Tiffany Bowtell – Importance of Proper Training for VA’s
Last updated August 30, 2019
In this episode, Derek is joined by Tiffany Bowtell of Property Management Virtual Assistant. Join Derek as he deep dive into Tiffany’s company, Property Management Services and the services that they offer.
- Tiffany has been running Property Management Virtual Assistant for the last 2 years and has over 60 VAs servicing over 60 clients which are Property Management Specialists.
- She shares the employment and pricing structure of Property Management Virtual Assistant.
- Tiffany also shares the work process of the VA’s they hire for clients.
- Property Management Virtual Assistant head office is located in Brisbane.
- Proper training is critical especially in a niche service such as Property Management in Australia.
- Their VA rate is 600 AUD per month.
Derek:Hi and welcome to another episode of Outsource Accelerator podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is episode 153. So today I am excited to be joined again by Tiffany Bowtell of Property Management Virtual Assistant. So we spoke previously to Tiffany in episodes 147 and 150 so if you wanna hear her broader backstory and her experience in Property Management Services go and listen to those episodes. Today we deep dive into Property Management Virtual Assistant. Now I have a bit of a confession here we had an issue with the initial part of the recording. I am really upset about this and I haven’t yet summed up the courage to mention this to Tiffany. So Tiffany will probably hear about this for the first time when she listens to this. Feeling really bad but I believe that we have managed to resurrect the best parts of this and I’m sure you will still glean a lot of information from Tiffany about Property Management Virtual Assistant. So what do we cover and what did you miss. Basically Tiffany has been running Property Management Virtual Assistant for the last 2 years. She now has over 60 VAs servicing over 60 clients which are Property Management Specialists. So Tiffany is relatively new to outsourcing but she is extremely experienced and has huge amount of expertise within the property management sector. Tiffany has been working over 30 years in Property Management specifically in Australia but also in the UK, so Tiffany has worked every aspect of Property Management in not only doing the job but also in terms of training, in terms of developing software product for the sector. So she is incredibly well rounded and knowledgeable about all of Property Management. It’s an interesting kind of confluence when Tiffany has brought all of this skills over to the Philippines and she has made her mission to create back end support services for the Property Management sector that she knows so well. As a result of her being a trainer, she was able to train her entire team to bring them up to speed and up to the professional levels expected by the sector. Interestingly she brings on, she builds her team and trains them and gets them up speed. She invests about 6 weeks prior to releasing those agents into the clients so there’s compared to a lot of other sectors, compared to generally every other BPO, Tiffany invested huge amount up front into her agents, into her VAs to make sure that they are up to speed with the agency and can best serve their clients and of course Tiffany is the best person to do that because of her 30th plus experience in the industry but also because hundred of hours of training experience, hundred of hours training videos, so it’s kinda like the perfect storm to create the best Property Management back end service there is. So anyway enough of me, I look forward to the conversation with Tiffany Bowtell, I certainly enjoyed speaking with her I’m sure you’ll learn a lot. If you do want to get in touch with us if you wanna know anymore about this episode then of course just go to our show notes at outsourceaccelerator.com/153 enjoy.
Derek: How does your engagement work with clients? What are the, what’s the structure of payments? Is this an hourly arrangement? What is the minimum required hiring time?
Tiffany: Yes so we’re full time only and that’s 40hrs per week in the Philippines compared to Australia. So we only offer full time service, we don’t offer part-time at all. We have 2 pay structures, so the client will pay what we call onboarding or implementation fee and that includes consulting services, our chat managers like wherever the client is and they spend time face to face in the client’s office getting them out ready. Cause we also recognize that the client need hand holding too. So you know having that industry experience sitting with the client in their office, dialing into the Philippines for the first time which is a really amazing experience. We have that process to start with that managers did the implementation component behind the scenes in the Philippines we’re doing the recruitment and the pre-training so all of our VAs have been 4-7 weeks of pre-training before they actually go out to the field with their clients as well as the service three months of assistance as well. So in this time for that reason because it’s huge investment on our end to get better education. So our clients sign up for a 12 month agreement initially and we have, we treat it like an employment agreement, typical probation period where they can decide whether it’s for them or not and they can opt to not continue but in every case we haven’t had that happen.
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Derek: You train you’re, the allocated staff for about 4-6 weeks prior to really doing client work. Does that mean you’re building a team prior to allocating them to clients?
Derek: Right, Ok so you kind of 6 week pre investment into your team and then back fill them out with clients.
Tiffany: Yeah so for the most part in our sales process, I’m usually tuned up in front of where I need to be in our process at the moment we’re in March so I’m working on my May sales already and for clients that ring up and go oh we’re ready now and normally we’ll say give me always a month’s notice before you think you’re ready. So obviously taking the risk in forecasting when the clients are coming, in terms hiring the outsourcing staff beforehand, at the start we had a client then we will hire somebody and we will go through that process as our company grows and financially we can absorb that risk, it’s better for everybody if we can be more organized at the get go. And it’s better for the VA too, it builds their confidence over the 6 weeks they get to know our culture better and they become great performers and hit the ground running when the client comes onboard so that is really working for us now. But of course it should be part of the model that we are going ultimately weather those cost of six weeks during that process.
Derek: Yeah I supposed that’s the downside of being within a specialist vertical because you need people know what they’re talking about but then the upside is there’s a lot of value add there and you dealing in a sort of relatively high end staffing solution as opposed to just data entry and things like that.
Tiffany: Yeah. It’s just different kind of approach I guess, a little bit different. To me the difficult part wasn’t sort of wanking it up as we go along because there is no real model that I could shadow from, ok she has an outsourcing company doing it like this, let’s copy what they do. There kinda wasn’t a model that I could use, to copy from. A lot of it was trial and error and we worked it out as we went along. But we obviously get that sort of initial early structure sorted out now and that’s we’re working from scalability perspective.
Derek: How does the pricing structure work? Is it an hourly rate or is it dependent on the client?
Tiffany: All of that client pay the same cost. We’re 600 Australian dollar per week and that’s direct debited from the client account on a for monthly basis.
Tiffany: Then we have a implementation fee to set up is a little bit different for each client depending on where we gotta travel from. So our head office is based in Brisbane but you know clients could be anywhere and everywhere in between. Our implementation cost is a little bit varied depending on where the client is and whether we have to travel to get there.
Derek: And when you approach this people with this fantastic opportunity what are some of the common concerns they have and what is the general awareness like of this concept?
Tiffany: Initial conversation typically will always discuss security, it’s always the conversation that we have at the very beginning. Is the data secure, were people will be able to steal my information et cetera but conversation typically happens in the first initial conversation and then from there they realized how established we are, we’re more established around security than in their own local office. That’s typically one of the sticking points, the next one how is it gonna work that orientation again how is it here and how it’s gonna work. Really that’s where we’re dealing with the client’s mindset and looking at their belief and assumptions and what is reality and how that it’s actually work and that’s why we actually go out to the client specifically because we wanna hold their hands while we do those dialing calls and show them actually how easy it is to do. But it all requires connection and ultimately that’s what we’re doing for our clients. We are freeing up their time so they can have more human connection with their customers. So they can have more time with their Landlords, they can have more time with their tenants and have human interaction and that’s what we see technology and outsourcing combined allows people to do that. You know as an outsourcing company I feel like if we skip that step of the human to human connection, we’re not living or breathing what we’re preaching.
Derek: Yeah absolutely and it really is about. And people worry about a bit of brain drain but it really is about enabling these people, these entrepreneur, these businesses to focus on the higher value activities and then so when they have a lot backend stuff managed with high quality delivery then they can actually concentrate on the high value but also on expanding on taking on more clients and it really is a win win isn’t it.
Tiffany: Absolutely i mean I look at a lot of the clients that have come true since we began and some has been 2 years and already we’re seeing returns of investment from an outsourcing model with their client across board on average we have clients over hundred thousand dollars to hundred thirty thousand dollars in their first 12 months an increase in the value of their asset by a half a million dollars from the first year which is massive saving.
Derek: Wow that’s fantastic. And so thank you so much and if anybody wants to get in touch with you about your services and your obviously highly specialized in this if they wanna have chat or want to know more about Property Management Virtual Assistant how can they do that?
Tiffany: They can go straight to our website which is at www.pmva.com.au. It’s an Australian website, all our details are on there.
Derek: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Tiffany.
Ok that was Tiffany Bowtell of Property Management Virtual Assistant and again I’m sorry about the lack of introduction from Tiffany there, there was a sound issue with the beginning of the recording but I’m sure got the gist of it and of course you can go back and listen to earlier episode with Tiffany which was episode 147 and episode 150. So if you want any of the links or wanna get in touch with Tiffany then just go to our show notes at outsourceaccelerator.com/153 and as always if you wanna get in touch with us then drop us an email to [email protected] see you next time.