Don’t Amplify Your Weaknesses

Don’t amplify your Weaknesses – but you must understand them (then delegate them)

Do you know what your strengths are? Equally, or perhaps more importantly, do you know what your weaknesses are? It’s hard for most people to acknowledge their weaknesses publicly, and even harder to acknowledge them to themselves. This, however, is critical for success. Even if you don’t want to publicly state your weaknesses for fear of losing face or credibility, you do considerable damage by deluding yourself.

Don't Amplify Your Weaknesses | Outsource Hub

Those brave few who do acknowledge their own weaknesses often make the mistake of trying to work on their weaknesses — which works in some instances, but in others it backfires and creates an even bigger hindrance to your overall success. If you follow my blog posts, you’ll notice a common theme and that is that I’m a firm believer that everyone is unique – so some of you are capable of powering through your own weaknesses and making them strengths, while others will never overcome them (or at least waste considerable time trying to do so). Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely admirable to try to turn a weakness into a strength, especially when that weakness is critical to your business’ success (for example, sales calls and negotiations). And you should never give up on working on your weaknesses, but you must understand what they are and decide if you need someone else to help you with them.
you should never give up on working on your weaknesses, but you must understand what they are and decide if you need someone else to help you with them

So first – identify your weaknesses. Then, determine if those weaknesses are vital to your business. Lastly, figure out if those weaknesses can be delegated or outsourced to folks better than you at those items. Keep working on improving those weaknesses without letting them be a hindrance to your business success, knowing that the right systems and tools are in place so that you are not stuck.

Are you one of those real estate investors who is still generating your own FSBO leads? We got a solution for you!

Check out our Lean, Mean Lead Gen Machine and get help from a Professional Real Estate VA with this routine task

Outsourcing 101: Why and When Real Estate Investors do it and Who needs it?

Outsourcing (by Wikipedia) – in business, outsourcing involves the contracting out of a business process to another party…and includes both foreign and domestic contracting, and sometimes includes offshoring (relocating a business function to another country).

For real estate investors most common is to hire Filipino workers for lower that American wage and delegate daily tasks that can be done remotely like data entry, seller calls, social media management and more. Outsourcing doesn’t always involve hiring a foreign virtual assistant (VA), it also encompasses hiring local people to help put out bandit signs, prepare mailers and more sophisticated investors even have folks to go to appointments and handle their sales department. This is all part of outsourcing.

Here is a quick Slideshare we’ve put together for you with the 10 tasks for Real Estate Investors to Outsource.


Outsource Hub's Favorite Summer #Quotes for you to share on #SocialMedia Profiles like #Facebook to inspire your friends and colleaguesOften times real estate investors have to wear multiple hats in their business. Especially when we first start out and have not yet built a good support team, there is simply too much to handle. And certain tasks like scouting for FSBO leads, preparing mailers for the next mailing campaign or putting out road (bandit) signs are time consuming and have to be done very often – up to a few times a week.

That’s why it just makes sense to get help, local and virtual, and the faster you realize it, the quicker you can grow. But please,

Read this article to know what 3 Questions to ask yourself before you say the “O” word.


How do you know it’s time for you to start outsourcing?

We see too many people get seduced by fancy word “outsourcing” and jump into hiring a virtual assistant because it’s cheap or looking for other help because “CEO is not supposed to do thatOutsource Hub's Favorite Summer #Quotes for you to share on #SocialMedia Profiles like #Facebook to inspire your friends and colleagues. However those are not the best reasons and I believe it’s best to start outsourcing those tasks that you have done and hopefully mastered, so you can explain it to your new team member and be able to manage them afterwards. Even putting out bandit signs, I suggest you do it yourself once or twice to realize how much time it takes and how quickly they get pulled out so you know what to expect and require from your workers. The best time to start outsourcing is when you have a good plan of what you want to achieve with your marketing campaign (we’ll talk about marketing plan and budget in the later videos) and when you outline your budget how much you can afford to spend weekly/monthly so you don’t run out of funds before sending out that mailing campaign. So:

Learn your tasks >> Outline marketing plan and budget >> Outsource


Outsourcing 101: Part 1 – Why and When Real Estate Investors do it and Who needs it?Are you the right person to be outsourcing? As crazy as it may sound, not everyone should do it! Why? Because besides the steps in the previous paragraph, the fun part begins when you actually hired your helpers. Are you ready to train your team members, can you manage them on a daily basis, can you tweak and adjust their tasks? Outsourcing does not mean “stop working yourself”, it means more responsibility and more free time for other things. Are you ready for that? I believe you need to be a smart leader, first of all, and be able to fulfill these requirements to be able to sort through the bad hires (and you WILL have plenty of those) and spot the great team members even when they are not yet rocking your new task. Maybe even babysit at first, so they don’t screw up. You gotta be patient, and be able to follow your own plan if you want this to work out for you. And even then, be prepared to waste some money on bad hires, wrong marketing campaigns and other unexpected by newbie investors things.

Good luck and here is to your outsourcing success

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3 Questions to ask yourself before you say the “O” word

3 questions to ask yourself before you say the "O" word

Everyone wants to outsource. It’s the famous buzzword that every entrepreneur hears makes the difference in facilitating their success, while giving them more time back in their life. Heck, it is in the name of our company – Outsource Hub. I’m writing this not to teach you how to outsource, or explain how outsourcing works (that is the mission of Outsource Hub), but to talk about what you need to know before you even say the “O” word.

Fact: Not everyone should, or is ready to outsource

1. Where are you with your business?
2. How much do you know about your industry?
3. And most importantly, do you understand what your roles are once you start outsourcing?


This isn’t to say you need to have tons of experience behind you, and be an industry leader in order to start outsourcing. Yes, experience does count for a lot. But experience isn’t only measured in months or years. What I’m talking about is having a command of your industry. You cannot outsource what you have not done yourself before. This is so important. Perhaps one of the most desirable parts about outsourcing is that you can now delegate the tasks that you hated the most. Perhaps it’s calling prospects, or researching for prospects online. But if the things you hated doing are vital to your business success, don’t you think it’s important to have the experience doing it before you delegate it? Because your virtual assistant (VA) may be better at it than you, but it is still your business. I believe it is critical for every business owner to know how every function of his/her business should run, to have been in the trenches to understand what his/her employees are doing on a daily basis.

Adrian quote

Now, you may be saying this isn’t always the case. It depends on what you’re outsourcing of course. In some cases, your VA will be able to do things you never dreamed of doing (such as organizing your emails, creating spreadsheets and other software hacks to make your business more organized and streamlined). Stuff that you have never done, and may never have to do ever. But what I’m talking about are those tasks that are industry-specific, that most business owners feel they can just tell a VA to do and it’ll magically get done. This works in 2 ways – 1) it will enable you to help explain it to your VA better, and 2) should there be any hiccups during the process, you can easily troubleshoot it with your VA.

Finally, you need to understand your role in the process.

Once you’ve decided which tasks you will delegate to your VA, understand that you still have your role to play. Your VA is not a miracle worker and business doesn’t magically happen just because he/she is on board. Think about it this way — if there are 10 things on your plate, your VA may take 7 things off so that you can focus on 3 (either things that you are good at, and/or things that you absolutely need to do that cannot be delegated)… but you still must do those 3 things. A very simple concept, but very important to point out.

Ladies and gentlemen…. let’s get ready to Outsouuuuuuurce!


10 tasks for Real Estate Investors to Outsource

A very common question around new real estate investors, what tasks to outsource. While this really depends on your personality, level of experience and talents, this slideshow represents 10 tasks that are being outsourced very often around those who have established their business or are working towards it.

Please let us know in the comments below what are the tasks you are outsourcing and what you think about this presentation, I’d really appreciate it.

Haven’t hired your VA yet? Check out our previous post How to hire a Virtual Assistant to help with your Real Estate business

Outsourcing Craigslist tasks to an Overseas Virtual Assistant

This is a very frequent topic that has been asked among those real estate investors who post on Craigslist, most notably those who use virtual assistants to post on Craigslist. So this article goes into a fair bit of detail for how to do this as effectively as possible.

Craigslist is a real estate investor’s goldmine, but also the source of many headaches and heartaches. As Craigslist is regulated by the Craigslist community, all bets are off when it comes to what posts remain or get deleted or flagged. [note: this article is written with the assumption that you already know the basics of Craigslist, and instead is going to focus on how to make sure your posts have the best chance of playing by the rules and not getting deleted or flagged as inappropriate].

Here are the main variables that you must take into consideration:

  1. Posting Frequency
  2. What is your ad copy?
  3. Create ‘dummy’ email addresses
  4. Change/Hide your IP Address (for your VA)

Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Posting Frequency

This is the #1 question you must answer for yourself — how frequently are you planning on posting? This by itself will determine how complex your (and your VA’s) posting tasks will be. As a general rule, Craigslist dictates that you should not post in the same section of Craigslist more than twice in a 48 hour period. If you abide by this rule, then it’s very likely that you will not encounter any difficulty. However, even if you abide by these rules, if your ad copy (see #2 below) contains keywords or language that trigger what I like to call “Craigslist Jail”, then your ad could be flagged, removed or ghosted.

However, if you know you will likely need to post more frequently than the Craigslist-recommended guidelines, then you’ll need to come up with a more complex plan. This involves looking at the following variables – #2, 3 and 4 below. Read on for more details on how to do this!

2. Ad Copy

It’s impossible for me to go into the nitty gritty of this, but in general, you’ll probably want to use best practices when coming up with your ad copy. If you really want to be professional, see if you can find a copywriter who can help you with the verbiage for your ads, but in general, there is basic etiquette when posting to Craigslist, and lots of articles in the real estate investing world out there for you to borrow ideas from.

The most important bit of advice I’ll say here is that you should come up with several different examples of ad copy, so that you can rotate your ads/posts for as frequently as you want to post. The reason here is that the Craigslist “bots” out there will probably not pick up on the fact that you have rotating ads out there, instead of the same 1 or 2 ads being copied and pasted over and over and over and over again. Just use a little creativity and create a document (hint: use Google Drive documents for easy sharing with your VA) that has all of your ad copy so that your VA can choose which ads to use and when (see end of article where I talk about creating a schedule for your VA).

3. Create “Dummy” Email Addresses

This is very very important. Create a dummy or throwaway email address, and use it to create your Craigslist account. Always have this dummy email address forward to your main email (or your VA’s email if using a VA) so that the replies can be monitored. The reason for this is two-fold. First, have several of these dummy email addresses and Craigslist accounts so that you can then do multiple posts per day under different accounts to lessen the likelihood of getting flagged (note: this strategy must be combined with #4). And secondly, despite your best efforts following the rules, you may still get flagged — so if you do get flagged and.or your account gets banned by Craigslist, it’s best that this isn’t your personal email account, but instead a dummy account whereby you’d just then need to create a new dummy account, set up the forward to your personal email, and resume with posting on Craigslist.

4. Change/Hide your IP Address

IP stands for Internet Protocol, in this case referring to your Internet Protocol address, which is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network. In layman’s terms, your computer/laptop connected to your home WiFi network has a unique IP address. So even if you create 10 dummy email addresses (as shown in #3), if you do this all from your home computer (or your VA does this from his/her home computer) — it all registers as the same IP address, which Craigslist can pick up on and flag your ads, or worse, block your accounts.

Note here that I’ve heard cases where people feel that using a VA in a foreign country, with a foreign IP address, can lead to instantaneous blocking by Craigslist. This is not entirely accurate. I say not entirely, because remember that Craigslist is community-regulated, so it is very possible that any foreign-based IP address that posts too often will get immediately flagged as violating Craigslist terms. However, it is not a blanket statement, as we have personal experience with foreign VAs doing this with no problems whatsoever. This is why the #1 variable I mentioned in this article was Post Frequency. If you are keeping within the Craigslist regulations, chances are your VA will be OK.

But back to changing or hiding your IP address. There are 2 ways to go about this. You can use web-based IP proxy servers (ex., whereby you can generate a U.S.-based IP address, and then have your VA change his/her browser settings to be configured to display that U.S. IP address.

The 2nd way is to use a VPN service. I’ve found that the paid services out there are more effective than the free ones, but by all means try them out. Your VA will know instantly if it works or not. Examples are, The process is the same, but typically have more reliable IP addresses for your VA to use, and they won’t slow down your browser when used (a problem that may exist with using IP proxy servers).

I apologize if I brutalized the actual tech-terms for these, as I’m not a tech-head by any stretch!! But I do know what works. So if you’re a tech-geek, please don’t crucify me too much in the comments section! 🙂

Creating a Schedule for your VA

Now that I’ve gone through all of the variables, it should be up to you as the boss of your business to create a schedule for your VA to make this work. Your VA is only as strong as the instructions you give him/her.

Start with creating your ad copy — create a document that has at least 3 or 4 variations of your ad copy, and label them (Copy #1, Copy #2, etc.), and share this with your VA.

Then create a spreadsheet template of a Posting Schedule. Train your VA to create a number of dummy email addresses that all get forwarded to your VA’s main email address. You should be OK with just 2 dummy email addresses to start (again, depending on your posting frequency). IF your account gets blocks, then just have your VA create another dummy account, and keep it moving. Then have your VA trained to use IP proxy servers or VPN service as needed, to generate unique U.S. IP addresses. Then here’s the key — the schedule should show how the VA will rotate between using different dummy emails addresses and IP addresses, to sort of play “keep-away” so that it’s much harder for Craigslist to catch on with what you’re doing.

Will this work all the time, everytime? No – this is why I reiterate again that the goal of this is to create a plan for your Craigslist posting. But with this, you won’t sit there crying that your Craigslist account has been blocked, or all of your ads have been flagged, and you don’t know what to do. It can be simple, or it can be complex, but as long as you have a plan, you can go back and tweak it to make it work. Because there’s never a one-size-fits all when it comes to Craigslist posting!

Haven’t hired your VA yet? Check out our previous post How to hire a Virtual Assistant to help with your Real Estate business

How to hire a Virtual Assistant to help with your Real Estate Business

There are a few common questions that we’ve noticed people ask in real estate networking groups and forums regarding Virtual Assistants (VAs):

  • How to hire a VA
  • How to train your new VA
  • What tasks to outsource in your real estate business.

At Outsource Hub, we understand the overwhelm a newbie real estate investor may feel about this topic, as we were once beginners ourselves and have been through all of the struggles associated with this process. And it is the good, the bad and the ugly of working with Virtual Assistants, using agencies to help us source candidates and constantly running into bad hires that inspired our team to put together our own strategy of scouting for great candidates.rsz_outsource_hub_-_3_categories_of_virtual_assistants_2 But before we let you into it, let’s quickly think about what are some tasks that we as real estate investors need help with on a daily basis (here we’ll just talk about tasks that can be done remotely, as there are obviously some tasks where you’ll need local/on-the-ground help).

  • Online lead generation
  • Property marketing
  • Outbound calls
  • Social Media marketing

And here is what we found:

VAs are human! Surprise surprise… What I mean is that they can’t be good at everything you might need done in your business, so we put together this infographic for our categorization of virtual assistants as it relates to real estate industry-related tasks.

We are showing just 3 categories here because these are the essential tasks that most real estate investors are doing. Of course there are other categories that may be important to your business, such as web and graphic design, article writing and so on. Our goal is to share our knowledge and experience about virtual assistants in the real estate niche.


Now lets talk about the actual steps to hiring your virtual assistant by yourself. We say ‘by yourself’ because there are agencies that offer to do it for you and there are a couple of structures that are out there. First, when they just provide you with a candidate and you take it over from there, and second, where they actually stay in the middle and help you rsz_vtss_-_website_[infographic_-_1]_1manage your VA to some extent. It is up to your personality and current situation to dictate which option will work best for you. But first let’s break down those steps of hiring a great VA.

STEP 1. Post an ad on one or few of the following sites:

  • (will cost $20 but you get a wide access to Filipino VAs only and the rates can start from $1/hour *good for beginners, to try and outsource data entry tasks while still learning. And it doesn’t mean you get a bad person, the VA can be a beginner him/herself and still be a fast learner and very bright person)


STEP 2. Read resumes:

  • Of people who are applying to you
  • Of those who have their profiles on the site already – yep, don’t forget about those guys, as you might miss a great candidate that is already working for others and not actively looking to add more hours, but will take them on, if you offer. Like Odesk allow you to search by people by ‘Job Success’ – which means The percentage of a freelancer’s jobs that resulted in a great client experience. Cool, right? So do not miss those candidates!

STEP 3. Give test tasks:

Do not just blindly hire someone because they have an awesome resume! Believe it or not, people lie. We see it way too often when an applicant claims to have experience in Social Media marketing and all that means to them is posting what you told them to post on Facebook… in my book that is NOT experience nor a skill! On the other hand you have those saying they have experience working with real estate investors. This does not mean that you don’t need to train them and explain what you are looking for!

My favorite question is to ask them to describe to me in details what they mean by each experience and skill they claim! But that’s just me.

But back to the tasks! I suggest 2 types of test tasks:

  1. Business related. Meaning that it’s exactly the task you’ll want  them do for you: give the candidate your instructions and have them work for you for one shift. See how they grasp the task, what kind of questions they ask, if they are bright, involved and hardworking, or the opposite? Yeah, you don’t want the opposite.
  2. Non-business related. Let me explain, I want people who are working for me and with me to think outside the box, because… well, because you can’t fit my brain and ideas in a box and sometimes I ask my VAs do things that have nothing to do with their direct tasks but are important for me personally. So I would ask things like recording a video of them doing something. This really helps me to see how well we can communicate and how responsive my candidates are.

STEP 4. Hold interviews:

Note this comes AFTER you have tested their skills. Because most people will fall out after Step 3. So you only talk to 3-5 people who passed your test.

Here are a few technologies you might want to consider to be more efficient with organizing these interviews:

  • If you have a busy schedule and do not have time to go back and force trying to set a time for appointments, setup a Calendly account and invite your candidates to see your availabilities and make an appointment with you.
  • Use Skype or Google Hangout to meet your candidates ‘in person’. Both service are free, so if you don’t have an account, it’s free to sign up. Make sure your potential VA knows you are having a face-to-face call and makes sure to have a working web camera. We find it very important to let people know, because many simply don’t have a webcam on their computers. But if you let them know ahead, they will borrow one from friends and you will have a nice face-to-face chat.
  • Google Spreadsheet – if you don’t have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software), you can just create a simple spreadsheet with few columns with most important things for you so you can keep track of your conversations and your opinion about each candidate. Trust me, it’s easier to take notes as you speak, then try to recreate them later or try to remember what you liked or disliked about one or another candidates. Do they have good eye contact? How are their verbal skills (if it’s important for your task, e.g. Category B of VAs). And simply their name and contact info so you don’t have to go back to the sites you got them from. Include link to the resume for future references.

STEP 5. Hire and start training:

Now we won’t talk about specifics of the training here because that’s a whole other topic. But I would like to make sure I tell you everything I know you’ll need for this step. So pay attention!

  • Choose ONE candidate! Chances are you’ll like 2 or 3 people and will want to keep them all. Set your priorities straight and only take on what you can take on right now! DO not feel obligated to hire all the good guys, keep their info on file and come back to them when you are ready to grow your team, so choose just one for your first time!
  • Discuss payment method. If you are using Odesk, this problem is already solved for you. We use PayPal. Also make sure you discuss WHEN and HOW OFTEN you pay your assistant and stick to it! Sometime that $100 every two weeks seems like a drop in the ocean for an American, but if your Filipino VA is supporting a family, trust me that money is huge for them and they need it on the day you promised, as they get spent before they come in the door! Don’t ever delay your payments!
  • Start by telling your new hire about your business. Who you are, where you are located, what you do, how you do it and share your goals so the VA knows what to expect from you. If you are a real estate investor, you might want to make sure your VA understands also the industry you are in! Give him/her our VA Quickstart Guide to study and test how they understand terms most applicable to their tasks. The VA Guide is FREE, so download it now and use away. We made it for you and your team 🙂
  • Use screensharing tools like: Skype, Google Hangout and to train your assistant. Or record a screencast (Check out a free tool called Jing or go further with Snagit – that’s what we use and love).
  • Communicate well and check performance daily! This is essential especially in the beginning to establish the rules and make sure your VA knows you are watching him/her and doesn’t think about slacking. Have them send you clock-in/clock-out emails, request to record video showing how they do task (no more than 2-5 min, so you can see and make sure they are doing it right).
  • Stay on top. Never neglect your VA, respond to their questions quickly so they can do their best work. Use online chats for that (again Skype, Hangout or even Facebook messenger – whichever you always have on).


Outsource this whole hiring process and go back to money-producing activities. How to save time hiring a virtual assistantAs the example below shows, it takes a couple weeks and in excess of 10 plus hours to hire that one VA. It is up to each business owner to decide where his/her time is best spent.

Our team is offering our services in scouting for your ideal virtual assistant, so you can save time and go straight into the training and not worry about screening and testing candidates. Our promise is to provide you with 3 best candidates we could find that fits your ideal VA description. Your job is to pick one and move on to the training process. As simple as that! Check out this 3-step process infographic to see exactly how our service works! Just order, tell us what you are looking for and pick your VA. We do the rest! If that sounds like a service that would be beneficial to your business, order it here and Virtual Talent Scout Service team will be on it’s way of making this happen for you.

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