Podcast Episode Highlights
14:00 – This week’s question
14:17 – Work out your own value
14:32 – Concentrate on high income generating tasks
14:51 – Jobs to outsource
16:20 – Using overseas VAs
18:12 – Avoid commission-only work
19:20 – Summary
20:38 – Sourcing with Mark
22:00 – Governance and Insurances
23:12 – Setting up as a sourcing business
23:50 – Comeback for not setting up properly
24:10 – Registering with HMRC and Property Ombudsman Scheme
26:46 – Anti-money Laundering Legislation
28:00 – Insurances
29:03 – Data Protection
36:00 – In the Lab with Brad
37:20 – Reactive mode
40:04 – Tracking what you do
42:12 – Multitasking
43:00 – Pomodoro Technique
45:40 – Parkinson’s Law
46:15 – Covey’s Framework
49:00 – Outsourcing
The Goliath Facebook Group Q&A Session
The question this weeks comes from Oscar Berko. He’s got a couple of questions actually “What jobs are best to give to a VA in order to focus on high rewarding tasks?’ and ‘Can we train a VA to negotiate deals with sellers / landlords?’
Want to get your property deal sourcing questions answered?
If you have a burning question about property sourcing or need some advice then head to the Goliath Sourcing Academy Facebook group.
‘Sourcing With Mark’ – Innovative and Advanced strategies for doing better property deals
Sourcing Business Set Up – Doing It The Right Way
With the ever increasing popularity of Deal Packaging it’s never been more important to set up your property sourcing business correctly (and legally)! This week you’ll learn:
- What rules, checks and insurances govern property sourcers
- The consequences of not being covered by the relevant insurances etc
- When you DON’T need to set up your sourcing endeavours as a business
- Which bodies and schemes you need to be registered with
‘In The Lab With Brad’ – Marketing, systems and outsourcing hacks for property pros
5 Simple Secrets To Boosting Your Productivity and Getting Way More Done In Far Less Time
Productivity and time management. They’re the buzz phrases of the moment aren’t they. It’s easy to understand why. There are just so many things vying for our attention all the time it’s easy to feel you need to give everything a piece of your headspace. This week Brad lays out the techniques to help you manage your time. You’ll learn:
- How to stop feeling overwhelmed and swamped with work
- How to stop working to other peoples agenda and start focusing on achieving your goals
- Why it’s actually quite easy to say no to peoples demands on your precious time
- How to know where your time management and productivity problems actually exist
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To follow is the transcript of the Facebook Q&A, Sourcing With Mark and In The Lab With Brad.
The Goliath Facebook Group Q&A Session
“What jobs are best to give to a VA in order to focus on high rewarding tasks?’ and ‘Can we train a VA to negotiate deals with sellers / landlords?”
Mark: Okay, so this week’s Facebook group question and answer session is from Oscar Berko. Like we alluded to earlier on, it comes in two parts. The question could be taken in two stages, but we’re going to do it all today. I think it’s very pertinent to the way things are at the moment, with regards to outsourcing.
Oscar’s question this week is what jobs are best to give to a VA, in order to focus on high rewarding tasks? Then can we train a VA to negotiate deals with sellers and landlords? What I think we’re going to do in this one Brad is, if you answer stage one as the outsourcing VA specialist. Then I’ll pitch in with the sales angle, with regards to VA’s actually doing the negotiating, so over to you, Brad.
Brad: Yeah, absolutely. No problem. It’s a great question because I think it’s a question so many people do ask. Which as Mark said, is so pertinent. Where the mood is at the moment, I think that reflects this idea. That people have got so much to do, and things are so complicated in the world generally.
What I’d like to start with is what’s the rule of thumb that you really need to adhere to, which is what do you feel as though your value is worth, on an hourly basis?
Work out your own value
Let’s say your value is worth anything between £50 and £75 per hour. Any task that you’re doing that you perceive to be worth less than £50 to £75 per hour, you should not be doing. Certain things like scraping data, online research, just creating document templates, creating formatting reports.
Things like reorganizing, so let’s say that you’ve got a list of landlords and you’re looking to reorganize the data into Excel spreadsheets. That should not be something that you should be doing. Those are £5 an hour, if not less than £5 an hour tasks, so that’s what you should be outsourcing.
Concentrate on high income generating tasks
What you should be concentrating on is your high income generating tasks. Those are the kind of tasks that are going to propel your business forward, move you to the next step. Really make big strides during the day, because if you’re spending three hours of your day, or four hours of your day fiddling around with data inside a spreadsheet, that’s half your day gone. That’s worth a huge amount to you, so remember you can’t get that time back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Jobs to outsource
Those types of jobs, I’ve been through just three or four or there. Jobs like cleaning spreadsheet data, mining data for investor leads, basic graphic design, getting your website built, preparing contracts, preparing offer letters, all of that type of stuff. The menial stuff, you should not be doing. You should be outsourcing the lot.
Hopefully that gives you some kind of a pointer, but bear in mind as well. In session three, in episode three, which is actually the next one coming out, I’ve actually got a beginners guide to outsourcing for In The Lab With Brad, so I go into a lot more detail there as well.
Mark: Excellent, and in terms of the second part to the question, Oscar. It’s exactly like Brad said with regards to focusing your outsourcing efforts on those tasks that maybe aren’t the income generating tasks. Clearly negotiating and closing deals is probably one of, if not the most important part of the sourcing process.
If you are happy to outsource that, I would not recommend doing that to an overseas VA. Obviously in the context of how we’re answering this question at the moment. We’re referring to the overseas VA’s.
Using overseas VAs
The big thing with them, and it’s not necessarily that their English isn’t good enough. I used an overseas telemarketer last year when I was sourcing properties overseas, who I basically employed to ring through a list of owners on the websites, the holiday home websites. In order to just check, see whether they were interested in my investment techniques, the sales technique.
Her English was excellent; her problem was her very strong accent. As part of the task I asked her to record all the calls. Even though her English was excellent, she understood the concept perfectly and what she was saying was exactly right, she was at a disadvantage with her accent, so people didn’t understand her sometimes. That could have cost me a number of deals had I not followed up.
I would seriously recommend that initially, you want to be negotiating and closing deals yourself if you can. Getting to know the sort of things that sellers and landlords are mentioning in order to fight those negatives. Then as you progress and as you start to scale up your business, certainly outsource. What I would probably look to do is look for a UK based person.
Avoid commission-only work
Another point of contention in my view is the commission-only worker. I don’t personally believe in a commission-only structure. I’ve worked in commission-only sales jobs in the past, and it’s not motivating necessarily.
Sometimes it’s demotivating, I would look to treat them as a valued team member, so I would like to offer them a basic rate of pay. I would look to really invest my time in training them up, training them in the skills that I’ve developed in order to close those deals.
Then look for someone with sales experience, look for someone who’s not afraid to hit the phones. Then give them a small salary, so a relatively low salary but then offer them a really appealing commission structure. Because ultimately what you’re going to be doing is leveraging their time, in order to generate more income.
The best way to do that is give them an incentive to work for you, so they become an employee. They become committed to you. What you then do is you look to train them up in order for them to make the big money, which is in the commission. We all know in sourcing, when you start to get a number of deals through, you’re going to make a lot of money. Actually having someone on board that gets commission-only is going to always serve to get you further.
In summary, I would say I wouldn’t use an overseas VA to do any of your negotiating or deal closing. You can use them to fact-find, just get some basic property information. I would focus on negotiating or deal closing yourself. Then in the future as your business expands, look to bring someone on who’s UK based, who understands the property industry. Someone who’s got a sales background and you’ll only serve to get excellent results.
Brad: Fantastic response, thanks. Oscar, thank you. I hope that answers your question. Thanks very much for asking it. If you want to get your question answered by either Mark or myself, get yourself down to the GoliathFBgroup.com. That is a direct link to the Facebook group where you can sign up totally for free, we’ve got hundreds of members in there.
You can learn from them, you can mastermind with them. Myself and Mark are in there very often as well. Answering questions and having a discussion, so get yourself along there. Hopefully you’ll get some great value from that.
‘Sourcing With Mark’ – Innovative and Advanced strategies for doing better property deals
Sourcing Business Set Up – Doing It The Right Way
Mark: Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s Sourcing With Mark. This week we are going to be discussing business setup, so setting up your sourcing business legally and properly. There are a number of different things to remember when setting up your property sourcing business.
Governance and Insurances
The main thing being that we are governed, property sourcing is put within the same bracket as estate agency, as property agency. What that means is that we’re governed by the same rules, which means there are a number of things that we have to comply with in order to ensure that there’s no reason for anyone to come back at us, and make us liable for fines from HMRC or the Property Ombudsman.
Also, to ensure there aren’t any issues that might arise from us not being insured correctly, so obviously we’re dealing with the public. We’re also advising in terms of professional services, we’re giving advice in terms of numbers with regards to property investment.
When we’re doing that there is always that risk that in the future someone may come back and look to sue you for giving the incorrect information on a property deal. If you’re sourcing properly, if you’re carrying out the due diligence correctly and you’re presenting deals properly to investors when packaging and selling for a fee, then you’ll be fine. It doesn’t stop people trying to sue you and that’s where your insurances will come into play.
Setting up as a sourcing business
If you’re sourcing properties for yourself and you’re not looking to package those and sell them for a fee, then you do not need to set up a sourcing business. You don’t actually need to set up a business as such. You probably need to factor in whether you’re setting up a business correctly for the investment strategy that you’re doing, but in terms of a sourcing business it’s not applicable.
If you want to sell one deal for a fee, you are now a sourcing business. In the eyes of the law, if you sell one deal for a fee, you are now a sourcing business. Which means you need to be set up correctly, you need to have all the relevant legal checks in place. You have to have all the relevant insurances, and obviously a lot of people are coaching this at the moment.
Comeback for not setting up properly
A lot of people are training property sourcing and deal packaging, but I don’t really think there’s enough emphasis put on the importance of setting your business up correctly. My fear is that there are a number of people that are trading as property sourcers, deal packagers, who aren’t set up properly and in the future there could be a comeback for mis-selling. I’m sure everyone’s aware that there is a lot of mis-selling hype at the moment such as PPI, they’ve even started tenant deposit claims now. It’s really important to have the relevant, correct set up in place. In this one I’m going to quickly go through exactly how to set up your business properly, ethically and of course, legally.
Registering with HMRC and Property Ombudsman Scheme
One of the first things you need to make sure you do, is make sure that you register your business with HMRC in the correct way. So you can choose whether you’re going to trade as a sole trader, you can choose to trade as a limited company or a limited liability partnership. That’s really up to you, and it’s up to you to go and get the correct advice in order to assess what the best setup is for your plans. Make sure that whatever you do, you register that business with HMRC, so they become a trailing body.
As we are governed under the same legislation as the estate agents, we must register with a property ombudsman scheme. What this does is it offers an independent body for customers to complain. If they go through your own internal complaints process and they don’t get anywhere, they have a neutral independent body that they can go and take it to the next level.
We have to be registered with an ombudsman scheme. Estate agents have been registered forever, letting agents also now have to be registered with an ombudsman scheme as well. Property sourcers, deal packagers now also have to be registered with an ombudsman scheme.
There are three ombudsman schemes; there is Ombudsman Services, there is the TPO, which is The Property Ombudsman and then there is the PRS, which is the Property Redress Scheme. We at Goliath Property Solutions are members of the Property Redress Scheme, the PRS. That is the website that we have put in the resource to go with this audio, which is the business setup checklist.
The PRS is £95 plus VAT for the year, and you register on there as an agent. I’m not entirely sure what the costs are for the other two, but if you want to register with any of the three that’s fine, you will comply with the relevant legislation in terms of membership of an ombudsman scheme, a redress scheme.
Anti money Laundering Legislation
What we also have to ensure is that we are registered with HMRC for the Anti Money Laundering Legislation. The anti money laundering legislation means that we have to report any suspicious financial activity in our ongoing day to day business. This is really important, as you’re liable for huge fines if you don’t. If you’re seen to be trying to hide money laundering it can be a criminal act. It’s really important that you get this registration right.
The other thing is that we are dealing with investors overseas and in the UK, who purchase property with cash, so they obviously have a cash transaction. That could be deemed as money laundering, so property is probably one of the most common vessels for laundering money anywhere. We just need to make sure that we’re being vigilant.
It’s not just enough to be registered with HMRC for anti money laundering. You have to make sure that you’re complying with the guidelines that they set out, in order to watch for suspicious activity and report it correctly. There’s a huge document on their website for which the link is in the resource. Go and have a look at that at your leisure. It’s a fairly hefty document, but it is worth a quick glance over. Just to make sure you know your responsibilities.
The other thing that’s really important is the insurances that you have. When it comes to insurances you’re going to need to have professional indemnity insurance. You’re going to need public liability insurance, so both of those are really important. We are a broker and if I remember rightly our last renewal was around about £500 for the two annually. It was about £500 for a combined policy for the year.
We’ve got a lot of property experience, so just bear in mind, if you haven’t got extensive property experience to demonstrate your skills, then your premium may be higher. Obviously I’m not an insurance broker, so speak to the relevant people and just get a quote. You’re acting in the same capacity as an estate agent, so when asking for the quote, just make sure that you mention that to them. They will put together the correct policy, in accordance with what you explained.
Once we’re registered with an ombudsman scheme, we want to be registering with HMRC for anti money laundering. We want to be getting the right insurances, and then the other thing is we’re dealing with people’s personal data. Whether it’s buyers, sellers, landlords or applicants if you’re tenanting properties. So because we are holding personal information; names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, personal background information, what we need to do is make sure is that we’re registered under the Data Protection Act with the Information Commission Officer. The ICO, the Information Commission Office and that is £35 for the year, so peanuts in the great scheme of things. It is a really important part of the process, that a lot of people don’t give information on.
Like I say, all the others, plus registering for the data protection, so protecting people’s data. It’s not just enough to register with them, make sure that you read documents that they have on their website. Again, the links are all on the resource, but make sure you read the requirements. Because it’s not just enough to be a member, you’ve got to make sure that you’re complying with the guidelines that they set up. You’re making sure that you’re protecting that data as required.
That is really the legal aspect of setting up the business properly. Again, like I mentioned a few times in this short audio, the checklist has a list of everything that you need to factor in when setting up your business. It also includes a few extras, such as your business name, your stationery, business cards etc.
All the things that you also need to get set up, in order to really get your business off the ground, running. You want to make sure it’s a professional name. You get the domain that matches, so your web address matches your company name. You want it to be something memorable, that people can remember.
That is really important, but don’t underestimate the importance of the legal side. You really are liable for fines and possibly even prison, if you do not do this properly and something comes back and bites you. It’s really important, so I hope you found that useful. It’s not meant to scare you, but we are proud to be real at the Goliath Sourcing Academy. We want to tell you how it is. We’re not giving a dream.
You can earn a lot of money and you can build a very successful business. You can create a lifestyle business, we’re not saying that you can’t. But you also need to make sure that you are registered with all the relevant legal bodies in order to make sure that you’re practicing properly and ethically and you’re protecting the consumers that you work with if you get all that done. It is relatively minimal in terms of ongoing cost, but what it could save you in the long run is priceless. Hope you found that useful, on with the show.
‘In The Lab With Brad’ – Marketing, systems and outsourcing hacks for property pros
5 Simple Secrets To Boosting Your Productivity and Getting Way More Done In Far Less Time
Brad: Hi, and welcome to In The Lab With Brad. This week, five simple secrets to boosting your productivity, and getting way more done in far less time.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I would get to the end of a working day, and sit back and think what have I actually been doing all day? I’d have been flat out all day doing stuff and feeling like I hadn’t had a moment to even take a breath. Never mind stop for lunch and feel unclear as to what I had achieved that day.
Productivity and time management, they’re the real buzz phrases at the moment aren’t they? It’s easy to understand why. There are just so many things vying for our attention all the time. It’s easy to feel like you need to give everything a piece of your head space and attention. There are just so many obstacles and hurdles keeping you from getting done what you need to get done.
Can you relate to any of these? A feeling a massive sense of overwhelm. This is usually caused by thinking you need to do everything. This goes hand in hand with the assumption people have consciously or subconsciously, that doing more is better. You couple this with the thought that you have to do everything now, and it’s a recipe for productivity disaster.
Another one is always being in reactive mode. You might have often heard this described as firefighting. It manifests itself in things like answering every email, picking up the phone whenever it rings. Agreeing to chat with a colleague when they want to chat and so on.
Whenever you’re in reactive mode, you’re working on someone else’s schedule. Helping them achieve their own goals and not yours. The opportunity cost of being in reactive mode is that it’ll take you much longer to achieve your own goals and milestones. Being easily distracted by things that are not important, or worse still, spending time on things that are not important, but convincing yourself that they are.
Finally, not knowing how to say no. It’s so easy to just say yes to someone’s request of your time. It can be flattering, can’t it? To be asked to be taken out for coffee maybe, by somebody who wants to pick your brains about some property related topic. It makes you feel good, but every minute that you spend not working on your agenda is a minute longer that it’s going to take you to achieve your goals.
Time is the only commodity we can’t get back, so it’s vitally important to ensure that you put some structure in place to manage your time and your productivity. I’ve been running my own businesses since 2004, and I actually don’t remember the time I had a boss or anyone telling me what to do or when it needed to be done by.
I had to find ways of being productive and managing my time, through trial and and error of various different systems and processes. When you don’t get a paycheck at the end of every month, you soon find the motivation to seek out the methods and strategies and tactics in order to adapt and manage your time more effectively.
As a result, I’ve tried so many of these productivity and time management systems and methods. Some of them are fantastically complicated, some are relatively easy. Now, the following five techniques are the ones I found to be most effective. I use these methods to varying different degrees.
They’re not amazingly complex kind of whiz, bang methods and strategies, but they are easy to remember. Most importantly, they won’t eat up huge clumps of your head space, trying to work out how to actually implement them.
I’ve also provided you with a boost your productivity getting started kit, which you can download. This accompanies this particular segment. In it you’ll find the various different resources and you can find that at goliathsourcingacademy.com/session2 that’s goliathsourcingacademy.com/session2.
Let’s get into some of these techniques. Before you start doing anything to improve your time management and productivity, it’s important for us to understand what you’re currently doing with your time. Where your productivity problems actually lie.
Tracking what you do
For a two week period you should carefully track what it is that you do and when. You can get as granular as you like with this, but don’t go overboard. I would suggest that you start by making a note of what task you’re working on over half hour periods of time. So take a blank piece of paper, down the left of the page write down the time in half hour segments and across the top write the days of the week.
Keep the piece of the paper sitting beside you while you work. Set an alarm on your phone to alert you every half an hour. Then write down what task you’ve done whenever the alarm goes off. I’ve prepared a template of the time tracking sheet for you, in the getting started kit which you can download.
At the end of your two week testing period, spend time to assess your results and look at areas you feel that can be improved on.
One final point on time tracking, I’ve often used an app called RescueTime. It runs in the background of your computer and logs the time you spend on the various applications and websites that you use. It then gives you detailed reports and data based on your activity.
I would definitely recommend giving it a go. I was more than a little surprised at the results I can tell you. Check it out, go to rescuetime.com and their lite version is totally free. Let’s move on to the next one.
There’s a very widely held misconception that multitasking is somehow effective. It just plain flat out isn’t, and it’s actually been scientifically demonstrated that the brain cannot effectively or efficiently switch between tasks, so you lose time.
It takes four times longer to recognise new things, so you’re not actually saving time. Multitasking is actually costing you time, but sometimes it can be hard not to be forced into multitasking. You might be working on one thing then the phone rings, and you take a call. Maybe the conversation on that call requires you to check your email, and then you get sucked into that vortex of the email inbox.
I think you may get the gist of where I’m going with this. One of my very favourite ways of combating against multitasking and more importantly, staying focused on one task, is what’s called the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a simple time management technique that breaks down your time into chunks.
You work for twenty five minutes then you take a five minute break. Then you wash rinse repeat two more times, finally work for another twenty five minutes and take a longer fifteen minute break. If it sounds simple that’s because it is, and that’s why I find it so brilliantly effective.
You can download a bunch of different apps and all this kind of stuff. Pomodoro apps on iPhone and all that kind of stuff, but to be honest you don’t need to do any of that. There’s a great free one on your phone at the moment, it’s called a stopwatch or a countdown timer.
I’m using the Pomodoro Technique at the moment, to get my notes done for this very podcast segment. I estimated that it would take me about two and a half hours to complete, so I blocked out three hours of time in total. I opened up the countdown timer on my phone, set it to twenty five minutes. Closed down every other window and app on my computer, and I got to work.
After twenty five minutes the alarm pings. I get up from my desk have a five minute stroll around and then get back to work for another twenty five minutes. Five Pomodoros later, and my notes are done. As you begin to use this technique more and more, you can start to break up your tasks into twenty five minute Pomodoro chunks.
There are two things I love about the Pomodoro Technique. Firstly, it forces you to sit down and focus for a solid twenty five minutes at a time. That’s something that’s pretty hard to do with so many distractions around. Secondly, it plays with your subconscious mind, in that if you have an actual timer starting. It confirms that the task has now begun. When it rings, you know that there’s a break. As a result, you begin to associate and focus with the timer periods if you like.
How often has your mind wandered off the task at hand and next thing you know you’re hovering over that Facebook icon or bookmark on your browser. Knowing that my Pomodoro twenty five minutes really stops me from clicking that Facebook icon, I very quickly force myself to refocus, and get back into the task at hand.
I’ve just scratched the surface of what the Pomodoro Technique can do for you. Inside the getting started kit there’s an infographic in there, which breaks things down further for you. Let’s move on.
This next one is very short but I believe fundamental to a positive mindset, when it comes to time management. Basically, stop thinking that you’ll get more done if you had more time. I’m a big believer in Parkinson’s Law. Parkinson’s Law states that the work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion.
We are almost always more productive when we have less time to complete stuff in. A classic manifestation of this is the last day at work before you go on holiday. We’re like task annihilating machines the day before we go away on holiday, aren’t we? Why shouldn’t every day be like that? Every day should be the day before holiday.
I would urge you to use the constraints of time that you currently have, and we all have them. Use them as an opportunity to be more productive. More work hours doesn’t mean more productivity. Let’s move on to the fourth technique.
As you begin to discover in future podcasts, I’m a massive exponent of systems and frameworks. Systems are effective for freeing up your time and head space and a whole lot more, which I’ll talk about in future episodes. What’s not talked about so much is the use of frameworks.
A framework is like a mental shortcut and I use frameworks to stop me having to think about how to do something, as I’d rather spend my mental energy on the content that needs to go inside that framework. A great example of a time management framework is Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix.
The matrix gives you a framework from which to help you organize and manage your available time more efficiently. The matrix allows you to organise your priorities much better than you’re probably doing now.
Stephen Covey was an author of a very well renowned self development book called The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People – well worth the read by the way. Covey’s framework makes use of four different quadrants that allow you to prioritise tasks in relation to their importance and urgency.
They’re helping you to therefore decide whether you need to address a task immediately, or if you can postpone it. I’ve made the quadrant available to you in the getting started kit, which you can download where I’ve mentioned. For now I’ll just describe how it’s laid out, so you can get a picture in your head.
Imagine four squares laid out. Top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. A little bit like a square window with four panes of glass. Let’s take a look at each of these quadrants that he talks about. In quadrant one are urgent and important tasks, that’s in the top left. These are the tasks that require your immediate attention. They are deadlines and emergencies and crises for example.
Quadrant two, in top right is not urgent but important. These are tasks that do not have high urgency, but can play a very important role in achieving your goals and milestones in the longer term. Stuff like planning, strategy and preparation, they all come under quadrant two.
Quadrant three is bottom left. Quadrant three are urgent but not important tasks. Tasks here appear to have high urgency, but are not at all important. Things like interruptions, gratuitous meetings, requests for coffee with no kind of agenda to your meeting. Those fit in quadrant three.
Finally, quadrant four is reserved for not urgent and not important tasks. These are the worst time wasters, watching TV, getting lost in Facebook for example. Now you have a basic understanding of the matrix, how would you use it? My method is pretty straight-forward to be honest.
Create your To Do list as you normally would do. Then on a sheet of paper draw a big cross so you end up with your full quadrants. Label each one. Now work through your to do list, and carefully consider which quadrant each task goes in. It can be that simple. The objective of using the time management matrix, is to question whether a certain activity brings you closer to your goals or not.
The final technique, the final method is to outsource. I’ve been outsourcing since about 2010, and it totally changed the way I ran my businesses. In fact, my other two business are almost entirely run by full time VA’s and various other outsourced team members, who we’ll bring in on a project by project basis.
For small business like mine and yours, outsourcing is a game changer. If you’re still doing those low value tasks like scraping data from property portals, or fiddling around with formatting Mailchimp emails so that they look nice when you send deals out to your investors, then you have to stop doing that.
Understanding the value of your time is key to understanding why you should be outsourcing. Put simply, if you value an hour of your time at a conservative £50, then do you really think it’s worthwhile for you to scraping data from Rightmove? The answer is no, by the way.
Intellectually, most property pros get why you should be outsourcing. There’s actually a lot of excitement around what it can do, in terms of helping you grow your business. By freeing up your time to do higher income generating tasks. Yet despite this, many business owners are still stumped as to the most basic question – what exactly do you outsource? Better still, what can I outsource?
Here’s a very top level shopping list: Email handling, backend admin services, writing, booking, full scale website design, website content updates and changes, and amendments, creation of listings on Gumtree and SpareRoom and the listing sites, data mining and scraping, email newsletter design and management. The list really does go on.
You don’t need a full time VA at the start of your outsourcing journey. Just pick a task and post the job on any of the outsourcing websites. I would recommend Upwork.com and hire on an hourly contract and ask them to only work for one hour. At the end of the hour, you can go and check the work. If you’re happy with the work, then you ask them to continue. If not you go and find someone else.
Regularly checking in to make sure that the work is being done as you wanted to, is very important. You need to keep doing that. A word of warning, you will encounter a number of hurdles and challenges with outsourcing. You’re hiring people not machines, but don’t be put off though. See it through, learn from the mistakes and go again.
As you start to outsource more and more, you begin to build a team of freelancers that you can go to for various tasks that you need doing. They then begin to know and understand your business, which makes everything so much easier.
Eventually you’ll get to hiring someone full time. I’ve had full time VA’s for five years now. My current personal VA is Eva, and she’s been with me for three years now. She’s just such a vital part of the Goliath Property Group team.
There they are, my five ways of boosting your productivity and getting way more done in far less time. I’ve deliberately made them quite simple to implement, because I want you to actually go and try them for yourself.
Many of the inefficiencies related to time and productivity management, come from the habits which we unconsciously form over many years. When people try to change those habits, they almost can’t get through a day without constantly checking Facebook or email every ten minutes. They just give up and concede to the fact that they didn’t realise how addicted they actually were.
People who succeed, commit to implementing these strategies, and exercise discipline and willpower to see the implementation through and eventually they’ll become habits. That’s when your productivity will really soar.