Podcast | Real Estate Investing
Daniel Ramsey is the CEO and Founder of MyOutDesk. Daniel founded MyOutDesk during the last global financial crisis of 2008 to help businesses leverage the remote workplace and scale businesses with virtual assistants. Daniel has helped over 6,000 clients scale their businesses and grow profitability. He’s had the opportunity to work many of the largest sales organizations, technology startups, insurance, real estate, and healthcare companies. MyOutDesk specializes in four major areas of business: Marketing, Administrative, Customer Service, and Prospecting.
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- 00:00 Daniel Ramsey with MyOutDesk joins the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast to discuss virtual assistants
- 00:26 PropertyRadar has seen many logins from India the past several years. Why?
- 02:28 How and why Daniel created MyOutDesk
- 04:49 How his honeymoon changed how saw business
- 06:12 What 13 years in the virtual assistant game have taught Daniel
- 7:00 Virtual assistant to virtual professional. If the pros are reading lame scripts, you’re doing it wrong
- 08:36 How PropertyRadar sees real estate professionals using virtual assistants in their business
- 09:15 How MyOutDesk from serving the real estate community and other niches that came along
- 10:11 I, We, They – the framework for incorporating virtual assistants in business
- 13:45 Learning how to trust a virtual assistant to take over pieces of your business
- 14:29 The four key areas MyOutDesk focuses on to help companies to outsource to VAs
- 16:24 The importance of process and systems
- 17:08 If you had to double your business right now, what would you have to do?
- 18:02 Where to start as you explore virtual assistance in business
- 19:04 The one simple thing you do to prepare a VA to step in to help you grow
- 20:58 The recommendation to get hyperlocal marketing to work for better success as a real estate investor
- 24:43 Why you have to have a program and be able to articulate the value of what you do before outsourcing is possible (and successful)
- 26:26 Why hyperlocal marketing lists based on life-changing events helps a business owner with hard-sales
- 26:49 The mistake that Realtors and investors make when they ask for an “absentee buyers list”
- 27:46 The importance of objection handlers when using an ISA
- 28:27 Divorce, probate and secondary vacation homes and communicating value to prospects
- 29:36 The importance of having a phone system when using virtual assistants
- 31:17 The amount of time you should expect to get a virtual assistant up and running
- 32:06 Why coaching VAs on being able to capture timeframe and motivation are critical
- 34:15 Do all successful real estate investors use CRMs?
- 39:08 Integrated marketing and the importance of multiple touchpoints in marketing to prospects
- 40:54 Why a virtual assistant should be reading the local paper
- 41:42 The California tax basis niche (prop 60 and prop 90) that many people don’t know about
- 43:41 Simple tricks to help with tie-down rate improvements
- 46:20 Details of what goes into hiring new virtual assistants
- 49:01 What’s the best advice to get from the I to the We?
Sean O’Toole 00:02
Welcome to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast, the podcast for real estate professionals dedicated to driving business success with data. Today I have with me Daniel Ramsey, and he’s the CEO and founder of MyOutDesk. Daniel, thanks for being with us.
Daniel Ramsey 00:17
Yeah, Sean, man, I’m happy to be here.
Sean O’Toole 00:20
Yeah, I was looking forward to this podcast. You know, over the years, we’ve seen a lot of subscribers or a lot of subscriptions, logging in from the Philippines and India. And I’m hoping you can explain to us what that’s all about and why those folks are on our site.
Daniel Ramsey 00:40
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, India is easy they’re doing the data scrub. I mean, they’re going into the list and making sure everything’s there and, you know, maybe doing a little skip tracing and filling in the spreadsheet so to speak. And then in the Philippines. I mean, people are calling that bottom line. It’s the number one voice outsourcing place. In the world, so every time you call Comcast, every time you kind of call DirecTV or any, any major corporation, they have people in the Philippines. And so what we do here at MyOutDesk is we just help the small medium-sized guys compete with the big old Zillows and the ibuyers of the world, who they have out, they have access to these other countries with, you know, less expensive people. And so we’re basically in there helping people find leverage and, you know, saving money.
Sean O’Toole 01:32
So our customers are hiring you.
Daniel Ramsey 01:35
Sean O’Toole 01:36
To put folks in the Philippines to, you know, use our data to run their business. And help run their business.
Daniel Ramsey 01:45
And the fun thing about that is every single time somebody calls us up and says, Hey, I want to start prospecting. I want to start with the first question that we always ask is, you know, where do you buy your list? And do you have a, you know, do you have some targets, you know, Because people always
Sean O’Toole 02:01
Who you gonna call?
Daniel Ramsey 02:02
Yeah, exactly. And what are you gonna say when you call them so I’m excited to be here, we’re gonna break down like how prospecting works, how our virtual assistants work. We’re gonna give away a copy of our book, I wrote a book about helping, you know, real estate people and really just business people find leverage effectively when it’s outsourced because you can really, really screw this up. So we were gonna give this away. I know you read the book, which I’m excited about. I did.
Sean O’Toole 02:28
Yeah. Before we get into all that though, let’s give us the backstory. How did you end up in this business? And how did you end up creating MyOwnDesk?
Daniel Ramsey 02:38
Yeah, I mean, the story really starts when I got married. So I’m, I’m married my wife and I go to Guatemala, you know, as my wife would say, all this. Nothing happened before marriage, right? But really, so we’re, we’re married. We’re in Guatemala. We’re like hiking through the rain forest and there’s monkeys and trees and beautiful, just beautiful stuff and we stayed at Francis Ford Coppola Resort. And this is one of those bungalows resorts like you’re up in the trees with nature and you’ve got to like walk up and down like it’s just insanely beautiful huge lake in front. And my wife were married three days. My wife is asleep back in the bundle. Oh, and I’m literally at the bar because that’s the only place there were there was Wi-Fi. You know, closing a real estate deal. The bartender
Sean O’Toole 03:26
So you’re an agent broker at this point?
Daniel Ramsey 03:29
Sean O’Toole 03:30
Soon one deal at a time.
Daniel Ramsey 03:32
Yeah. Well, I was a so in my town I was the number nine guy. So a number nine out of 9,000 Real Estate people and at any one time we had a couple hundred listings that weren’t going live and I had three. Yeah, I had three offices in Northern California, San Francisco, Redding, and Sacramento. And so I’m building this you know, business and you know, there’s problems like deals are falling through and there’s issues and so I’m literally on my honeymoon working at the bar. And you know, the bartender who’s Mexican guy, he, he speaks Spanish and he starts making fun of me, like literally making fun of me, grabs my cell phone, snaps a photo of me and start saying things like stupid white guy, beautiful bride back in the room. He’s always working, these damn Americans are gonna ruin our, you know, like, and he just made and at that moment, I literally had an epiphany and I was like, I’ve got to change something about a business, you know, our business. This can’t be how I spend the rest of my life working. And so shortly after that, we revamped our business and really kind of focused on leverage and so that’s what we help people do now is buy some of their time back. I wanted to stay married, have some kids one day, like me like everybody that’s listening. You know, we start companies because we want time freedom. Like that’s the number one thing we want to be able to go play. Yeah, yeah. And so, but, you know, there’s some things that you have to kind of change in your business. And that’s what that’s the growth that I went through.
Sean O’Toole 05:14
Right, right. So working on your business rather than just in your business?
Daniel Ramsey 05:19
Well, and and in our world, what we do is we’ll help somebody craft a plan, we’ll set up expectations, we’ll make sure that they have all the systems that they need, you know, we’ll create some frameworks, especially if you’re going after a particular type of deal or a particular type of customer. So we don’t help people with scripts. You know what, Sean, if another agent calls me and says, Do you have any good scripts? I might shoot myself because that’s not what matters. You know, you’re talking about data-driven. Nobody wants to get a robo caller who’s reading from a script, nobody. And so we help people create frameworks. They follow those frameworks and then they end up having good results.
Sean O’Toole 06:02
Okay, so you have this epiphany, how does that actually get from an epiphany to, how many folks do you have now?
Daniel Ramsey 06:12
Yeah, so we’re 13 years old. So we started outsourcing before the Four Hour Work Week before it became a real thing. In and I started, I hired my first person in 2007. But yeah, we were 13 years old. And we’ve served 6,000 customers over that 13 years, which has been pretty fun. Which means, you know, if you’re listening, which means I’ve got to see all kinds of business setups, all kinds of tech stacks, all kinds of like different org charts and leadership structures. And so it’s been a really fun experience. Talk about data-driven, I mean, it’s there’s a model that works and after you see it a certain amount of time it’s it’s pretty apparent
Sean O’Toole 06:59
Pretty obvious. Yeah. And you guys, you know, a lot of people call it virtual assistants, I like to call them virtual professionals, right kind of said, hey, it’s these folks don’t make them just read from a script, right? Like, you’re never going to get the close a deal, build a product, build a relationship, etc., by having somebody read a script to your point, right? Like, you need them to actually make a real connection. Yeah. And, and they can do that even from that far away.
Daniel Ramsey 07:27
Well, and you know, it’s funny as we, you know, back in the day, we put together systems, so the old phonebook used to have like a map of our cities, right? And then it would have zip codes and then have name of neighborhoods. So we do silly things like, you know, I cut the every year I’d cut the phone book off and I’d scan it over to them so they have an updated version of the here’s, here’s the map of the areas, then we’d have them subscribe to the Business Journal, the Sacramento Bee because we’re in Sacramento. We would have them go on blogs and join Facebook groups and Yahoo groups. Back when Yahoo was a thing, you know, and so they, they couldn’t learn what real estate was. And then Google Earth, oh my god, Google, you can Google anything and look up what the house looks like and how the yards are and where’s the trash? You know, I mean, like, so there’s so many systems now to allow somebody to understand your neighborhood, your target area, you know, your ideal persona, the person that you’re trying to go after. So there’s a lot of systems that you can build that they don’t doesn’t require the person to be right here in the chair next to you in the office, you know,
Sean O’Toole 08:36
Yeah, I imagine that’s why we have many, many, many people. I won’t say how many logging in every day from down that way, you know, working on behalf of customers that are based, based here, right? And they can see that street-side views, zoom into the backyard, all the rest and get, you know, the names and phone numbers. So you know that I think that’s we have folks That all day every day in our system. Tell me about the clients you serve. right you got you started this out of real estate. So is that kind of where you started? Is there other industries you serve now, it’s just Realtors or real estate investors a little bit.
Daniel Ramsey 09:15
I’m such a crazy guy, I’m an investor. I’m a mortgage guy. I have a contractor’s license, and I was a licensed real estate broker. So when I first started my office, we really hyper-focused on real estate people. So whether you’re an investor or broker or running a team, we really focused in on there but over the years, we’ve added insurance I mean, we have a boat broker in Florida weirdly enough, like selling boats and selling houses and you know, all that and then we serve, say again?
Sean O’Toole 09:44
I said, pretty similar really, at the end of day high ticket item and yeah,
Daniel Ramsey 09:48
Yeah, yeah, the customers are the same. I mean, it’s it’s pretty wild. So I mean, you know, insurance, it health care. I mean, all the industries need leverage. And that’s the thing you asked earlier like, so what happened after the honeymoon? What did you What? What did you do and really, in the book, and we’re gonna give away a copy of this book. So I, I bring this up because all of our frameworks are inside of this book, but we believe I, we, they so when you’re brand new in the business, you’re in I do it, you’re doing all the work, you’re figuring out all everything that you need to do, like, how am I going to sell this? What systems do I need all that then in the we space, you’re basically building systems and process so you’re, you’re basically figuring out like, when you get a client, what do you do with them? You know, when you get in contract, how do you serve them when you close on a deal? Do you want to them as a referral source or is it just close and get out of there, you know, so in the system and process, you know, scenario of building a business, it’s all about documenting what you are, what you have and then building the it stack around that and then really kind of testing in place. with it. And that’s when you start adding team members in. And so when you ask what happened after the, after my honeymoon, I just went back to work. And I went back to, you know, the business and I started documenting, hey, here’s how we want to serve our clients. Here’s what we want them to get in terms of marketing, here’s what we’re gonna do when we close on a deal. Here’s where we’re gonna put them so we can follow up with them afterwards. So you know, CRM, and so we just started documenting every single thing that we do, because I wanted to get to that they do it, where I had a team, and they were in the fight, and not me, you know, every single day. And so that that’s what we did in 2011. My wife and I moved to South America for six months and lived in Peru. So we lived in Arequipa and did the Monte Picchu thing and did rafting and went across the desert and just really were tourists for six months. And in that time, MyOutDesk grew, my real estate practice grew and we were buying and selling a lot of properties for for for our investment company.
Sean O’Toole 12:04
And no way that would have happened if you weren’t at they do it right. Like, because if you hadn’t made it to that step, there’s just no way you can, you can get to that point as a business owner and I’ve been a business owner most of my adult life, right? It’s a hard step, it can be hard step to get to, and you really don’t get any personal freedom until you reach it.
Daniel Ramsey 12:23
What’s funny is I literally we had two cars, so we had to pull our cars into the driveway and then jack them up, you know, apparently, after a month of not driving a car, your tires start to split. And so like, what do you have to win we had a winter winterize our cars and then literally jack them up in the driveway behind the gate. And that’s what allowed us you know, I mean, silly things like we rented our house out. I mean, think about this. We moved all of our stuff out of our house, rented our house, jacked our cars up and then we rented a three-bed house in Peru for $400 bucks. And it was a brand new, like apartment kind of with great beautiful views and just, you know so anyways, the point is we learned the lesson the hard way that if you want to create wealth and get out of like, well being like a hamster my girls have a little hamster right now I’ve got a four-year-old and a seven-year-old. And that hamster man just runs on the wheel. And every time I pass that hamster I’m like, yep, I remember that. That was me. That was I was on my honeymoon. That’s exactly how it feels. And it’s surprising how that hamster just loves to run on the wheel and there are some people listening right now that that’s that they love that.
Sean O’Toole 13:45
Yeah, the hunt the fight and keep doing it every day. And yeah, so for sure. Yeah, absolutely is a person out there. Yep. Um, you know, I think you know, making that transition from doing stuff yourself to even getting to the world. Where you do it as a team is a hard transition, let alone getting it to really trusting it to somebody else and knowing that it will happen. Can we walk through that maybe a little bit and let’s, maybe before we even do that, let’s talk about what things can you do that were successful with MyOutDesk, right? So, prospecting, yep. Imagine booking appointments, doing some of those kinds of administrative tasks. What else?
Daniel Ramsey 14:29
Yeah, so we primarily serve in four places. Sales is a number one, one of our largest, you know, products that we support but administrative paperwork booking you know, scheduling booking I mean, I’ve had my VA actually call an order a limo get dinner reservations. And you know, I have a friend that owns a Mitus dealership, and his VA bought a barn door, like because he needed a new barn door. So he’s like, measured the dimensions and said go buy a barn door. It’s surprising how many CEOs out there and investors who are making millions of dollars don’t have a personal assistant. So number two areas personal assistant, we have a lot of marketing virtual assistants. So helping with podcast or creating a blogs or creating an email content or running your social platforms like that’s a huge area that we have, you know, a lot of virtual assistants, and then you know, just simple customer service and support many companies. You know, whether you’re a mortgage company, an IT company, somebody needs to answer the phone, and it’s always surprising to me. I, you know, last summer, our HVAC broke. I called four places one place called me back 48 hours later, you know, and so he knows he think about little things like having good reviews on your website, answering the phone when somebody calls. These are all basic, you know, business things, but I was talking to an entrepreneur yesterday. A million-dollar company and in revenue, been in business almost 20 years. And his reviews online were horrible. And, you know, I asked him about it. And, you know, we’re lucky we have 500, 5-star reviews. And speaking of, you know, systems and process, we had, we had nothing we had, we had no reviews, until we built a system and process to get reviews asking for him. Yeah. And so, you know, everything in my world is like, Can I put into a system? Can I put it into a process? When somebody says, Hey, Daniel, you should start this, I think, could I put it into a system and process? And if it’s Yes, or I already have one, then I continue with the conversation.
Sean O’Toole 16:42
If it’s no, you’re done.
Daniel Ramsey 16:43
Yeah. If it’s no, I’m like, I don’t know how to do that. I’m not smart enough. Sorry. And that makes it very, very easy. But yeah, those are the four primary areas and really, how people know that they need help. This is this is the question asked, and this is my favorite question. And we asked this question every month to several hundred people. If you had to double your business right now, like wave a wand, or if like your family’s lives depended on it, going from where you are today to double, what would you have to do?
Sean O’Toole 17:21
Daniel Ramsey 17:21
And those kind of questions just sparked thought.
Sean O’Toole 17:26
Yeah, no, that’s that’s really good. You know? And I think, you know, always having that mindset, like, what can I do to double my business? But, you know, I think a lot of people when they say, okay, you look at that double my business, right, they think they have to work twice as hard. Right? And I think that keeps a lot of people from growing and expanding because the only answer they can see is my life’s gonna get worse. It’s gonna get harder, right? And I imagine, you know, You’ve helped solve that for a lot of folks.
Daniel Ramsey 18:02
Well, you know, I want to go back to, I mean systems and process, one of the easiest things to do is to create a framework for, you know, for your employees to follow, like whether it’s a marketing framework or sales framework or a service framework, when they have like a bullet point and I want to break it down. So in our process, we call it builds bi, wait, B, yeah, BIULDS, builds, right? Spelling wasn’t my thing and in high school or in college for that I was not a good student when it came to English. But anyways, so the first step of that is build rapport. Right? So every call that we start off, we ask, Hey, what would make this our time together amazing? And there’s nothing. There’s nothing rocket science about building a framework is like, what do you want to convey to the person? What’s the reason for the call? What service or offering can you add or how can you add value? What are some opportunities together? And then what’s next steps? Maybe it’s not, so what I what we help people do is like build their own framework, build their own kind of way of doing things. And then, you know, just record yourself doing it. I mean that that’s an easy thing like next time you take a call, you know, pick up your phone, push the record button and record the call, and then follow your own framework and you start doing that three to five times, then you’re going to tweak the framework, then you’re going to hand it to a virtual assistant, and then that virtual assistant is going to start doing it themselves. And you have to kind of thing just like the military, the military doesn’t promote outsiders, right. You can’t come in as a five-star General, you start as the lowest rank and you go up and there’s a reason for that, right? You can’t, you can’t all of a sudden in business is no different. Right? So if you don’t know how to do the job, and you hire somebody else to do the job, it’s like, well, they don’t know what they’re doing if you don’t know what you’re doing. So I think that’s a Another area that that is a friction point. So you just have to do the job yourself. Right? Be willing to practice and teach somebody. Yep. And then record yourself and then hand it off to somebody else and then just monitor the results over time.
Sean O’Toole 20:15
Yeah, one of the things that really trips up a lot of new real estate investors, right? Is they go see some guru, the guru says, send this postcard, you’ll buy houses for 30% make offer, you know, 30% below market value or 40%, whatever ridiculous thing they’re claiming. And, you know, they’ll come in, they’ll use our software to pull a list, you know, it’s usually like 200 properties, right? Because they’re gonna send a postcard for 50 cents apiece, they think they’re gonna spend $100 in postcards, right?
Daniel Ramsey 20:47
Sean O’Toole 20:47
And, and make 50 to $100,000 you know, property. And I’m like, like, first of all, you know, what that guy wrote in Utah isn’t going to work for you, right? What? What’s gonna work in this neighborhood is different we always say start with a full list that you think’s right. Start with knocking on doors little hard right now with COVID. Right and, and meeting people face to face because you’ll start to learn what they need, then go to phone call. And then after you can close a deal by phone, then move to direct mail to kind of help yourself scale up. So it sounds like a lot what you’re, you’re talking about there. And I think the other thing is, is they, they think that, you know, if I pull the right list, right, I’m gonna make one phone call and get a deal. And, you know, from my experience, it was more like 10 to 20,000 postcards to get one deal, you know? 100 calls to 200 calls to get one deal.
Daniel Ramsey 21:45
Sean O’Toole 21:45
And you’ve got to really help with scaling that up because it’s hard to sit on a phone and make 100 phone calls.
Daniel Ramsey 21:53
It’s really hard because 100 phone calls might get you 20 conversations. Out of 20 conversations, you might have one, that’s decent, but you need to probably have 50 decent conversations before somebody says, Okay, why don’t you come out to the house? I’m interested in selling, you’re interested in buying let’s let’s talk and meet and see if there’s a, you know, an opportunity here. Yeah, I was just watching this, the Navy SEAL guy who killed Osama bin Laden, he was just in a group that I’m in and he was doing an interview with us. And it’s interesting because the Navy SEALs practiced. They spent 25 years, you know, practicing a boat rescue for a hostage situation. And the very first time they had to do it was like seven years ago, and they’d spent 25 years spending thousands of hours as an organization, practicing every year.
Sean O’Toole 22:53
Daniel Ramsey 22:54
Sean O’Toole 22:55
All the motions
Daniel Ramsey 22:56
And then they got up some a bit mountain bike. You know, like that was the kind of, you know, regimented practice that they’d done over the years. Nobody expected them to ever live or come back. But the reality of the organization had spent 25 years practicing. And I think, as real estate people, sometimes we want that shortcut, because we all cheated in high school or maybe even college. I know, I did. You know, we’ve had a lot of success. And you know, you’ve, you might have been lucky a lot, but the real deal is, man, you know, growing a business is hard. Finding deals is hard and sticking to it, maybe working for six months without results. That’s what’s required to start really making the big money.
Sean O’Toole 23:41
Right, right. And, you know, so really, probably before they’re even working with you, they need to have gone through a little bit of that school of hard knocks at least right made enough phone calls so they understand and they can teach your folks. You know, the keys in terms of the offer or whatever that playbook is that’s pitching, pitching their offer their business.
Daniel Ramsey 24:09
I love this is the data-driven podcast. So I really want to help your audience with what works in the ISA world. So if you’re let’s focus on the process to making phone calls for investor deals. And I’ll try to give you guys some context, because we have about 2,500 to 3,000 people who this is their job. They’ve been prospecting. Yeah, all day and spreadsheets. We I could get you guys cross-eyed right now if we shared some spreadsheets, right? But here’s the thing, you want to have a program. So if you’re you’re listening right now and you’re considering outsourcing your prospecting. These are some of the basics you have to have a program. So in Sacramento, there’s a guy His name’s Paul Blonko. And I’m not advertising for him but he has the Fresh Start Program. So, no matter what your credit is, you can get a car at low payments and a good quality pre-certified car right he has the Fresh Start Program. So in the real estate world, you might have the you know, get cash now program or you know, whatever it is in terms of a business, but you have to have a program you have to articulate the value of that program. Then you have to articulate who would be a potential buyer or seller of that of that product or service, right.
Sean O’Toole 25:29
Ideally, it’s a little bit differentiated in the market.
Daniel Ramsey 25:32
And it might be specific to an area to I mean, where you’re at in Truckee, California is a big resort area. Most of the population doesn’t live there. We come in on the weekend, right? So you have a different it’s a different kind of call if they’re non-occupied owners that you know don’t live there. You have a different kind of conversation. So you might have a you know, get out of town program, whatever have a program, articulate who they are. Be specific about what the offer is, right? Agents are like, well, if you want to buy or sell , maybe. You know? If you’re cold calling to list without a program, you know, the success ratios like one in 5000 you’re gonna have to talk to 5000 people. You know,
Sean O’Toole 26:19
it just goes y’all sell to whoever you are on the end of the phone, right? Like, it’s not a high odds business.
Daniel Ramsey 26:26
No. So, you know, so those are some of the things and then, you know, initial calls, I’m, I’m not really a big, you know, hard sale person, there has to be a reason. So your platform to help them understand, you know, having a change in life or a change in situation or, you know, a death or something happening inside of the property that gives us a reason to call. That’s always better.
Sean O’Toole 26:49
Specific setting. Yeah, right. Very specific reason. Like, yeah, something specific about that property. So one of the things you know, that everybody’s like, Oh, do you have an absentee owner list and we’re like, Yeah, we have but that’s not what you want, right? Like, we’ve got the data, you know, which is kind of the peanut butter right of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. You got to bring some chocolate, right? You got to bring something, something special that when the two together it’s amazing, right? But I’m just buying lists, you can buy a list anywhere you know it, you know, what we specialize in? Is that 200 criteria so you can match up that list to whatever chocolate you’re bringing to the table your program.
Daniel Ramsey 27:31
Yep, exactly. I love how you say that. My programs chocolate.
Sean O’Toole 27:35
I like chocolate. Yeah, we’re tempted to be the chocolate but we decided we’re just the peanut butter man. Yeah.
Daniel Ramsey 27:43
Well, peanut butter is nice too. Back to the so people screw up when they hire an ISA. And then they don’t give them objection handlers. Like somebody says, Oh, I’m not interested in selling. You know? Well, what do you say? Somebody says you know, I just bought this house, why are you calling me? What are you going to say, you know, and so you have to document your objection handlers. And then you know, another piece is there needs to be a value proposition. Well, I buy houses, you know, I buy houses in your neighborhood is not a value proposition to the seller. You know, you have to find out what’s important to them, and then have a program that specifically fills their niche need. So one of my favorite things is folks that go after divorce. Well, it’s a specialty to go after divorce, you know, clients, it’s a specialty to go after. Yeah, it’s super hard. And it’s a long game. Right? It probates another example, you know, you know, second homeowners, you know, people that own vacation homes, that’s a whole nother game. And so, you want to have, you want to have a value that that entire population needs in your articulated conversation with a prospective lead. You want to have a website? I don’t. Every time I ask an investor, it’s so weird to me. They’re like, Oh, I don’t want to I don’t want them to know who I am like, do you want to be in business? Like, it’s like, you don’t want a website? I mean, why would you know? Why would you not want a website to communicate to people, the value that you bring to them and to garner referrals and to be a legitimate business, you know, like, you should have a website, you know, you should have a way for people to verify, verify and validate who you are, when you’re calling them, you know. A phone system, you know, one of the major mistakes people have is, what do you mean, I have to have a phone system, and I’m like, well, your outsourced person, your virtual assistant, they need to be on your phone system. It needs to look like it’s a call from Truckee or from Sacramento. If you’re in Sacramento. It can’t come from a New York number or a Florida numbers.
Sean O’Toole 29:57
That’s way easier to do today. Pretty easy for folks in the Philippines to call looking like they’re coming from Truckee.
Daniel Ramsey 30:02
Yeah, which is really, really awesome. But here’s another thing, you want to have an if you’re listening right now, and I’m sorry, I’m just spewing, but these are all the best practices. So this doesn’t ensure success, it just ups the odds that you’re gonna have success. We’d like a call recording. So every call that goes out, has a back end, where you can click and listen to the call and coach your person. Like,
Sean O’Toole 30:28
Right. Right. So the more you put in, right to getting that person trained and working and go in and the more feedback you give them, the better they’ll do going forward and the better your results will be.
Daniel Ramsey 30:41
Well, and here’s the thing, if you’re having a specialty if your chocolate is different for every Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, then you’ve got a lot of different things to coach on, because you might be calling on a certain population one day and another population another day and you want to have a different script because there’s a different view. a proposition to different people. And so managing that requires consistent feedback loops with your people. So a lot of our folks are doing daily huddles where they’re just talking through and role-playing 15-20 minutes in the morning after they’re trained. That’s all you got to do. In the beginning, it takes about 90 days to get somebody up to speed to do this job right.
Sean O’Toole 31:22
Yeah. Right. And that’s, I mean, it’s the same thing if you hire somebody here, right? It takes 90 days to get somebody up to speed and understand what you’re doing and the rest and that’s, that’s just that’s just being a business.
Daniel Ramsey 31:33
Yeah. And you know, it’s fun is once you’ve systematized this, once you’ve hired the person and train them, you can pretty much delegate all the first contact and their job in my in our world, their job is not to make a deal on the phone. It’s just to get the expert on the phone or in a in person meeting. So I show up, you know, your person, your virtual Assistant is making the call confirming that they are interested confirming what their stats are their reason. Here’s a big one timeframe and motivation. Those are the only two things that matter in the prospecting game when you’re calling on houses, right? So what’s their timeframe? When do they need to get out? And why are they wanting to get out? And if you capture those two things, everything else doesn’t matter. And so coaching around how to get that out of somebody is a really big deal.
Sean O’Toole 32:30
Yeah, right. That’s, that’s the data driven part that gives you a chance to come in and actually close the deal. Because if you can answer that, why, right? And help them with solve that problem, then you get a much better chance of doing a deal. So one of the things that, you know, I’ve always coached folks on the real estate investing side, right? Like, you got to go in with your listening ears on, you know, more than your talking side, right. And if at the end of the day, you don’t understand that person’s problem, you’re never going to solve it.
Daniel Ramsey 32:58
Yep. And what I love I what I love about that two person approach too, is if you go to, I mean everybody on this thing, if you’ve ever bought a car, there’s always a guy who walks out to the car lot and shows you the car. And then he goes, Hey, let me get my boss and then he walks away and he brings the boss because the boss is the closer. That’s your role. But you don’t have to be the person that goes out to the dealer, you know, on the on the Hot tarmac at 100 degrees, sweating talking about these five different cars. That’s not your job, your highest and best use is closing deals and once you close deals, getting them renovated and back on the market or renovated and leased out. So our whole world is just helping investors, business owners people buy some of their time back.
Sean O’Toole 33:48
Okay, and you’re using systems here and you’re using everything from I imagine high priced CRM systems to whatever the client is bringing their right and down to spreadsheets itself. Sounds like as well.
Daniel Ramsey 34:01
Sean O’Toole 34:01
Yeah. In cases so. And what do you see there? Like, is it size of company that starts getting into CRMs? And those kinds of things? Is it? sophistication? Maybe…
Daniel Ramsey 34:15
You know, yeah, the funniest thing is I talked to a longtime client, he’s been with us since like, 2011 or something. And he’s in LA. And, you know, he, he still runs everything on a spreadsheet. And it’s wild to me, because that’s not how I would do it, because it’s very complicated. He has this. I mean, he was showing me the spreadsheet and and it was like, okay, move this lead to this tab. And when it’s like this, you got to mark it like that if it’s this kind of a lead, and it was, like all convoluted. But here’s the thing. The only effect was it took longer to hire, it took longer to basically train up a person. Yeah. But the spreadsheet, in effect was a system and a process. It was just complicated. So it’s harder to learn. But the fact is he had a process. He had scripts in there, he had different lead types in there. He had motivation and timeframe in there. He had, you know, instruction manuals, basically how to handle and how to pull leads. I mean, he had everything. And so when he’s showing me it on spreadsheet, I’m thinking, well, I understand why he hasn’t on a spreadsheet, because in order to buy a CRM, and then custom program it to do all the things that he’s just doing in Excel, it’d be very expensive, and the market could shift and those leads could go away. So he manages everything in a spreadsheet. It’s not, you know, a system and a process could be just a check sheet on paper. It could be boxes in your office and you’re moving paper from one box to the next box. It doesn’t. I mean, that’s not perfect for a virtual assistant to use. But at least you have one.
Sean O’Toole 35:56
The guy who taught me the foreclosure business, right, yeah, trustees sale. He had a shoebox, you have to go out with a Polaroid camera, take photos of properties, right? You do a title research and put the notes on the back of the Polaroid. Yeah. And in the shoe box, there was dividers for each day of the month because you know, the properties are scheduled for sale on a particular day. Yeah. So when he gets the day, he’s got his Polaroids with his notes for every property being called for auction. And then it got postponed, he moves it to the new day, and it cancelled, he puts it in the in the canceled file and that, you know, ran his whole box in a shoe box and Polaroid. So what was this system? It was a process and it worked.
Daniel Ramsey 36:36
Yeah. And that’s exactly my point is that it’s the people who want to buy their way. And my favorite analogy, if you’re listening right now, is I don’t hitchhike in somebody else’s car ever. Like, I never pay another third party to call my leads. I don’t buy leads from a third party. I’m always developing my own I’m always developing my own lead list. I’m always calling my own leads. I’m always doing it in house because I just don’t believe in buying your way into scaling a company. So, it’s, it’s, it’s my favorite line. No hitchhiking in somebody else’s car.
Sean O’Toole 37:17
No hitchhiking in somebody else’s car. Yeah. Um, so, yeah, I totally get it. Um, we talked to you know, we’re talking quite a bit about prospecting. Yep. Um, you know, I do think you know, one of the things that we talk to our real estate investor or realtor or mortgage customers right now, Aaron is doing another one of these podcasts with a gal from IBM, who did a lot of research around. You know, how many touchpoints right in the old days like the direct mail, direct mail Handbook, which is this amazing book about this thick that, you know, I read, I think in the 80s, not how to do direct mail. You know, was saying how important it was not just to send one postcard, you really need to descend three postcards in order to get a response. Yep. And of course, in these days with digital, you know, she was saying is something now like 28 impressions, right before you should expect somebody to respond to your offer? Right. And this is something we really try to get across to new folks coming into the real estate business is, look, you’ve got to get in front of that person 28 times to say, before they’re going to respond. Now, that’s not always true. But it’s better to start thinking at that scale. And so, you know, take a list from PropertyRadar and use it as a custom audience in online ads, right? Yep. Think about email, but it’s not one and do the direct mail and do it’s like you’ve got to be hitting multiple things. And it’s a bunch of work. And I would think marketing is another place where you guys are probably how helping out a lot, building those audiences and making those touchpoints is and keeping stuff out there regularly.
Daniel Ramsey 38:19
Mmhmm. I love what you’re saying because, you know, even in my own business, you know, we’re hitting people with Facebook and Google ads or sending emails, we’ve got a newsletter, we’re sending text messages, or we’re pushing our content out every single day on social media. So, you know, investors, you know, business owners, this is the game that we’re in now. And with this Coronavirus thing, everything is switched from Digital. You know, printers print is just, it’s there and it’s it’s another tool to add and paid is there and it’s another tool to add. But referrals are a big deal. People that you know are a big deal. Your neighborhoods a big deal your networks a big deal. And I always encourage people to start, start at the top the thing that has always generated the most business for You and then add once that’s going add the next one then once that’s going add the next one. And so that’s kind of one of the challenges that people have is like, well, what would I post on social media? What are your clients care about? What are the people that sell you homes? What are the problems that they have? And so our virtual assistants can help you know, even just be a marketing coordinator for your business just to make sure your message is getting out and make sure people are getting connected to you on social media.
Sean O’Toole 40:30
I thought it was so cool that you are having them read like local newspaper and stuff, right? So you know, these folks are smart enough to be going in and looking at what might be a value in the local news and and little bits, topical locally, maybe even make a list of suggestions to you of things that you go Yeah, you know what, that’s a great story. Let’s, let’s talk about that with our folks.
Daniel Ramsey 40:54
Well, what’s funny is that it’s smoky in California right now. So you know, an easy You know, openers, hey, how’s What? How smoky? Is it outside for you right now? You know, like, if you’re in Northern California, you’re there’s some level of smoke outside. So if your virtual assistant knows that, and then can incorporate that into a framework, and maybe even into some of your marketing, you know, like, that’s how that’s how you really build programs and systems is, you know, really, marketing is all about keeping current with what’s happening right now. You know, are you tired of the riots? Are you tired of the locusts? Are you tired of the floods? Are you tired of the fires? Are you tired of Coronavirus? You want to get out? I help people get out. You know,
Sean O’Toole 41:39
Kind of escaping taxes in California.
Daniel Ramsey 41:42
That’s another thing. You know, we have an escape tax plan. You might be a candidate because I see that you don’t actually live here full time. You know? My, that might be I think we just created a new framework for people and you’re using your service right there.
Sean O’Toole 41:59
Yeah, no, there’s a lot around that, you know, like, there’s little niche ones that people don’t know about, like the ability to move your tax basis. So you’re in the Bay Area, you’re an expensive home, but you’ve been there for 20 years. So you have a low property tax. Yep, you can actually keep that property tax low moved to an area where more homes are a quarter of the price. Put a million bucks in the bank. Yeah, and keep your low property taxes. It’s amazing, right? So there’s all these little niche things that you can go out and target. And that’s where having hundreds of criteria is important. Because again, you know, you need that data there to go find those things. But you’ve got to bring that chocolate that idea to the, to the table, both to the marketing and to the and to the prospecting.
Daniel Ramsey 42:47
Maybe we should call this episode, bring the chocolate.
Sean O’Toole 42:51
Bring the chocolate for sure. It’s super important. Well, it’s interesting to hear though, right? Like how important it is. You know that you see that over? And I mean, it’s something we’ve believed for a long time. And it’s something we see in the customers that are successful or not. But I mean, you see it at a hole, because we’re just at the end of the day, we’re handing them a peanut butter. They use it however they use it. Right? Right, you’re seeing a different level, because now they’re passing that peanut butter on to you the data and say, hey, go call this list. Yeah, you’re actually making those phone calls. And so you’re seeing it a different level than we are because you’re getting either the hang up or the engagement. Right? Well, I’m doing that for the customer.
Daniel Ramsey 43:34
Well, here’s the thing and that’s why I’m harping on the system and process being so important and having a program in place, right? And one of the things that I’m on a call with a group in Atlanta and they do a ton of training, I’m talking about thousands of transactions a year this group in Atlanta, and you know, they were having challenges with their show-up ratio, so they book an appointment, and then they’d have only 30% people show up. And so I started asking questions like, Hey, what’s your tie-down? Once you once you make an appointment, what’s your tie down? And they’re like, what’s, what’s a tie-down? I’m like, Well, great. I’ll help you with the tie-down. Hey, Daniels, you know, time is really important. I want to make sure I get this on your calendar, or using Google or Outlook? Like, how would I get this on your calendar? So you don’t forget the appointment? Do you mind if I text you the morning of so that, you know, you’re reminded? And so there are all these tricks? Yeah. And you could confirm the appointment the day of and so, you know, there’s all these tricks to get a Sharpe ratio higher. Well, we also added some stuff into their program because their program lacked the value for the end-user. Like they were our, you know, they were articulating. Like why it was good to work with them. And they articulating what they did, but they weren’t articulating the value that the end-user got from meeting with him in the calls. So all these things are just little tweaks. So people have more success with prospecting. And they’re freaking hard. They’re hard.
Sean O’Toole 45:07
Daniel Ramsey 45:08
Because you got to describe yourself and the way you’re in business to help other people.
Sean O’Toole 45:13
Right? Yeah, no, no, the chocolate pieces, you know, we talk about it, like, it’s so easy, but it is really hard to come up with, you know, what’s your differentiator? What do you do differently? Right? And, you know, just attending a class where some guru from Utah said send this postcard isn’t a differentiator.
Daniel Ramsey 45:30
Yeah, well, and a good marketing man, I I can’t tell you how many people who compete with us, this is the funny part. I just found a website where they literally cut copied and pasted our website onto their URL. And I can’t tell you how many people pretend to do all the things that we do. Right? They just put it on their website, you know, as if they do it. But I mean, we’re, we’re organized in the Philippines. So we’re a corporation over there. We have a US-based staff that interviews every single person prior to you actually doing it. There’s somebody who’s like, you know, she has a master’s in this stuff, so, and you met her Megan, she’s like, sanely, she’s insanely good. So every single person that gets hired, and last month, we hired 98 people. We helped 98 people get jobs here at MyOutDesk, and helped investors and business owners, you know, grow their business with through leverage. And so every single one of those people, we did an FBI gray background check. We did multiple round interviews, we’re checking their internet and making sure they have enough speed at their home, that their equipment is new. So they show up on day one, and they’re ready to work. But we can’t do the hard work, which is building the chocolate system in process. You know, that’s, that’s on the entrepreneur. But we do have this guide, Sean, and I don’t know, I think we’re at that point where we might want to give this away, huh?
Sean O’Toole 45:30
Yeah, let’s do it.
Daniel Ramsey 45:49
Alright, so if you’re listening out What this is, you know, the I, we, and they, it’s the seven-figure business roadmap that we wrote. And it basically in that map, it breaks down all the things you have to do in order to actually grow and scale. And then it has different sections and what your challenges are what you have to focus on. So it has everything that you need in order to really consider leverage and hiring a virtual professional to help your business grow and scale. So I put 13 years 6,000 clients, my heart and soul into this book.
Sean O’Toole 47:28
So I read it, and it’s good business advice, even if you aren’t going to hire a virtual assistant, right? It’s, it’s there’s a lot of good stuff in there to help you grow as an entrepreneur as somebody who wants to be serious a business and grow your business. And I think it’s necessary yet and a required step in order to actually start to deploy virtual assistants, virtual professionals. But I think everybody will benefit from it.
Daniel Ramsey 47:57
Well, and it was a quick read, right? I mean, you knocked it out. And then a couple hours, I mean, I mean, it’s just a super easy read. And when you get the book, we’ll give you a call and we’ll go through a consultation. So if you’re having an interest in actually hiring a virtual assistant, then we’ll walk you through how to do that. But in order to get a copy, you just want to text this number, the number to text is 31996. And then in the message part, you put SVP, so Sam, Victor, Paul, in the message part, and then everything that we covered today about prospecting, marketing, like how to build it’s all in there. So you don’t have to, you know, take mad notes. As you’re listening to this, you can actually get a copy and then right on the book, it’s meant to be a kind of a workbook kind of thing as you implement virtual professionals. But again, the number to text is 31996. The letters to text the message is Sam Victor Paul. So it’s scale with virtual professionals SVP, and you’ll get it copy of the book for free.
Sean O’Toole 49:01
Awesome. I appreciate that. Asked like, you know, so we’ve covered a lot of stuff like for somebody, you know, a Realtor, real estate investor, let’s stick to those two. Yep. Right, just getting started maybe doesn’t have the budget for a virtual professional right. So let’s dial it back a little bit for that person not quite ready for this? Yeah. What’s your best piece of advice for them to get maybe from the eye to the we, right? Like to transition at that level?
Daniel Ramsey 49:39
Yep. Well, your first hire is always your CRM, and integrated, you know, with the right data. I’m a big fan of hiring a CRM so it can kind of keep your follow up task and kind of keep your contact list in order. You know, after that your first hire as an administrative assistant, like if you’re making any kind of revenue. There’s always in real estate, we have this concept of highest and best use. Like, you know, you buy a corner lot and there’s a lot of visibility there. You want to put a gas station or a hotel or a restaurant or a drive-in, you know, something, something that makes sense
Sean O’Toole 50:15
Just for a corner. Right? Exactly. Leverage corner,
Daniel Ramsey 50:19
Right, and as an entrepreneur, that same advice exists in your day to day. So think about the things what where do you make the most money in your business? You know, whether it’s talking to customers, building relationships, you know, you know, finding deals, where do you add the most money to your bank account? And then figure out the rest of your day, like figure out what are you doing for the rest of the day and try to give that piece away, so that you have this singular focus of just driving revenue, adding value for your business? If dude, ignore everything I said, Today if you just focus on your highest and best use as a entrepreneur as a business, This owner that will help you grow.
Sean O’Toole 51:01
What’s the one thing you do? Right that that sets you apart and it makes you money and that helps and focus on that one thing and, and you’ll be a lot better off. Well, Daniel, awesome having you with us here today on the Data Driven Real Estate Podcasts. Glad to give everybody a little taste of virtual professionals like a lot of people, you know, maybe they’ve seen the Tim Ferriss book or other things and you hear about it, no, people are doing it, but it feels so kind of out there and unreachable. So hopefully we brought that in a little bit closer. We’ll see if our number of virtual professionals logging into property radar everyday goes up after this. I will. Certainly a lot of them. And yeah, thanks again for being here with us. Really appreciate it.
Daniel Ramsey 51:49
Yeah, Sean, thanks for having me. It’s been a lot of fun.
Aaron Norris 51:52
Thank you for listening to the Data Driven Real Estate Podcast. You can find show notes and links to some of the resources mentioned in the show at datarealestate.com, click that join the community. And you’ll be forwarded to the PropertyRadar community where you can ask questions about the current show and even see upcoming guests and ask questions there. We’d love to engage with you in the community. So check it out. Please don’t forget to like, favorite, subscribe and share on your favorite platform where you’re listening to the show. It helps us out a great deal. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.