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January 24, 2019

Outsourcing: Through the eyes of a Property Manager

Local Property Managers are central to successful outsourcing offshore. Of course, there is an upfront element of buy-in required from Property Managers, as well as an ongoing commitment to work effectively as a geographically-diverse team.

Through a Property Manager’s lens, we explore what it’s like to get started with an outsourced team.

First impressions aren’t lasting impressions

It’s natural to feel shocked. Afterall, the idea of having a locally owned company not having people working locally can be a bit confronting or confusing. You’re a local, working local, so what’s going to happen to your job if people are being hired offshore?

If the idea of outsourcing offshore is new to you, then this shift in direction can leave you with feelings of uncertainty. It’s great that it’s working for other agencies, but you’re not those agencies. Do you really want to work for a company that is sending work overseas?

After the initial shock abates, fear of the unknown can creep in and usually brings out more questions, especially surrounding logistics. How is this really going to work? You’ve spent so long streamlining processes, how is having someone offshore going to help that? They’re in a totally different country! It will take ages to change all the processes to accommodate them. Surely turn around times will blow out if you’re having to send stuff offshore?

Tackling first impressions:

It’s important to understand that the Principal or Manager has likely spent a lot of time investigating and analysing outsourcing offshore as a viable business solution. Outsourcing offshore is about having a backup person and lightening the admin load to assist with business growth. It’s all about support, not cutting local jobs.

Transition and challenges

It’s not unusual to feel rushed, or as though you’re jumping into hiring offshore without enough planning. Where are you going to start? Who’s going to train the new team member and how will it be as effective as face-to-face training? Do they even speak clear English?

At this point, you’ll probably also be feeling some level of anticipation, interest or excitement at what’s to come. You now understand that there will be some trial and error in finding what works for the team, both locally and offshore.

Communication challenges can often arise during the transition period and even ongoing. Should you email them or call them? Why aren’t they understanding the task you’ve set for them?

Top tip for communication challenges:

Be flexible in your approach to technology, as technology is key to connecting with offshore teams. If the technology you're using isn’t giving you the desired results, then try something different. Don’t get caught up in using the technology that worked for another business, or even in the technology that worked for your agency 12 months ago.

Actual results

Accommodating offshore staff into your processes forces you to pull the processes apart and rethink certain aspects and workflows. These improved processes make everyone’s role more streamlined and efficient.

Results start to become visible and you begin to feel at ease with outsourcing. Depending on the tasks given to your offshore team member, there has possibly been an improvement in arrears or faster turnaround on documentation.

Is it all worth it? Absolutely!

Get a first-hand perspective from Sonia, the head of a busy Property Management department. Read about her experiences in implementing an offshore team HERE.
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