HARCOURTS AUSTRALIA CONFERENCE 2019
Affordable Staff Partner with Harcourts
We are Proud Partners of Harcourts and are an outsourcing business that supply dedicated Virtual Assistants that are upskilled and trained in the Harcourts way of doing business.
Our Australian, New Zealand & Philippines team has developed proprietary core templated real estate processes & procedures that have been adapted to Harcourts best practice (The Harcourts Way). Each task specifies the involvement of the local Australian staff and offshore team members, including benchmarked data around time.
The overall objective when working with clients is to give Harcourts business owners and teams a proven, cost effective and safe way to outsource their Real Estate admin, using Harcourts best practice systems allowing the business owner to focus on profitability, growth and increase the customer experience.
Outsourcing for over 10 years, Affordable Staff have worked hands on with over 167 agencies on creation of systems & procedures developing best practices of outsourcing / implementation for Property Management & Real Estate.
Why would I want to outsource?
With a large increase in compliance and paperwork do you think it is a good use of your local staff’s time being bogged down in administration work instead of focusing on CUSTOMER CENTRIC activities? Outsourcing (if implemented well) allows your local staff to be out and in front of clients, to complete higher dollar value tasks and supports your local staff.
What are the top tasks people outsource?
These tasks vary dependant on whether offshore staff are working for sales or property management.
The top 10 tasks for Sales are: Social media marketing, Open homes marketing and management, Appraisal brochures, Email marketing campaigns, Listing agreements and Draft contracts, NPS surveys, Listing kits & Pre listing kits, Just Listed / Sold brochures, Arranging newspaper & other print media, Market/ Upsell andcillary services (broking, financial planning, etc)
The top 10 tasks for Property Management are: Processing applications, Lease renewals, Generating CMA’s, Electronic filing of documents, Data mining / Lead generation, Monitor compliance registers, Manage maintenance, Schedule routine inspections, Generate sign up packs, Maintain listings
How do these team members connect to our office?
If you are still server based then staff usually remote into your local office to complete tasks. If you are cloud based then we would arrange access details of each software for your offshore staff to log-in.
Where are we based?
We have a registered company within New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines. Our physical office is located in the Philippines and we have local “real estate experienced” support (outside of the Philippines) staff.
What security measures does the office have in place?
We are very mindful of security and as we work with a number of financial underwriters we’re legally required to adhere to ISO:31000 principles. A Few of our security features include: Onsite security guards, finger print scanners, no personal belongings on the production floor (personal items including phones, pens, etc are left in a locker outside of production floor), Firewall protected servers and data security (which is audited by an external company), Onsite supervisors, Legally binding NDA’s (which are audited annually by legal counsel), Risk management framework, Data management policies and much, much, more. Ask us if you would like our full list of security measures.
Do these people come fully trained in Property Management?
When employing staff we personality profile a person for the ‘Personality Attributes’ to be a good support person for Real Estate. We focus on staff that show high signs of stability (so they can perform repetitive tasks) and high attention to detail. These personality attributes are very important when employing the right person for the job. While we provide a base level of knowledge in the industry in reality the best way for a person to learn is working within a specific agency. As Harcourts partners we assist in placement and integration into your business.
What support will we receive?
As a part of the Affordable Staff and Harcourts partnership you will receive exclusive support on the setup and implementation of workflows and systems within your business. We have local support staff that you can call at any time. We also have Supervisors, trainers and other support people within our Philippines office that you can also call, email and instant message at any time.
Do the team work from home or office?
All staff work 100% of the time from our physical office. It is a legal requirement for all staff to work within our office and offshore staff can only access software’s and any method of communication from our physical office.
Can my VA make phone calls?
Yes. In our experience we would not recommend using offshore staff to make cold calls as we have found better results are gained through a local person performing this task. Dependant on your phone configuration we can also have your offshore team member handle and direct incoming office calls if your local staff are out of the office.
What hours do VA’s work?
Our office is currently open from 10:00am NZ time to 9:00pm NZ time. If you are looking at growing a team talk to us about your individual requirement.
What are the biggest pitfalls of outsourcing?
There can be several pitfalls of outsourcing. In reality 4 years ago this used to be around power, internet and consistency of people. Now the key pitfalls have changed to pre and post implementation problems.
The key areas we’ve come across during implementation include: Staff buy in (through fear of losing their jobs), inadequate implementation (agency ends up thinking it can’t work), Lack of initial investment of time and people (you would normally have one person initially as the main point of contact).
After successful implementation we’ve found the pitfalls include: Too many staff assigning work to offshore team member (offshore team become overwhelmed as their is no monitoring of all tasks sent to offshore staff), local staff trying to assign CUSTOMER CENTRIC tasks to offshore team, local systematisation of how they work with offshore staff (in the case where local staff leave).
How do I pay?
As we have a company registered within New Zealand all payments are in NZD and are made the Wednesday after the hours are logged via direct debit. For example if your offshore staff working from Monday 1st March to Friday 5th March, you would be charged for those hours on Wednesday 10th March.
What are the next steps?
You may contact toll free on 0800 682 000 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss your custom outsource solution for your business.
TOP 10 TASKS PMS OUTSOURCE
to take the Stress out of Property Management
OUR POINT OF DIFFERENCE
Pia joined our team when we opened our doors. She is an integral part of our business, providing support to my property managers, answering calls, following up tasks such as maintenance, arrears, sending out surveys, calling each tenant quarterly and most importantly giving my team time to build better relationships with their clients. Our property managers don’t focus on admin tasks, they focus on creating efficient work flows that provide a better experience for the client.
Affordable Staff are great. My full time virtual assistant has been a game changer for my business and the terms you enter into are easy and straightforward
You came highly recommended by a consultant that I value. I just liked how you did it, I was comfortable whenever Damien and I sat down and we went through, and you explained what you were doing. It’s allowing the team to be touching and adding more value to our clients in a much different way than what we used to before. The offshore team has been able to remove stuff that my property managers just don’t need to do anymore. To be honest, I couldn’t do without it now. I couldn’t go back three years.
I can’t recommend Affordable Staff highly enough, the entire team from the management to the VA’s to our representative Damien have all been with us every step of the way in implementing processes and structure which has created an efficient streamlined business. If ever I need anything Damien is only a call away and always willing to listen and introduce new ideas to provide solutions.
I can’t recommend Affordable Staff highly enough as my team are fully supported. The pressure is taken off where we can now have lunch every day and actually leave on time every afternoon.
The introduction of a VA to our property management division has been nothing short of a game changer. I can now provide a new level of unequaled support to ten property managers across three separate sites.
My recommendation for any business is to take a step back and look at what’s coming to the market. Look at software, hardware and social media. Look also at outsourcing but don’t look at it as something that’s going to take away from your business, rather something that’s going to add value to your business.
The team at Affordable staff are so helpful. David and Eva provide sound leadership and are very hands on, and Damien Barnett offers so much support when you really need it. We have been blessed by working with not 1 but 2 Joys, who live up to their name. They are a JOY to work with. Do yourself a favour, if you are considering Outsourcing, call these guys and start. You wont regret it.
Our local staff can now focus on more client-facing and client-building relationships while our team in the Philippines are doing some of the back-end things to help them out in their day-to-day operations.
We’re introducing a lot of things that we just could not have done otherwise. Before we just didn’t have the manpower to achieve it. So I think now, we can give a much higher level of service to our clients because they’re helping the team do that.
Before working with Affordable Staff I’d tried working direct with freelancers and I also tried another outsourcing company. I kind of lost faith at that time because there was a lot staff turnover and I didn’t feel like we aligned. I ran into another one of your clients and she mentioned to me that she was having a wonderful experience. So I thought “right, I’m going to grab that company and give them a call.” It’s been amazing. The way that you guys recruit people, check them out first, and make sure that whoever you’re putting forward, you know, is capable and committed. It’s been fantastic.
I’ve always been apprehensive of outsourcing as I didn’t know where to start, thought it would involve a lot of my time and had fears around working with a person based in another country. Damien and the team at Affordable Staff held my hand throughout the entire process. I am now 12 months on and could not work without the support of my VA. I found the transition of working with Affordable Staff surprisingly easy, cost effective and my VA to be loyal, polite and always going above and beyond my expectations.
Our experience with Affordable Staff has been fantastic. The way they recruit and then induct the team is second to none. I can say this because we have had experience with another company. They are easy to deal with and upskill the girls on the programs before they start working with you. Their understanding of the industry is great and they are all very easy to deal with. If you are considering hiring a remote team, Affordable Staff are the people you should be talking with.
One of the biggest reasons I chose to work with you is you Security. I love the fact that you have an infrastructure in place that includes onsite supervisors. For my local team it’s definitely lowered the stress in the office as they know they’ve got that reliable backup.
After using another company for my VA hire I was nervous as I did not have a great experience with the first company. Then I met Damien who was not only helpful and friendly but has given me two of the BEST VA’s and I literally could not run my business without them. Highly recommend Affordable Staff.
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