How Virtual Assistants Contribute Success To Your Business With Brady Morgan
Episode 505: How Virtual Assistants Contribute Success To Your Business With Brady Morgan
As an entrepreneur, there is a lot on your plate for sure. And, you want to lessen those, so you could do more productive things that require your immediate attention. Join your host Mitch Stephen as he talks with Brady Morgan on how virtual assistants can contribute to your entrepreneurial success. Brady is the founder of Virtual Assistant Staffing Agency, the premier business for your outsourcing needs. Aside from business, he loves spending time with his wife and son and reading. In this episode, he discusses the wide range of benefits when hiring a VA for your company. You can’t do everything by yourself. You have to delegate. Learn how you could grow your business, and handle different tasks such as email and calendar management.
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I’m here with Brady Morgan. We are going to be talking about virtual assistants and how they can help you grow your business. The reason why we are talking to Brady about it is that they help supply companies with virtual assistance from overseas. Are they all overseas, Brady, or just some of them?
They are all overseas.
I have about six virtual assistants. Most of them are from overseas. It’s a neat dynamic because of the value of the dollar to the peso over the Philippines. Someone is doing a lot of work with me and for me, a guy with a brain for a very affordable price, more than affordable, sometimes stupid, depends on if you want people to speak English and have inner contact with your customer or if they just need to do menial data entry. My experience is that data entry is $3 to $4 an hour.
You are going to find people of all skillsets. Location matters too but the wide range of things, anywhere from $4 to $8 an hour is what you can pinpoint for paying a VA hourly.
I have some pretty good ones. I know that when we wanted someone to have a good command of the English language, we had to pay a little bit more. We also weren’t afraid to pay a little bit more because we want people to be around for a long time. If they are good, they are good and they are a bargain because of the exchange rate.
You’ve got to think about it. I put that high into $8 an hour. You are not going to find that in the US. I’m not trying to take jobs away from the US but you have business owners who need shit to get done. They can do it the most affordable way possible, especially with the culture over there. Loyalty, they are willing to do stuff that other people won’t be able to do, especially for the cost, so why not?
They don’t see it for workman’s comp and all that crap either. People can get all butthurt about taking jobs out of the economy and everything but try to navigate this damn thing over here. People are doing all kinds of unscrupulous shit. Back in the Old West, they put you on a horse and put a noose around your neck and hang you. That’s what they do. I’m from Texas. Shoot them or hang them if they deserve it.
That’s one of the reasons why we do it, too. The day I want to let them go, I let them go. There’s no repercussion for me. Am I going to treat them fairly? Yes, I’m going to treat them fairly. That’s me. If I have been treated fairly, I will. I love my VAs. As a matter of fact, I have grown attached to them and adopted them. Maybe one of these days I will get stranded on the other side of the world and someone will help me. You are in Nashville, right?
Nashville, Tennessee, born and raised.
How do you get into this business? How does this path go from zero to the VA business?We all know from human psychology that commission entices people to work harder. Click To Tweet
It’s interesting, Mitch. I have a background in Finance. I’ve got into this whole entrepreneurial world of networking through podcasts. I was interviewing people of all shapes and sizes. The highest I ever went was I’ve got to interview the first CEO of Netflix. That was cool but in the midst of all that, COVID happened. Having a background in finance, I was working at Vanderbilt as a Financial Analyst. I’m like, “I’m doing this podcast. I like talking to people. Finance is boring, sitting on a desk all day. I want to move to sales.”
I’m trying to move to a sales job. I quit my finance job prematurely. The sales job is no longer hiring because of COVID so I’m unemployed. I have a podcast and I’m like, “This is the time to start my own business.” I always wanted to start my own business but this is the time because I don’t have anything else to do. I started a business around finance, being a Fractional CFO if you will. I worked in investment banking. I understand all the numbers behind stuff but it didn’t work out in what I was doing.
As a first business, you don’t know what you don’t know but amid this business, I wouldn’t call it a complete failure because I learned about the VA model. My business partner and I were working at the mastermind we met at. They placed VAs. They are like, “Let’s get you a VA. It works well. You can help them take tasks off your place.” We did it, not knowing when it was going to turn into. The first one we’ve got was terrible, and then we’ve got another one that was a lot better. I was like, “There’s a way to make this whole model better but we don’t do this. We do finance stuff.”
Long story short, we shut the finance business down. That mastermind with the guys who were already running a VA business stat shut down. “Let’s all come together and start a VA business.” We did. It was very slow at first because I don’t know what I’m doing. I was immediately tagged as a CEO, still learning but then as you go with anything, the more you do it, the better you get at it, so here we are. I have worked with a lot of cool companies, global top ten companies that I can’t name. We have worked with people who do marketing for Rihanna and Taylor.
We worked with a lot of different cool people. That’s allowed us to grow into the shared service center side, which is a lot more corporate where we are working with bigger corporations with a lot bigger contracts. I’ve got thrown into this but I wouldn’t have any other way. It’s weird going from finance to staffing and recruiting. At the end of the day, it’s all business but two completely different sectors and industries. Here we are. We are doing a lot of cool things, placing virtual assistants from the Philippines, exclusively. It has been good.
Are there a lot of chaos?
How long have you been doing this?
For years. We have made a lot of headway. It’s crazy. I had that podcast. When we first started, it was like, “Let’s reach out to podcast guests. I know they have money. I know that any vertical in the industry can use virtual assistants. It doesn’t matter. Let’s start reaching out to people. What’s the worst they are going to say is no.” Those have bloomed into partnerships and repeat business. With business in general, a lot of people don’t put as much effort into generating repeat business and referrals. They think, “I will run ads. I will do organic outbound through email or cold calling.”
That works but for me, it’s very relationship-based because what we do, you can get anywhere. You can go to MyOutDesk or Upwork. You can get this stuff in other places. It’s that trust factor of, “I have talked to you so talk to me. I know what I’m doing. I know exactly what you are doing and what you need. Let me help you stack your virtual team.” We made a lot of headway. I’m very thankful for it. A lot of long nights and early mornings, talking to people, hearing, “No,” but it’s the nature of the game.
Who’s reading this is probably a creative real estate investor, wants to be a creative real estate investor or entrepreneurial. The four people that I interview will be, first and foremost, creative real estate investors. Second, entrepreneurs. Third, motivational. Fourth, inspirational. If it fits any of those four things that someone could be reading, by and large, it’s real estate investor entrepreneur.
There is not a business that can’t use a VA. I have gotten so good at delegating the knock. I don’t want to do anything. Someone ordered me concert tickets for this thing. I did that like, “I need two good tickets. Tell me the best tickets. You can call me when you get the thing up. Order me some tickets.” I don’t want to do anything anymore because at some level, either I don’t like it or I don’t need to do it anymore.
I have about six VAs. They are very loyal. At least I found the ones from the Philippines to be very loyal but you’ve got to get up off the bottom a little bit. If you want to pay the minimum, the next time they get a $0.50 raise from some other place for an offer or they have to double-dip behind your back can be an issue. Tell me about the exchange rate. I’m under the understanding that $8 an hour in the Philippines is $60,000 a year in the United States. Is that the right equivalent?
Think about it from this perspective. You’ve got to make $20,000 in the Philippines to be a millionaire in the Philippines because of the exchange rate. You’ve got people who are retiring in the Philippines living there for ten years on $100,000 total. Here in the US, you better at least have $100,000 in retirement to live, depending upon where you live but the exchange rate is incredible and crazy.
You’ve got college graduates coming out and they want $3 an hour, whereas, in the US, college graduates want $50,000 or $60,000 a year. The minimum wage that the government mandates are $7.73 or $7.76 in the Philippines. That’s what you are going to get no matter what. That could be any job. That’s the average. We say this because you mentioned it very clearly. You have to pay your VAs what they are worth. The time that you are paying somebody $4 an hour and somebody offers them $450, why would they not leave? They are getting paid more money. $0.50 to us is what? Nothing. $0.50 over a 40-hour week is $20.
You have to think about it in terms of, are you willing to lose that? Are you willing to give them a raise, a bonus? Even implementing benefits helps, any way that you can keep them loyal and you have direct control over the payments while you give them benefit-wise. The exchange rate is so crazy, that’s why I don’t understand how people lose VAs from a loyalty perspective because they don’t pay them enough. It’s affordable for us. I believe you are in Texas. I’m in Nashville. Nashville is a growing city. It’s expensive to live in. You have the money to spend to employ multiple VAs so why not pay them what they are worth?
If your business is going to fall apart over the $1 or $2 to your VA, then get another business or find something for your VA to do that will make you $5 more than he’s making. I saw this list one time. I wish I had it. We could put it up, although it was from someone else. It was 100 things a VA can do for you. I started reading through that list and I was like, “I wouldn’t have thought of half of these things. I’m glad I did and saw it because I started getting my VA.”
There’s no reason for them not to be busy. If they are not doing one thing, they are doing another thing. Any one of them in the house business could make you $20,000 tomorrow and also pick things that might make you $20,000 because that’s a whole lifetime of VA. Let’s say I want a VA to help me and I get ahold of you. Go over to 1000Houses.com/VAtoday. Brady will have his website, contact information, and anything that we need to have over there so that you can get in contact with him. I need someone, I call you. What happens?
You would more likely hop on a call with one of my sales guys. They are going to walk through exactly what you need. We have four areas that were primarily sourced from like lead generation. This is on the virtual assistant side. If we are going to get more corporate of saying, “We are going to build on a whole team of finance and accounting or IT specialists,” that’s a different story but let’s stick with the virtual assistant staffing agency.
The four things that we mainly place around is you’ve got lead generation, which could be cold calling organically. That lead gen is through social channels, cold email, content creation, which could be video editing, graphic design and social media management. You’ve got administrative assistance, which is any backend stuff, also calendar management, email management, bookkeeping. We are going to figure out exactly what you need.With anything, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Click To Tweet
The way our model differs from these other companies is we charge a placement fee upfront. We charge zero recurring fees, a placement fee of $1,500 upfront for one and each VA that you get after that gets cheaper per head. We only charge a down payment upfront though because we are not going to charge the whole entire thing until our entire process has been done and we had succeeded.
Once we get started, we are going to get an invoice paid and then you have a VA order form. This is how clients communicate directly with our fulfillment team. The fulfillment team is made up of VAs. You are going to say, “This is exactly what I’m looking for. Here’s my hourly rate budget. Here’s the schedule. I want them to work here. I need software experience.” My team takes that.
We have a database of about 12,000 to 15,000 VAs already vetted, ready to go. It’s essentially at that point, utilizing the grading system that we have internally or grading on character, English levels or picking out the best 5:00 to 7:00 working for them in availability. We are sending those profiles to the clients. We are saying, “A few options, Mitch. You can either hire one right off the bat or you can do a panel interview and get a better vibe of who you potentially are going to be working with to make a better and more educated decision.” That whole process of you from the VA order form to the panel interview is 5 to 10 business days. It’s not longer than ten business days. It’s a quick turnaround.
Once we placed that person in your business, before that, you get access to a client training, talking about onboarding, motivating, managing a VA software that we suggest, best practices. We place them in your business. We hold your hand and help you onboard them, and then we remove our social media equation. Our whole philosophy is this. Business owners come to us because they need help. They have a certain thing in their business that they want to get off their plate. They are busy as all get out. They need more time. They are not making enough money because they can’t focus on revenue-generating activities. They are coming to us for a problem.
I am not going to create more to that problem by inserting myself in their relationship with them and their virtual assistant. We place that VA directly under our clients. That VA works for that client, not us. We don’t charge some spread on the hourly rate. We charge one placement fee upfront. We offer a free 45-day replacement. That’s included in that placement fee and then we are good to go. That’s why we have people who are coming back to us for repeat business because they liked the model of having the control to do what they want to do when they want to do it. It’s only one payment and that’s it.
I have a product that I want to push out. It’s software. I want them to go to the chat rooms, to the Facebook clubs, to the LinkedIn, wherever where these people congregate. I want them to post certain things over and over again. The software I have can work for a lot of different industries but the advertisement I would have would be for a certain industry. I just need people to post. They don’t have to even talk to anybody ever because once we get a lead, it will go over to the English side and come to the States. I will talk to them there. Are you helping that kind of product?
Yes. I would consider that some lead generation capacity, someone that is getting your name, your product, your service out there in a predictable way. The thing about it is if you think about what a person in this position to be able to do for you and what they would cost, it’s a no-brainer. You are looking at someone that’s $4 or $5 an hour, would repeatedly do this day in and day out, and generate business for you. You are going to make more because I’m sure your product or service is more expensive than what you would be paying these people. We 100% can help with that.
This is a question I have had about the Philippine VAs. Are they commission motivated or more salary motivated? What I like to do is pay upon success but I’m not sure that their culture is all about that.
We get that a lot for people who want to pay strictly commission. I say this, strictly commission doesn’t work in the Philippines. The thing about it is if you understand their culture, it’s a lot different than the US. They live with their extended families. They are responsible for paying tuition for their siblings so they need that steady, predictable income coming in the door. You have to pay them an hourly rate. If you want to pay them some commission on top of that, that’s great but it’s not required. At the end of the day, they want a steady paycheck, a job and make money but they have to perform for that. You don’t want to pay them to not do any good performance.
We all know from human psychology that commission does entice people to work harder. We have prospectors ourselves that we pay a commission for every call they book and every closing they get. If we pay them an hourly rate, that’s predictable that they get the same salary payment every single Friday. My biggest thing is don’t expect a VA to work very long for you if you are paying them strictly commission. That’s anywhere.
Especially smaller entrepreneurs are saying, “I’m going to hire a bunch of sales guys in the US and only pay them a commission.” They are not going to last very long because they are only getting paid off performance. They are probably young guys so they don’t know what they are doing. You are going to get the best people you can get when you can pay them a predictable salary. When you are tacking on commission on top of that, you have that human psychology factor where they are going to work harder for that money.
Every real estate investor out there should start very quickly. As soon as they have their first hit on a $20,000 or $15,000 property, as soon as they get up a little bit, the first thing they should do is hire a personal assistant. There is some argument, “Do I need someone to be in my town and be on the ground?” I saw a sign on McDonald’s marquee days ago, $18 an hour in Downtown San Antonio. Bill Miller’s Bar-B-Q place advertising $17 an hour. Come in off the street and get $17.
I need someone who can think a little bit more than that so I’ve got to pay $20, $22 at least. Starting, I would never have been able to afford that. There’s the question of, “Are they subcontractors or are they payroll?” You’ve got to pay FICA, Social Security, Unemployment if you fire them and all that. That might get heavy.
I would revert back to hiring a Filipino overseas VA and figuring out what they could do for me. They couldn’t put up plastic signs for me but maybe I will have to sub that job out separately or he can be in charge of finding someone to sub that out to but he’s not going to be able to do it because he’s in the Philippines. Every real estate entrepreneur in the world needs one because they are not that expensive.
We have a client that owns a big mortgage business in Canada. He has a personal assistant that used to be an Executive Assistant to a President of some other mortgage company. She’s $4 or $5 an hour. What she’s able to do with him in regards to email management, calendar management, client follow-up, employee follow-up, the stuff that has to be done but you don’t necessarily have the time to do that is crazy. Tennessee, I know down the road Chick-fil-A is hiring fourteen-year-olds for $15 an hour. You’ve got people with MBAs making $15 an hour. You’ve got people who are saying, “That means if I want to hire a personal assistant, I’m probably going to need to pay a little bit more hourly, $20, $22 but I can only afford one.”
If you go with an overseas staffing company and you get a virtual assistant, you can probably get a few people to do a few different things for you and take a lot of stuff off your plate. You are happier, less busy and you are getting your stuff done more efficiently. To be honest, these people that are only $5, $6, $7 an hour are very high caliber. They are probably going to do a lot better work than people in the United States. I’m not taking jobs away from America but you have people who don’t want to work and we know that.
You pay $15 an hour or $14 an hour and you are getting the dumbest guy on the planet. You pay $8 an hour in the Philippines and you are getting someone who managed the hospital floor.
You are getting people who are like, “I used to be the Director of Operations for an airport. I’m $7 an hour.” It’s like, “Here in the US, someone is going to ask for at least six figures.” The fact of the matter is the talent you can find over there, people shy away from it because one, they are not educated on it and don’t know what exists and two, they don’t know how to find it. Once they know it exists, they are like, “I don’t know where to even look so why am I going to bother with it? I’m going to go ZipRecruiter and find someone in the States.”
It’s the cost efficiency perspective. You have six virtual assistants. Let’s assume all those six people were domestic. It becomes a lot more expensive from a payroll perspective very quickly. We practice what we preach. We have six virtual assistants as well. We have other contractors we work with. It’s pennies on the dollar at that point. We are getting a lot of good work done.
Again, go to 1000Houses.com/VAtoday and hook up with Brady, his company or one of his salespeople. There will be everything you need to know over there about what to do. Also, think of yourself in your daily travels. I did this exercise with some of my students one time. I said, “Set your alarm to go off every hour. The alarm would go off every hour. Ask yourself in the last hour, what have you been doing? Could a VA have helped me do this?” You will find that a lot of it is, yes and the amount of it is overwhelming. You think, “I would have freed up my whole day for $64, $8 an hour times a day. I would have freed up my whole day for $64, I could have gotten to the big deal but I couldn’t even get there because I was sitting there doing this bullshit.”Let the VA start helping you. It's all about doing less and making more. Click To Tweet
I think about it, too. People are so worried about their overall net worth. You take it a step-down and you say, “What’s the net worth of your hour? What are you worth hourly? Is it $500 an hour? Is it $50 an hour? Is it $1 million?” Once you put it in terms of that, at the end of the day, you are reflecting. “How many hours did I spend on doing stuff that could be delegated for $5, $6 an hour? I spent three hours doing something that could be delegated to someone for $6 an hour. That one took me $18. What am I worth hourly? Let’s say I’m worth $50 an hour.” Let’s make it easy. “I could have made $150 over those three hours but instead, I didn’t because I didn’t delegate. I essentially lost $150 because of that.”
When you started to put in that perspective, you reflect every hour. “What am I doing that I don’t need to be doing anymore?” What we have to understand is you are the CEO of your own life and you should be able to dictate how your days go. When you are not delegating, you have a lot less control. Somebody has to do this admin menial work and these daily repeatable tasks. The only question is, “Is it going to be you or are you going to delegate it?”
The other question is, “Do you even like doing that?” If you are doing something you don’t like, that’s a miserable existence so stop doing it. I used to try to do my books. I was like, “Why am I doing this? I’m not any good at it. I hate it. I don’t get it. There are 1,000 bookkeepers out there. What am I doing?” Can you do books from the Philippines?
We have an accountant that does all the bookkeeping for us. She does all of our P&L reports, expense reports, payroll and everything. We utilize a project management tool on Monday for all that. We don’t use QuickBooks but she’s great. She’s $4 an hour. She’s helping us talk with an attorney in the Philippines about Filipino incorporation because we are getting to the process of offering benefits. She’s heading that project. The thing about it is if I were to try to pay someone in the US to do that, it would be a lot more expensive and they probably wouldn’t know what they were doing. She’s in the Philippines. She’s boots on the ground. It’s awesome.
Again, 1000Houses.com/VAtoday, please get over there. Get hooked up with Brady or some of his people and learn how VAs can help you. Call them and have a conversation. Talk to them about what you are doing. Let them plug in to give you some ideas on how they might help if you don’t know. Believe me, if you have any kind of business at all and you are out there moving and shaking, don’t work below your pay grade, which is what Brady was saying. If you are worth $50 an hour, then you’ve got to sub out everything that’s not worth $50 an hour that you could get done for less than $50 an hour. Is there anything you want to say before maybe we wrap up?
Check over on our websites, VAStaffing.agency. Book a call. We would love to talk to you. We help any vertical and with any position but you’ve got to have that conversation and see what’s possible. For people out there that are skeptical about it, have a conversation because you don’t know what’s possible until you try it. Mitch and I are huge advocates for it. A lot of other major companies, utilize the same things and they are moving a lot of things off their plates as a result.
For example, this episode is going to go straight to a VA in the Philippines and they are going to do what they need to do so this thing gets released. It’s out of my control. They are already trained. They already know what to do and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It’s going to go there. I want you to go to 1000Houses.com/VAtoday. Check out the website. Get in contact with Brady and his people. Let the VA start helping you. It’s all about doing less and making more. This is a perfect cog in that wheel. Believe me.
The deficit between the exchange rates is in our favor and it works for both people. By no means, don’t feel bad for the Filipinos that $8 is their one hour. People that make $8 an hour have maids because of the way the system works there. The maid is working for $2 an hour. It all works out. Everybody wins. With $8 an hour, you might feel that’s subjugating someone or slave labor. It doesn’t work out that way.
On the other end of that spectrum, they are living a good life and they are getting ahead in a world that they are comfortable and liked. It’s creating a middle-class for the Philippines because before there was just the wealthy and then the poor. This whole VA thing where they work via technology is creating a middle-class in the Philippines. Am I right about that, Brady?
You are right. To harp on that, for people who have that notion, “I’m taking advantage of somebody to work for cheaper than what I would do here in the States,” you are exactly right. You are creating a middle-class of people who are working virtually through technology and it’s great. The way our process works is you are going to tell us a budget. The clients tell us a budget and we match it with what the VAs asked for hourly.
Don’t think you are taking advantage. You are going to give them exactly what they are asking for, whether that’s $4 an hour or $12 an hour, whatever the case might be comfortable with your budget but you are exactly right. It’s a great way to put it. You are creating a middle class of people and you are closing the gap between the poor and the rich.
I have been very happy with my people. As a matter of fact, they are like a family. I’m going to take care of them. I’ve got to keep them going. I appreciate you, Brady. One last time, 1000Houses.com/VAtoday. Get over there, start getting some help, and stop doing this stuff that you are not supposed to do or that you make way too much money to do. You may have to slow down for a second. Train somebody for 1 week, 2 weeks or 1 month. How I did it was I paid someone to train my VA. I gave him a gig. “I want you to train him how to pull lifts off the county courthouse. You know how to do it well. I’m going to pay you $300. You have to spend a day with him and show him how to do it.” I didn’t even spend time training them.
There are always ways to delegate something. It’s just being creative about what you do not want to do that’s not worth your time. It comes back to an hourly rate. Can you spend less than what you can make in this time and commitment that you are going to put into this task?
Thank you for reading to get you some Brady Morgan. Thank you to LiveComm for sponsoring this episode. LiveComm.com. If you haven’t seen LiveComm, go there. Watch the video on the homepage and learn how I’m using LiveComm to have four days on the market, my houses with no signs. I have no signs, not even one in the front yard when I have a house for sale.
Also, I used to only get 10% down and now I’m averaging 15% down. Go watch that video. It works for all kinds of businesses. Your VAs can learn how to work LiveComm real easy for you and start making LiveComm pay in all different directions in any kind of business. Check out LiveComm.com and tell me if your wheels don’t start spinning. We are out of here. Brady, thank you so much.
About Brady Morgan
Brady Morgan is the founder of Virtual Assistant Staffing Agency, the premier business for your outsourcing needs. Aside from business, he loves spending time with his wife and son, and reading.
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