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Today, David invites Mike Gannone on Virtual Assistants to talk about wholesaling, rehabbing, setting or running appointments, where to get a VA, and what callingreps is all about. Don’t forget to check this out!
Things that will cover in this episode:
- Who is Mike Gannone?
- How to hire a Virtual Assistant
- How Callingreps.com works?
- VA training and management business
- Talks about Follow Up
- Setting or running appointments
- What Virtual Assistants needs
- How to manage a Virtual Assistants
VA Training and Management business sites:
If you’d like to get in touch with Jeff you can email him here:
You can call Mike:
MENTION DAVID DODGE WHEN YOU CALL IN FOR FREE SET UP!!!
David: All right guys, welcome back to the discount property investor podcast. I am your host David Dodge. Today, I am joined by a fellow investor out of the Philadelphia market, his name is Mike Gannone. Welcome Mike! Mike, how are you, sir?
Mike: Doing great David, how are you?
David: I’m doing good man. Mike, thanks for coming on today. You have a lot of value to provide, you are working with virtual assistants and I have a lot of students, I have a lot of listeners and viewers that are reaching out to me constantly like where do I find my virtual assistant? How do I hire these people? and I am a huge proponent, I guess would be the word, to having virtual assistants. In fact, I have one full-time VA that handles my inbound legion and he also does a ton of follow up. I have two more part-time VA’s that do nothing but outbound cold calling and cold texting and I have a fourth VA that’s full-time and she does nothing but social media for me, so I have 4 essentially that I work with and the way that I’ve kind of come across finding and meeting these people has been very random, you know, most of them were referrals from the original VA that I hired who’s been with me for 5-6 years now and you know, and I’ve been through lots of VA’s where I’ve had to bring them on and they didn’t work out or they weren’t up to my level of you know, they weren’t up to my par so on so forth. I think at the end of the day though, a lot of people are wondering hey where do I go find VA’s? How do I train them? How do I use them to replace myself? or so I’m not spending time doing the $5 an hour task. So, Mike again, welcome to the discount property investor podcast, our podcast is primarily focused on wholesaling and learning how to market directly to motivated sellers however, wholesaling’s a job, we know that, right? And after you do a deal, you have to go and you find that next deal, right? So, we want to teach people how to buy at a discount, but then if they don’t want to wholesale, that’s fine, they can keep those for rehabs, they can add those to their portfolio of rentals, so on so forth, but regardless all of this requires time and energy, so by having VA’s, we can outsource some of this and we can reap- we can buy our own time back. And that’s the thing Mike, everybody gets into real estate because they want time freedom, right? They want to quit the nine-to-five which they’re probably working 40 to 45 hours a week at, and get into real estate so they can have more time but what ends up happening? You know, 3/4 to + of the time, maybe more than 90 + percent I’d say, people get into real estate and they start working 70, 80, 90 hours a week. They may have doubled or tripled their income but they’ve also doubled their commitment, right? their time commitment and it’s just kind of one of those things that I think is, you know, I kind of laugh at it even though it’s not funny at all, but it’s like- it just goes, it just like- it’s so funny when somebody wants freedom, they change their lifestyle to do something that gives them the exact opposite, it just blows my mind. So, Mike I yield the floor to you my man. I want to learn more about your services. I want to learn more about why you’re doing what you’re doing, but also, I love the fact that you’re an investor. You’re not just a company that you know is helping people with virtual assistants, you do wholesale deals, and you have some other projects that you’re working on. So, you know that was one of the things you know, that I make sure we bring guests on the show guys. I’m not bringing on somebody that’s just going to pitch you their services, they have to be an investor and you know, Mike can attest to that. I had five or six emails going back just saying hey Mike, I’m sorry, man, but you got to tell me more about you, right? But I’m glad you’re here so again, Mike welcome to the show.
Mike: Well, David, you couldn’t have said it better. A lot of the points that you made, I can think of times within the last couple days I’ve had the same discussions with people, you know one instance is somebody that they hired a cold caller and now they expect the deals to come flowing in, but they don’t want to run the leads. Well, if you don’t have somebody to go out and run appointments, look at property and make offers, then you don’t have a business either. And you’re a hundred percent right about wholesaling being a full-time job. I mean, if you want that kind of- if you want full time income, you’ve got to put in full-time effort.
Mike: You could do a deal a quarter and make yourself an extra 30, 40 thousand dollars a year, but don’t think that you’re going to do it without any kind of headache or any kind of effort. Just like you said, not only do you have the deal and then you got to work on getting the next one, but you’ve got to have it- got to get through the title process, I mean here in Philadelphia, we lose 25% of deals to title issues that are just unsolvable.
Mike: Its- I’m telling you; some people have a hard time believing it, but I recently worked with a guy that does short sales. He’s an agent in Philadelphia but lives down in Delray and he said when he got there, he realized Philadelphia is that challenging when it comes to title issues and I wonder if you have some of the same, probably not that high of the number, but when you deal with you know, cities that have houses that are built in- I mean, when are most of the houses built in St. Louis? Back in the 50’s? Sometime around there?
David: Most of the houses in St. Louis, I’d say are built, most of them, 40’s, 50’s. I mean, downtown, 1890-1920, you know cuz it’s just old right? but then as you start getting out into the county, you’re looking at 30’s and 40’s and it really just- the farther away you get, the newer it is on average, right? But yeah, we kinda vary quite a bit.
Mike: Yeah, in Philadelphia the majority of houses are built right around 1925. So, you have a long lineage of transfers and you know, [inaudible] transfers especially in that you know, that can be difficult if people didn’t transfer them the correct way but no to get too far-off topic there, what we do was built-out of necessity and that’s working with other investors to provide VA services ultimately. And I, like you, I find it exciting helping people find that first deal cuz in a way, it kind of reinvigorates us, right? We- you know, we remember what it was like to- how thrilling it was and even though a lot of times it cost money, you know, it’s a tough learning lesson, especially when a deal doesn’t come to fruition after you’ve been working on it for 8 months. It still is exciting and that’s one thing that I love about what we do and working in different markets cuz I learn the intricacies and a lot of history about you know, the formations of places in our country that I didn’t know a lot about. So, I really enjoy that part of working with other investors and you know, when it comes to VA’s, you’re a hundred percent correct in that you want to be spending your time on high-value, high-return activities, and time is such an important asset that if not managed properly, doesn’t give its full potential, right? You really need to work on time management, and VA’s I think have helped us do that and freed up a lot of time for me to be able to grow the business that I want, and I was talking to someone the other day and they are so much in their business that they can’t make the big level decisions. I used to work as an analyst and talked to business owners all the time that wanted to be very hands on and have their hand in every part of the business, and the truth is if you’re down swabbing the deck, who is steering the ship?
David: Yeah, I know right, and I think a lot of people, they struggle with that out the gate, you know, or they try to steer this ship without any help and there’s nobody down scrubbing the deck, right? It’s one of the other you know, and it could go both ways but it’s like, you either got to send some mail, buy some advertising, you know, or start cold calling people, right? I mean, you either have to get your phone ringing or you have to start ringing lots of phones. It’s one or the other, period. A deal is not going to fall into your lap if you are new. Deals fall into my lap every day, but it’s because I’ve spent- because I’ve spent you know, six figures plus on marketing over the last 5-6 years. People know that I close and I built a reputation, but that didn’t come you know, for free and it didn’t come overnight, it takes time to build those up, so if you are new, and I’m agreeing with you here Mike, you either got to get your phone ringing or you have to ring a lot of phones, and a lot of people will struggle with that and you can outsource that which is the coolest thing, I do and you seem to do it too, right? but in the beginning, you know, I teach people in the beginning hey do it yourself, figure out how it works, so that way you can train but also if somebody were to quit or leave your organization down the road and you don’t know how to do that duty for a few days or a few weeks until the fill-in, till you hire, you’re going to- your business is going to fall apart. So, I’m a big proponent of hey learn it, do it yourself, even if it’s just for a couple days so you know what it takes. That way, when that person that you go to hire or bring on or partner with or whatever is doing it, you know what they’re doing and sometimes that maybe a lot of work so that maybe just gives you more gratitude for having that person which in return is going to make you treat them differently, right? So again, I yield the floor to you Mike, I can talk for days my friend.
Mike: You’re a 100% right. With that experience that you have, you can- and if somebody you know ma- a lot of times I look for characteristics in people that are more difficult to teach and what I mean by that is give me somebody that has a good interpersonal acumen. They can talk to people, they’re friendly, they’re polite, but they don’t know a lot about real estate. Well, it’s a lot easier to teach people the real estate side of the business than it is those intangibles. So, when you know all the technical stuff because in your organization you’ve done every job, you can hire somebody that’s got great personality and other skills and then you can cut their learning curve in half and bring them up to speed quicker cuz you know that part, that piece of the business and that’s huge. I mean, you mentioned earlier about buying back your time and that’s essentially what you’re doing because everything in most business is a value proposition. Does it make more sense to pay somebody $5 if I could be doing things that are in the company temp? Well, of course I mean, that’s a no-brainer.
Mike: When it comes down to the cold calling side of things, I think you’re right, a lot of people want the phone to ring but that costs money. Doing advertising that creates a lot of inbound traffic, you got to spend a lot of money on shiny things that make people want to call. But you can make other people’s phone ring for a lot less money, right? You can sit down with a phone book and just start calling people.
David: Just start calling people, right. It doesn’t take much if you put in your- if you put in some time, you know, but that’s the thing, you’re going to be trading time- and I tell this to all my students, you know, you got to have a budget of either time or money or both really. I have both, some people don’t have the money in the beginning and that’s okay. It’s going to be more difficult to get a deal without being able to buy marketing, but you can still do it. I mean, I still have a cold caller and a cold texter on staff. We buy a ton of marketing you know, four, five, six thousand a month. We also do the outbound because there’s certain people that you just can’t get to call you, you have to reach out to them. There’s other people that don’t know that your service even exists, so you have to reach out to them as well. So again, both work but in the beginning most people don’t have a ton of money, so they- you know, that’s okay, learn it yourself that way once you do a deal or two, and you have some money to reinvest in your marketing, look at your cold callers or your VA’s as marketing, as a marketing expense. That’s really kind of what it is in my opinion anyway, so- yeah go ahead.
Mike: I think one of the keys too is what you mentioned before and that’s follow up. I mean, it’s one thing having people make calls but if you’re not following up with people, you’re definitely not doing deals and for me, every day I want to see new leads coming on, I want to have new people to talk to and it’s hard to then also remember the person from last week that wanted you to call them back even- You know, I needed a CRM you have so many reminders that it’s still hard to tackle in a day so having somebody to handle follow up too where you’re just keeping in touch with people so that your front of mind may all ready to pull the trigger, sell the house, whatever- whatever it maybe.
Mike: You want them to think you and people that you work with so that when they finally decide to pick up the phone, you’re one of the people on that list. I got that call last week, guy I met last summer, I remember standing in the- it was a shell and I remember sweating and just- I followed up with him. I talked to him probably four or five times in the last 12 months, but my team has probably called in 18 months.
David: Oh, yeah absolutely. I have a guy that you know, if he’s not answering inbound, he’s making outbound call- follow-up calls. That’s essentially his whole job, is to follow-up. You know, we’ve been in business six years now, let me look, I’m actually in my CRM right now. Let me pull up how many leads we have in follow-up actively because this is another huge lesson Mike.
David: You know our average deal- so I have two partners in my business and our average deal- you know we do on a bad month, five or six wholesale deals, on a good month, 10-12 maybe even more than that so we’re averaging 8 to 10 for the most part, call it 8 at this point. It varies, it kind of goes up and down but we have a ton of leads in our follow-up system, we have a total of 5769 total leads in our system. Again, this is over about six years and it looks like the number of those people that are on follow-up is 3300 right now, so that’s 3300 people that are essentially getting a call from us at least once a quarter. Most of these people are getting a call every other week or even every month but at minimum I’d say quarterly. We have a few people that will put a task out for a year but typically it’s not more than just a couple months, even if they tell us call me in 6 months, we’ll kinda call them in 3 or 2 cuz things can happen in the meantime, right and we don’t want them to go work with somebody else. We want them just to remember and I really try to convince people when I’m on the phone with them, hey save my number, my name is Dave. I’m here to help and you know, if you don’t want to do business with me after you hear my offer, that’s fine but at least hear the offer because there’s probably some other things that I can at least help you with, right? So, you know, follow up is name of the game guys. The average deal that Mike and I do in our business is four to six months, that’s the average deal, right. Does a deal come in today, sometimes and I can have it, you know, locked up and sold in three or four days? Absolutely, right? Absolutely but that’s one out of ten, you know? The other eight or nine, look at right? The other let’s call it 8, maybe two out of 10, right? So, the other eight I got to call these people for 4 to 6 months on average before they’re willing to work with me or they sell to somebody else, right? So, you got to follow up. Follow up is huge, but the thing about follow up is it’s time-consuming and it doesn’t feel like you’re getting you know, very far when you go make a hundred follow up calls and nobody wants to do a deal with you that day or that week even, right? But if you’re consistent and you do it over and over again on average, 4-6 months of following up with somebody will get them to either say okay, let’s do a deal or they’ll say I’m not selling to you, right? and then you can change your follow up altogether or mark the lead as dead, but it’s very time consuming. So, to be honest with you Mike, the very first thing I outsourced wasn’t my inbound, it was my follow-up. That was the very first thing, this is about five and a half years ago, I still have the same virtual assistant, his name is Dennis. He’s one of my good friends and you know, it’s a win-win for him and I. I pay him very handsomely compared to what most other virtual assistants are getting paid and he treats me with respect, meaning he doesn’t dick around on my time, right? He’s answering calls, he’s doing follow ups but the first thing that I hired Dennis for was- and he’s a virtual assistant, of course, but was to make follow up calls because I found that in the beginning, you know, my goal was just to get my phone to ring, so I spent the money on marketing and it wasn’t a whole lot 2, 3 thousand basically in the first couple months, but my phone was ringing and I found that it was difficult to you know, make outbound calls to follow up while I’m dealing with all the inbound, as well as running the appointments and then trying to sell some of those deals or whatever it was right? It’s a lot of work so that was the first thing but then he evolved and he was great at it and I’m like shit, if you are having this much success on the follow-up side, why don’t you just start taking the inbound calls and you’re just going to be the local or the representative for the company and I’m going to make myself the appointment setter or I’m sorry not the appointment setter, the guy that goes and runs these appointments right, which a lot of people might automate. They may not want to do that, me personally I enjoy walking through houses and talking to people so I was like, why don’t I automate most of the admin side of the work, and then let me be the guy that goes out and meets the people, does the negotiating, takes the pictures and then I’ve also automated the exit side of the deals so I have another person that’s a virtual assistant, you could say, not overseas but they’re not here in my office so they are virtual, right? And they handle all the buyer relationships and the dispositions and the websites and the emailing. You know what I’m saying? So, virtual assistants are just- if you want to have freedom in real estate Mike, you know this, but if you’re listening or you’re viewing this, if you want to truly have some freedom in real estate, you have to outsource a lot of these tasks that don’t make you money, right? or they are tasks for a 5, 6, 7 dollar an hour individual. You know, and I think it’s funny when people say I only work on $500 an hour things. Well, maybe one or two hours of your time is going toward the $500 an hour task but I can’t find $500 an hour task to keep me busy all day. I don’t know maybe I’m the oddball, but I mean you’re talking a million bucks a year if you’re making $500 an hour, 40 hours a week, right? That’s going to be tough to do.
Mike: Yeah, I think you said it perfectly. I mean, you want to automate the stuff that’s mundane, that’s not necessarily easy, but it’s simple, right? Like that analogy about folding laundry. Is it easy? No. Is it simple? Yes, and you are correct, you want to automate the stuff that doesn’t take a lot of maybe- and maybe brainpower’s the wrong word to use but I think you know what I mean. Stuff that you know, is for a higher-
David: Yeah, it’s just taking up your time. Yeah, you can’t- and it’s hard to do four things at once.
David: It’s hard for me to do two freaking things at once, right? So, it’s just time. Time has a value, you know, a lot of people, they exclude time from wealth. They just look at it as a monetary thing, well, you don’t have to have a ton of money to have wealth and time if you have constant passive income coming in every month too. You know, like I think it’s funny when people say aw man, I wish I had you know, I could win the lottery and make five or ten million bucks, I have a totally opposite mindset. I want 30 or 40 thousand a month coming in forever. That’s where I’m looking at. What can you do if you had 10 million dollars that I couldn’t do if I have 40 grand a month coming in and I don’t have to work for it? There’s really nothing you couldn’t do. You buy it, I’ll lease it. There’s no difference, I still use it, you know.
Mike: It’s funny about buying your time back. I mean, isn’t that why we’re all-in business to buy our time back so we can do leisurely activities that we wanna be doing?
David: Absolutely. 100%, absolutely.
Mike: And I think something you touched on is really important when you talked about confirming appointments and using anchors and tie downs to get people to remember it. I think a lot of people miss that and I found years ago when I really wanted to set an appointment because I had been stood up and people forget and that happened enough times where I decided I got to do something about this, and having people repeat back to you when you’re going to follow up or when you’re going to see them at the appointment using things that visualize stuff like you would touch them, hey what color’s the mailbox when I get there, okay, I drive a black car. You’re making it a real thing for people so I think when you start to do those things, you’re appointments that you actually get to run, you’re going to have a much higher percentage there and that’s another thing that you don’t want to be wasting time going out running appointments if there’s not some kind of pre-qualification going into that and developing that lead on some aspect and following up with people is what’s going to make that appointment even more successful because you build rapport over the time. David, I’ve got two deals on- no, I’ve got 3 deals on the board right now, all that I’ve been talking to for over a year and two of them are going to be-
David: I’ve got a hundred. I got a hundred on the board right now. Now, they’re not necessarily deals, but they’re people that I’ve been talking to for a year plus.
Mike: No, these- I’m talking these are on the board, titles done, they’re going to close.
David: Boom, so yeah, they’re under contract then. Got it, that’s cool, I love it though man but that’s the thing guys, if you want to scale your business from 1, 2, 3 deals a month to 5+, 10+, sometimes in some cases 20+, you have to understand that 70, 80, 90 percent of your deals, depending on the month, it comes in waves, is going to be from your follow up efforts, not from your new marketing efforts however, in order to get somebody into your follow-up system in the beginning, you have to do new marketing, so you have to do both and the more you do it, the bigger your funnel gets, the bigger your follow-up gets, the more deals you will start closing and then like we said earlier Michael, deals will start falling in your lap like literally I’m talking, you know, here’s the thing, little to no money to do real estate when you wholesale. True. Little to no money to find deals, not so much true. Okay, that’s the thing that the guru leaves out, they say you can flip houses with none of your own money and that’s true. I’ve bought and sold $700,000 houses with none of my own money, actually didn’t even need any money like zero, but I didn’t get that deal for free, meaning I didn’t get in front of that seller and get them to sign the contract for free, that was efforts, time and mostly money to get my message in front of those people. So, that’s one of the things that I think people leave out. Yes, you can do real estate with little to no money but finding those deals is what costs time and money but it’s a substantially lower amount than, you know, having to have seven hundred thousand to go buy those properties. So, Mike we’ve given a lot of value today. Let’s talk a little bit about how you can help the listener and the viewer with their VA needs. You know, I’m a huge proponent of it, we both have virtual assistants that help us in our business, and we do it for a reason guys. We do it to buy back our time, we do it so we can leverage somebody else’s time and/or abilities. A lot of times I can go out and I can find somebody who’s really passionate about doing something like for instance cold calling, Michael has some people that do that as well, but they may be good at it and enjoy doing it and they’ll do it for you know, a very reasonable amount of money whereas you may not like it, but you realize that it’s necessary and that you probably need somebody doing that, maybe not 40 hours a week but 10, 15 maybe 20 hours a week and that’s going to help and if it takes them 2 or 3 weeks to get a deal or in some cases even two months which is probably not a good VA to keep on the team, but even if they do right? takes them 2 months and they get you a deal that’s 10 or 15 grand, the amount of money you’re paying that VA is typically going to be you know, 10 to 20% of that or sometimes way less so, you know, leverage other people, use virtual assistants, and again, Mike, he has some solutions for us. So, Mike what are some of the products and solutions that you have that help investors like myself and other people that are listening to you know, get their first VA and how to manage them and hire them and all that good stuff.
Mike: Absolutely, and I think the theme here is time is money and a lot of people say that, but they don’t actually mean it and like you said, when you get started, if all you have is time, you can find the deals without the money, but the time cost is going to be huge. You’re gonna have to spend a lot of time. It’s not like it’s cheap, time is money so it’s the same thing. That being said, most folks that we choose to work with and get started with us, cold caller is the first- the first way to leverage so they can get that outbound traffic going and most of our folks and I recommend this is having somebody full-time cuz like you said, wholesaling’s a full-time job and if you want to have an organization, that’s even you know, shoot 20% of what your business is, you’ve got to have many full-time people doing those different roles, so you got to have somebody doing all the outbound, somebody doing all the inbound, somebody running appointment s, seeing properties, making offers and then somebody else will be handling the dispositions but I think for the most part, you start with the cold-caller and then you got to look at data, what kind of properties do you want to go after? The reason we do a lot of wholesaling and the reason these two that I talked about are such great deals is because we are trying to decide do we wholesale it, or do we do the renovation? because they were bought at the right number. They both happen to be fire damage houses that didn’t have any insurance. One’s contracted at 135 and new construction in that area sells for 450, so the question becomes does it make more sense to wholesale and make a big rip with almost no risk or go out and do the full rehab? So, not to get too far off subject, the only reason I have those deals and that opportunity is because of follow-up, because we stay in touch with them every 30 to 60 days maximum. If there’s zero traffic, if nobody’s talked to them, it’s not going to go past 60 days. Even if it’s just leaving a message or what have you, follow-up is the key and that’s where the money is in this business and most sales or any business. You got to follow up with people so cold calling, we typically- we [inaudible] people on a dialer we use Podio and Investorfuse. I’m not sure if that’s something that- you know, they used to have a free platform, maybe it’s something worth looking into because I think you would agree with me having a CRM in some way to keep your- keep your data and your follow-up organized is 100% necessary. So, that being said, what our guys do is we’ve got VA’s that do a lot of what you use your virtual assistants for which is behind the scenes stuff. They handle book, you know, the administration, paperwork and we’ll get that set up for people and get somebody making calls full-time for you so that you can go out run appointments, see properties, and make offers. And anybody that is interested in something like that, you can simply go to callingreps.com, that’s calling and then R-E-P-S real estate project solutions.com and I’ll get back to you, we can talk about it and see if it would be a good fit. I’m happy to talk to anybody that especially if you haven’t done a deal yet and you want to just go over wholesaling on a basic level. I mean, obviously David is the guy to talk to about that, but I like people that are aggressive that wanna go out there, and ambitious and wanna find deals. That being said if you check out the website, that’s a great- a great place to get more information-
David: Now, this is callingreps.com or realestateprojectsolutions.com, I guess both of those are going to demonstrate, you know, your company, your services and whatnot. So, check both those out guys callingreps.com, that seems to be more of like the outbound cold calling individuals or those who could follow up, right? Do you also have the callingreps for inbound?
Mike: Definitely. I mean, I’ve got I’ve got 6 VA’s on my team for acquisitions and they do cold-call, follow-up, email follow up, some social media marketing cuz there’s some people that- you know, that’s another avenue that I think a lot of people are starting to utilize. You know, finding deals on Facebook through relationships there. But the callingreps.com site that’s if you want more information, if you want to have a discussion about what the service looks like and you know, how quickly you want to get started, then that’s the website to go to and the other is just to learn more about the business, that’s our official homepage, the other is more of a landing page if you will.
David: Got it. Okay guys, well check it out, real estate project solutions, learn more about their business or calling reps, that’s calling R-E-P-S.com and that’s going to give you more information about the virtual assistants. Mike, how can somebody reach out to you or connect with you? Do you give an email or a phone number or is just the website?
Mike: So, you can email me at Mike@realestateprojectsolutions.com, and you can also- you can call 267-766-0686.
David: All right, call 267-766-0686. That’d be a number that you can call, or you can connect with Mike via email at Mike@realestateprojectsolutions.com.
Mike: And mention David when you do call in because we are going to offer free set up for anyone that reaches out through this podcast. That’s something that we typically charge for that is rather time consuming, but we will get you set up on a dialer, get your VA ready to go, work with you to develop a script and you know get people going right away and that’s something that we’re going to offer to David and anyone that is a fan of his.
David: Awesome. Hey Mike, I appreciate you helping out with the coupon discount of the free set up. I know a setup can be rather expensive and time-consuming, so you know, thank you so much for offering that. Guys, you heard it from the man himself, if you are interested in in some virtual assistants, learning more about virtual assistants or hiring and training some virtual assistants, call Mike or give Mike a shout, couple different ways to reach him callingreps.com, real estate project solutions, 267-766-0686 or Mike@realestateprojectsolutions.com. He is you know, genuinely here to help. He loves working with virtual assistants, before our call, he said he had between two and three dozen at any given time, so he has the capacity to get you going. Now, guys one last thing before we end our show, I want to let you know that you know, when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, a lot of people, you know, they get their gung-ho about it but once they go and they get that virtual assistant, often times that assistant sits there and they end up getting paid to just wait on you to give them stuff to do and that’s a terrible way to go about it. I know from experience, I’ve had five or six VA’s that I wasn’t prepared for when I hired them and then I ended up just paying 10, 20, 30 hours in some cases to people to maybe do 5 hours’ worth of work so what I suggest whenever you do hire a virtual assistant is, you know, you put together a couple things in advance that they can be working on and then in the event that there is downtime any and everything that you can do from a computer, they can do from a computer. So, like I mean, in the beginning when I hired my virtual assistant, I didn’t have enough stuff to keep them busy with just real estate, you know at the time I wasn’t doing much outbound cold calling or cold texting which is a great way to keep your virtual assistants busy if they’re not doing other things, but some of the things that I was having him do is pay my bills for me, right? Do- you know, go through my phone book, and follow up with people that I hadn’t done business with, but to try to gain new business, right? I was having him answer or I’d forward cell phone calls of people that I didn’t know to him, right? I would have him go into my email box and respond to emails that weren’t super important. Basically, what I’m getting at is you can have your virtual assistant do anything and everything for you, doesn’t have to necessarily be real estate. Now, ideally, they’re going to be working to 100% on real estate marketing efforts, right? But again, they don’t have to I mean, this is just an assistant that’s not in your office, you know they may or may not even be in the United States, but it doesn’t matter, make a friend and then another key point that I want to make before we sign off here today Mike is I use a simple product called Screencast-O-Matic, it’s a long name and there’s lots of other services that are similar so you don’t have to use that one particular, but why am I mentioning it? Because it allows you to record your screen for free for up to 10 minutes and host on their site. If you want to go over 10 minutes, you have to pay them, but I found that a training video should not be more than 10 minutes. In fact, if you have a 30 or 40 minute train, you should break it up into three or four parts and keep those training videos 10 minutes or less and record yourself training your VA, host it there and again, you could do this for free on YouTube with your own video recorder, but you can create a library of training, right? and the beautiful thing about this is you don’t have to train somebody twice on the same topic. You just create a library that they can go back and watch but then what happens is if you have to train a second or a third person, all the trainings there and you can even have your VA’s train your new VA’s and that’s what I do at this point, right? If I’m bringing somebody on, I let them get- you know, I’d tell them hey spend a week shadowing this person, a whole week, right? Cuz you’re going to learn all these little things and go watch this whole library of training videos and it’s going to cut down the, you know, the headache of having to have a new team member, you know, it can be a daunting task to train somebody and dedicate a lot of your time. You know, it kind of goes kinda- kind of counterintuitive if you look at it some ways, right? Like oh I’m bringing on a new person but how am I gonna do all these other tasks when I’m training this person? Well, yes, you are going to have some upfront costs however, right? Once you get through a week or two of training this individual, now they have 20, 30, 40 hours of their time a week that they can dedicate to these tasks that you don’t have to anymore. So, if you were looking to scale your business it’s almost mandatory that you are going to need to bring on help. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be virtual but in today’s day and age, it just makes sense to get virtual because it could be you know, as little as half the cost or even more and you’re going to be able to get people that are going to be awesome at doing those particular jobs.
Mike: I’m so glad you said it David, if I could just- that is so smart because a lot of people they think they just hire a VA and that’s it, but you’ve got to train them as much as you would if they’re in the office and that’s the burden that we take off of people because people then become a manager and that’s not the plan here. The idea is that we train our VA’s, we’ve got an English tutor on staff that helps them with accent and dialect and training- we even train other people- like if you have a VA that you really like that you’ve worked with for a long time and you want to get them off the administrative side on to the phone to talk to people, we offer training like that as well. I mean, that’s- I’m so glad you brought that up because that’s such a key point. You know, you’ve got to give- you’ve got to manage those people and train them just like you would anybody else. It’s just like having a regular employee, people think VA’s and it’s easy and everything gets done for you but you’re a 100% correct, really glad that you said that.
David: Absolutely. Michael, any parting words for the listeners, the viewers, you know, when it comes to getting, you know getting your time back, you know, basically, you know, you are- when you bring on help and virtual assistants, I prefer to bring on an employee versus a partner any day of the week cuz I can leverage their time versus have to split, you know, that type of thing. But any parting words for the listeners today about you know, getting their time back?
Mike: Just- like you said David, it’s easy to think that you can trade something for nothing but there are services out there where you just pay somebody to mark up what you would get a VA for an up work and that’s all you get. It’s the quality too and you got to have people that are trained to talk on the phone and are gonna approach it wanting to get better and be incentivized. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to get your time back is if you have a good plan and a good strategy there. It’s not just set it and forget it, turn on the switch, that takes time too and you want to leverage that time yourself and then have to train people to come in your business or you set up a system like you did where you have now someone on your team that can help train someone else so you’re running a real company. They are all virtual but parting words would be anybody that’s listening, continue to listen to David, he knows what he’s talking about, and it was really a pleasure here. Thanks for having me on and I look forward to talking to you more in the future.
David: You got it Mike. Thanks for coming on man. I’m grateful for your time, I’m grateful for the knowledge that you were able to provide and give to the audience. Guys, Mike’s got a great business of helping people with the virtual assistants. Check him out, we’ll have the link to all this information in the show notes and that’s it. We’re signing off guys. Thanks for listening, we’ll be bringing you more awesome real estate content in two days. We’re dropping episodes every other day. Thanks for listening, until next time.
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