Podcast 294: Outsourcing and SOPs in Real Estate

Documenting your work so you can outsource it is a huge help in your business. It will give you back time to work on other areas of the business.

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Show Transcription:

Eric Worral: (00:00)
Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of RentPrep for Landlords this episode #294. Today we’re going to be talking about outsourcing and standard operating procedures for people working in the real estate space, whether you’re a landlord, real estate agent, property manager, whereas what we’re gonna be talking about today and how to save time by finding the right people and the right talent to outsource some of the annoying tasks that you have to deal with week to week. All right, let me get to that right after this.

Voice Over: (00:28)
Welcome to The RentPrep for Landlords podcast and now your host Eric Worral.

Eric Worral: (00:32)
So the topic for today’s episode kind of came up. As I was thinking this morning I was talking with my wife and having a coffee on the couch and I checked my work email early and I see an email sitting in my inbox from Luka who edits this podcast.

Eric Worral: (00:47)
And it’s a template for this week’s newsletter that goes out every Tuesday to RentPrep subscribers. And what’s cool about it is the system that I have set up with Luka, who I found on a website called upwork.com has worked out great for taking out some of the menial tasks, some of the redundant things that I’m doing week to week so that I can focus on strategy for rent prep on a higher level as far as marketing strategy goes. So what we do each week, and I think this will be helpful, I’m going to kind of relate this back to let’s say if you’re a property manager or somebody who owns a good amount of rental properties and how you can do the same thing. What we do is we work off of a shared Google drive folder. So after I finished recording this episode, I’m going to take the raw file.

Eric Worral: (01:29)
I’m going to upload it into a folder. This particular one will be episode 294. Within that folder, I will make a copy of a template for notes. I will pull that, that copy a template and I’ll change out the title, the description, the information that I need, resources that I used on this episode, things of that nature. I will also create an image which I could outsource, but for now, I’ve just been doing myself and I’ll put it in that folder. And then the next thing I have to do is just email Luka and say, Hey, Luka episode 294 is in the drive. Thanks. From there. There was a couple week process, not very long to kind of get this all established. But what he does is he edits down the audio, he adds the intros, fades and different things.

Eric Worral: (02:12)
And then what he’ll do is he’ll schedule it for us on a podcast indication service called Libsyn. And then on Thursday mornings, he schedules the actual blog posts which is our podcast post on our website to go live. So he puts all the information in off of that template, along with the images and everything. And then after that’s up, what he’s able to do is he can go into our newsletter, email service and create a campaign, which is essentially the email that gets fired out every Tuesday at 11:00 AM. So what he does is he does about two thirds of it as much as he can. And then I can go in and it’s going to have the updated podcast already in there. It’s going to have everything set up going to the right list. And what I have to do is update the copy along with updating to the latest blog posts.

Eric Worral: (02:59)
Cause I like to pick what blog posts that we’re featuring that week in the newsletter. So the steps that I’m kind of describing here, when I started doing the podcast and joined RentPrep over 3 years ago, I mean you’re talking probably anywhere from five to 10 hours depending on how much time I wanted to spend on it. And this is after you record the podcast because you’ve got podcasts editing, you’ve got publishing to your blog, you’ve got publishing over here, you’ve got setting up a newsletter, you’ve got all of this stuff. And what I’ve been able to do is get that down to a very quick process for us. So maybe it’s an hour or two on my behalf and some weeks even less. So that’s just kind of one example of being able to outsource something that used to take five, 10 hours a week and get it down to an hour by using somebody who’s a really good talent and who’s also very reliable.

Eric Worral: (03:50)
So how did I find Luka? Well, you use a website called upwork.com you P work.com if you didn’t hear that correctly. And you know, I started doing some searches on there for sound engineers, podcast editors, those types of things. I believe I got down to two people, ended up going with one guy, didn’t really like the relationship after about a month or so. And I went over to Luka, who I think was also the other person that I was thinking of trying out. And he’s been fantastic. He’s right on point. He does everything as described. And most of the time he’s reminding me to say, Hey, Eric, you forgot this or you forgot this. And he’s pretty patient with me about stuff, which is awesome. So when I think about this in terms of real estate, I think of it in a few different ways.

Eric Worral: (04:33)
One of the things you can do is you go to Upwork and then depending on what kind of niche you’re in for real estate you can just enter that in the search bar under finding freelancers. And what I typically like to do, depending on your budgets as you said filters. So maybe you only want to work with somebody in the US I didn’t mind for what we were doing outsourcing overseas with Luka. But maybe you want to work with somebody in the US maybe you don’t care. That’s kind of the first decision you make, whether or not you want to turn that toggle on or off. Then there are filters that you can also add. And what I typically do is I will add a filter for job success, 90% and better hourly rate. You know, depending on what my budget is, you can kind of put in decide what rate you want to do.

Eric Worral: (05:13)
You can do $10 and below, 10 to 30, 30 and up. And then I will also ask it a minimum of a hundred hours worked cause I want somebody who’s been on the platform a little bit who you’re not ironing out the kinks with them cause they’ve already ironed amount on other projects. So in the case of real estate, when I entered just the word real estate, you get all sorts of stuff that pops up. Real estate, a virtual assistant that does Facebook ads specialist, a real estate photo editor, and image editing solution. Real estate analysis writer, translator, title examiner, VA stands for a virtual assistant, see a lot of that virtual assistant or virtual admin, a telemarketer. Let’s see, bookkeeping. I’m seeing all sorts of stuff on here, cold calls, title searches, web scraper. So depending on what you’re looking for, you can find somebody to help you.

Eric Worral: (06:00)
And one of the things I think of, cause I think I’ve had this conversation maybe before with Andrew Schultz who was a property manager here in Buffalo is let’s say that you’re a property manager who has 200 properties that you manage. You know, it’s a good amount. Now let’s say hypothetically that those properties are turning over every two years. That means every year you know that you’re going to have to do a hundred placements for your properties. Now as far as the process of placing a tenant, there are some things you can outsource and there’s other things you can. But when my mind goes to is the listing syndication, photos, write-ups and all of that that goes into it when you’re listing your property. Now if you use standard pink colors, you already got the property kind of updated to where you think it’s going to be.

Eric Worral: (06:43)
A, those photos are going to last for a while if you’re not doing, you know, a kitchen remodel and those kinds of things. When you get good photos and you get them edited and you can find somebody on here to edit them for you. You’re gonna have a folder of photos. And what I like to use Google Drive because it’s easy to share. And then underneath it you would say, you know, this is the property. This is the writeup. And the easiest thing that I’ve found is just making a video. And what I mean by that is I would actually go through the process of doing everything myself. And I use a screen capture tool called the Mac or a, what’s it called? Screenflow by Mac path. And what ScreenFlow does is a, it’ll capture your screen and allow you to record audio at the same time.

Eric Worral: (07:25)
So what I would do is I’d be going through the different services and showing them exactly what I do. For this particular listing and what I want it to say and everything. And then what would happen is you’d have a folder with that property’s name on it and that folder would be underneath the larger folder. That would just be, you know, rental listings, maybe it’s called. And then once you do this and you run through everything once and you find the right partner, you can find somebody that’s maybe going to do this for you for five bucks per property and they’re going to be able to get your properties out there everywhere. And if you train them good enough and they have a good enough understanding, they may even be able to respond and do some basic weeding out for you so that you’re getting more of a qualified candidate to you as the property manager.

Eric Worral: (08:07)
And if you have a hundred properties, and this used to take ya, you know, two, three hours per property, you’re looking at 300 hours a year. And you know, if you divide that by, let’s say you actually do 30 hours of work a week because you know, everyone’s got sag time and they’re a three week, you might be looking at eight, 10 weeks of a time that you get back that you’re not spending doing property listings. So that’s an example of how you can kind of get that time back in your life. And where I think I heard this first was Tim Ferriss’ The 4 Hour Work Week where he talks about being able to outsource and be able to make better use of your time and delegate the tasks that are easier to do with instruction and guidance. So as a property manager, even if you got 50 hours back a year and maybe it costs you 300 bucks, well what would your business look like if you had 50 hours a year extra to put into it?

Eric Worral: (08:59)
And maybe that’s as simple as finding other areas that you think that you could delegate and outsource tasks and duties. Or maybe that’s working on business development or creating a team or working on your structure or working on your plans after property management or side hustles or whatever it may be. There’s a lot of things that you could do with that extra time. And it doesn’t matter what your wealth is. Time is the one resource that we all have the same amount of, it’s just a matter of how we spend it. So you might be the richest, wealthiest person on the planet, but if you’re, some reason you feel like you’re stuck in a position where you can’t get out of and you’re working every single day, it’s something you hate and it’s gobbling up 50 hours of your week. Well, you’re about as time-rich as the normal American then.

Eric Worral: (09:44)
So if you can kind of look at things in terms, in terms of time instead of the costs that are associated with getting that time back I find that to be very helpful, easy for me to say. I’m not personally spending money with Luka, the businesses to have him come in and edit the podcast and help us with our newsletter and postings. But finding somebody like him is such a great resource to the business to be able to free up and allocate more time and other areas of the business. So that’s what I wanted to talk about today. See if you guys have any ideas and you can always hit me up, eric@rent-prep. You know, cause I’m not a, as much into real estate investing or being a real estate agent. So I’m sure there are plenty of ways that you guys have heard that people are using virtual assistants in those areas to work on their businesses and help grow their businesses.

Eric Worral: (10:32)
But it has been a huge help for us at RentPrep and creating and growing a mobile team that’s really all over the world. And I mean, we’ve got people in Chicago that work with us. We’ve got people in Iowa, Ukraine, Philippines, like all over the place. We don’t really discriminate on where your location is. It’s just a matter of if you have expertise in that area of what we’re asking you to do and if you’re good and reliable and can actually come through in the clutch for us and be able to produce good work. So I highly suggest you take a minute, you know, probably more than a minute, maybe an hour or two, think about your business. Think about, you know, the three to five hours that you could find each week that are spent doing something that you don’t like doing and it’s not really thought-provoking.

Eric Worral: (11:19)
And it’s something that you could make a standard operating procedure. You know, you could write instructions for it, you can create a video for it, show somebody how to do it and then delegate that task out and keep track of your time and your return on your investment of that time. You know, if you end up getting one more piece of business that year, you ended up getting one more property because you weren’t down in the weeds and you’re able to kind of think with a bird’s eye view. That’s a beautiful thing because then that’s kind of more of that, a compounding return because each year, if you’re able to do that more and more and you’re able to delegate out more of your business, you’re just going to do that much better. So that is something that I’m working on again in 2020 working on finding areas that we can find good partners to bring in and make our work better, but also make our work more efficient so that we can work on the things that matter. All right guys, thanks for humoring me as always, and I look forward to chatting with you next week. All right. Take care.