Staying Ahead of the Competition: Outsourcing in the Real Estate Industry
The real estate industry has encountered a significant loss of momentum due to the pandemic, among other industries. Open houses had to be put on hold indefinitely and meeting clients have turned from physical appointments to Zoom calls. However, not all of these are necessarily bad things. Working remotely has helped people be more productive and wiser with their time management, and become sharper at managing teams. That being said, the real estate industry is reliant on raw human interaction, which is why outsourcing in real estate wasn’t a huge industry until recently.
Like most of us, real estate experts find themselves holding video meetings while managing even the smallest of tasks. Responsibilities such as lead generation, reaching out to clients, and scheduling meetings can seem small but these tasks can take up a lot of time. Time that can be spent doing more productive and value-adding tasks.
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This is why more and more real estate specialists are looking forward to outsourcing basic real estate tasks to external outsourcing parties. Through outsourcing, real estate specialists, like you, are enabling yourself and your colleagues to make the most of your day by not worrying about the simple tasks.
Outsourcing has been a go-to strategy for businesses and corporations that are looking for a way to effectively cut costs. Cutting costs shouldn’t mean that a company’s output will suffer—outsourcing is a surefire way to make sure that businesses will still be able to deliver top services without letting their resources deteriorate over time. The act of outsourcing can be done with people or even automation by using software and applications.
Outsourcing in real estate
The real estate industry spans across different countries—opening up new roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for each of their respective workforce. With outsourcing services for real estate businesses growing, it has definitely gotten easier to weave your way into the real estate industry.
Whether you’re a rank-and-file employee wanting to climb the corporate ladder or you’re already at that level, outsourcing companies are always there to create a stepping stone for individuals trying to penetrate the industry.
How outsourcing is changing the real estate industry
By the word’s general definition, outsourcing is the act of letting external service providers work on the jobs and responsibilities on behalf of your employees. That means that you don’t have to worry about overhead costs and allocating resources for expansion. BPO companies with real estate services will give you the freedom to be as flexible and as creative as you can be.
The real estate industry is rapidly changing, and most real estate specialists are relying on outside support for them to be efficient at their jobs. Support roles can be outsourced for reasons such as cost-effectiveness, streamlining tasks and responsibilities, and granting access to a vast global talent pool.
Cost-effective day-to-day operation
Hiring an in-house team can make or break a business financially. The West is known to have high costs when it comes to operating expenses. Aside from the salaries, insurance, and taxes of their employees, employers will have to take care of the overhead costs too. With these extra expenses, small businesses and startups might have difficulties in breaking even and managing to earn a profit.
Outsourcing certain real estate services to a BPO company can help them build a more cost-efficient operation and maximize their capital and revenue. Not to mention that outsourcing lowers (or in some cases, diminishes) overhead costs brought on by the expansion.
Streamlined task delegation
When it comes to task delegation, the last thing real estate specialists want is a chaotic, barely-organized list of tasks. Organizing tasks by prioritization and urgency is a great way to start things but let’s take it even further.
Outsourcing real estate tasks to virtual assistants (VAs) will give you more than enough time to close down those deals and chase your leads all in a day’s work. Small tasks such as following up with a client, organizing an email list, and coming up with a new blog post can be offloaded to expert VAs.
Access to remote experts
As implied above, real estate professionals can delegate and offload tasks to their real estate VAs. To keep it brief, virtual assistants, as the name suggests, are remote workers who offer their services to anyone within their preferred industry.
Many workforce laborers are turning into freelancers and independent contractors as it offers them freedom over their hours and the ability to choose projects to work on. Remote workers are generally more cost-effective than traditional office employees, in the eyes of an employer.
Digital nomads, as other virtual workers call themselves, usually take care of their taxes, benefits, and equipment. They take their well-deserved and hard-earned pay to take care of their own expenses—expenses that traditional office workers often leave for the HR department.
Real estate roles you can outsource
Nowadays, it’s not impossible to manage your firm remotely. Especially with all the remote collaboration apps floating around the internet. These apps are specially designed to make telecommunication less of a stress and hassle for remote teams.
You can outsource your repetitive real estate services to your teams offshore so you can focus on your company’s strengths. They say that there isn’t enough time within a workday to manage a business properly, but you can prove that wrong with the help of outsourcing companies.
Each BPO company has different services available, it all depends on your provider. Here are some of the most frequent BPO services that are available:
Real estate VA
A real estate virtual assistant (VA) is someone who works with a real estate company remotely to accomplish business tasks. Compared to a usual secretary, a VA can do more than administrative duties and can either be a generalist or specialist. They are usually responsible for the following duties:
- Managing and publishing online postings
- Answering email and phone inquiries
- Setting appointments
- Preparing reports
- Researching properties
Real estate VAs can either be hired as a freelancer, independent contractors, or through an outsourcing partner. They can help you with your short-term or long-term projects and organize important tasks to make it easier for you to navigate. Keep in mind that when working with VAs in general, having a clear line of communication and a well-organized calendar will be of utmost importance to make both of your workloads easier to tackle daily.
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Real estate involves more than buying and selling properties on behalf of your client. You also need to make sure that every aspect of a property is taken care of, even taxes and maintenance expenses. Managing your finances helps you keep your business afloat by tracking your overall cash flow.
Most entrepreneurs handle bookkeeping and cash flow management on their own. However, as your business increases its demand and workload, you may need some extra hands to help you with your budget.
Outsourced real estate bookkeepers are trained to handle books for real estate firms. They are responsible for balancing budgets and keeping up with expenses and tax deadlines. With this, you get to ensure that your finances and compliances are always updated.
Customer support agent
Another service that you can outsource for your real estate company is customer support. Like in any other industry, real estate firms must face customers every single day. Customer support agents, also called customer service representatives, are there to guide your customers and answer their inquiries, whether through email, live chat, or phone.
Social media manager
Lastly, you need to have a strong online presence to attract more customers. Your social media accounts are as important as your website to achieve this. Though you can easily manage a page or two, doing this every day can veer you away from your crucial tasks.
Your outsourced real estate virtual assistants can also serve as social media managers. They get to manage and monitor your pages daily on your behalf. They can:
- Create, modify, and publish social media posts
- Gather and present page analytics
- Research on current trends and preferences of audiences
- Collaborate with marketing, sales, and customer service teams to ensure consistency
- Design and execute social media strategies aligned with business goals
- Communicate with followers and monitor audience reviews, and
- Oversee design on social media accounts
Social media managers are highly skilled in marketing, advertising, media and communications, and business management, which makes them the most suitable individuals to manage your social media.
The future of real estate and real estate outsourcing post-pandemic
With remote work being forced into businesses during the pandemic, real estate has become a waiting game for investors and businesses in general. Land and property values in big cities around the world have plummeted as property selling and rentals have declined.
While ordinary citizens, including employees and students, have slowly moved back to rural and suburban areas to be with their families, non-essential operations have been halted while essential ones have arranged flexible work for their employees.
Real estate and outsourcing within the industry are expected to grow back and increase within the new normal. It is due to companies and establishments slowly reopening and going back to the office.
Real estate in the future
Future real estate might be more of a technology-driven eCommerce experience, with agents fulfilling a much smaller part that is still focused on documentation and compliance.
In recent years, new technology, shifting home buyer demographics, and an influx of capital have begun to change the real estate industry. This capital raise is an indication that the real estate industry is planning for accelerated change because of the emergence of new digital tools.
These factors have affected all areas of conventional real estate sales. Many investors are uncertain about where real estate is going in the future and how to respond to these developments. Venture capitalists will soon see a spike in home listing websites, all targeted at making it easier for aspiring or potential property owners to purchase and sell.
The success of online listing sites opens a range of preferences for buyers and sellers when shopping for homes. Real estate mobile applications will also help to transform the market. Investors who wish to remain ahead of the game will have to respond to investors who can browse hundreds of properties for sale with just one click. However, new real estate applications will concentrate on all areas of the real estate transaction.
Some objectives of real estate in the future are creating a framework to drive the delivery of livable, accessible, resilient, and safe buildings and communities, and building a world-class global community contributing to disseminating the future of the real estate system.
Real estate outsourcing trends
Under rising demand to offer high-quality facilities, corporate real estate (CRE) divisions use outsourcing through more business sectors and geographies. However, global outsourcing demand remains uneven, and businesses are just starting to outsource more strategic real estate operations.
Here are the most notable trends influencing the outsourced CRE services industry:
Outsourcing 4.0. Outsourcing 4.0 is a new model of corporate real estate outsourcing. It consists of a new way of forming a collaborative relationship with service companies that use advanced technology to streamline and standardize property management and drive better market performance.
CRE departments are shrinking and dependent on one or two suppliers of comprehensive real estate facilities, such as applications, staffing, and infrastructure. Outsourcing 4.0 uses advanced technology such as data analytics to modify and optimize the management of property portfolios.
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Best practices shared within organizations. Multiple supplier models have the advantage of allowing occupiers to choose the correct options from each service company and incorporate them into the organization. Most of the multi-provider models, and contracts require practitioners from various service companies to integrate their best practices with other businesses working for the same organization.
Decisions are being guided by corporate procurement. With a strong emphasis on cost reduction, procurement departments have become more active in the process of choosing to outsource service providers. Because of procurement’s involvement, key performance indicators (KPIs) have become essential parts of service contracts as a means of evaluating performance, value, and fees. Procurement exists to ensure the company receives the best quality service, including the necessary resources and technology to make decisions, at the best possible price.