Virtual Assistants: Creative Use Cases for Real Estate Investors + Dos & Don’ts with Greg Brooks of Rocket Station

00:00:00:02 – 00:00:22:07

Greg Brooks

Anything, strategy, anything. Final decision making. Don’t try to outsource that. Don’t try to outsource your problems. The biggest mistakes that we find people making when they’re hiring is they’re trying to outsource things that they haven’t themselves done. And that’s just really not where VA’s or we’re outsourcing. That’s kind of follow those steps of making sure you got the plan in place.

00:00:22:07 – 00:00:41:08

Greg Brooks

You find the right person and then you work with them to hold them accountable to it. But really, for all business owners, you know, as we’ve led off with like real estate, it’s not an ATM machine, right? It’s tough. It’s hard. There’s a lot goes into.

00:00:41:11 – 00:00:51:17

Brady Winder

Hey, friends. Welcome back to the Cure Cast podcast. I’m your host Brady Winder. And I’ve got my friend with me, Greg Brooks from Rockett Station on the podcast. How you doing, Greg?

00:00:51:19 – 00:00:53:19

Greg Brooks

Hey, I’m very mad. Thanks so much for having us.

00:00:53:20 – 00:01:23:12

Brady Winder

Yeah, absolutely. It’s good to have you on, man. Everybody, It’s a team building month. It carried July as team building month is our whole goal this month is to give you a vision for investors that are building teams well and that are really going after our vision of building a business of freedom and impact. So this month we’re going to be giving you tactical, practical examples of people who are doing that, people who have gone from a solopreneur to a team and then have managed to buy back some of their time and energy.

00:01:23:14 – 00:01:47:20

Brady Winder

And one of the best ways to do that is virtual assistants, dot, dot, dot. You can do this wrong and you can do it right, which is why I’m really excited to talk to Greg. Greg, you are a partner of us with the rocket station. I’ll leave it at that. But I want to toss it over to you and tell us about Rocket Station, what you guys do and why Rocket Station and Carrot have been BFFs for the past few years.

00:01:47:22 – 00:02:02:13

Greg Brooks

Yeah, we have, as I say, just like any good relationship with Carrot, it all starts at Carrie Camp, right? We were up there in 2019 and got to work with you and the staff and really kind of, you know, fall in love with everything that Carrot is so or so. So my name is Greg Brooks. I’m our chief growth officer.

00:02:02:13 – 00:02:21:04

Greg Brooks

You’re a rocket station. So what Rocket station is and what we’ve grown into over the last five years is really one of the leading virtual staffing providers in the real estate specific space. So we have our business and really three core areas. There’s the real estate investor side. We work with over 600 investors all across the country and some in Canada.

00:02:21:07 – 00:02:44:21

Greg Brooks

We’ve got our property management side. So anything from small scale property managers up to our largest client has 45,000 doors. We help service and and staff their back offices as well. And then we have a home service division. So really everything we do is real estate. And in our business we break it down. I mean, VA is now a lot of people have tried them or heard about them, you know, read about them and have had varying success.

00:02:44:21 – 00:03:10:09

Greg Brooks

But what we are is, is an end to end solution provider. And what that means is we help you set your systems of processes and company up through documentation and SOP creation and formalized training guides so that we can then use what you need to get off your plate to find you the best talent that has gone through a comprehensive six week real estate focused training and evaluation course with Rock Station.

00:03:10:12 – 00:03:31:14

Greg Brooks

So we help kind of blend the people with the process to create a great outcome for the client regardless of what position they need. And we’re very fortunate, you know, working with the scope and with great partners like yourself, we have a whole carrot offering to it. So, you know, to run all your SEO and website management, all that through a trained VA that we’ve partnered with.

00:03:31:14 – 00:03:52:22

Greg Brooks

So it’s been a journey obviously in the last specifically two, three years. Real estate seems to change every single week. So it’s really made my role within the company is is working directly with our partners like yourselves, working with our clients to understand how is the business changing, you know, how can we help you scale and grow and run a company that doesn’t run you?

00:03:52:24 – 00:04:14:10

Greg Brooks

And and how do we help, you know, plug in Vas to be able to give you you know, we really view it as like a secret key, right? If you can get some quality Vas on your team, regardless if you’re just starting out or if you’re a large scale operator doing ten, 20, $50 a month, really talented virtual talent can really help you unlock and level up and take that next steps.

00:04:14:12 – 00:04:17:06

Greg Brooks

We try to help, you know, and and do that for our clients.

00:04:17:09 – 00:04:41:06

Brady Winder

Absolutely. Well, thanks for the eight things for the intro and thanks for explaining that, man. It’s like how we’ve talked about VA’s the landscape of virtual assistants has really changed a lot over the years. And for anyone listening, I promise it’s not going to be a 30 minute sales pitch for Rocket Station. My goal for this episode is really to give you some understanding so you can make a decision like do I?

00:04:41:07 – 00:04:58:24

Brady Winder

Do I even need a VA in my business? Do I need help in my business? And then really some context as to what that looks like, because I want to save you the time of going to Google and typing in like how to hire a VA and like, how do Vas work in this this rabbit hole of research that is not industry specific.

00:04:58:24 – 00:05:28:06

Brady Winder

So I’m going to be picking Greg’s brain on what this looks like for an investor, what they’re doing that you know, a typical VA wouldn’t do or that you have to train and create process for them and find out why. Why go real estate specific in the time that this can save you. So you mentioned, you know, end to end virtual staffing provider you guys you’ve been VA’s is all you do Tell me about I want to talk a little bit about first what the landscape of VA is like.

00:05:28:06 – 00:05:46:25

Brady Winder

I mentioned, you know, I feel like it used to be, Hey, I’ve got a VA doing this, but now I hear more people say, Yeah, I’ve got a team of seven people, you know, four of them are in the Philippines, three are in the US. And, you know, it’s just the way that we’re talking about has changed. So where is this?

00:05:46:27 – 00:05:51:27

Brady Winder

Where has it been really? More importantly, like where do you see this heading? You know?

00:05:51:29 – 00:06:09:01

Greg Brooks

Yeah, definitely. I mean, VA is especially in the real estate space. And when we say VA, obviously we’re talking virtual assistant. It kind of used to be like a like everyone’s kind of that dirty little secret, but like everyone had their VA made guy or they’ve got someone overseas that maybe does a little bit of data management for them or some cold call it.

00:06:09:03 – 00:06:35:07

Greg Brooks

I mean, all we’re really talking about is a is a piece of a much bigger industry called the BPO industry. So like the likes of I mean name any major brand, American Express, Google, Oracle, you know, they have tens and hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas. I think where it’s it’s really become a powerful tool within real estate as this section of the business has matured is and really kind of like for companies like ours, what we’re trying to do is like that same level of talent.

00:06:35:08 – 00:06:58:24

Greg Brooks

You know, we all found out during COVID, hey, we can do almost all almost almost all of our business is run on the computer room. So it doesn’t matter if I’m in Dallas, Manila, Portland, like I can buy properties. I can research, I can make calls from anywhere, which is great. It also, you know, for that, for those of us that kind of went down the road of discovering Vas and how can I now leverage that?

00:06:58:26 – 00:07:21:17

Greg Brooks

It’s like you quickly realize there’s so many talented people all over the world. You know, you’re always you know, you always be foolish not to leverage someone who is half the cost of hiring locally to to help you grow and scale your business. So, I mean, really Vas, when we talk about that, we don’t run with that term only because like that, the term VA kind of you think of like an admin assistant, right?

00:07:21:17 – 00:07:50:05

Greg Brooks

Someone who could like manage your calendar or maybe like, you know, check your email inbox, which don’t get me wrong, VA certainly can do that. But I mean, we truly are trying to help change the mindset in the real estate world to say like, Hey, these are, these are team members. Like, these are valuable, integral parts of your team that really help you unlock and scale faster because maybe, maybe you could afford to hire one person if you were hiring locally or what if you had four people that could do that?

00:07:50:05 – 00:08:21:23

Greg Brooks

How does that multiply your business? How can you grow quicker and faster? And what we’ve seen, especially in the real estate space over the last, you know, two or three years, is more creative ways that our clients are looking to leverage base. So I kind of joke that on our on all of our consultation calls, you know, you rewind four years ago, number one question we got was, well, how can I communicate with someone halfway around the world and, you know, we’d have a 30 minute consultation where we want to jump into like, okay, what does the role look like?

00:08:21:23 – 00:08:41:02

Greg Brooks

What is And we’re just talking about like, hey, we’re here because of voice over IP because of your CRM. Well, now, like everybody was a VA in some regards for three years. So they get it, you know what I mean? So now the the really fun part and what we’ll get into here is like some creative ways to leverage Vas.

00:08:41:02 – 00:08:51:19

Greg Brooks

But really all we’re talking about is just talent that happens to live in another country, that when you set them up for success the right way, they can really do anything in a modern day real estate investing business.

00:08:51:21 – 00:09:10:18

Brady Winder

I’m glad that you said it that way, because I think there’s this misconception that people put Vas in a box of like only administrative work and they have it. The brain hasn’t been open up to like, here’s all the different things I can have someone do because like you said, it’s it’s a team member, just like any other team member We actually have I don’t know how many I know at least one or two.

00:09:10:18 – 00:09:37:09

Brady Winder

We have a partnership with you guys where we have people from Rocket Station working in site care that are just part of the team. So let’s talk about I want to talk about some of the creative use cases. Like you mentioned. I’m really excited to hear how other investors are leveraging you guys, your services. And another thing I want to talk about is how do you you know, how do you train for culture and how do you get them engaged in your team?

00:09:37:09 – 00:09:52:24

Brady Winder

Really, how do you build trust? So let’s take us one step at a time. Let’s say if I’m a I’m a solo investor, let’s say I’m doing a few dollars a month, I’m wholesaling, I’m flipping, and I’m like working 80 hours a week and I’m like, Greg, I don’t want to work 80 hours a week. I need to offload some stuff.

00:09:52:24 – 00:09:56:11

Brady Winder

I don’t know what what are the first things I need to do?

00:09:56:13 – 00:10:18:10

Greg Brooks

Yeah, I mean, real estate, we all know it’s a transaction based business, right? Ah to kind of give a quick little story. So my partner Rob, we’ve met. He founded this business, he was an investor in Dallas and kind of him even dabbling in virtual assistants. And this was eight years ago, nine years ago. So kind of talking about like those you know, he read the four our right kind of main book everyone reads.

00:10:18:15 – 00:10:37:27

Greg Brooks

They’re like, oh, this is the thing. This is interesting. The main reason he got into it is because he was stuck in the investor cycle, right? He would cue up his marketing, he’d hammers cold calls, he’d have his bandit signs, yet his CEO going, you know, leads were coming in, he qualified, leads working. He’d get out on appointments, get the contract sign, you know, go through the whole life cycle.

00:10:37:27 – 00:10:52:27

Greg Brooks

And it would take six, eight, ten weeks. And then he’d be like, All right, I need a new, fresh batch of leads. Well, then no one had been working the front end of the house, right? He had he was off chasing down deals and negotiating and going and working with his disposition, his partner, who kind of specialized in dispositions.

00:10:52:27 – 00:11:25:28

Greg Brooks

Well, he quickly realized, like the ups and downs, like that cycle of like marketing to qualifying to deal chasing, like it was going to work out like as amazing as real estate can be when you’re a solo operator and you’re stuck in go, Yeah, it’s tough, man. It’s a beating, right? It’s, it’s, you know, the, the ATM machine that a lot of, you know, coaches and gurus out there kind of paint real estate in you very quickly in their first three months realize like, oh no, this is work like to be successful or it’s work.

00:11:26:01 – 00:11:51:12

Greg Brooks

So so what I would say is anybody listening to this podcast or listening to this episode, getting someone to help you on the front end with lead management, with outbound solicitation, that has to be your first because there’s really two wins that happen when you get someone who can, whether it’s as simple as like, Hey, I need someone to make cold calls or I need someone to qualify my leads when they submit my forms or come and be on my website.

00:11:51:14 – 00:12:23:00

Greg Brooks

Yeah. The biggest thing, what’s going to help with is just the consistency of pipe, right? I tell people we’ve got incredible case studies of a lot of our clients. I mean, just to get someone to a qualified conversation and that’s anywhere from 7 to 9 touch points just to get them to this conversation was like, how many of us if you go download a list of 2000 or if you’re if you have 25 inquiries a week coming in on your website, how many people even have the time while operating the business and running dispositions and queuing up our next marketing campaign?

00:12:23:03 – 00:12:56:06

Greg Brooks

How many people have the time to pick up the phone or send five, seven, ten emails? Right? So it’s like the the classic like 80, 20, the 20% of leads are just the marketing hit. They’re motivated, they’re going to close. Like you can get those and you can hustle your way to, to monetizing off of off that lead yet but the 80% right the stuff that’s that takes a little bit longer or is a longer nurture or that you’ve got to make the sixth seventh eighth ninth touch touchpoint that’s where you really start operating right That’s where the scalability gets unlocked.

00:12:56:08 – 00:13:18:05

Greg Brooks

That’s where you know, your cost per lead, your cost per acquisition. That’s where all of that starts to become less and less because of the bandwidth to continue that chase and to bring on more business. So I always tell people we’ve kind of going to position we call it a virtual lead manager. It’s kind of that hybrid especially, and this is probably speaking more to like kind of the solopreneur.

00:13:18:06 – 00:13:36:13

Greg Brooks

If you’ve only got a team of like two or three, this is your person who can run cold activity, right? Cool. Call techs campaigns, qualifying leads that come in from the website, you know, prospecting, Facebook groups, whatever your strategy is, it’s someone who can do that consistently in bulk without you, the without you, the business owner having to do it.

00:13:36:13 – 00:13:42:09

Greg Brooks

Because let’s be honest, like most real estate investors, that’s the stuff that they pull their hair out over having to do the cold.

00:13:42:11 – 00:14:03:01

Brady Winder

Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s like I feel like most investors are one of like a mix of one of the three things like either your visionary, you want to start a business and run with it, but you don’t want to manage the whole thing or you’re a marketer at heart, or maybe you’re just a deal closer. Maybe you’re the guy who likes doing acquisitions, dispositions like sit down, shaking hands.

00:14:03:03 – 00:14:19:29

Brady Winder

But I don’t feel like many people I talk to are like, Yeah, I want to qualify leads all day. And so but that takes a lot of your time. And so if you could free up some of that time and really that mental energy, kind of relieve some anxiety for you to do more of your creative work, some of your best work would be powerful.

00:14:20:01 – 00:14:35:19

Greg Brooks

And the strategy side of it, too, right? Because it’s it’s like if you’re stuck all day qualifying leads or working in your CRM or do you have time to go research a new market, Do you have time to listen to a podcast like this to learn something? Do you have time to go network with a mastermind like No, Right.

00:14:35:19 – 00:15:00:24

Greg Brooks

That’s one that that I feel like it’s kind of almost used to cliche, but the like so many real estate investors get stuck working in the business rather than working on it. Like that’s what that actually looks like. It’s, it’s when you’ve you’re trying to get the next deal across the finish line and you get stuck doing the minutia of the very process driven, repetitive type work that isn’t allowing you to to be the deal closer that you are or to be the marketing strategist that you are.

00:15:00:25 – 00:15:15:06

Greg Brooks

Like the reason you actually got into real estate. And what we you know, what’s so important is like developing systems and processes around that so you can leverage a VA so they can do the work the way you need it to be done. So there can be consistency in it, so the business can start to scale and grow.

00:15:15:06 – 00:15:32:29

Greg Brooks

But more importantly, like you as the owner, as the president, as the investor whose name is on the door, you can start really being that business owner. And for some people that’s like, Hey, I’d love to consistently do one deal a month for other people. That’s I want to get to 25 deals. I’m like the economies of scale.

00:15:32:29 – 00:15:37:12

Greg Brooks

There are different but apps to get there are the same, you know, I mean.

00:15:37:15 – 00:15:50:02

Brady Winder

I love the way you put that the stuff together are the same is true. So let’s talk about you mentioned some of your some of your clients are coming up with some really creative ways. The K can we use guys for this? What’s going on there.

00:15:50:04 – 00:16:06:00

Greg Brooks

Yeah, I mean you can even kind of bring it back to the partnership that we have with you guys, like especially on the SEO side. Yeah, I mean, I mean Vas, you know, running pages, you know, pixel pixel saying running all the audit reports around all the ad spend that they have managing budgets, kind of acting as like junior buyers.

00:16:06:00 – 00:16:25:15

Greg Brooks

That’s been something that, you know, three or four years ago we had no use case. You know, we had a lot of people that were leveraging Vas for cold calls and text campaigns, CRM management, and now, you know, seeing our clients get really creative around whether it’s auditing ad copy and creating new ads and split testing.

00:16:25:17 – 00:16:31:09

Brady Winder

Of its force, because you got regulation changing and, you know, text message blasting has gone away.

00:16:31:12 – 00:16:51:08

Greg Brooks

Alchemy Exactly. And where they’ve seen like hey, this team members credible like where can I repurpose them somewhere and as well I think a lot of it has to do with with operators you know everyone not everyone. I’d say a lot of people there is a certain now remote or virtual, you know, if you like, the term iBuying is kind of gone away.

00:16:51:08 – 00:17:09:12

Greg Brooks

But like that I buyer where we’re all kind of looking for a new market especially in this compressed economic situation we’ve got. So it’s kind of putting people in the position where like it let’s try this, let’s see if our team can do this. Let’s kind of build a plan and kind. I parcel what would the steps be to success and let our views go at it.

00:17:09:12 – 00:17:28:12

Greg Brooks

So yeah, it’s it’s, it’s new. It’s very much evolved from like virtual assistant just the cold caller or just my personal admin assistant to I mean we’ve got got clients that are leveraged all across the board and many different businesses to where you know every week they’re coming to us. Hey do you think it’d be I could do this like, All right, let’s hop on a call.

00:17:28:12 – 00:17:32:02

Greg Brooks

Let’s see. I think if we start out, they probably they probably cut it.

00:17:32:02 – 00:17:47:20

Brady Winder

So I think when when you see when you say SEO, I can I can feel like a lot of our listeners ears perking up go away VA can do it. So give me some context for like the level of expertise and the training. Like what kind of work are the viewers doing for SEO for sure.

00:17:47:21 – 00:18:06:27

Greg Brooks

So a lot of it is like, you know what, like what we call like the digital plumbing behind it, you know what I mean? So like, whether it’s setting up pixels, managing web pages, even like link checks, we, you know, we work with a large client who does a substantial ad spend, you know, six figures every single month in paid advertising.

00:18:06:27 – 00:18:20:00

Greg Brooks

Well, like a big thing for him, if one link goes down, that’s a big issue. So we have like literally Vas like go on and audit all of his campaigns, all of his sequencing, making sure links are lie, making sure you ATM’s are passing through correctly.

00:18:20:02 – 00:18:24:26

Brady Winder

It’s a QC basically to making sure you’re not wasting all your marketing budget.

00:18:24:28 – 00:18:38:16

Greg Brooks

Exactly. Because it’s all well and good. I mean, I’m sure a lot of people, you know, they’ve got at least a monthly, hopefully a weekly call, checking them on like and performance. But it’s like there’s nothing worse than being a week or a month and do it being like, that’s so weird. This campaign was killing it for us.

00:18:38:18 – 00:18:55:11

Greg Brooks

Now we’ve spent five grand and haven’t got anything for it. And just to find out all links wrong or a web pages down or something, it’s like all those little things that when you talk about like small operational stuff, it’s like even if you do have a team, you know, local or in your market, like who? Who’s going to have time to do that to go and like, click on every campaign?

00:18:55:11 – 00:18:58:23

Greg Brooks

And how do you like that’s not a revenue generating, actually.

00:18:58:23 – 00:18:59:05

Brady Winder

No.

00:18:59:05 – 00:19:38:07

Greg Brooks

Interest in revenue, but like, you’re not going to be you shouldn’t be as the owner spending your time doing that. So like creating a lot of scalability there. And then and I’ll say it and we definitely don’t need to turn this into like an AI chat conversation and but the use of AI from an actual copywriting, you know, ad word type perspective has really helped us with our clients build scalability there to like whether it’s just like the organic strategy around, you know, creation of blogs and content for the website, whether it’s like website copy readers, we’ve been able to have Vas where yeah, they’re not just doing it on their own and publishing it,

00:19:38:07 – 00:19:58:26

Greg Brooks

but 80, 90% of the work that comes with copywriting, that comes with content posting that we now leverage the Vas and they’re even faster at it now because of eye to where we can get, get it across the finish line, kind of everything from creation to QC to managing budgets and ad spends and testing like it’s everything across the board.

00:19:59:01 – 00:20:14:10

Brady Winder

While we’re in this. You mentioned I like we’re in this kind of unique period in time where we’re realizing we’re learning, you know, I’m learning how long it takes to use AI and like, yeah, it is a huge timesaver or but you also got to, you got to know the problem, so you got to know how to work it.

00:20:14:10 – 00:20:33:09

Brady Winder

You still have to be a subject matter expert on what you’re writing about, you know, to not come off as, you know, just generic content in this case, you guys have any views doing like internal linking free SEO or things like that, like linking blog posts to each other that can help build trust you a strategy that.

00:20:33:09 – 00:20:53:27

Greg Brooks

No, definitely. And even like the back linking strategy, like whether it’s like reaching out for guest posting, like all of that stuff, that just takes time and coordination and I mean plug in too. And that’s all very process driven stuff. And I know we’ll get into kind of like how do I successfully hire This sounds great, but like where do I find that person, you know, kind of developing the process around how to do that?

00:20:54:00 – 00:21:06:03

Greg Brooks

You’re to see an audience around it, you know, tracking those links and back linking and the partners and the guest posting how to create a really strong structure. So the VA has a manageable workload that can be tracked is super important as well.

00:21:06:05 – 00:21:33:08

Brady Winder

Okay. So we talked about some of the technical like where the use cases, where do you fit a VA into your business? One of the concerns I would have and investors would have is, especially as we’re talking about something like content creation, where now they’re responsible for part of your brand’s voice and your tone, your image. How do you build trust, let’s say with a VA, but really with a team?

00:21:33:08 – 00:21:46:09

Brady Winder

Because you get the same thing if you’re hiring somebody local. So how are you training them for culture, integrate them into your team? And for context, where are most of the views you guys work with from?

00:21:46:11 – 00:21:55:00

Greg Brooks

Yeah, so all of our people were based in the Philippines, so we’ve got almost 2200 people in and around mostly Manila were fully remote. So all in the Philippines.

00:21:55:04 – 00:21:59:01

Brady Winder

Okay. Yeah. So how, how are you building trust? What’s that look like?

00:21:59:03 – 00:22:07:14

Greg Brooks

Oh, definitely. That culture word, right? Like everyone throws around culture and it becomes cliche and it’s like, Oh, we have a great culture. It’s like, what is that mean? It’s like, well, we send everyone a bag, a coffee.

00:22:07:16 – 00:22:09:00

Brady Winder

They say donuts on Fridays.

00:22:09:06 – 00:22:24:18

Greg Brooks

That that’s what it’s I saw a great LinkedIn was the other day It literally it it’s like people want us all to come back into the office because the culture is amazing and it’s like a picture of a slice like here’s our or not sliced and sliced bagels. Now here’s our culture. It’s like I’m.

00:22:24:18 – 00:22:32:22

Brady Winder

Crying inside because of past jobs where it’s like the bagels showed up. And that was the the checkbox of like, we have culture.

00:22:32:24 – 00:22:38:06

Greg Brooks

The boss walks in our the bagels everyone have a group yet see it’s like, awesome.

00:22:38:09 – 00:22:41:18

Brady Winder

What’s yeah Oh man what.

00:22:41:21 – 00:23:02:02

Greg Brooks

Were we kind of our stance on culture is I mean it kind of can go many different ways what we say in terms of successfully integrating a VA into the business. What we find and this really is true of local hires, it’s just true of people like we all run businesses, we all have probably hired and we all have.

00:23:02:02 – 00:23:25:04

Greg Brooks

Probably the the hardest part is like, how do I align someone with my goals with their roles? How do I give them clarity in the scope of work that I need them to own and the KPIs around that? Right? I’ve I’ve never hired somebody or I’ve personally never taken a job that on day one I was like, I want to do get I don’t want to be here.

00:23:25:04 – 00:23:41:27

Greg Brooks

I’m just going to see how long I can, you know, cash a check. Like, that’s not why people go through the interview process and get hired. What we find is that when people burn out or when they don’t integrate well or when they don’t hit the metrics that maybe their resumé or that we thought they would through the qualifying process.

00:23:42:00 – 00:24:03:02

Greg Brooks

It usually comes down to two things management or clarity within the role. And what I mean by that is if you do run a big team, a lot of managers are accidental managers, right? Meaning they were top performers and top performers get elevated. And as you get elevated, you what if you’re paying them more? They got to do more.

00:24:03:04 – 00:24:29:28

Greg Brooks

But we don’t really invest in their management training, right? When you go from performer to person in charge of other people’s performances, that’s like a career maturation that just a lot of companies don’t. Right. Or when you see a quoted owner, you know, of someone who has a team like that 60% of your time, 70% of your time, like that’s who you should be spending your time with, cultivating that leadership, being in touch with that.

00:24:30:00 – 00:24:47:26

Greg Brooks

The other part of it is the structure and process around clearly defining the scope of work and what you want that hire to do. So often, you know, we hear we want to hire someone who’s super experienced. What does that really mean? Well, I don’t want to train them. I want them just to know and figure it out.

00:24:47:29 – 00:24:49:10

Greg Brooks

Everyone’s business.

00:24:49:13 – 00:24:49:28

Brady Winder

Yeah.

00:24:50:01 – 00:25:06:08

Greg Brooks

Yeah, everyone’s culture is a little bit different. So the strategy that we deploy with our clients that I would tell anybody, whether you work with us or whether you’re just kind of looking out for Vas, you’re on your own, or if you have Vas and you’re like, They’re really great, they’re really in tune, but the results aren’t there.

00:25:06:10 – 00:25:29:00

Greg Brooks

I would dive into your processes. Do you have for each scope of work, each task, each responsibility? Do you have a clearly defined document? Do you have a video recorded training? Do you have a step by step step that can give that person clarity in terms of you’re the business owner, it’s your name on the door. How do you scale yourself in, multiply how you would do it.

00:25:29:00 – 00:25:47:11

Greg Brooks

And the way to do that is through process and system documentation. We find so many people just have their business fully stuck in their head. It becomes very hard because if you’re hiring, whether you’re a small shop or a big shop, you’re usually not hiring because you have an abundance of time on your hands, right? You’re using opportunity daily in you’re growing.

00:25:47:11 – 00:26:05:24

Greg Brooks

You just paid 50 grand for a new marketing campaign to kick off like there’s a lot of stress. So by spending the time to really dive into like, okay, why are we hiring this role? Who do they report to? And then diving into the particulars as to the scope of work, like going back to that lead manager example, like, okay, or CRM, how would, how, how do we train them on that?

00:26:05:24 – 00:26:24:05

Greg Brooks

You know, what’s software we’re using as a, you know, investor view that any of the ones out there, how do we make sure that they’re going to know the buttons, to press the links, to hit the notes, to take the, you know, the structure to follow so that we can expedite their learning curve rather than just saying, hey, come sit beside me and watch how I do it.

00:26:24:06 – 00:26:41:27

Greg Brooks

Right. That’s kind of everyone’s all back for training. And I think we’ve all been in school and for a lot of people, the traditional listen to the teacher tell us how to do it and then go figure it out. Like we actually learn through the practical, through that doing the homework and doing the studying and getting the reps.

00:26:42:00 – 00:26:56:10

Greg Brooks

So by having them in a process, it allows you to give the the future, hire the VA the opportunity to succeed because they got clarity, they know what and how, right, which is so important, especially through that first 30 days of getting into and with your team.

00:26:56:12 – 00:27:22:23

Brady Winder

Yeah, so the first 30 days, I’m glad you mention that because what I wanted to ask is like you’ve, you’ve outlined like what it takes to build trust and have that VA be confident and successful. So that makes sense. Like clear expectations, good management, a good working relationship. It’s actually simpler. Simpler than I thought. Like if they know what they’re doing and what they signed up for it, that creates some of the trust.

00:27:22:25 – 00:27:39:24

Brady Winder

But as far as communication between like the the investor or the leader in their team, what’s that look like for the first 30 days and what’s that look like for the next three years as far as like how many how many touch points in a week? Are they communicating with them?

00:27:39:27 – 00:27:59:19

Greg Brooks

Yeah, no, definitely. I think the scope of the of the role they’re plugging into it definitely varies. Like we mentioned, when you have someone who’s running your marketing or your property up propping up a new marketing campaign or ad spend that you probably on daily check ins. But for that, for a general rule of thumb, if you’re hiring a VA, a go through the process of documenting and clearly defining what you want them to do at it.

00:27:59:21 – 00:28:16:02

Greg Brooks

Once you now hire someone and get them in the seat, you don’t just want to put them in the corner and say, Here’s your playbook, have fun. Let me know how it goes. Like, we want to set very intentional, very deliberate check ins. So what we typically recommend is, is for the first 30 days, we do a check in every single morning.

00:28:16:05 – 00:28:39:20

Greg Brooks

Okay, So it’s strictly just a dive in. Any questions from the day before? You know, here’s where I would like your priorities to be. Do you have any questions for me and just set that cadence of knowing that that they’re there for you or that you’re there for them? I mean, building that trust, building that culture? Well, we also encourage is doing an end of day check out right what came up what issues like don’t create any gray area.

00:28:39:22 – 00:28:55:22

Greg Brooks

Right. The worst thing I mean one complaint that we hear from a lot of people, especially within Vas, was it’s like I thought they were good, but then I audited their work and it turned out they actually weren’t doing anything because there was this one issue and they didn’t want to come to me to ask about it. And we said, Well, why?

00:28:55:22 – 00:29:11:15

Greg Brooks

Why didn’t you ask? You know what I mean? They just because you think about the time trait, you’re right. They hire that VA, They just saved you 4 hours a day. Well, I think you can find 15 minutes to go to them and say, Hey, is everything good? And it makes sense. The document makes sense.

00:29:11:15 – 00:29:11:28

Brady Winder

Yeah.

00:29:11:29 – 00:29:19:16

Greg Brooks

So where did your logging, you know, I mean, like, it’s a time trait. It’s not a lot of people that I always use the the staples and rhythm of that was easy button.

00:29:19:18 – 00:29:20:16

Brady Winder

Yeah yeah.

00:29:20:18 – 00:29:33:29

Greg Brooks

It’s it’s like I don’t know why but a lot of a lot of viewers out there are a lot of investors have this connotation that like these are just the easy button. You’re going to hire someone that just knows your business, knows what to do, and you can just set it and forget it. And like, that’s just not true.

00:29:33:29 – 00:29:55:02

Greg Brooks

That’s not people, right? So changing it, changing your mindset as the as the owner to now be the accountability structure rather than the operator that has to do it. That’s where you got to be. So setting those daily check ins to have intentional conversations and maybe for the first couple of weeks, like it’s minimal feedback, like at the end of the day, like you’re still kind of dating at that, you know what I mean?

00:29:55:02 – 00:30:18:12

Greg Brooks

Like for like, you know, a lot of us, like, say, I’m married with my wife, like there wasn’t a lot of sharing going on the first month, but it was like we had to keep going on dates and texting and all of a sudden there builds trust. It’s that same kind of kind of methodology where if you’re intentional with setting that time aside every single day, 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at night, sometimes it turns into a 30 minute conversation, an hour long conversation.

00:30:18:18 – 00:30:38:19

Greg Brooks

But that’s what builds the trust. And through those conversations, you know, you’ll really be able to flush out any inconsistencies or any, you know, any areas where expectations aren’t being met. Just because building the trust where the employee, the VA knows that you’re invested in their success. And a lot of people forget about that. They do a couple of calls at the beginning of like, Oh, they got it.

00:30:38:24 – 00:30:51:12

Greg Brooks

They see like an initial, you know, they convert one lead on day number two and they’re like, Oh, they got it. I don’t need to waste any time over there, do it. And then a month later through two months later, the performance is bad and it’s like, well, I don’t know how that happened. They crushed it on the second day.

00:30:51:14 – 00:31:14:10

Greg Brooks

So it’s that consistency through the first 30 days and then from there evaluating right at that time, if you’ve done it right, they should be a pretty autonomous team member. Yeah. So maybe it’s a weekly powwow, maybe it’s a monthly check in. Like at that point you can kind of evaluate based on like how much tracking do I have in my software, do I need to be meeting with them this frequent?

00:31:14:10 – 00:31:27:11

Greg Brooks

Because there’s a lot of moving parts that are happening in and around their role. But I say for the first 30 days you need to be carving out at least 30 minutes a day, 50 minutes morning, 50 minutes afternoon to establish that communication and create that feedback.

00:31:27:13 – 00:31:49:12

Brady Winder

So it sounds like from hearing you talk, it sounds like probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest mistake is having, excuse me, real estate investors not put the onus on themselves to like, have their KPIs in place, have clear expectations in place for that Vas and really knowing what they want to get out of that. And in having that touchpoint like how are things going?

00:31:49:15 – 00:32:04:17

Brady Winder

Just expecting it to be an easy buy and when really it’s a it’s an easier button, you know, rock station industry specific, it’s is easier than trying to do it yourself, but you still have to they’re they’re an integral part of the team. You have to be walking alongside them.

00:32:04:19 – 00:32:28:24

Greg Brooks

Yeah. And that’s I mean for me like that’s what I as a business owner, like we’re all managers at some perspective or we, we, we have a partner or a number two in the company that is like, hey, maybe we are the visionary and we just want to be idea board person. But we’ve got I mean I know I carrot you’ve got the number two that are the operators and for me you know if there’s one thing I can kind of pass a lot from like my learnings is I view managed management like true quality management is like two things.

00:32:28:26 – 00:32:50:19

Greg Brooks

It’s the ability to get your team what they need to succeed and then hold them accountable to the results you put in place. Like that’s all management is. So if you’re not setting time aside to do that, whether it’s with, you know, your most expensive hire your office or whether it’s with your team, like you’re not setting anybody up for success and within the business, that’s where that like mistrust and how do I know what the Vas are doing?

00:32:50:19 – 00:33:07:11

Greg Brooks

Are they overcharging me? Were they even here yesterday working? I got a bill for them, like that’s where that comes from. It comes from, you know, not being in tune and checking in and just setting frequencies and cadences with them to ensure that they’re doing what it is that you want them to do. And what’s getting, you know, what’s getting done.

00:33:07:14 – 00:33:42:18

Brady Winder

Hmm. I like that we’re about at time. But one last thing I want to ask you, Greg, is you got to promise to give me a real answer on this. What are Vas not good for? What do you not recommend hiring a V.A for? I’m particularly curious if you guys are doing user offering any creative services like video editing, graphic design things where it’s it’s it’s it’s less of a you know follow this documentation for this process these steps in a little bit more of like emotional communication like brain communication that makes any sense at all.

00:33:42:20 – 00:33:45:05

Brady Winder

But yeah what if he is not good for research?

00:33:45:06 – 00:34:03:20

Greg Brooks

So I would say rocket station. We’re not good at graphic design. We don’t really touch the creative suite of stuff. This is I get this question a lot stuff because we just spent most of the podcast being like, Hey, they’re they’re termed as a VA, but they’re just talented individual that happens to live somewhere else in the world.

00:34:03:22 – 00:34:25:08

Greg Brooks

So there really isn’t anything that they’re not good at. What I would say as a business owner, anything, strategy, anything, final decision making, don’t try to outsource that. Don’t try to outsource your problems. Don’t try to hire VA because you’ve run a cold call campaign and you haven’t converted any. Like there’s no magic list. There’s no magic VA that can just hear it convert.

00:34:25:10 – 00:35:01:24

Greg Brooks

The biggest mistakes that we we find people making when they’re hiring is they’re trying to things that they haven’t themselves done. And that’s just really not where VA’s or we’re outsourcing vets. You know, I mean a lot of the day to day operational stuff, a lot of the process driven work is is perfect, right, from making the cold calls, following up the leads, scrubbing the list, cleaning the data in your CRM, contacting by like all of that process driven stuff is great and I don’t want to discount it to say we have clients that have had VA’s for four years who are now in strategic seats and managing team.

00:35:01:24 – 00:35:20:11

Greg Brooks

So it’s a person it can happen for, for most investors that we see, probably most people listening here, I would not try to outsource or hire VA to do something that you yourself don’t have a general idea of what needs to be done in order for it to be successful. Don’t try to outsource your problems. Make sure you kind of follow those steps of making sure you got the plan in place.

00:35:20:11 – 00:35:44:01

Greg Brooks

You find the right person and then you work with them to hold them accountable to it. But really, for all business owners, you know, as we’ve led off with like real estate, it’s not an ATM machine, right? It’s tough. It’s hard. There’s a lot goes into it. Don’t try to hire a VA if you’re having trouble marketing, if you’re down to your last $10,000 and you’ve got 60 days for this to head or you don’t know if you could be a business, don’t hire.

00:35:44:06 – 00:35:59:07

Greg Brooks

It’s all those problems, you know, I mean, hire VA to execute against plans to execute against, you know, defined roles. Clear scopes at work don’t hire VA to fill in the gaps of things that you don’t know how to do or or that you yourself don’t have experience.

00:35:59:09 – 00:36:30:20

Brady Winder

And I love that. That’s a great analogy. I’ll link up Trevor CEO and or host the podcast. He did a a Trevor track talk not too long ago about why he kind of regrets delegating strategy now. And so he was, you know as our team went from turned 20 to now over 50 to 60 people, it was like, okay, I’m going to start delegating strategy to people and then realize like, oh wait, some of this maybe be over delegated this was in my unique skillset.

00:36:30:20 – 00:36:45:17

Brady Winder

I’m really good at these things. I just pass the baton without guiding them. You know, I need to teach the team how to do this. And so that’s that’s really good insight there. Not to just expect you can just be the solution to your problems by hiring someone else, but you need.

00:36:45:22 – 00:37:08:00

Greg Brooks

Yeah. And it’s kind of like the buying your time back right? Tough stuff. The strategy like leverage of VA to get the low dollar an hour to the cold calls, the follow up training, your marketing content, the managing your website, use your VA and hire Vas to get that stuff off your plate so that your time can be fully invested in the strategy, in the decision making.

00:37:08:00 – 00:37:30:19

Greg Brooks

Right. It’s that it’s that time tradeoff there. Don’t look it. This is a tough problem. I need a VA here none at all that the 80% that we all that I deal with that you deal with running a business, outsource that DRE processes and systems to get Vas plugged in there so that your time can be set spent more on the 20% that’s going to cause your business to double or triple in the next 12, eight, 24 months.

00:37:30:21 – 00:37:48:19

Brady Winder

Absolutely. Well, sweet man. Well, I appreciate you sharing that. It’s been insightful for me. It’s it’s really cool to see how Vas have changed over the years from like, oh, you know, I have a VA and he knows what they’re doing to like, Hey, this is my team and, and just how the pandemic changed something at least one thing for the better.

00:37:48:19 – 00:38:05:23

Brady Winder

And yeah, I love what you guys are doing I think it’s I don’t think I know it’s been a huge blessing to our team and to many other investors You’ve really just unlocked a lot of people’s bandwidth and time and energy, so keep doing what you guys do. For anyone listening, watching, you can find Rocket Station in the marketplace.

00:38:05:23 – 00:38:28:04

Brady Winder

So just go to Care.com slash marketplace like Greg and I have talked about. We have a carrot specific relationship with VA where they’re doing helping out with SEO and with marketing. It’s not just, hey, you know, go to Rocket Station. Just because they’re in our industry, we really do work closely together. So I don’t say that lightly. Greg Is there anything?

00:38:28:04 – 00:38:35:09

Brady Winder

Guest Have any goodies for the audience? Like if they want to learn more about Vas, any sort of guides or things that might be helpful?

00:38:35:12 – 00:38:51:01

Greg Brooks

Yeah, definitely. So our website rocket station dot com. Obviously you can go to the marketplace to book all, you can book all there. We’ve got tons of great blog content, how to guides. I mean, even if you don’t, maybe you’re just getting into real estate and you’re still kind of just in the discovery mode trying to get the first deal.

00:38:51:03 – 00:39:16:23

Greg Brooks

I would encourage you, even if it’s a part time person, even if you go do it yourself and just hire someone took to work three, 4 hours a week for you. You know, we don’t do that, but there’s lots of freelancers out there and we have tons of great resource guides on where to find the reputable sites. How to vet talent properly, you know, how to go through that process development piece we’ve got so rocket station dot com there’s tons of upgrade tutorials and if you want to do it yourself, we kind of open the curtains right.

00:39:16:23 – 00:39:35:12

Greg Brooks

And we were very much aligned with Carrot in that way where it’s okay if you want to do this yourself, here’s the playbook, here’s how you do it. You know, if you want to save some time and work with a company that’s you know, that’s got eight years of experience, come talk to us. So rocket station dot com what’s got to meet any needs or this kind of tickled tickled your your VA hiring senses go check us out I.

00:39:35:12 – 00:39:53:29

Brady Winder

Appreciate that and I almost forgot I asked this question I wasn’t intending to set myself up for this. I promise if any of you watching or listening went to the summit, depending on when this episode comes out, if you’re at the care summit and you purchase the special, then we have a special resource on like do’s and don’ts for viewers and how to train viewers.

00:39:53:29 – 00:40:14:08

Brady Winder

That’s really I was expecting I wasn’t expecting what Greg and his team gave me, but like really in-depth guide on how to use views in your real estate business. So go check that out. Carrot Accomplish summit. Yeah, that’s it. Well, thank you, Greg. Thanks again for joining us. It’s been a good conversation and appreciate you sharing what you have with our audience.

00:40:14:08 – 00:40:19:09

Greg Brooks

Man Yeah, thanks again. It’s been a long time. So good to connect and appreciate Appreciate your comments on.

00:40:19:11 – 00:40:21:05

Brady Winder

Absolutely. We’ll see you all next week.


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