Learn the ropes of Outsourcing from Stephens's conversation with Steve Lovegrove of Professionals. Uncover how Steve’s Outsourcing journey has turned six full-time employees into only three cost-effective time-efficient full-time Outsourced Virtual Assistants, saving him Two Hundred Grand a year which then goes back into ongoing development of his business.

Get tips on how Steve was able to crop the benefits of Real Estate Outsourcing simply by having the combination of the right people and the right sourcing technological abilities.

Steve's reaction, when asked if one of his VA here in the Philippines is to leave his business, is interesting yet educational.

“Stephen Atcheler talks to Steve Lovegrove of Professionals about Real Estate Outsourcing.”

Transcript - Stephen Atcheler & Steve Lovegrove

Stephen: Alright well welcome to shooting the shit about Real Estate Outsourcing. Today, I’ve got my friend, Steve Lovegrove from Professionals over in holiday town Rotorua. How are you, Steve?

Steve: Hi Stephen. Yeah good thanks yeah good.

Stephen: That’s the way. See, I just want to chat about your outsourcing journey. You’re probably been one of our longest clients and our biggest fan, I think.

Steve: Yeah

Stephen: So, what got you at starting Outsourcing in your Real Estate business?

Steve: Oh well two and half year ago, I boarded a business that was a large business that has been around for a hundred years and when I took over the business it was really heavy with administrational task and I looked at it and it really has a good sales base, so good income stream but I had a really established team of people but it wasn’t necessarily productive. And so just like any business person, you look at your cost and I thought, “Hey how can I do this more efficiently?” And we can utilize technology and labor to do it, and the outsourcing was a clearly obvious solution for us to say, “Hey can we do things more efficiently, more effectively and automate some of the things that we do?”Because a lot of back office things that we do is just the same each day. It’s just a different property but at the same process. So it was easy to see that processes and then throw it to Real Estate Outsourcing as an outsourcing team and get that done.

That meant, we turned six full-time equivalents in our business to three full-time equivalents with Outsourcing, because the outsourcing people actually were way more productive with the mere fact that they were not distracted with coffee breaks and smoke and all those things that happens. We actually found that not only they were more cost-effective but actually more time-efficient as well. So, we have the staff in quartered cost.

Stephen: So how much do you reckon you save?

Steve: Oh easy. Two Hundred Grand a year.

Stephen: Back into the sky rocket or back into the business? Steve: Well because we only bought the business two and a half years ago, that goes straight back into ongoing development of the business because we definitely want to utilize that to develop more. It is just not about sourcing the right people part but it’s actually now sourcing the right sourcing technology abilities.It’s a combination of having the right people and the right sourcing technology abilities as well.So yeah it is going straight back to our business.

Stephen:Awesome. And when you first stated here. The first person you got here was the lovely Meg and now you’ve got three how do you think you got it to be successful? Now you got three people. We have other clients who haven’t gotten to this level and progressed as quickly. What would you say your secret is?

Steve: Oh it’s a hundred percent on our side. Because we’re selecting the right person and with like any employment, you know you can get good people and not-so-good people and that happens both where we are in New Zealand and it happens there in the Philippines I’m sure. But what we have is uhm we have realized that the responsibility lies on our sister-client to actually work with our person, find out what our VA, or outsourced personnel capabilities are and build on those strings. Give them the correct processes. So there was a lot of time spent of Skype, a lot of time with our staff. So we actually had to have someone dedicated here to actually make it happen. But it’s a bit like a learning curve. Once you go through to the steep part of the curve and you get past that, everything gets clearer from the top. Everything looks better from the top. So you just got to be able to do the grunt at the early stage. People usually think you can just switch on a VA and all of a sudden gonna do a whole lot of magical things for them. And it’s quite not that.

Stephen: Yeah that’s exactly what we’ll find if we hired someone in Australia, it wouldn’t just go hey you’re an admin personnel, off you go. But people could tent to have that but mind set over here which was yeah a bit strange. I’m glad you realized that very very early. You popped over to visit us, do you think that had any sort of help with it? Like coming over here, seeing what it is, seeing how they work, interacting with the staff on a more personal level?

Steve: Aye. Absolutely. Yeah I mean that was the most valuable things I did in 2017 was to actually because I could get my head around where the office was, what their conditions were. I see that they sitting at nice desks and nice screens. I actually interview people while I was there. So it means when we’re talking to them, we feel there is a closeness there and I could honestly say that our team, we refer to them as our team, there at Real Estate Outsourcing as,as much part of our team here in Rotorua New Zealand. We actually, everybody talks about, when they’re talking to -- which actually means they are emailing our person at the Real Estate Outsourcing office. We migrated from just one person within our office, sort of filtering all the communications with the Real Estate Outsourcing office. Now all our sales staff, our sales people, they communicate directly and what was really amazing is I had sales people as they do when they get into one of those moods, they stomp around the office talking about the useless admin and they’d beat up on the people that are in the office.

They were very concern about the fact that we’ve got these invisible person somewhere else in another land but what very quickly came around was that our Real Estate Outsourcing staff was so efficient that our sales people started raving about how efficient the person is at Real Estate Outsourcing to the point that they do not want the lazy local ones.

We’ll I’m not lazy, I shouldn’t say that because they might see this but they began to realize that the service they were getting from Real Estate Outsourcing was actually very very reliable, more reliable than what we were getting locally. And so we got a buy in as soon as we got a buy in of 25 sales people, well it spread like wildfire. We would never switch it off.

Stephen: Yeah awesome. You think that sort of getting that culture combining and getting them talking to each other, do you think that helps? Like from your perspective, like having the team dealing with everyone now, like all the team together, do you think that sort of helped?

Steve: Yes. Yes. I think the key thing to it is don’t hide what you’re doing, like be brave. Tell your team, what you’re doing. You just say hey, we are improving and we are keeping up to date with a lot of other companies and way they work and it does bend the mind paradigm a little bit. It really is quite a mind-bending for people but as soon as you get pass that, it really is quite a breakthrough.

Stephen: Awesome. So, If I’m gonna leave you with one last thing. If I told you that Meg was leaving you right now, what would you say?

Steve: I’d just say, I hope you’re joking. Otherwise, I’ll gonna find the next plane over there and I’d kill you.

Stephen: So, you couldn’t survive without her now?

Steve: No, no way. No, look.

Honestly, she actually scare me a little bit because we’ve become really dependent on her. It’s become a really important part of our business. So that would be kind of a freaky news to hear.

Stephen: It’s not gonna happen, alright? So, you don’t have to find a plane to come and kill me but you can come and visit just for fun.

Steve: Well the relation that I can tell you now, Stephen, the relationship that my people have with the people there is so close that we would probably know before you.

Stephen:Yeap. Probably. Awesome. Thanks for shooting the shit about real estate outsourcing and we’ll chat to you soon

Steve: Okay. See yah

Stephen: Thanks, mate.

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