Before March 2020 many of us thought there was no way we could do our job in our home office. Maybe because for some of us that home office is our dining room table or a small closet off of the hallway. But mostly because of our need to communicate with our co-workers. Not only did we need to get creative with our space, but we also needed to wrap our minds around the technology that was available to us to work virtually. We are coming up to the 3-year mark of the pandemic and for countless people, our work environment remains in a virtual setting. Hence you are either a virtual professional or the manager of a virtual professional. With 15 years of experience in the virtual assistance realm, MyOutDesk has ironed out all the wrinkles. We can help you save money and time by bringing on a virtual assistant of your own today.

Playing Matchmaker is for the Pros 

You know it’s time for a virtual assistant when you or your office manager spend a large portion of the day staying late to finish the to-do list. The time is now to get help. But you know recruiters are a fortune, recruiting apps are time-consuming, and adding another person to your payroll is almost unmanageable as you try to build your business. Furthermore, you haven’t even mentally touched the idea of the vetting and interviewing process. This activity will be yet another hurdle causing you to pump the brakes on the tasks required to grow your business while finding talent that meets your professional needs.

A True Story

Daniel Ramsey, CEO & Founder of MyOutDesk had the opportunity to interview one of our favorite clients, Laurel Starks, CEO & Founder of Ilumni Institute, and www.getdivorceredcertified.com. We asked Laurel what her thoughts were pre-hiring her first of four virtual assistants, in addition to what she credits to her success. Like so many of us, she had “virtual” concerns. Laurel said “I just couldn’t conceptualize how having an offshore person in another country, in another timezone, speaking another language could be integrated into our company. Now, I literally mean our business couldn’t survive without our virtual assistant team, and I don’t say that lightly.” Laurel also genuinely appreciated the MyOutDesk vetting process! She went on to say, “Having a virtual assistant company who is really good at recruiting their talent, but then also connecting them to the right person and company- being that right matchmaker, that’s very pivotal”.  

MyOutDesk takes pride in finding you the perfect match, their claim to fame is they are a “marriage site, not a dating site.” Let MyOutDesk do all the work for you- the connections, the relationships, the recruiting, and the vetting. The interviewing process is all handled with only the top-tiered talent making their way through to you as a candidate. Most clients say “we could have easily picked all 3 options but had to choose only 1 for our position”. Having three great picks for one position is a good problem to have, wouldn’t you say?

It Works!

Timezone, language, and integration- check! These seem to be the 3 questions on most clients’ minds, pre-MyOutDesk. Rest assured knowing your virtual assistant in the Philippines works your same office hours right along with your team. They join MyOutDesk fluent in English as most Filipinos are, along with a college education and a high level of experience and skill. Lastly, integration; your virtual assistant will go through the same onboarding process as every member of your team has done previously. Once you have dedicated the training effort, you will see how seamlessly they will join your morning meetings and chat with you throughout the day, without skipping a beat. 

Now that you realize how easy it is to start the process, MyOutdesk will be there every step of the way to ensure your success. Once you click here to schedule your consultation, we will provide you with advice on technology that has proven to be successful. In addition to the tools and templates that will guide you on the best way to integrate your virtual assistant. Into your team, and eventually, make them a part of your work family. Your success is our success. Ready set Grow!

Reaping the Benefits of a Virtual Assistant

We often hear “why didn’t I do this sooner”! Let this be one great thing that came out of the pandemic- virtual comfortability. If ever there was a perfect time to go virtual, the time is now in 2022! Enjoy working on the part of your business that you are truly great at, the part that prompted you to start the business initially, and most importantly the parts that scale your brand. Spend more time with your family and your friends. Spend more time focusing on yourself and your health, all, because you are confident that things are getting handled…sometimes even better than if you had done them yourself.  Use the link below to request a consultation with one of our experts. They’ll go over everything you need, including any concerns you have, before pitching an action plan. No obligation, no pressure. We’d just love to hear from you!

Experience The Difference
MyOutDesk can save you up to 70% on employment costs
Claim a free business strategy consultation & ‘Grow Virtual’ Guide

Transcript Of The Full Interview Video Below

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Laurel Starks: The transformation yeah okay i’m excited to talk about how R va team has has.

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Laurel Starks: has done wonders for us i’m excited to talk about it.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah well you know when you first signed up you were hesitant, we got one, what are you up to now, like what what does your team look like.

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Laurel Starks: For and will be calling you probably in the next 60 days for another.

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Daniel Ramsey: wow okay so with my brain works pretty simple go back.

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Daniel Ramsey: To young first.

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Daniel Ramsey: When you first we first talked and I was like Oh, we can totally help you guys grow What was your thinking then compared to what it is today.

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Laurel Starks: So um my thinking so I can talk about what my thinking was, and I can talk about like you know what how we how we push through.

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Laurel Starks: yeah um so do we like this is it starting right like the whole.

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Daniel Ramsey: rock and roll yeah well and here’s a camera action 321 okay.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah and we’ll edit will edit this.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah you know anything that you don’t like or.

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Daniel Ramsey: That I say, though, item.

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Laurel Starks: i’m good I literally, the only thing I would say is these dogs if they start to get out of hand, maybe I just.

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Laurel Starks: Do a timeout or something.

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Okay.

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Laurel Starks: So, but I love the conversation so when.

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Laurel Starks: When when my business was growing, and let me, let me be clear, I have two businesses.

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Laurel Starks: I have got a real estate.

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Laurel Starks: team, and I have also got an educational business that teaches and trains and mentors realtors in the divorce real estate space.

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Laurel Starks: So.

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Laurel Starks: The second one is.

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Laurel Starks: We we still think of ourselves as a startup but we’re heading into our fifth year, so I don’t think we can qualify as a startup anymore it’s like trying to get your kids into Disney.

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Laurel Starks: For free when they’re five you know, so I don’t think that they fit it fits in the stroller with a pacifier what looks weird so um we are heading into our fifth year and two years ago.

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Laurel Starks: I hired a key hire.

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Laurel Starks: Who your team now knows she’s who interfaces with you Nikki.

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Laurel Starks: Because I needed someone to help with you know, marketing and and growth.

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Laurel Starks: And I also needed someone at the time to do a lot of administrative stuff I mean it was also like answering the phones and it was also some data entry and it was just sort of all this stuff I just needed all of it.

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Laurel Starks: And Nikki came from a different industry, she came from a corporate background and she said, listen, I can do, I can do all of this, but i’m going to need a support staff.

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Laurel Starks: Yes, and I thought will okay great, but I can’t i’m barely able to afford you let alone afford a support staff for you.

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Laurel Starks: So um.

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Laurel Starks: I you know let’s see how this goes, and so we we did, and in my head i’m thinking in my you know i’m thinking in my mind yeah well wouldn’t you know wouldn’t it be great to have a whole staff of people doing all these things, but we don’t have the money for it now.

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Laurel Starks: backtracking.

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Laurel Starks: Hold please just.

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Laurel Starks: Okay i’m just going to actually hold her kind of out of sight so maybe she’ll just settle so anyway.

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Laurel Starks: So then backtracking um let’s talk about my whole perception of the a’s and all of that um so I have had friends who have hired who have had vas for years.

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Laurel Starks: In their real estate business and I just never quite wrap my head around what a va would do, and I would see certain things like somebody’s listing presentation.

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Laurel Starks: I remember one time and and she’s like oh yeah my va did that on like what like How does your va even know how to do that, I mean I just didn’t.

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Laurel Starks: I just couldn’t understand it um I thought, a va was more you never saw them you never talked to them, I don’t know what I really how I thought they communicated but I figured there was a language barrier, all of this, so.

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Laurel Starks: When so fast so then back to Nikki needing a staff um I spoke with you and you and I were talking and and you were talking about what your va is do for you and about your story, and so, then I thought well what the heck so I put Nikki in contact.

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Laurel Starks: With your team, and she identified what she needed and then she Sarah came on board so this was, I want to say this was August July August of.

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Laurel Starks: 20 2020 it was the pandemic yeah you know we all have everything in relation to the pandemic, so I believe it was during the pandemic so so Sarah came on.

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Laurel Starks: And Nikki said, what we should have Sarah on our team meetings, and we should have you know, we should put her in slack.

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Laurel Starks: And we should i’m going to create an onboarding for her a 30 6090 day onboarding i’m going to have her watch your videos i’m going to have her watch all of your.

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Laurel Starks: training sessions i’m going to have her really get into Google drive all of this and i’m like oh wow like she’s really getting embedded I thought she was just somebody you just gave tasks to.

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Laurel Starks: um but but Nikki really brought her into the business and initially Sarah was very, very quiet very shy and did not really want to you know she didn’t she didn’t speak up a whole lot but she was always on and.

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Laurel Starks: Nikki had a check in with her every single morning every single afternoon and then throughout the day they would you know connect they also Sarah would also report all of everything she did for the day she would give that to Nikki everything she did and so very quickly.

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Laurel Starks: All of these things that we needed like we need a new landing page we needed flyers for stuff we needed.

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Laurel Starks: Google drive folders to be you know organized we needed stuff template stuff made, we need, like all of these busy tasks Sarah has just started doing, and it was and that’s what freed Nikki up to be able to do.

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Laurel Starks: build more relationships to help us with growth because she’s not bogged down in all of these day to day tasks.

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Laurel Starks: And so, so, then so Sarah just became nikki’s right hand and she still is.

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Laurel Starks: Even through slack, there is the ability to call through slack so if they need to have a conversation, or if they need to do, like a zoom or something like that you know they’re they’re constantly talking and communicating all day, every day, and then.

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Laurel Starks: We needed to then our next higher was wow We saw how great there it is yeah.

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Daniel Ramsey: hold on i’m gonna i’m gonna bring you back so the mind the mindset pre hire my out desk if you could describe it, what is that what exactly was your mindset around virtual assistants and helping them grow your your company.

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Laurel Starks: If you were to before we hired.

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Before.

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Laurel Starks: Before we hired.

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Laurel Starks: My mindset was I couldn’t conceptualize having an offshore person in another country on another timezone speaking a different language.

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Laurel Starks: It I couldn’t fathom how that person becomes integrated into a business it didn’t even occur to me that they would become integrated I just I didn’t know how.

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Laurel Starks: I also I also didn’t know like, how can they create a property flyer if they don’t already know all of the information to put on it, and so it just kind of was like well, if I have to tell them the information to put on it, then I may as well just create it myself hmm.

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Daniel Ramsey: And what’s your.

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Daniel Ramsey: what’s your mindset today.

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Laurel Starks: my mind said today.

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Laurel Starks: Is and I literally mean our business our business couldn’t survive without our va team and I I don’t say that lightly, because i’m not a person who thinks that you know I mean listen everybody is.

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Laurel Starks: As special as people are you know everybody’s replaceable at some point, but I would say that our va team i’ll give you this remember in December, there was a big typhoon and the R va team was down, was it a typhoon it was something it was some.

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Daniel Ramsey: It was a typhoon yeah massive biggest ever.

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Laurel Starks: yeah and and our va team was you know Internet was down and all of all of that we hobbled for two days.

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Laurel Starks: Without them, and we were praying for them, we were watching the news we were there was one of our one va that we were still in contact with because her area was not as affected, she was giving us real time updates.

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Laurel Starks: We were truly worried and concerned about about them, but in terms of our because they’re just part of our family but in terms of our.

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Laurel Starks: You know dependency on them we quickly realized when they were off the grid for two days how how much we.

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Laurel Starks: We just there are they’re an integral part to our infrastructure and support system if you can think of a house there, like the nails the screws the glue that like holds everything together and.

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Laurel Starks: And for any one of us, and my leadership team to come off their game of doing growth, and I would say.

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Laurel Starks: A lot of personal not personal, but a lot of you know, business development, and that sort of thing for them to come off of that and get into all of the systems and processes that rba team.

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Laurel Starks: handles for us like you want to talk about slowing us down and almost coming to a screeching halt with any sort of growth so rv a team and they’re more than nails and screws that may have been a bad analogy, but they really hold us hold a lot of us together and when they when they.

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Laurel Starks: They allow the rest of the team to they push everybody else up they allow the rest of the team to work in our 20%.

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Laurel Starks: My leadership team shouldn’t be in our you know in our Google drive they shouldn’t be sending out email reminder they shouldn’t, be they shouldn’t be doing a lot of these admin type tasks.

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Laurel Starks: And the va team, does it better anyway, so the other thing I will say is when there was that typhoon man these ladies, they were.

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Laurel Starks: Their work ethic, is something that we can’t even compare to honestly I mean you know I get a new puppy and i’m like i’m out for like three days I I can’t focus.

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Laurel Starks: You know I just I need time these ladies, they have a typhoon they they don’t have generators they’re doing without and i’m telling you they’re like crawling into little cabinets closet figuring out how they can plug in and still work and show up, I mean it’s unbelievable.

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Daniel Ramsey: What for the what is it done for the culture of your overall company to see people show up in that kind of adversity and like give it their all love their job like what what has happened to your overall team culture as a result.

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Laurel Starks: I think it’s it’s it’s given us all a.

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Laurel Starks: what’s your excuse me kind of a it’s like really you know the what they’re going through one of our vas her her father passed away due to code, it was very, very sad and.

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Laurel Starks: You know, we were all asking for updates and she was giving us updates and we were kind of right there with her through through the process and.

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Laurel Starks: And, and yet she, the last thing she wanted to do was let any balls drop, so it really shows.

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Laurel Starks: They define that kind of work ethic, I mean we’ve got an a tremendous work ethic on our team, but man.

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Laurel Starks: They are they’re just they’re they’re an inspiration to all of us, they really are.

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Daniel Ramsey: I love it okay so because of your stature in our industry being a trainer everybody knows you and so.

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Daniel Ramsey: What I wanted to get from you is the exact roles that a virtual assistant should support any business.

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Daniel Ramsey: But nail out the best because again your stature in our industry is is as well known everybody respects you what, what do you feel the best roles are for a virtual assistant in a growing business.

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Laurel Starks: Okay.

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Laurel Starks: So on a real estate team.

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Laurel Starks: transaction coordination.

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Laurel Starks: um, so I would say, so we have Jamie because, as I told you we’ve grown our va team so so Jamie handles the transaction coordination she handles all of our win, for you know our forum software whatever you call it in different states.

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Laurel Starks: She handles all of our docusign she handles.

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Laurel Starks: Any all of our social media, for you know every property that we have every listing has a whole checklist of flyers social media posts she creates all of that she handles it does it.

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Laurel Starks: She all of the like I said all of docusign ensuring that we’ve got signatures for everything she opens up escrow.

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Laurel Starks: So I would say she she handles probably 90% of transaction coordination, she has over she has overseen by Kimberly who’s my listing manager, but.

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Laurel Starks: So So there you know Kimberly probably does 10% and and Jamie probably does 90% of transaction coordination that should absolutely be one one role another role we’ve got Mona who’s our is a and so Mona handles our that is all she does all day long she handles our database she.

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Laurel Starks: Is she man handles that thing she knows what every the engagement of every person who’s at the top of her list, who is you know who’s at the bottom of the list, who needs to be called she nurtures.

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Laurel Starks: She handles our our we have a chat feature on our website.

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Laurel Starks: So, believe it or not, if you don’t have a chat feature, you should get one that was a V that was sarah’s idea I didn’t even think about it, that was sarah’s idea and it’s actually integrated with Facebook messenger so.

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Laurel Starks: Again, Sarah found that for us, and so, Sarah put that on so Mona handle mona’s are is a she handles all of our Facebook chat she handles our Facebook group new members and engagement that is her whole job all day long is is is a.

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Laurel Starks: We and then someone who handles marketing so social media marketing flyers landing pages website Sarah built our whole entire website.

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Laurel Starks: We automation so email automation our CRM all of that is handled by our va team.

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Daniel Ramsey: Okay, so your entire man you’ve got administrative virtual professionals and there you have a sales or prospecting virtual professional in there, then you have a marketing assistant basically helping you generate the leads and and website traffic and all of that.

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Daniel Ramsey: What can’t they do like hit hit the audience with what they shouldn’t have their virtual assistant do because there’s a lot we just did all the dues, but there’s probably some don’ts right So what are those.

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Laurel Starks: So um I do let’s see so.

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Laurel Starks: there’s a lot of.

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Laurel Starks: Like client interaction with regards to you know, an agent’s role that is.

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Laurel Starks: Doing you know doing cma is.

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Laurel Starks: Doing like listing appointments.

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Daniel Ramsey: Obviously, all the licensing stuff all.

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Laurel Starks: The licensing stuff yeah.

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Laurel Starks: All of this stuff that requires a real estate license.

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Laurel Starks: i’m that that the realtor should do, obviously, you know they’re overseas, so I I do in person events and stuff like that, so that sort of thing obviously i’m here doing they build all the marketing for it, they build the registration pages, they build the forums, they build.

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Laurel Starks: All of that, but in terms of anything face to face that we need to speak with clients my va team has a lot of interaction with clients.

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Laurel Starks: via email so like I said Jamie will send out, you know the the forums, or they may they may email and say, can I get you know.

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Laurel Starks: A copy of this she also puts everything on my calendar that’s another thing so when an appointments booked she puts it all on my calendar she puts all of the relevant links she puts.

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Laurel Starks: All of the relevant you know phone number all of that kind of thing invites the clients on my whole calendar she handles putting everything on my calendar um.

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Daniel Ramsey: I think I think I can.

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Daniel Ramsey: Give us a synopsis here.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah what i’m hearing is license activity doesn’t doesn’t get done.

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Daniel Ramsey: Right i’m highly high level client communication, probably the negotiation and or the stuff that’s important at that when somebody like okay i’m going to spend 10 grand with you right that’s probably a US person.

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Daniel Ramsey: i’m curious because you do so much content creation.

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Daniel Ramsey: How much of.

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Daniel Ramsey: That are they involved in.

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Laurel Starks: that’s a really good question, so my va team they’re on there on everything they’re on my you know all of my webinars that I do so, all of the content that i’m there on my listing appointments.

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Laurel Starks: So Jamie is just depends on who I don’t mean the whole entire team is on every single thing but.

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Laurel Starks: i’ve always got a va on something just before getting on this I got a slack from Sarah okay I got a slack from Sarah at eight o’clock hey good morning you’ve got your podcast with Daniel ramsey do you need anything.

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Laurel Starks: I didn’t reply to her right away, I was on the phone 830 hey just wanted to remind you you’ve got everything set for your podcast with Daniel right.

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Laurel Starks: here’s the link she gave me an entire synopsis she said here is the last interview you did, and the link to that here is a link to my out desk the company, if you just want to view it and here is also the link for you to hop on to the zoom.

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Laurel Starks: Five minutes before we got on just wanted to make sure you’re on is everything going Okay, do you have everything you need that’s all right there in slack it’s all just at my fingertips.

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Laurel Starks: um you asked me about content and that’s not exactly content but they’re on my things with regards to original content and conceptualization I do, that I have a copywriter who writes a lot of like.

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Laurel Starks: Content rich emails does that make.

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Daniel Ramsey: sense, but what she does is she puts it on a Google.

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Laurel Starks: sheet a Google Doc and then.

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Laurel Starks: Depending on what va is assigned to whatever that thing is the va takes it from the Google Doc and puts it.

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Laurel Starks: into hubspot format said, you know comes up with an image comes up with maybe a quote all of that sort of thing the va does she shoots it out to us, we have an approval channel in my slack she sends it out for approval this everything looks good looks great alright, then she sends it.

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Laurel Starks: Now, with regards to what content does the wii do my va is create they create a lot of internal communication type stuff so they’ll create things like you know.

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Laurel Starks: wanted you all to be reminded of we’ve got this case study that’s going to be coming up and here’s the topic.

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Laurel Starks: here’s where you can find the information, please let me know if you have any questions so they’ll create that sort of thing their grammar and their writing is impeccable impeccable better than a lot of.

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Laurel Starks: A lot of Americans, so they they can absolutely do that sort of thing, but you know when it comes to original content like that I one of us creates it, and then they put it on a.

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Laurel Starks: On whatever medium it’s going out on.

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Daniel Ramsey: This is great Okay, so I want you to help the audience, because I think there’s also a challenge in you’ve led teams you’re very successful you’re you’re you’ve got a presence all that kind of jazz.

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Daniel Ramsey: What would you what advice would you give somebody who’s not done this before or has done it before but screwed it up and they want to do it again, but the right way what’s your best advice to somebody who needs to do it like you’re doing it.

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Laurel Starks: So.

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Laurel Starks: I have the answer for that, so it first starts with proper recruiting and i’m not giving this i’m not saying anything here that I don’t already tell other people when you’re not around Daniel.

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Laurel Starks: But my out desk.

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Laurel Starks: We are for right now so every single person that we have hired through my out desk has been a home run and I think that that going.

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Laurel Starks: Having a virtual assistant company or a virtual you know professional company that you’re going with who has who’s really good at recruiting their own talent and recruiting the talent, but then also.

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Laurel Starks: connecting them with matt you know being that right matchmaker that’s that’s very pivotal you all take completely the heck out of that.

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Daniel Ramsey: hold on hold on before before you go forward, because.

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Daniel Ramsey: You have to pay for that, like we’re a company and so there’s a margin that we’re earning and I want to just make sure.

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Daniel Ramsey: That you’re communicating this to our audience, because a lot of people struggle with the fact that you’ve hired for with us, we make a margin in that.

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Daniel Ramsey: And we’re a business you’re a business and they’re like well i’m going to be paying my out desk this additional money, and so, how do you reconcile that in your in in your world and how would you give that advice to somebody who’s considering this.

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Laurel Starks: So yeah I think that um you can look at it, two different ways, you can look at it, on the one hand.

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Laurel Starks: Well, my out desk you know i’m paying X and my out desk is is taking X or you know, whatever whatever you want Okay, well then let’s just wine that back to a real estate professional what.

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Laurel Starks: What why don’t our clients just pay us for our out of pocket costs like just reimburse us for staging for photography for.

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Laurel Starks: You know what it costs to put together a marketing plan like why don’t we just operate it cost, I mean clearly.

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Laurel Starks: Because there are a lot of intangibles the value that we bring isn’t is built is baked into intangibles so understanding just business.

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Laurel Starks: Is de right, so you all have gone overseas i’m not getting on a plane flying to the Philippines you guys have gone and I wouldn’t know what to do, I would land the plane and where would I go what would I do.

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Laurel Starks: I mean, who would I talked to so you all have done all of that you have hired you know all of the laws Labor whatever it is, however, that works you equip them with their own equipment.

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Laurel Starks: You have an oversight of all of the you know of what their of what their do you have your own accountability for making sure that your va is are delivering to your customer.

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Laurel Starks: Customer so so there’s there’s obviously there’s a ton of value in that so we could um you know we could and then you’ve also got a management team right like I said I mean the person who hooked us up.

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Laurel Starks: With your with your people, you know with with your va is that person has to earn a living right they’re not here for volunteer work so.

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Laurel Starks: you’ve got an entire infrastructure that supports all of that that has to be paid for, as well, so understanding just business one on one okay fine, but then you also look at.

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Laurel Starks: You look at the benefits that we receive so a couple things number one, there is an impossibility that I would hire someone in the United States to work, the amount of hours for the for the price that I.

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Laurel Starks: invest with my out desk it just it, I mean it’s it’s the math doesn’t work second thing is then you’ve also got all of the things that come along with having employees you’ve got payroll you’ve got HR you’ve got.

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Laurel Starks: The you’ve got liability you’ve got workers COMP up all of it you’ve got all of that now on my plate um I pay you guys with my American express.

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Laurel Starks: And so guess what I get to rack up I get to rack up points I literally get you know, a couple of first class round trip tickets, a year.

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Laurel Starks: Based on my amex to my out desk so there’s you don’t get that ATP doesn’t take American express so that’s another little perk um if you’re a points junkie like I am so anyway um there is, you know there’s there’s just.

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Laurel Starks: there’s all of that, if, for whatever reason, we did not have a fit you know, then it’s just one phone call we’re making to my out desk and then within.

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Laurel Starks: 24 hours you guys are going to have three more people for us to interview and then plug right in.

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Laurel Starks: So it isn’t this oh my God, what do I do they’ve left oh I don’t know what to do now i’ve got to go now I gotta take my foot off the gas building the business figuring out how to hire somebody.

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Laurel Starks: Or, I could pay $10,000 to a recruiter who is going to go scout and find somebody for me so when you do the math, it is a no brainer to the nth degree so.

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Daniel Ramsey: There was it about.

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Daniel Ramsey: What, what do you believe, just for the audience is numbers because again we’re teaching people how to outsource their business create a blended model save money, but also.

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Daniel Ramsey: Like you said, keep the foot on the pedal and grow their business, what is the math like how much do you think the for folks that you have if you average them what you’re paying for them versus what you’d have to pay if you were to hire direct in the US what’s that savings okay.

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Laurel Starks: So let me just i’ve got my little calculator up here.

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Daniel Ramsey: we’re getting exact guys.

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Laurel Starks: Oh yes.

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Laurel Starks: You want exact will give exact Okay, so I am paying right now, on average, now I also give my va days they get a raise every every year they certainly deserve it so.

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Laurel Starks: i’m I am paying between 20 i’m paying about 22,200 this is rough i’m not pulling up invoices right now, but this is based off a recollection about on average per person.

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Laurel Starks: It would cost I would be paying some I would be paid for what yeah that’s per person I would be paying for someone stateside to do that, to be on 40 hours a week.

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Laurel Starks: I would be paying between 40 and 45,000.

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Laurel Starks: A year, in addition to all of the payroll um you know all of the taxes, all of the all of that, the.

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Daniel Ramsey: 5555 to 60,000.

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Laurel Starks: is probably what would ultimately cost me yeah and, by the way, that’s going to be someone.

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Laurel Starks: Who is probably like an entry level, and I know this bye bye I mean i’m not just pulling that figure out of my you know, out of the whatever.

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Daniel Ramsey: My hair.

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Daniel Ramsey: we’re gonna say.

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Laurel Starks: No i’m not pulling it right.

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Laurel Starks: There no I literally am that’s an educated figure I have got college i’ve got two kids college kids and i’ve got caught i’ve got a couple of inter interns that that help us out and for just random stuff with my with my real estate business, and I am paying them.

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Laurel Starks: i’m paying them.

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Laurel Starks: Like 15,000 a year that’s like maybe 10 hours a week.

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Laurel Starks: So just if I were to try to get one of them full time I mean my son, he has a 40 hour job he’s a junior in college, he has a 40 hour job don’t working down in La fitness.

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Laurel Starks: he’s gonna he’s going to be making 50 to $60,000 this year, so the Labor market for anybody with talent is hi i’m so anyway there’s that, so I am probably saving.

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Laurel Starks: yeah i’m probably savings 30,000 a year per person i’ve got 420 K, a year yep.

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Daniel Ramsey: love it okay so advice to people on board.

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Laurel Starks: yeah yeah what.

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Daniel Ramsey: What what do they need to do, and just three simple tips or tricks that, for your business has made this really successful.

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Laurel Starks: Okay, so.

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Laurel Starks: You have to have an onboarding plan.

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Laurel Starks: And you have to give this whole thing time.

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Laurel Starks: To develop you, you have to be committed to developing them.

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Laurel Starks: i’ll give you an analogy realtors pay for zillow leads, and then they say.

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Laurel Starks: zillow leads suck I you know it’s just nobody calls back, whatever the reason why online leads suck to agents is because they don’t have the infrastructure behind the scenes you pay zillow they’ll give you leads you pay my out desk they’ll give you a va.

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Laurel Starks: How successful that becomes and the conversion of that all depends on back house.

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Laurel Starks: How tight, you are with nurturing and developing that it’s no different than with leads, so that there has to be an upfront investment, and what that might look like, is that you don’t go to bed at 10 o’clock.

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Laurel Starks: For 90 days it might look like you go to bed at 1am for 90 days it might mean that you don’t wake up at seven o’clock it might mean you wake up at 530 It means that you have to roll up your sleeves and put in that extra work.

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Laurel Starks: But the investment and what it how that pays off down the line that’s why you’re doing this, so prepare yourself to have an onboarding plan to teach and train them and they don’t Yes, they may have experienced but they don’t come pre programmed with exactly your business i’m.

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Daniel Ramsey: Good good good I got a I got a question for you.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah those four people on your team, what kind of growth, have you experienced.

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Laurel Starks: Okay, so Sarah has now just recently been promoted to marketing manager.

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Laurel Starks: So she has been given an elevated role.

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Laurel Starks: In terms of our growth from the time Sarah came on in August of 2020 we have had a to have about a year over year for two years we’ve had about a 280% growth increase in our business, since we started with our first va.

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Daniel Ramsey: How much is.

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Daniel Ramsey: How much exactly because you know people will say well that’s because of you or your team that you’ve built, but what percentage of that would you attribute to this blended model that you’ve created with my access.

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Laurel Starks: Really, I would say, two thirds and here’s why.

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Laurel Starks: Because having that infrastructure and support team that is so solid that we can count on.

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Laurel Starks: like clockwork with.

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Laurel Starks: It has allowed the the sales manager our director of growth VP of growth and marketing and our.

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Laurel Starks: Our training department.

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Laurel Starks: To work in growing the business in.

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Laurel Starks: higher level, I guess you could call it higher level.

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Laurel Starks: duties and tasks, because without that support that we have then this team here would be stuck.

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Laurel Starks: Probably I mean i’ve got mbas i’ve got 160 hours a week in va Labor.

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Laurel Starks: yep if my other team, if my management team had to be doing that, then that would be 160 hours that we would have to have coverage.

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Laurel Starks: Here in infrastructure and support that they’re not outgrowing um so you know I would say, I would say, two thirds of it is because of that, we also because because alumni is a startup.

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Laurel Starks: Okay, fine where you know, out of diapers but because it has been a startup and our va team has been an integral part of our startup we flat out couldn’t afford 160 hours worth of Labor.

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Laurel Starks: We would have only been able to have afforded probably.

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Laurel Starks: one to two.

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Laurel Starks: admin, as you know, administrative assistant, and that would have meant that there’s you know what 60 to 70 hours being covered we’ve got another 90 hours that have to be covered so who’s that coming from.

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Laurel Starks: he’s doing that.

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Daniel Ramsey: That would.

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Laurel Starks: yeah right so me the management team.

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Laurel Starks: Who is not able to grow, the business right.

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Daniel Ramsey: Okay, so first thing was onboard them correctly get a plan what was what else, what are the other to kind of.

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Laurel Starks: go first thing was have a good talent scout so so choose the the choose the wise very well.

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Laurel Starks: run as well as well experienced va company, because if you don’t have the right talent, to begin with it’s just gonna be frustrating number two is have a very well oiled well thought out onboarding team and invest yourself in that.

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Laurel Starks: And then number three in order to create that harmony, that we have involve them in every aspect of your business, they should be on every single team meeting.

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Laurel Starks: They should be on every single listing appointment, if you do anything virtually like that they should be on they should they should be in in everything so that they can be of the most help to you.

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Laurel Starks: And and and you know and and they’re they’re wonderful people they are wonderful some of the most salt of the earth people.

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Laurel Starks: they’re humans, they have families, they have you know they’re they’re very we’re all very touched by our va team so don’t treat them like a robot don’t treat them like there’s somebody that’s less than because, let me tell you, if they weren’t.

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Laurel Starks: As high functioning in their roles, then you wouldn’t be as high functioning in your role so they deserve the respect and they deserve to be treated just as you would want to be treated by a client, so you know, keep them as part of your they’re part of our core team.

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Daniel Ramsey: I love it as we wrap up what else, or what final words, would you give the audience as they’re considering you know, building a blended model, like you, you’ve built.

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Laurel Starks: yeah and I would say don’t wait um you know I I probably could have been a lot further ahead with my real estate business, had I had I taken this leap along long time ago, so I would say don’t don’t wait.

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Laurel Starks: That said, understand that do it at a time don’t do it when you’re going on vacation right don’t do it if you’re in.

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Laurel Starks: In the middle of you have just taken a massive flux of listings and business and you don’t have time.

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Laurel Starks: To invest in them how demoralizing they stay up all night they’re up all night long I can’t imagine having to stay up all night long with nothing to do nobody’s communicating with me and then I get some complaint so so carve out that time.

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Laurel Starks: Do it before you get the influx of business do it before that happens, so that when you do get that influx of business, you know you’re you’re set.

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Daniel Ramsey: I love it hey real quick I want I want our real estate audience to know what you do and your value proposition before we end so they can take advantage, what I immediately when we first started talking and we met I.

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Daniel Ramsey: realized how valuable your training was to our industry because most people struggle with generating revenue and growing their business, and you have this beautiful.

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Daniel Ramsey: You know product for our industry, let the audience know exactly what you do and how you help real estate teams grow their revenue.

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Laurel Starks: Thanks so For those of you who we haven’t had a chance to become acquainted I specialized in the divorce real estate space.

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Laurel Starks: I built my real estate business starting 17 years ago handling real property matters and family law cases if you’ve ever handled the divorce listing.

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Laurel Starks: You know that it is a different beast than a regular listing, especially when they’re high conflict there under the jurisdiction of the Court, so I spent 17 Years Learning.

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Laurel Starks: How to do that there was not any kind of adequate training for our industry so about five years ago I sat down with a few of the attorneys that helped me.

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Laurel Starks: grow my business, as well as a judge and mortgage professionals and we sat down in a room and I said I would love to bottle up everything I know everything i’ve done everything you all have taught me and teach it to the real estate industry.

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Laurel Starks: Because divorcing litigants they deserve better representation than what we’re giving courts deserve to have experts that they can rely on so that their calendars are.

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Laurel Starks: are more efficient lawyers deserve to have reliable realtors who they can also count on to help move these listings along to reduce their own liability.

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Laurel Starks: If it’s if it’s an issue in my markets, probably an issue everywhere turns out, it is an issue everywhere.

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Laurel Starks: And so we sat down and wrote the curriculum and put together a world class training program based on what I wish I had I took myself back to that place and said, what do I wish I had.

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Laurel Starks: I wish I had somebody who sat down and explained to me, all of this stuff.

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Laurel Starks: I wish I had other people that I could there was building with that we could be you know, like tribes together right I wish that I had lawyers, that I could ask these dumb questions to without feeling like.

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Laurel Starks: I.

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Laurel Starks: You know i’m going to ruin my reputation if I asked somebody here locally right, so we put the whole thing together and and it is truly.

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Laurel Starks: A world class training program is six months we do it twice a year, April and October and our our CD series that’s a certification our CD ari’s are truly leading the way and now, and now.

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Laurel Starks: Lawyers in throughout the country even judges are demanding that the listing agent is a care and that’s our vision is to create that change so that cdr ease.

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Laurel Starks: Are the common modus operandi in the legal industry for listing agent and we’re seeing it started already happening so it’s really transformed our CDs businesses.

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Laurel Starks: And it’s given them more of a predictable business.

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Laurel Starks: And it’s just it’s just one of the most rewarding things we’ve got an amazing culture we are we lift each other up, we are here to support one another, we see we see ourselves as like seal team six of the real estate industry so.

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Laurel Starks: Anyway, we’ve got a training coming up in all in April, we only have a handful of spots left I think we’ve got five last I checked so.

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Laurel Starks: If anybody is interested in it, I invite you to check us out get divorced certified.com is our website built by a va and and check us out and book a call, and you know we we’d love to talk to anybody who’s passionate about growing their business in that niche.

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Daniel Ramsey: This is perfect all right Thank you so much for sharing, I had no idea, by the way, that this was going to be so fantastic, but it was fantastic, so I appreciate your time and all of your hard work and the love that you give to our people.

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Laurel Starks: yeah and and i’m glad we got this opportunity, you and I are both busy people and I i’ve never taken the time to reach out to you directly and say, Daniel.

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Laurel Starks: I just want to say Hats off to you and a and a profound, thank you for providing a such a an amazing group of people to join our team and what they’ve done so so i’ve showed you that, and this has been a good opportunity.

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Laurel Starks: Thank you.

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Laurel Starks: All right, you take care thanks.

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Laurel Starks: bye bye bye bye.

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Daniel Ramsey: Okay we’re done recording Laurel is there anything I can do to support you, is there anything in our world that we could do to help you grow and as you’re going through this.

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Laurel Starks: Show you guys have done so much um Thank you, we are the only thing I could say right this minute is we have got we do need to fill those five spots um.

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Daniel Ramsey: So go out.

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Daniel Ramsey: And we have the list of everybody, so this will go out.

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Daniel Ramsey: A Thank you email, it will do a special call to action and something specific and we’ll have the link in your stuff as part of your bio.

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Daniel Ramsey: um but yeah this will for sure go out.

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Laurel Starks: That would be that is our hyper focus at the moment and I truly mean every single thing I I say that the team is is amazing and and Nikki has been so integral to developing and leading them so.

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Laurel Starks: So anyway yeah Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and I appreciate everything.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah well I.

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Daniel Ramsey: I feel like Sarah also needs a big thank you because it sounds like she launched this thing out she was the initial rock and you built on top of and and has been such a big part of the growth.

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Laurel Starks: She was our proof of the model, so to speak, she really was she was she proved that va is brought so much value.

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Laurel Starks: And she is just she’s just a darling everyone on the whole team adores Sarah everybody adores everyone Sara is is probably more team facing than I think the others, but you know mona’s very busy with our database.

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Laurel Starks: And and fry line is very busy with a lot of our internal processes and stuff and an internal team Sarah just is there’s a little of everything, and if you go to my website, if you go to my my structural to group COM website freaking Sarah built that thing.

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Laurel Starks: That is 100% Sarah I mean I helped her with obviously the content, she had no idea how to build a website.

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Laurel Starks: And she had never done it um and she figured it out and just learned and I also believe down I should have said this to.

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Laurel Starks: I think what she also did is she reached out to the my out desk network of virtual assistants as well to get.

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Laurel Starks: Information on you know get some advice and tips when she would get stuck but she just figured the whole thing out like she built that whole thing all of my students saw that and they’re dying they want her to build them one which we coursera doesn’t have time to do but.

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Laurel Starks: um yeah it’s just it’s almost like there’s nothing she can’t do you know.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah well.

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Daniel Ramsey: she’s awesome professionals.

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Daniel Ramsey: Virtual professionals right.

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Laurel Starks: There virtual professionals and I probably should have made sure that I referred to them as that more but yeah it really is.

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Daniel Ramsey: Our market doesn’t really know virtual professionals until they come and become clients until they that transformation that you went through they just don’t understand you know.

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Laurel Starks: yeah and I think they also.

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Laurel Starks: They also probably don’t realize too that they come.

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Laurel Starks: credentialed from the Philippines, I mean these aren’t people that just fell off the turnip truck you know I mean their their talent within the Philippines and so.

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Laurel Starks: um, so I think that’s you know that’s also something but but yeah there we we are going through a big shift right now, where we’ve got.

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Laurel Starks: One of our key people who is going to be moving on to other things so good, and so, then we were we’re at this critical phase where it’s like Okay, should we hire a new a new key person.

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Laurel Starks: And what what we decided was that we are actually going to take his role kind of divided up among the team give everyone else a raise and then hire another support person.

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Laurel Starks: yeah so it’s it’s like it just pushes everyone, I was like you know those lollipops from the bottom you push it up that’s kind of what it is, and so you know it’s it’s because we have.

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Laurel Starks: And it’s not a headache to be like oh my God, who are we gonna hire how are we going to use this we got to do all this, we got to put together a zip recruiter like we don’t have to do that, we just call you.

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Laurel Starks: And by Monday we’ll have somebody you know.

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Daniel Ramsey: Well, I want to give you a heads up, we are our world is like real estate we’ve had some silly demand recently.

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Daniel Ramsey: Where two or three weeks out, which is.

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Daniel Ramsey: Okay, makes me very uncomfortable as as the CEO, by the way.

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Laurel Starks: Well, prepare for that.

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Daniel Ramsey: yeah just just letting you know.

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Laurel Starks: Good though.

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Daniel Ramsey: Well yeah good for us but bad for us right, I mean it’s it’s it’s a always a managing capacity and then managing sales and marketing it’s like come on guys.

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Daniel Ramsey: Good problems to have, though.

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Laurel Starks: All right, yeah.

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Daniel Ramsey: Thank you again for your time we’re here when you’re ready to go number five and we’ll get this out ASAP and when we do i’ll let you share it because I think it’ll be valuable.

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Laurel Starks: Absolutely, and we have got our cdr ease that’s The other thing to our city ari’s.

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Laurel Starks: want us we’ve done some virtual trainings within our organization to our students and Members about how a va can help sarah’s been on those she’s talked Nikki and Sarah and our whole va team has been on and done that stuff so.

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Laurel Starks: I am happy to to share any of this I love to share it with our own database.

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Laurel Starks: Not just our database, but our internal Members because they need vas to help them so cool.

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Daniel Ramsey: I love it.

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Laurel Starks: Well, thank you, Daniel we’ll talk soon all right take care, keep up the good work bye bye.