Real Estate Sector Outsourcing – with Stephen Atcheler of ShoreAgents
Derek talks with Stephen Atcheler, the CEO of ShoreAgents.
ShoreAgents is a “purpose-built” outsourcing firm specializing in the real estate industry. The firm originally served Australia, but then expanded to the UK, USA, New Zealand, and other countries.
Stephen Atcheler’s outsourcing background
Stephen is an Australian real estate professional who has been in the Philippines “for about six years.” He got started with outsourcing when he “was looking for solutions back in 2012 when I was running my real estate company.”
The ShoreAgents CEO said, “[I was having] staffing issues. I was [having] difficulty [getting] administrative staff. Then [when] someone told me about hiring in the Philippines, I thought I’d give it a go.
So [I] definitely explored it [and] found that the BPO, the office-based solution, [is] a little more expensive but a far more reliable solution.”
Stephen added, “I had success with it. I told all my real estate buddies, [and] they looked at me like I had two heads.
In the beginning, it wasn’t very common. It was a bit out of the box. But over the past 10 years, it’s become quite normal… and people are seeing the advantage.
I think [outsourcing] is going to become more and more popular, that almost every real estate business will have a global team.”
Outsourcing in the real estate industry
ShoreAgents is “very hands-on” in how they work with outsourcers.
Here’s how ShoreAgents helps their partners:
As for their process, Stephen revealed, “We’ve got some very different ways that we do with our filtering, testing, company interviews, pre-screening… And we do that for good reason to ensure that the bad egg can’t slip through the cracks.”
He elaborated, “[This is] so when the actual client is looking at who they want to choose to have a formal interview with, we’ve done a lot of that heavy lifting for them, it just makes it a lot easier to see how this person responds, how they comprehend, what their experience is, how they can explain their experience.”
The pre-qualifying process
“We help with the selection process. A lot of people ask us who they should choose, and some people will we never kind of choose for them.
But we give a lot of guidance in that space, to make sure that they’re not getting sold to by someone who possibly shouldn’t be chosen.”
“We guide them on kind of how you can set them up to get the process and all of that working.
And then, we’re very hands-on approach to performance, especially in that first six months. That’s the crucial period.
Stephen added, “We have weekly check-ins with staff monthly catch-ups [and] performance reviews with clients. So a lot of information that we get to make sure that there’s no possible way that anyone’s going to trip up from all parties involved being asked to [the] service provider, the staff member, and the customer.
So yeah, quite a lot of hands on hand-holding.”
Real estate tasks and functions you can outsource
“Australia is probably the most popular in the property management space,” said Stephen.
For real estate companies looking to outsource, the ShoreAgents CEO advised that you can outsource the following roles and functions:
- Advertising of the actual properties.
- Handling tenant inquiries.
- Processing applications.
- Virtual assistant duties. “From entry condition reports, collecting bonds, receiving rent, assisting with property maintenance, and lease renewals.”
“The one stop solution is the education, whether it be residential real estate, property management, it doesn’t really matter, it’s all the same.
[When outsourcing], you’ve got to be ready, you got to understand what your requirements are, what your responsibilities are, how to manage your team, how to deal with the staff in the Philippines, how to scale your team, all of those types of things are very similar across the whole space.”
Handling a Filipino offshore team
ShoreAgents also helps its client better manage its offshore team.
Stephen stated, “We do a lot of things to guide clients on how to work with the Filipino staff to make sure that they are performing at their best and they feel valued.
It’s kind of one of the interesting things that when I started doing it, I always considered my team as my own real estate company. And I just naturally did that… Obviously, we want everyone to be happy, satisfied, and producing at their best.”
The ShoreAgents CEO mentioned that “a lot of companies” would treat their offshore staff ”just as an invoice rather than an actual person working within their team.” This causes a high staff turnover.
To help with this, this week’s podcast guest added, “We make sure that we kind of help with all those things along the way to make sure that they’re not going to trip up.
We just don’t take on clients that don’t care or don’t have any culture within their business. It’s not going to work with the Philippines. We would just rather say no.”
To learn more about Stephen Atcheler and ShoreAgents, visit their website at www.shoreagents.com and click ‘Get Started.’