February Insights – What’s 2020?
David: Hey, David from Affordable Staff. And we have Damien, how are you Damien?
Damien: I’m good David, how are you?
David: Yes, very, very good.
Damien: Hi everyone.
David: So here we are, 2020. We are in February in 2020.
Damien: It’s almost March.
David: It is almost March. And I thought that the year is ticking by so far, so fast that we should have a quick chat around 2020 trends for outsourcing that you’ve seen, that I’ve seen. So first of all, Artificial Intelligence 2020, where is that at?
Damien: It’s advancing, there’s a lot of highly advanced automation I suppose. I’m going to say what I don’t think as real Artificial Intelligence, but the actual Artificial Intelligence is starting to learn and evolve. I think it’s going to be the major trends for this decade anyway.
David: And we’ve had a number or people not necessarily clients, I’ve had people that are aware of the industry that we are in that is saying has artificial intelligence destroyed your business? And the answer is yeah?
Damien: No, far from it. I look from an outsourcing perspective and it’s actually creating more opportunities, as automation started getting bigger, 2018 to 2019, the opportunities to really ramp up the customer service and the customer relationship have really driven a more diverse type of task to the offshore team.
David: Yes, so back a number of years ago when you started with us and people were coming to us and say, I’m looking for a VA to do pretty much base level stuff.
Damien: Mundane, mundane was the word, and VA’s I suppose have been to cloud. So cloud two years ago was pretty good, now I’m going to say most businesses across Australia have taken up cloud software systems so they are able to unlock a lot more potential within their property management business. So the cloud has really boosted automation, has also boosted the ability to actually have offshore staff. But probably the biggest trend I’m seeing is selling, we’ve got VA’s now making money, so it’s no longer mundane. I think anyone that goes I just want to have an offshore admin mundane tasks whilst that’s a good starting point, that’s not what they do anymore.
David: Yeah because that is really being absorbed by automation isn’t it?
Damien: It is, and businesses have evolved and some of our longer term clients as you know, and even some of the other market leaders that I see out there. It’s now about how do we add more revenue, how do I get a biggest stake of the entire pie that’s out there because it’s one of the few industries where you actually get to have a relationship with someone, from potentially 17 or 18 years of age. There’s whole generations that are probably going to live in rental accommodation. So there are so many services, auxiliary services out there that you can become the one stop shop. To be able to assist them and help them with their journey.
David: Yeah, across a variety of services and I think it might have been you who was saying last year that a tenant one day is a landlord the next.
Damien: A lot, a lot of the time and I think that trend is going to continue because you look at housing — I don’t want to get into the political side of housing affordability but it is getting expensive. So how do you get into the property market now if you’re an 18-year-old? What’s your first step? And for a lot of people the first step on the latter is actually becoming an investor and owning a property to be able to build a portfolio and live in. I suppose own where you can afford and live where you want.
David: So in 2020 can you see automation continuing to grow and develop?
Damien: Already, already and as you said only in February, there has been so many people out there on the marketplace and people I’ve met with different companies across the board that have allowed, cloud software has allowed them to cloud software has allowed them to actually integrate their product so that it works more efficiently and it’s actually adding value to Property Managers, Real Estate Business Owners to make life easier for them and it’s automation. And that’s just going to continue to grow and grow and grow.
David: And do you think that, one of the comments I had in 2019 was around the software that was available and everything in the cloud and they have this piece of software here, and this piece of software here and the two wouldn’t talk. Have you seen anything leading in towards that?
Damien: This challenge is around it and I think most business owners look, there’s always great products there and there is another login, another thing you have to do. Product A doesn’t talk with Product B which doesn’t talk and none of them talk with your CRM. A lot of the leading cloud software providers now have open API’s and they’re allowing that type of integration. So, whilst I don’t see that there’s a product out there that says here’s one dashboard for everything, I don’t know when will they even get to that point, I might be wrong. But it’s a lot more seamless that it used to be and there’s a lot more business intelligence data being gathered and being gathered and being able to look at your entire business and go hey, how does this work?
David: Any other changes? any other change that you are predicting here on one of our first videos for the year?
Damien: Started a couple years ago there’s a lot of smaller business and I think that is starting to get swallowed up by bigger businesses. So I’ve watched the trend over the last couple years, average rent roll is five hundred, now it’s one thousand. The numbers are getting bigger, even conversations with team members, offshore team is now, we’re not taking about our staff member here, staff member there, we’re talking about how do we actually build something that is supposedly more global. We’ve got bigger dreams than just five hundred properties or one thousand properties or two thousand properties or whatever it is, there’s a really big trend when dealing with big clients. I’m looking at actually building teams cost effectively. I suppose don’t want to go through the hum-drum of having someone in Australia trying to make it work in the Philippines or India or somewhere offshore where they go, hey, do you understand what you’re doing and doing that so the biggest trend that I’m seeing is bigger businesses and I suppose lots of them, a lot of people are getting to that age thinking about retirement, I don’t want to do property management anymore. So I think that will be a big trend for 2020. Automation, Artificial Intelligence as it comes along and gets more ingrained into it. But customer service —
David: Do you think 2020 should?
Damien: Customer service is driving everything, Google – you want an answer? I don’t know about you but if I want and answer sometimes I just Google it and I get an answer in less than a second, actually unless my internet is really slow it might take a little longer than a second but I get a million different answer. But people expect almost instant gratification. That instant I want an answer, I want it now, the 24-hour workforce that is able to assist them in their time of need.
David: So as we wrap up is that your big tip? It’s around how business can continue to look at ways that they can offer their clients instant gratification while still having that balance of meaningful customer service?
Damien: Definitely, I think it is, the technology is going to help enable that and there’s a lot of other products out there in the marketplace that also help give that gratification, that instant result that people need.
David: Fantastic, well thank you Damien. Thank you everybody for watching and we look forward to bring you content in 2020 around outsourcing and lots of other. Take care and talk soon.