How to use remote staffing to source and secure mobile home park deals…
Outsourced staffing solutions can be incredibly powerful for finding more investment opportunities affordably and efficiently. So where do you find them? How do you set them up with effective systems? What else can they do for you as a real estate investor?
Upwork: The New Way to Hire & Work
Outsourcing is now the way to hire. It has gone from a fringe tactic used for giant offshore call centers to the primary go-to solution for all types of work for both startups and the world’s giant real estate funds and websites, and tech companies like Apple.
Outsourcing means employers don’t have to have large physical premises or the liability that comes with in-house staff on old-school payrolls. It offers access to better talent at lower cost, and without the overhead and risk, while simply using team members on-demand when needed. And they are easier to scale up or down depending on your requirements.
Upwork.com has emerged as the leading platform in this arena. This outsourcing portal is the merger of the two previous giants in this space; oDesk and Elance. It offers instant access to thousands of workers across the USA and around the globe. It provides a one stop shop for recruiting, screening, bookkeeping, and managing remote employees and contractors more affordably and efficiently.
Using Virtual Assistance to Find Mobile Home Park Deals
One of the great uses of virtual assistants is for sourcing new acquisitions. There are a number of ways to leverage them to do this. For now let’s focus on how to use remote VAs for calling and prospecting for deals by phone.
- Provide Potential Seller Lists
Your remote phone agents need someone to call. So provide them with lists to mow through. Mobile home park investors can purchase and rent these types of lists from a variety of lead list sources. This may include sources such as Experian, Infousa, and Listsource. Alternatively investors can use other virtual assistants to research and generate their own lists and databases of mobile home park owners online. Real estate agents, banks, phone books, and online real estate portals can also offer sources of lists.
- Start Calling
Have your remote team begin calling mobile home park owners and probe them for interest in selling. You’ll want to provide them a good script to work from, and a list of rebuttals to common objections. You may use another remote assistant to craft your scripts if needed. The outcome of these calls should be setting up follow up, setting an appointment for qualified owner-sellers to speak with you, or getting them out a preliminary offer. Offers may also be automated using templates, and set criteria, and another level of virtual assistance.
- Follow Up
All contacts should be entered into, and worked from an online database. This ensure you can track work being done in real time, and the process can move along seamlessly. This may range from basic online cloud based project management software to specific lead management and automated follow up programs. Some potential solutions include Basecamp, Trello, Google Drive, and Velocify. Some systems will simply allow for follow up dates and formats to be entered, others can actually automate follow up and reminders for sending out thank you cards, direct mail, email, and phone follow ups.
There are a number of ways to compensate these team members. This may include; hourly base pay, pay for performance based upon appointments set, or deals done. In any case it is probably wise to offer some form of incentive or bonus for deals you actually buy and close on.
Recruiting, Screening & Managing Remote Staff
Tools like Upwork can make remote hiring and management very easy, but there still needs to be some thought and effort put in to achieve the best results.
Recruiting Remote Assistance
Great hiring relies on several elements including good job postings, screening applicants, finding the right match in quality and compensation. Upwork puts thousands of phone agents at your disposal. Recruiters can browse resumes and profiles or post jobs and let them find you. Just note that most VAs don’t want to be called ‘assistants’ unless they’ll be doing assistant activities. Most take their profession extremely seriously; and want to be recognized as sales pros, etc.
Do not underestimate the importance of your job description. Find balance between being precise and not scaring off the best qualified. This is an advertisement to work with you. You don’t want to have to weed through hundreds of unqualified applications. But you do need to appear easy enough to work with that great talent will be interested. When it comes to compensation keep in mind the caliber of the people you want, and importance of their role. If you split the role between making contacts and setting appointments with a more solid veteran closer following up you may be able to optimize your investment. But with so few mobile home parks out there you don’t want to burn opportunities with hiring too cheaply.
Upwork makes screening relatively easy and quick. Look at feedback ratings, length of history working remotely, and reviews by previous employers. Look beyond the surface to make sure this is a match for this position. Someone with real estate experience is going to need a lot less coaching. If they’ll be on the phone; test them out on the phone. If they’ll be emailing for you; have them email you, and so on.
Optimizing Your Team
Don’t underestimate the importance of cultivating a great community and strong team. This may be even more important when working remotely. It’s hard to find great people. When you do; don’t let them go. Keep them connected. Let them know how much they are appreciated and that their input in making a difference. Say “thanks”.
There are many other roles which can be outsourced too. Virtual assistants can be leveraged for other deal hunting efforts such as creating direct mail, Google Ads, and website copywriting. Others may be used for remote property management.