Virtual Employees

We invest a lot of time and analytics into our hiring process to get these results. We use testing and application tests just like the Fortune 500 companies do, but we have adapted them for cultural differences as well as the various roles.

For example, not all customer service roles are exactly the same. The best person to answer your leasing calls isn’t typically the best person to handle maintenance and vice versa. We work as consultants for our clients to help them understand their needs and then work to find the best match specifically for them.

We work with our clients to establish clear expectations and prepare them and their virtual professionals with ongoing training, HR assistance when needed, and to be a sounding board when challenges come up.

The HireSmart Virtual Employees’ difference is the amount of time and effort we put into every hire, so you don’t have to. We provide you with a complete solution for your hiring needs. Whether accounting, leasing, maintenance, back-office administration for insurance audits, lease renewals, or other routine paperwork, we can help you find the perfect match.

Want to know more? Sign up for a free consultation call.

Green-Tag-in-Use

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at a regional NARPM conference about Solving You Biggest Operational Issue in 30 Days. It was a great event and I loved connecting and providing great information to my fellow NARPM members. As a Broker of my own Property Management business, I know firsthand the troubles and challenges that we all face. However, since I came out of the corporate world of selling IT Consulting, I am all about plugging up the holes with processes and procedures. When we find a problem, we fix it and generally don’t have that issue again.

In my presentation, we were hypothetically walking through the issues with maintenance. If you are a PM, you know the headaches that department can create. It is the number one bone of contention between owners, tenants, and the property manager.  As we were walking through the steps, one of the issues that we talked about was tenant’s expectations being too high. I shared some of the tips we use to help with that as well as some things to help tenants solve their own issues.

By far the biggest “ah ha” moment in the room was the introduction of my Green Tags. Want to know about my green tags? They are how we tag every water cut off so that when a tenant has a leak, they can quickly identify a cut off and turn the water off.

They look like this:

You can easily install them on every cut off. When we do a move in inspection, we explain what they are, show them the main cut off and how they work. Whenever a tenant calls in with a water leak, whether during business hours (which quite frankly never happens) or after hours 99% of the calls, my after hours maintenance people ask the tenants to find the green tags to shut the water off to minimize any further damage.

Funny enough, we had this happen the night before the conference. Tenant called at 7:30 stating that there was a leak, the carpet was soaked, they found the green tag, stopped the water, and called. It works like clockwork. It is amazing how some of the simplest things can have a big impact on your business.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we help businesses like Property Managers reduce the time and headaches so that they can focus on revenue-generating tasks. If you would like to know if our system is for you, book a call to speak with us.

NARPM-BO Retreat

OK so I’m not going to make the best photographer the world has ever seen but I saw this and it’s indicative of where the industry is heading. A visible proof from Broker/Owner the PM Business is changing rapidly.

Have you noticed that each year at Broker/Owner there is a certain buzz around a specific topic?  

Here’s an insight I’ll share with you because it shows how the industry is changing.

Of all the topics people could list up on the bar camp, there are four main ones.  (I’ll list them out to save your eyes!)

Company financial performance with 22 tallies
Utilizing virtual employees (VEs) with 22 tallies
Employee compensation with 20 tallies
In-office communication with 15 tallies

The next closest was ‘Passing to the younger generation’ with 9 so it was way down the list.

At first glance, those first four may look like they’re not closely related however there is a common theme running through them.

We are all under pressure to make our businesses perform, and so company financial performance is always going to be on a list of topics.  We need to make our businesses streamlined, cut costs and improve productivity – we’re all well aware of that.

Similarly, employee compensation is a key point.  What is your biggest overhead?  Employees.  Does it impact your company’s financial performance?  Of course it does.

Is there a way to streamline your business while keeping a lid on employee compensation?

Of course, there is, and the speed at which the industry is grabbing that opportunity is gathering pace… which is the reason that ‘utilizing virtual employees’ is right at the top of the tally marks too.

People know about virtual employees (VEs), they know they need them, but usually wait too long to make the decision to move forwards… and that’s why the BUZZ is there around these topics.

On the surface, it should be a simple decision to get a VE.

‘My business generates a lot of critical paperwork.  Should I have somebody in my office do it with a compensation package of around $50,000 or should I outsource it less than $20,000 a year?’

It should be simple because that can give a streamlined business with improved financial performance, right?  

There’s a big BUT isn’t there?  ‘I know it makes sense but…’
…I don’t want to outsource to a call center
…Where do I start? (see my PS at the end and you’ll see how to solve this one easily)
…I don’t have systems in place
…I don’t want to be speaking to somebody with a thick accent I have trouble understanding
…I need this person to do a perfect job every time
…I don’t have time to do it and get them up to speed.  It’s just faster to do it myself for now

I had ALL those and more before I took on my first VE.  

For me, the real reason I hesitated so long was because I hated the idea of having to ring a call center and not get a clear-cut answer because ‘somebody else was doing the work’, not my point of contact.

I had no intention of being caught in the middle with nobody taking responsibility. That is why when I took on my first VE I didn’t use one in a call center.  

I employed them full time.

It felt like a leap, so I minimized my risk.  

I had a set of criteria to do the initial vetting (perfect English, genuine references and a solid university degree) and only interviewed three people who passed those easily.

And then I held brief, focused interviews and selected the person I felt I could work most closely with and who fit the business the best – Theriza.

I already had my list of ‘tasks I hate and will do the one last time’ ready for her.

I did each of the tasks and noted down the steps.  Then I handed it over to Theriza and made certain she could understand my notes and what outcome I wanted.  

Now because Theriza was working for me full-time she wanted to do a great job and she helped to perfect the system for each of the tasks and I could be certain that if she (or anybody else) followed ‘the system’ they would do the work exactly as I wanted it done.

In a single swoop I’d streamlined my business, handed tasks I wasn’t too motivated to do and saved tens of thousands of dollars by having it done overseas instead of hiring somebody to replace Julie and her endless romance-gone-wrong-over-the-weekend stories.

If you’re in a position where you know you want to streamline your business, control employee compensation then a quality, full-time VE is an easy solution to a difficult problem.

But how does that solve the in-office communication?  

Imagine this.  

You use one or two full-time virtual employees to manage all your necessary admin tasks.  

What are your employees spending time doing now you have freed them up from the dull, repetitive work?

You want your business streamlined so now they can focus 100% of their energy on the important aspects.  Building relationships with owners, signing leases, moving forwards.

Suddenly you have a highly streamlined organization where everybody is focused on the goals that matter.  How much more productive do you think they will be?

The communication sorts itself out because everybody is pulling in the same direction

And if you want to consider that bugbear of hiring… how much easier will it be to attract the best out there?  

‘Yes, you heard that right.  If we hire you, we aim to free you up from the tasks that pull your focus from signing new leases (or whatever you want them to do).  We want you to be happy and to be focused so as long as you give the admins the work in the correct manner, they’ll take care of the rest of it for you.’  

Who wouldn’t want to work in the environment?

That’s why those four hot topics are showing how the industry is changing and changing fast.  

PM businesses that use virtual employees are becoming more streamlined and focused and able to outcompete their competitors.

If you’d like to talk through how to make it work in your business, then send me a quick note to me Info@HireSmartVirtualEmployees and we’ll have a chat.