SUMMARY REAL ESTATE OUTSOURCING CATCH UP
Check out Stephen’s chat with Sebastian “The Renovator” Viteri of Hill and Viteri Properties, as they talk about how Sebastian’s introductions to Outsourcing has quickly grown his Real Estate business, with their overhead increasing and leads continuously coming in through the door.
Sebastian reveals that the key in Outsourcing is getting systems for his business and communication with the Outsourced people running the systems. He started Outsourcing his staff here in the Philippines about eighteen months ago and now he’s saying he doesn't know how he’d run his business without it. Learn how, through Real Estate Outsourcing, was he able to get quality staff, save money that can be spent elsewhere, and do things like taking holidays with his family.
“Stephen Atcheler talks to Sebastian Viteri of Hill and Viteri Properties about Real Estate Outsourcing.”
Sebastian: Can you sort that out?
Sebastian: I'll give you some mood music mate if you want it.
Sebastian: No I'm only joking.
Sebastian: Yeah, let's do it.
Stephen: Alright so it's Stephen Atcheler here from Real Estate Outsourcing and today I'm shooting the shit with Sebastian Viteri. How are you?
Sebastian: I'm really well, thanks Stephen and yourself?
Stephen: Oh I'm doing good and you've already told me just before you're on holiday and you're hiding a beer behind there.
Sebastian: I sure am mate and that's one of the beautiful things about having a business that you helped me move to the web or the cloud that I'm able to do things remotely.
Stephen: Well that's a bit of a plug desk, so Outsourcing has got you some time back already.
Sebastian: That's, that's the one mate, that's the one.
Stephen: Spending it away with the lovely wife and no children as well.
Sebastian: Yeah, yeah, and trying not to get on her nerves as well.
Stephen: Yeah, good luck with that's our jobs as men. Alright. So, I just want to havea quick chat with you today. Uhm, so we've known each other for a little while. Uhm, probably the only one I've given you the nickname of, you got the nickname The Renovator, does that still stick?
Sebastian: I am renovating a home in my own ways but not gonna be losing it myself.
Stephen: That's that's good to hear you've given that up. Alright, so how did you get into Outsourcing, how did you discover it and why did you get into it?
Sebastian: Yeah, really good questions mate, you know the answer to the first one, you know how I found it, well I found it through you, uhm, you know you blew my mind when you showed me what you were doing yourself and the fact that you went over and then set up this service just made it so much easier for me to adapt it. Uhm.
"Outsourcing and Automation Grows a Real Estate Business"
The main reason I looked at it, we grew our Real Estate business very very quickly and the cost, our overheads just continue to increase, markets started to turn a little bit honest and we have to look at some ways of saving some moneyand Outsourcing and automation were two of the things that you introduced me to. Well, you combined the two for me really well.
Stephen: So a bit of both Outsourcing with labor and creating automation that way uhm but yeah sort of like the software and grasp of the automation in that area and how did, well, how did you get your head around that? Well I'm not gonna say I'm the youngest guy in the world but you’re, still a little bit older than me and you're not generally as techie. How did you find it all putting this two well probably out of this world concept, you've got staff across the other side of the world and then, some fairly technical software stuff? How did you find it all and piece it all together?
Sebastian: Yeah, good, good question you know. In reality, I copied a lot of what you already did cause you know, I didn't have to read to make the wheel, I look at what you did and I used a similar type of strategy, or process if you will or system. And had to get my staff to get their head around it and get by it from them and yeah, it was just a steep learning curve you know. I had to learn it myself to then be able to teach them.
Once I was able to teach two or three other key people, it just spread throughout and you look back now and that's probably 18 months ago. Uhm. I don't know how we'd run the business without it. As you know, we've rebranded so we've lost all of the systems that we had at the Century 21 also reach well quite antiquated and outdated, very paper-based, very people-based and now all online, uhm, and it's a far, uhm what will I say, it's a far more powerful machine and it doesn't cost anywhere near as much money your gone.
Stephen: No uhm, 10% Franchise fee anymore? You can give me that if you want?
Sebastian: Man, I'm putting that back to the bottom line, mate. Although I tell you what with the renovation we’ve just done at the office mate,it’s paid off, it's made it a nicer place for our staff to work and that was one of the you know one of the keys of rebrand?
Stephen: Awesome, and with those tools that you have, couple of staff with is, you’ve got two staffs here, so how do you use some of those online tools to manage what they're doing like that's probably one of the things people find difficult cause you can't see someone, they're not in front of you, you can't check of what they're doing, uhm that you need to find ways to do that, like, what are the tools that you're using to track them and uhm, yeah, how are you measuring everything and keeping it systemized? If you can give the audience, yeah, a bit of a rundown of some these things that'd be great.
Sebastian: Well mate communication is key and the challenges presented, well making sure that, you know firstly the team here got the buy in. And if I can explain the way I explain that to my staff, and hopefully the audience takes it in the right way, I found a real disparity in the people who are 10, 15, 20 years veterans of the industry getting paid, you know what you will consider to be average type money. Let’s say someone working 20 years get paid seventy-five thousand dollars running apartment, an entry level person’s coming in and commanding44 and having virtually no knowledge. So there sort of little disparity in you know what an entry level person or what a, you know, what Mark might call a 5$ or a $10 an hour job, which to me really we can’t pay anyone that, to what a really technical person can deliver. So, once I had my key people realize, that you know you weren't just being greedy in taking that money and putting it back in their pocket but we are really investing into our key people and the premises, and the other bits and pieces, uhm, it allowed me to get buyin with the right people, so once we had that, it was an awesome smooth flow so now I guess the congruence with the way that we set it up you introduced me the communication system known as Slack and just like your sitting in the Philippines and I’m sitting at the Blue Mountains, we're sitting here and we're having a face-to-face conversation. Yeap, with my team leader there at the moment, he's my first call. As soon as I leave the gym, not that I look like I go to the gym, but as soon as I leave the gym, I ring him. We just say good morning, we shoot shit, uhm and if he's got any problems you know we'll talk those out and will get his sales to the right day, just looks like a good salesman and you would be an even good sales man. So, uhm I think that's really key. I think he knows that I'm not his first protocol and he has his own team leader yeah he has Red team, but I'm always there if he needs something so communication is the key.
Stephen: So you're talking about Ram that you've got over here?
Stephen: Ok and uhm, when you talk about sort of team leader uhm, how did that sort of come about like uhm, and did you find that something that helped, like having someone that sort of knows everything and can oversee a team here once the first person sit up and you've got more than one person to manage, uhm is that sort of why you went down the path and well I've noticed you've called him a team leader now?
Sebastian: Yeah, well as you know, Renmark was holding that title prior to that and I think just from a business owner's, a small business owner's perspective, one of the things that slows you down is you know the biggest killer of productivity is interruption. So if people don't know who to ask, they immediately go to the top of the tree and ask the boss. Where a lot of these things don't need to come to me and they just slow me down and I'm the biggest producer as far as income goes, so you don't want to slow me down. So having, you know, so if you’ve got Kelvin and Ram there now.And if Kelvin hits the pot, he can go to Ram and say, hey, have you experienced this problem before if he has, he can walk him through it. Uhm.In the event that he hasn't he can go to Emily, and in the event that Emily is not sure, he can come to me, and I can get further clarification but I have clear hierarchy about management functionality, which I think is important.
Stephen: Awesome. Just going over some more of the task and stuff. There we go. Have a swig.Here’s mine. I got some water here.
Sebastian: Yeah, just some of the tasks they're doing so you’re still doing it mainly in your sales business uhm and like, let's just go back 6 months’ time, you have Ren and you've got uhm Ram, how did you sort of have those roles divided up like what was Ram doing? And What did you use Ren more, cause I know you used to lean more on Ren for some technical stuff like, what stuff did you separate it there and who did what?
Sebastian: Well, Renmark's role, well Renmarklived in the blue team. You ’dbefamiliarwith the color functionality. Renmark lead in the blue team uhm.Basically, he would run the regenerative process, so, prospecting protocols, in addition market monitors so he’d be speeding up withdrawn leads, private sellers, just a little of those things when we were junior agents that we would do ourselves but they’re very very time, uhm, not a good way to use your time, I should say.
And we should be meeting landlords, we should be getting signatures, we should working with deals. So he was able to really invest that time, produced the leads to the sales people so they can go at them very quickly. So he predominantly went to that field but his skillset was a fantastic skillset for problem solving in computers.
So I leaned on him for solution,specially through the transition of CRM, the transition of brand, all of the systems that we had that were running the Century 21 business over a period of time, we had to change those systems and, as anything as a ripple of effect, we had, we needed then to stop gap solutions for a period of time to keep certain functions running like for example the sales enquiry log, he automated that completely through the use of email passes uhm, until we had a CRM that was able to just automatically take uhm, we come back to automation, the Century 21 system, we didn't have any evaluation so, so it was all very manual, catch it, write it down, very labor intensive. So he got it to the point where he just automated it straight in, created a list of people to call. So. And now the new CRM which you referred me to, now it all takes care of that all the time.
Stephen: Yeap. Awesome. Now just going back to what you’ve said before like this probably one of the key things that people outsourced cost. So are you saying so Ren’s in the blue team, now Blue’s an income producing team, now would you say that there’s an income drive from tasks that Ren has performed?
Sebastian: Oh hell yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And not only income, he was the cleverest person that we had in regards to problem solving in the whole team.
Stephen: You took him out both teams?
Sebastian: Yeah absolutely. Well, his nature you know obviously they grew up in a different environment from what we do. You know we’re kindda like targeted in a cage sometimes. We don’t have to fight to get fed. We get a little bit spoiled. So you know he was very hungry and very eager to please and would find solutions that are sometimes outside of the box, which I would just give him reign to implement. If heunderstood what I was trying to achieve, which he did, he would often comment
But he where his skills were then complemented in the addition of Ram, who worked in the red team, in the marketing and administrational role, two very intelligent young men with very different skills sets which worked really well together for what we were looking for. The third one will be in property management division. When I can convince my partner and head of property management to implement, we will. There will be a third additionsomewhere along the way. I’ve got my eyes on having a prospecting team.But I just haven’t gotten to that yet.
Stephen: Well, we’re always welcoming that. The more seats, the better. And it’s gonna give you an excuse to have a holiday here instead of the Blue Mountains. Which nothing against the Blue Mountains but.
Sebastian: Yeap. I think we’d want to go to the Philippines.
Stephen: The Philippines is nice. Come and visit the islands. It’s good fun. And there’s cheap beers too. Well you’re about to have another sip. That will cost you probably about 80 cents.
Sebastian: Yeah well certainly if the hotel’s charging me.
Stephen: Exactly. Not let’s just have a little bit more. Like what would be something like going back now, like you’ve been doing it eighteen months, is there anything you would have changed with the journey or something you would have of implemented quicker? Was there any sort of epiphany that you had? Like So I do remember when I think it must have been 6 or 7 months in where we were having our catch ups while you were having a roll of scotch’s and I’m slamming down some beers, and you’ve got your epiphany and you said, “Well, basically, fvck they’ve got it. They understand, the team.” Once the Trello, stuff got all in place, it’s like a pivotal moment where they understood. Can you go over that when the team finally got it and saw the value over here and how it was all pieced together?
Sebastian: Yeah I guess I’m, you know what I was probably trying to get across to you then was it a little bit of luck for them seeing the matrix. They couldn’t see it before and all of a sudden they can see it. They can see how well it worked and now mostly they have a tracker I don’t think anyone would understand how it worked before. It works that well now. Uhm so lessons that I learned along the way, I haven’t been over there. That’s probably uhm something that I need to do. I found you know communication as I’ve said before is key, developing your relationship with these people and getting to know them because it is harder and the guys because they are virtual people to them. I often have to remind them to just say hello. Especially when Renmark left the team to go greener pastures and Ram was on his own. He’s by himself. You know I’ll say to the team, just remember touch base with him, say g’day, interact coz he’d be lonely especially by himself and he’ll feel like he’s a separate team. I think having him feel like part of the team, having a video set up that we do have and all of those things certainly really helped. Give me some clarity around when say the epiphany, or maybe I’ve had to many scotches so I don’t really remember what I’ve said.
Stephen: Well it was a later afternoon and well was night time for you. And you’ve had probably half a bottle of scotch I think. Maybe it was an epiphany about something else. But we don’t need to there now. So look just sort of wrapping up. Would you have once piece of advise for anyone thinking about outsourcing that hasn’t outsourced I guess.
Sebastian: In the words of Nike, just do it. Uhm you know get your head around it. Uhm if you do, you’d certainly sawed the benefits. What I’ve seen, I’ve really seen some really keen eager people that are, that really want to work, that have really good skillsets and the service that they deliver has been you know a compliment from Darren who’s the head and arm of the Viteri.
He said of Ram of recent times, and he doesn’t let anyone else writes his ads, he said he’s the best administrator in that role that we’ve ever had. And he wrote a fantastic ad and Darren’s never said that about anything other than himself. So, the quality of work that you’re getting at the cost that you’re spending, it just makes sense, and you can spend that money elsewhere. Uhm but you have to get your head around designing systems that work that are inclusive for everybody. One of the upside from that is I can virtually run that place from this thing here. You know with Slack, Trello and having those systems for them to follow and if you spend the time and effort to have it there. Let’s say that the systems run the business and the people run the systems.
So, you’ve got to have the effort to create those systems and then once you’ve done that, the thing will run itself. Well, it still needs to be managed but you know if you leave people alone, the performance drops. So you’ll still need to drive it and manage it but it certainly becomes easier. And you could do things like have a bit of time off with your family.
Stephen: Which is the whole reason people generally gets into business but it’s sort of gets forgotten, doesn’t it?
Sebastian: You know what it’s like. When you finish one battle, you pick up your sword and fight another one.
Stephen: There’s always gonna be issues there to go back to. But at least you’ve got some time to go away and forget them for a little while. Awesome. That’s a good piece of advise. I appreciate having you in. and this is Sebastian and that would be shooting the shit about real estate outsourcing. So well talk again soon
Sebastian: Anytime. Thanks, Stephen.
Stephen: Awesome. Thanks, mate.