Guest: Brett Russo
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Brett Russo is a licensed Real Estate Agent on the Gold Coast with over 15 years experience and have an outsourcing company based in the Philippines specialising in providing trained Virtual Assistants for Real Estate Agents and Agencies.
Segment overview: Outsource Workers is an Australian based company that specialises in providing fully trained virtual assistants based in the Philippines for Australian and New Zealand Real Estate Agencies and Agents. Outsource Workers is an innovative and service oriented company that exists to develop and deliver constantly evolving outsourcing solutions which contribute substantially to their clients’ success.
Australia – PO Box 269, Mermaid Beach, Qld 4218
Philippines – Philexel Business Centre, Roxas Highway, Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines
Contact: (INT’L) 1300 727 147
Transcript – Outsource Workers
Henry Acosta: Hi, this is the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast with Henry Acosta. Joining us today is Brett Russo. Brett has 15 years of experience as a licensed real estate agent from Gold Coast Australia. Six years ago, he started outsourcing in the Philippines and right now, he has a company called, ‘Outsource Workers’. He’s currently running it and helping out other real estate agents in Australia. With that, welcome to the show Brett. Thank you for coming.
Brett Russo: Thank you Henry. Thank you for inviting me on your show.
Henry Acosta: To kick things off, I just wanted to ask, what got you into outsourcing?
Brett Russo: Yes, good question Henry. Like most real estate agents, always getting bogged down in back office admin work and a friend of mine introduced me to the possibility of outsourcing that work to someone overseas. For me, that was something new and so I got myself a virtual assistant and she’s still with me today 6 years later. I very slowly started delegating more and more work to her and yes, it really lightened my load and enabled me to focus on dollar productive activities instead of the back office admin.
Henry Acosta: Awesome. Since you started outsourcing or since you used the service, what got you into making your own company?
Brett Russo: Basically my virtual assistant, she’s really, really good and she’s an absolute superstar. The reason she’s so good is I’ve spent, I guess hundreds of hours over the years training her and setting up systems. I always telling a couple of colleagues of mine how good she was and these colleagues of mine asked if I could help find some virtual assistants for them. So I did. I’ve got my virtual assistant. I’ve found some staff with similar skills as what she had and she gave them basic training. We handed over them to my friends and all my colleagues and things went really, really well for them and then I started having more and more people asking me. I guess that’s how Outsource Workers was formed by this demand of people wanting to replicate the success that I achieved.
Henry Acosta: I see. What does Outsource Workers or what do you guys offer to clients?
Brett Russo: Basically what we do, I guess initially when a client makes an inquiry, they speak with me. I try to find out, firstly, if they have a need and we try to identify some potential tasks that they have in their business that can be outsourced to someone in the Philippines. So together, we unearth those tasks and we come with a list. Then I speak about the pros and the cons and the do’s and dont’s on how to manage and communicate with the virtual assistant. From there, we then go out and recruit, and train the appropriate person. We then give the client and the virtual assistant nurturing especially during those early stages to ensure it’s a success for everybody involved
Henry Acosta: With regards to your clients, how do you usually get your clients? Is it through recommendations? Or people actually just go to your website already?
Brett Russo: Probably, a bit of combination of both. We get a lot of referrals. Referrals are great. We also do get a lot of people going to our website and we’re also quite strong on the social media channel. We’re always publishing content and trying to improve our brand. That seems to be working well.
Henry Acosta: Can you tell a little bit more about clients, what would be your most ideal client?
Brett Russo: We specialize in real estate agents. Most of our clients are from Australia and New Zealand. But we do have other clients from other parts of the world, we’ve got quite a few clients in America, Canada and the United Kingdom. Generally, our clients are either real agents … or owners of agencies, or quite often we have people involved in the property management department of agencies that are looking to outsource.
Henry Acosta: How did you come across the Philippines as a place for outsourcing? Since there’s a lot of other countries that offer maybe the same services like India. How did you come across the Philippines and what it makes it different?
Brett Russo: I think, I got a little bit lucky initially that I started with the Philippines. That was definitely a blessing. Since then, I have outsourced to lots of different countries. But I keep coming back to the Philippines. Firstly, Filipinos are just great to deal with and they’re always happy and smiling. But also, their cultures and values are very similar to us. In regards to communication we find that the accents are very easy to relate to. Also that the timezone is very favorable for us, most certainly here in Australia in a way. The Philippines is only two hours behind Australia so our Filipino staff love working for Australian clients because they get to work at dayshift.
Henry Acosta: With clients let’s say, they are starting on the Philippines, what would be your best advice for them on what to expect when they start outsourcing?
Brett Russo: Another real good question Henry. I think, we’ve got clients that are getting good results and then we’re getting some clients that are getting exceptional results. The clients that are getting the exceptional results are the clients that have really invested time in their virtual assistants and build up a relationship. I really recommend to all our new clients coming on-board. They really spend the time to get to know their virtual assistant and teach them, continue to spend time with them, upskilling them and teaching them new tasks in their business. We’ve got quite a few clients fly over to the Philippines and spend time at our office with their virtual assistants. We’ve also had quite a few clients fly their virtual assistants over here to Australia to spend time in their offices over here and undertake further training. Those things really do help cement and establish right relationships.
Henry Acosta: Wow. With regards to you and our listeners right now, would you ever recommend potential clients to fly over to the Philippines and experience it first?
Brett Russo: Yes. Exactly, we got some clients visiting our office on Monday to tour our office and spend some time with my recruitment team and Head of Operations to see how we operate before making these decisions. We certainly encourage that.
Henry Acosta: Awesome. What are the most common misconceptions that you usually get asked about with regards to Filipinos and the Philippines?
Brett Russo: I think a lot of people are unaware of how skillful our virtual assistants are. I say to our clients that there’s really not much that our VAs can’t do, if it’s a computer-based task, especially if it’s repetitive and there’s a system behind it. I think a lot of our clients are very pleasantly surprised at how good the virtual assistants are and how quickly that they learn.
Henry Acosta: What would be your main takeaway message for all our listeners right now?
Brett Russo: I would probably say that success usually comes down to client as opposed to the virtual assistant. The clients really do need to invest and think of having a virtual assistant as a long term solution. I think I mentioned earlier, I’ve had my virtual assistant now for 6 years and when somebody has been in your business that long, you form a great relationship and there’s really not much that they can’t do in your business after 6 years. I do recommend clients do take that long term view and really invest the time into their virtual assistant. And really just treat them as an integral member of their team.
Henry Acosta: That sounds great. For those interested in looking into Outsource Workers and maybe even getting in touch with you, either maybe potential virtual assistants or even potential clients, how can they reach out to you?
Brett Russo: The best thing to do is visit our website which is www.outsourceworkers.com.au. All our contact details are there. We’d certainly encourage any virtual assistants who might be interested to apply, to email through their resumes and certainly any clients that might be interested in knowing a bit more, we certainly encourage them to either call through or send an email and we’ll certainly be in touch.
Henry Acosta: Where can they physically find your offices in the Philippines and in Australia?
Brett Russo: Sure. In Australia, we’re based on the Gold Coast of Australia. In the Philippines, we based in Clark, in the Philexcel Center.
Henry Acosta: Awesome. Well that’s all our questions for today and thank you so much for getting on the show.
Brett Russo: Fantastic Henry, I really appreciate the opportunity.
Henry Acosta: And that was Brett Russo, the Founder of Outsource Workers. We just finished talking about Outsource Workers and how he helps out real estate agents. If you want to learn about Outsource Workers, you can go on www.outsourceworkers.com.au. If you want to listen to more podcasts and know more about the ins and outs of the BPO industry, you can go to www.offshoring.com.ph. We’re also available on SoundCloud and iTunes. You’ve been listening to the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast with Henry Acosta.