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Success in the Philippines with Bryn Humble

Bryn Humble, Operations Manager for Image Property

A company that's had great success with outsourcing is Image Property Group. Operations Manager Bryn Humble, explains, “We just hit the ground running. We’re just coming up onto the first year anniversary."

Through Cloudtstaff, Image Property has four staff in The Philippines. Bryn says, “We've got Daphne and Jeff. They have professional backgrounds, they've all gone to university, so they are a lot more qualified than most of our staff. In terms of what they do on a day-to-day basis - they pretty much cover everything to do with the business now." Image Property Camp Hill and Image Property West End, also have one staff member each - Deana and Kathryn, who have been with them for about six months.

After an intensive six months of training and establishing systems and protocols, the relationships between the two locations now runs smoothly. Bryn says, “It probably took six months for me to be able to step back from it and really only have to answer maybe one or two questions over Skype per day. Usually the problems that they're coming to us with are something like the property manager has missed the page when scanning something, or when we've asked for a sales proposal - we left the address off. So, 90% of the problems they're coming back to us with are just silly errors that we're making here."

New processes had to be adopted which took some time to adapt but the change has only benefited Image Property. The Philippines staff are now involved in every aspect of the business. On the property management side, they set all the open home times which can be up to 150 to 200 open homes a week. They handle the lease renewal process - something that used to take half an hour down now takes about five minutes per property and also keeps spreadsheets for smoke alarm compliance up-to-date separately. They are also involved in key parts on the sales side as well.

For any agency considering outsourcing Bryn has the following advice.

1. Invest in good software

Web Books for training. For property management - PropertyMe. He says, “For us, knowing that we were going to be outsourcing, PropertyMe was the best technology we could find to really work in flow with the team over there and for sales we use Complete Data which is great for us. We've found it to also work really well with our team overseas, just because of the trails alone. So, pretty much before we started outsourcing all of this, we were working with a few sales agents here, and me doing most of the admin work. Now, just with using different trails and tasks, we've pretty much assigned all of the admin work to be done overseas. The only real thing that I do now is just check the commission at the end of the process, and between the sales agents and overseas, everything just rolls naturally."

2. Create a good culture

Bryn says, “I've never really seen another business have culture as good as we do at Image Property. So, we knew from the start we really wanted to recreate that because we wanted to make sure that the team that we have over there stick with us for as long as they can. So, just implementing simple things with birthdays, anniversaries, anything like that. We also make sure that whatever happens here happens over there as well, so they really do feel like they're a part of the team."

3. Invest in good training and good systems

Take the time to train properly. Bryn says, “Make sure they understand it. Make sure they do the process back to you, there's a video of it, and they do a written workflow of it for themselves. That always solves the problems that we have. They've been working with us for a year now. We trust them, they trust us, we know that we don't have to check in on them. There are various programs you can use where you can keep an eye on what they're doing on their screen. Every five minutes there's a picture taken. Things like that we don't bother using because we have complete trust in them, so you get comfortable with how they talk to you, and you know when they're uncomfortable with something, or if they don't completely understand a process."

He adds, “Every Friday afternoon they'll send us a complete rundown in an email of everything they've done. We never asked for that, they just started doing it one day, and it's incredible to see how much work they really get through. They get through so much work. I suppose just because they don't necessarily have phones ringing in the background, they stay stuck on one task. So, it's not like they're trying to do a lease renewal while they're also answering a phone, they've got a tenant coming to a signup. All that sort of thing. They've just got one task - they work on it 'til it's done."

4. Have a priority system

Bryn says, “Lease renewals are fairly high priority because we want to make sure the tenant gets their documents done on time. But then we also have a sales proposal, so we just send a sheet of paper over there to their email. Usually 20 minutes later we have a completed sales proposal Web Book back to us ready to send with an actual Form 6, with all their details in it, ready to go. When a salesperson gets an appraisal, they'll send an appraisal request overseas. It comes back with a web book based off the CMA, so we have the custom listing presentation Web Book. We've had great success with that."

Bryn says, “It's taken probably two months for everything to get comfortable and now I don't think we could work without them at all."

 

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Bryn Humble