The Ultimate Guide to Hiring VA’s
There is a major issue plaguing our industry, and here’s the crazy part: no one wants to talk about it. That issue?
Hiring, training, and managing top talent.
It always amazes me when a real estate investor spends endless hours learning how to generate leads and navigate exit strategies, but then decides to wing it when it comes to hiring. They lay the foundation perfectly in the beginning, then it all goes down the drain—they need to staff up, but decide to wing it on the team-building front.
But it doesn’t work that way. Like lead generation, marketing and negotiations, hiring is an art and a science. You need to spend time preparing, selling and, even, getting it wrong before you get it right.
So let’s step back for a minute and think about your team right now. How would you describe them?
- Non-existent? (Maybe you’re still a team of one…)
Be honest—that’s important here. Although Seller Lead Optimization (SLO) should be the core of every real estate investing business, it can’t be as effective without the right team in place to get the job done.
Where SLO Leaves Off—And Your Rockstar Team Begins
In this marketplace, SLO is no longer some optional extra for investors. Today, it’s a need-to-have if you want to have success as a real estate investor. Some of the best and the brightest in the industry from Kent Clothier (Memphis Invest) to Fred Lewis (The Dominion Group) to Sean Terry (Flip2Freedom) are utilizing SLO and, clearly, the results speak for themselves.
But keep in mind these real estate investing giants aren’t just setting the systems in place and hoping for the best. The SLO system is powerful, but you need something else in place to maximize the impact. You need trained rockstars. Because, let’s face it, you don’t have time to do everything yourself. The best real estate investors know it, embrace it and tap the talent they need to squeeze the most juice out of every lead that comes their way.
Hiring Like a BOSS
That brings us back to what I said earlier—THIS is the biggest business challenge real estate investors and entrepreneurs face but, still, one everyone seems scared to address. Why aren’t there more blog post or gurus giving it the attention it deserves? Why is no one weighing in on something that’s weighing a lot of us down?
Because they’re focused on growth shortcuts and NOT talent hacks.
Bloggers, coaches, educators and gurus have figured out how to create great content that can function like roadmaps for newcomers and non-experts. And because pieces like marketing guides and implementation checklists are sexy at the moment, that’s what people choose to focus their time and talent on developing. How to hire and train a rockstar team? A recruiting checklist? Those are still locked squarely in the dark ages.
But that has to change. Ferraris run on premium fuel. Without it, what good are they? Your team is your fuel. Feed your business a premium team and you’re going to get premium results. Feed them something else—the cheapest, the most readily available, the easiest to secure—and you’re going to get anything but a premium experience.
Diamonds in, diamonds out—in business, you always get back exactly what you put in.
Show me a successful real estate investor and I will show you a talent-obsessed freak.
Whether it’s a local wholesaler crushing their market or a national turnkey provider selling to international buyers, a quality team is the single best predictor of success. Because, at the end of the day, real estate is easy. People are hard.
What You Need to Know About Hiring In Today’s Marketplace
The good news? We get people. Over the last several years, we’ve not only developed the best systems and processes available, but have cracked the code on headhunting. At IVAS, we’ve created ideas, tricks and hacks that will all but guarantee your success.
And that culminates HERE, in our Ultimate Hiring Guide.
This six-step system lays the groundwork for success in hiring and managing your rockstar team. These are tips and tricks we’ve perfected over decades—so, really, our fails are your fortune. By taking the guesswork out of the process, you won’t have to experience all the up-and-downs other real estate investors do. Instead, you’ll get it right the first time.
Step 1: Understand the Structure of the SLO Team
Before you can build a quality team, you need to understand WHO, exactly, makes up that quality team. For starters, an SLO team is always anchored by a rock solid executive team. And, believe it or not, yours already has one of the best executives out there leading the charge. That person? YOU.
As the business owner, you’re the head of the executive team. Your role is as simple as it is complex:
- Create the plan—whatever the plan may be. Think business plans, funding, promo plans and everything in between.
- Create the strategy—again, this is pretty wide-reaching and includes your go-to-market strategy, business development strategy, plans for short- and long-term growth and anything that falls under those umbrellas.
- Determine the systems and infrastructures to use today and tomorrow—this includes systems and infrastructures like SLO as well as building your team, establishing customer funnels, workflows and more.
A little further down the ladder will be the rest of your rockstar crew. That includes:
MARKETING: Marketing Manager (VA)
Responsibilities: spreadsheets, mail merges, communication with your mail house and other key administrative tasks
SELLER LEAD SYSTEM: Lead Manager (VA)
Responsibilities: lead management and follow ups for ALL incoming leads (i.e. phone, email, web submissions)
PROPERTY ANALYSIS: Comp Specialist (VA)
Responsibilities: all desktop analysis, including running comps and assessing potential leads BEFORE the inspection
PROPERTY INSPECTION: Acquisition Manager
Responsibilities: serve as the “BOG”—the internal “boots on the ground;” this person inspects potential deals and ensures you’ve got qualified eyes on every single property
EXIT STRATEGY: Disposition Manager (VA)
Responsibilities: creating property packets, building your cash buyer list, setting appointments and all correspondence with title companies
Step 2. Identify the Right People for the Right Seats
It’s not enough to just have your job descriptions and org chart in place. The next step is to match people with those skills sets. The right person in the wrong job is still a bad hire. You need the right people with the right skills in the right job every single time. For example, Inside Sales Agents (ISAs) need to be comfortable spending 80%-90% of their day on the phone. Not everyone wants to do that and not everyone is well suited for it. ISAs need to be friendly, outgoing and extroverted—it’s hard to be successful as an ISA if you’re anxious on the phone or have trouble instantly connecting with people.
Step 3. Screen, Screen, SCREEN
Like in real estate, once you’ve identified some potential opportunities—in this case, potential hires—you need to do your due diligence. And, just like real estate investing, you need to do that due diligence even before the initial in-person meeting. Why waste your time if a candidate doesn’t check all the boxes, right?
During the screening process, your goal is to weed out any bad apples and bad fits while, simultaneously, fast tracking anyone who looks good. Though this may sound like a complicated process, there are plenty of systems and processes in place to help streamline it all.
So what, exactly, should you be doing?
Personality profiles—there are plenty of online services that enable you to assess candidates’ personalities through quick, interactive tests and screenings. These are very common so don’t worry about making waves. Eight of the top 10 private employers in the U.S. using personality screenings for some or all of their positions, so why shouldn’t you?
Background checks—for a few dollars, you can conduct federal and local background checks for any candidate, with or without their social security number. With these online searches, you’ll have access to lots of information, from criminal histories to past addresses to other critical intel that could drive your hiring decision.
Resume screenings—this one is easy and 100% free. Just roll up your sleeves and really read every resume and cover letter. Look for inconsistencies, obvious inaccuracies, typos and other red flags, as well as to spot mutual connections you can solicit for feedback.
Step 4. Conduct a KILLER Interview
Interviews are challenging for a few reasons. For starters, candidates are—for obvious reasons—on their very best behavior. They’ll smile, shake hands and proceed to tell you everything you want to hear—or, at least, what they think you want to hear. That means you need to try your best to look past the fluff and focus on due diligence part two. That means asking the hard-hitting questions no matter how good the candidate seems, and really listening to their answers.
Step 5. Onboard Your New Hires
Found someone who fits the bill? Make the offer and get them onboarded ASAP. The sooner they commit to you, the less risk you run of losing out to another real estate investor or business owner.
After getting that yes, you’ll want to immediately begin onboarding, even before their start date. Proper onboarding helps avoid confusion and ensures new hires can hit the ground running. Ultimately your onboarding should fall into three buckets:
Set expectations—make sure your new hire is crystal clear on their roles and responsibilities, as well as what’s expected of them in terms of productivity and tangible goals. By setting expectations now, your employee will start day one with a solid understanding of what’s wanted, what’s needed and what’s expected of them day-to-day and in the long-term.
Be empowering—while you want your hires to work within an existing structure (more on that in #3), you also want to empower them right off the bat. Depending on the hire and your unique needs, this could include anything from encouraging employees to making decisions within their immediate realm, to providing opportunities for growth and professional exploration.
Give necessary resources and infrastructure—part of empowering your team is giving them the tools they need to be successful. How can your new hires meet the expectations you set in part one if they don’t have the resources and workflows in place?
Step 6. Manage Expectations
And even after your new hires are well integrated, don’t take your eye off the ball. It’s easy to get too comfortable, especially when you have a solid team in place. But, even when they’re totally empowered and, even, over delivering on your expectations, you still need to focus on those deliverables and where you could improve.
It’s simple—inspect what you expect.
This is your business after all, and everything that comes out of it is a direct reflection on you.
The Alternative: Ask The Experts
It’s a tall order—we get it. It’s what we do every single day, for countless real estate businesses from coast to coast. If you’re already feeling bogged down by it all, don’t panic. Contact IVAS for a free consultation ( 888-850-6383 ). We only recruit and train the very best qualified talent who can handle the heavy lifting and free you up for all the rest—because, chances are, this isn’t the only thing on your plate…
Remember, your hires are the fuel that’s powering your business. Get premium talent in there and you’ll set yourself up for serious success. Miss the mark and you’ll feel the lag in productivity, morale and business development, for starters. Why roll the dice? It’s just not worth it. We’ll pull the levers and provide the talent you need right now—talent that’s not only the best of the best, but talent that will be laser-focused on helping you achieve your goals, and then some. It’s simple, it’s straightforward and it takes the guesswork out of hiring and onboarding. And, really, what could be better?