Are You Sacrificing Quality When You Outsource?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Second Self Virtual Assistance

The Yes, No, and Maybe of It

Quality outsourcing (Virtual Assistance) can be a tricky issue.  While some Realtors® have embraced this service, others remain unconvinced. Some agents are more comfortable with using domestic resources than sending their work overseas.  It's a concern whether an overseas company will provide the same quality of work as domestic services.  There's also an issue about whether English is their first language.

To help you make an informed decision, this post will take a look at outsourcing and examine when quality may and may not be compromised.

 

What Exactly is Outsourcing (Virtual Assistance)? 

Way back in 2008, Inc. Magazine wrote an article about Virtual Assistants in which they said,

Real estate professionals are among the professionals who should consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to handle certain tasks so they can devote more time to other aspects of their business.

Basically, outsourcing can be described as hiring an individual outside of the company to perform specific tasks. This can be done per project, hourly or on an ongoing basis.

Call it outsourcing, virtual assistant services or independent contracting.  These people have made a conscious decision to work independently rather than in a corporate environment. They are highly skilled and qualified people who are very capable of producing a high standard of work.  Many continue their education so they can continue to compete in their chosen market.

 

When Does Outsourcing Compromise Quality? The simplest answer is when the price is the sole factor determining a Virtual Professional. US professionals are not able to compete with the price of skilled overseas workers.  However, when only domestic candidates are being considered, price often becomes the biggest determining factor.  This is unfortunate. It's very rare that the most qualified VA has the lowest rates.

Quality can be compromised when companies select the lowest bidder without regard for qualifications. This can be a very costly mistake in the long run. Your Virtual Professional is representing you and your business. Only high-quality work should be acceptable.

 

When Does Outsourcing NOT Compromise Quality? In most cases, hiring a virtual assistance company is the most affordable option. It also provides a large pool of qualified resources. To avoid getting burned, take the hiring process as seriously with a VA that you would if you were hiring an in-house employee.  Screening a must. Using due diligence in your selection process will not only result in the right candidate, but it will also ensure a quality product.

Verify that everything your Virtual Partner is telling you about their qualifications is true.  Request relevant work experiences and an explanation of their qualifications. Ask for business references. Question the references about the candidate's work ethic and personal integrity.

Trust and communication are huge factors in a sustainable virtual relationship. A little legwork at the beginning of your search will result in a qualified Virtual Assistant relationship. You may even sleep better at night!

 

Comments (16)

Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Perfection is the biggest obstacle to making a lot of money :) 

I have a saying: Good is good enough. 

Forgive va mistakes quickly, then train to correct them. 

Virtual assistants are priceless! 

Nov 02, 2018 06:12 PM
Steven Nickens

Katerina, funny my wife always quotes me about good enough.

Nov 03, 2018 09:25 AM
Pamela Cendejas

Katerina Gasset - Many years ago, my business coach told me that if you wait for something to be perfect, you'll never get it done. Thank you for sharing your comments.

Nov 05, 2018 10:01 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

I think most businesses have an option of outsourcing some or major portions of their production.  For some it may work fairly well, in other cases it may not.  It depends on the business task.  Having someone outside your organization means that you cannot actually stand next to them or watch them do their tasks.  Again it depends on the final work product.  If the objectives are clear and the exact methodology is specified the results may be acceptable.

Nov 02, 2018 06:23 PM
Pamela Cendejas

John Henry - When you start outsourcing, structure your interview with the Virtual Assistant so you will know what their skill level is and if they're the right candidate for the job.

Nov 05, 2018 10:03 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Choosing any service provider based on his or her price is always a bad idea.

Someone with a low price might be just starting out and afraid to charge a higher price - but do spectacular work. Someone with a high price might be an arrogant know-it-all who will do a terrible job for you.

Your hiring suggestions will produce better results.

 

 

Nov 02, 2018 09:45 PM
Pamela Cendejas

Marte Cliff - I agree with you. This is why the interview is so important. It not only lets you know the VA's skill level, but it also lets you know what kind of personality you'll be working with.

Nov 05, 2018 10:06 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I have used Upwork for well over a decade when it started out as ELance. In no way have I ever had quality compromised even when the prices were low.

Nov 03, 2018 06:03 AM
Pamela Cendejas

Joe Pryor - It's great to find someone who does good work.

Nov 05, 2018 10:07 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Pamela Cendejas,

Glad to see your post featured. I've always operated under the assumption I'll do what I do best and hire the rest. I've always had a full time assistant and its paid for itself over and over..an a much needed deduction for me. I can give it to Uncle Sam or help my business.

Nov 03, 2018 06:46 AM
Pamela Cendejas

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR - I like your comment about doing what you do best and hiring the rest. My original slogan was, "Do What You Do Best and We'll Do the Rest". It's silly and frustrating to take time away from your career to do things that would take a professional much less time to do. Thanks.

Nov 05, 2018 10:10 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

In reading this, I was actually hoping you’d talk about your services!

Nov 03, 2018 09:07 AM
Pamela Cendejas

M.C. Dwyer - I would love to talk about my services. Please feel free to visit my website at VAforRealEstate.com or give me a call. I offer a free 1/2 hour consultation.

Nov 05, 2018 10:11 AM
Dwight Puntigan
DRP Realty, LLC - Saint Peters, MO
Dwight Puntigan

Buy American.  There are many oversea contacts that do SEO and provide other web services.  Many of them are brilliant, but do not have a feel for the lifestyle of my clients.  I am unforgivably inept at dealing with many accents.  It is much easier face to face, but over the phone I consistently have a hard time.  I really am a brick and mortar person who likes doing business locally and face to face.

Nov 03, 2018 09:18 AM
Pamela Cendejas

Dwight Puntigan - Thank you for your insight. You need to be comfortable with the people you hire to help you. There's plenty of need for face-to-face, too.

Nov 05, 2018 10:13 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Everyone brings value. Hire-up when necessary to succeed. Abundance rules!

Nov 03, 2018 09:48 AM
Pamela Cendejas

Richie Alan Naggar - I appreciate your views. Have a great day.

Nov 05, 2018 10:14 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I can't do it.  I've tried.  Even with reputable, qualified people and I hated it.  I need my assistant in my office at my beckon call. 

Nov 03, 2018 10:07 AM
Pamela Cendejas

Tammy Lankford, - I am the first to say that outsourcing isn't for everyone. Twice in the last 21 years, I have had to suggest that a client seek in-house help. It's whatever works best for you.

Nov 05, 2018 10:16 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I have never outsourced but if I do I will make sure I hire a qualified person.

Nov 04, 2018 02:59 AM
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

It’s the same old story.  You get what you pay for!  It’s not always about price, it’s about quality

Nov 04, 2018 08:24 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Yes.. I do think so

Nov 04, 2018 05:38 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Money is often the worst factor for deciding.

I build my business on quality so I expect quality from vendors I use.

It is my job to monitor that work for quality and timeliness.

The result is that we often pay for the quality.

Nov 05, 2018 09:56 AM
Pamela Cendejas

John Wiley - I think you have it wired. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience.

Nov 05, 2018 10:17 AM
Mark Artesani
Keller Williams Realty - Fountain Valley, CA
Huntington & Newport Beach, Fountain Valley Homes

Thanks for the blog. Giving me things to think about.

Nov 13, 2018 02:04 PM
Pamela Cendejas

Mark Artesani - If you ever have any questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I'm happy to answer any questions you have.

Nov 14, 2018 12:39 PM