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Hi everyone, itís Tyrone from Tyroneshum.com and welcome to the dedicated channel where
I talk about outsourcing, automation and lifestyle business design.
Todayís a new podcast and I wanted to get Owen McGab Enaowho onto the phone today and
heís a special guest all the way from the States and the reason why I actually wanted
Owen to get onto the call today was because I wanted to share with you his story on about
his journey on outsourcing. And Owen actually contacted me to do an interview and talk about
outsourcing for his also blog as well so I thought letís get on back onto the call as
well today and have a chat to him and just get him to share a little bit more about his
story because heís got a very interesting story to share with you.
And no doubt, anyone out there whoís wanting to also get into outsourcing, you can definitely
hear your own story as well, too. So Owen, thank you so much for coming onto the call
Thank you very much for having me. Just so the audience know how to pronounce my last
name, I know itís a little bit difficult in the mouth to pronounce. Itís Owen McGab
Enaowho. So I apologize for the mispronunciation.
No, everyone doesnít pronounce my name properly as well, too so donít worry. Well Owen, I
just wanted to find out a little bit about you previously when weíre having a chat as
well, youíve talked a little bit about your involvement in real estate and also outsourcing.
Maybe share with the audience what youíve done as well and yeah, how did you get to
this point as well?
Definitely. And, I started out in outsourcing ñ no, no actually I havenít come directly
but what happened was I started out in real estate and I was a real estate investor and
also an agent, and also basically trying the wholesale deals to other investors who were
looking to buy properties.
So what happened is I go out there to come back into promote some more and all just ñ
enable whoíd see what they have, properties, old properties they need to be rehab and secured
of contracts with the ñ actual owners of the homes and basically get the home on the
contract and ñ just called flipping the contract, so wholesaling the contract. Thatís basically
how I started in real estate.
And to cut the long story short to real estate, I got also involved as a real estate agent
helping homeowners ñ help them negotiate their short sales, basically when they were
at home is incorporating and basically they havenít paid in mortgage so the home has
now went __ so they need somebody, an agent to help them negotiate with their lender on
the short so when the lender is basically selling the home for less than what the home
ñ what the mortgage is owed on -
Itís because the value of the home has been reduced, has fallen anyways. So ñ how I got
into outsourcing as the result there was ñ I now ñ because of the market was, because
of the preclusion and all that, a lot of lenders had a lot of bad notes ñ bad basically non-performing
notes as it was called, basically the mortgage, the homeowners were not paying the mortgages
so to the lender, from the lenderís point of view, the paper is back. Itís costing
their money anyways.
So what I said and tried to do was try to get into the business or bind the paper, the
non-performing notes and now basically become the lender myself, basically trying to buy
the ñ instead of buying the home, try to buy the papers.
But when I got into that business, what I realized was that to play that game, youíll
need to be __. I didnít have the ability to play that game and I said you know what,
I have been selling properties from business and getting properties from business on dollars
and also limits other investors who wants to do rebate, okay maybe I can do the same
game on this.
Now Iím not trying to buy property, Iím trying to wholesale paper which is the non-performing
note that Iíd secure from the lenders. So what now happens when I got into that business,
I realized that most of these lenders were not trying to sell the paper as one property,
notes on a property weíre not trying to do that. Weíre trying it in chunks that get
involved basically million dollar bills. So, I canít do that and best thing for me to
do is to get a way which I can negotiate to do with them as I was trying to buy, right?
And secure the whole transaction even though thereís bigger or high amount transaction.
Secure papers on dollar and basically do the same thing which is broker the notes to a
buyer whoís actually going to buy the ñ notes themselves. So thatís how I got started
in non-performing notes business.
But what I quickly realized was that the way the lenders are setup is that they have what
I call gatekeepers. Basically you have to ask the manager and the bank and they have
all the speaker for ñ I donít know, for some reasons I donít know I think they all
have these bad paper that people are calling you to sell these bad papers and youíll be
willing to just sell it to people, maybe try and hide and itís difficult to get a hold
of them so you have a lot of follow-up, after follow-up you kind of win through the gatekeepers
to get to the right person. And when you finally get to the right person, thereís a whole
bunch of another follow-up just to get them on the phone and start the process of actually
negotiating on paper thatís if they donít have people on the first place.
And mind you, I was doing all this so that I can send information over to my buyers,
the actual buyers who will be going to be riding this thing down in million dollar chunks
stuff like that. So you got to a point when it was really time consuming to do that, you
know that whole follow-up process became mind bothering and it also happened that couple
of weeks you will not say that youíve got to find which to have someone to help me with
I have read Tim Ferrissí book which is the Four-Hour Work Week right? So all I deal,
outsourcing and ñ and you how can someone help you with the tasks, it came clear to
this. I always ñ I said you know what, what if I find somebody to help me with this process
of kind of finding these non-performing notes so that I can step out of the process, all
throughout follow-up with the lenders, gatekeepers and when they get the person through to ask
the manager, I will now step in, do the negotiation and hopefully get access to it or if I didnít
have access to it then virtual assistant will go follow-up with the manager and continue
that process until we have something and that way I can take myself out of the process.
And so the journey of the outsourcing began for me.
Wow. Thatís really interesting because what youíve been able to apply outsourcing to
is something that you donít really see ñ see really much in front. These are really
behind the scenes type of things I guess in that situation. Is that something that is
a standard thing that happens in the transactions that you do, or is it just itís a specialized
industry that youíre in that you have to go through this whole process?
Well, thatís the thing because that first of all the ñ agency that go for non-performing
notes, the issue is that weíre running into a process where we allow people out there
and that they had access to these pools of notes to sell to these big buyers right but
in reality is that they were just in a daisy chain, thatís what the agency calls it. Basically
everybodyís claiming to have something. What if they ask access to the data or the ñ excel
files with the details about the loan, the name of the person, the amount and all that.
So itís usually an excel file and all that and sometimes they get back the excel file
or actual, physical ñ copies that they might send up, the actual deed and itself and publishing
them ñ then all it might be digital copies.
So all those things weíre going to have these called the tape or the information that you
need to do your analysis if they should even buy this. So in this industry itís packed
with a lot of people claiming to have stuff. You know ñ tapes but they donít really have
it and so they have to use these daisy chains where everybody will tell oh, I have this
you have that and they have access with the asset buyers. And before you know, itís ñ
but nobody really have the access to it.
And so from the buyerís standpoint on million dollar chunks or non-performing notes, it
becomes __ for them because when they find somebody whoís claiming to have direct ñ
access to the asset manager, when they get that competition studied, they have to spend
all that time to realize that thereís nothing.
So they donít have anything, everybodyís wasted their time. And from that perspective
of the guy like myself who was trying to broker the notes, it was kind of like okay, you spend
all this time trying to create this relationship with these lenders because guess what the
asset managers were not used to get a hold of them on the first place. The asset managers,
you have to go through, always going to dig through all the gatekeepers and create relationships
with the gatekeepers so that you can giver you the right information you need so you
can get to the right person and all that.
And now you get access to these non-performing notes. What you need at this point is somebody
who can actually close a deal and you donít need a guy whoís supposing to be a buyer
who actually is part of another daisy chain of buyers.
Yeah, thatís the last thing you want. Exactly.
Thatís the last thing was. Thatís how I decided you know what, basically outsource
my part for getting that relationship with asset manager. And initially what I was doing
was I was actually okay being the guy who would have got the assets to the pool of notes
just ñ broker the notes to the end buyers. But because this business is also a gig of
numbers you know you have to get so many notes in front of potential buyers and itís off
to the buyers to actually ñ to buy, and that becomes a thing where I spend all that time
creating the relationship, send this thing to the guy who I think is the buyer who actually
is the buyer but cannot come to an agreement with the lender that makes sense for them
and as well as the asset managers.
So now Iím stuck, I donít know that stuff. Creating relationships send out, nobody and
no sale is done and Iím stuck at not making any money.
Which is quite frustrating I can see from that. And thatís the reason why this kind
of process is quite a ñ itís a system by the sounds of what youíve done, itís a system
that you got in place and from that system, youíve got to be able to get someone else
to do it because itís either you do it yourself and takes a lot of your time or someone else
who can actually handle it such as a virtual assistant.
But the first thing I guess I just wanted to know is when you first decided to go and
look for someone to outsource to and as youíve said youíve read the Four-Hour Work Week
from Tim Ferriss, what struck you as being the most difficult thing to do at first to
be able to outsource?
I guess for me, the most difficult thing was ñ knowing that Iím going to have somebody
do this in an industry that is very niched in the sense that you really have to understand
what are non-performing notes, know how to speak the way to the asset managers in the
language that he understand, right because itís very nicheful process.
Yeah because itís very specific.
Yeah, itís very specific so I have to think I have to take myself out of the picture and
see if I was talking to myself and trying to tell myself how I suddenly do what I do
which is very thankful to be doing at this point, how do I train that person, get all
the information to them so they understand and get them start with the process of where
I first started with the thing was I started from being ñ not really talking about the
scripts I do and how I talk to them but really start from higher level of why am I doing
this in the first place. Explaining the whole process, how does notes become a non-performing
notes. So that they understand. So youíre following what Iím saying -
I didnít go and told them to okay just call the lender and say this, say that. I went
into the whole process of knowing what is this whole business about, explaining to them
from the top there. Because neither I will try to get someone into a business that they
did have no idea what theyíre assisting in the first place, so for me the best thing
to do is Iíll give them a refresher of the entire industry, why the industry is what
it is, right?
And then at that point when they have on this, the higher level of what I was talking about
then I could now dig in and tell them okay how do you get calling people, what you see,
what scripts do you use to get this done. And so the challenge, like the question you
asked was try to realize how best to go through the process of doing it. Because it could
be sometime that I figured out itís best thing I can do at the end.
Because yeah, itís definitely not something thatís the norm out there I mean I can just
say hey, Mr. virtual assistant, please take all my calls and hopefully heíll be able
to handle all that so you actually find someone quite specific. And when you did start to
outsource this, where did you go to find them?
Well thatís a good question too because for me Iíve ñ I said you know what, I do have
to start to do it in the US ñ but you know and no issues with that but you know what,
this is a business where Iím trying to create relationships with these lenders, get access
to the notes and send it out to my buyers hoping that they buy already have these numbers
going against me, next thing I want to do is to be training the pocket.
Yeah, of course.
At that point, a US person to help me out was not an option because it wasnít an affordable
option based on what I was doing. And so in the ñ Tim Ferrissí Four-Hour Work Week book,
he talks about how you know you can go through other countries like India, China and all
that to get virtual assistants. So I went through the process myself using sites like
eLance, oDesk and all that. And you will try to even go very specific to you know ñ like
Yeah Craigslist in the Philippines.
- of the country so I tried to start to do that and I went through India. And, no problem
with India theyíre very good people there and they do a lot of good job and the problem
was because this task involve a lot of phone conversation with people, the accent thing
became an issue.
I already have an accent myself. But I got someone who got a strong accent than me, oh
you know ñ oh boy. Because we deal with asset managers who were trying to be very difficult
to get a hold of.
So I was trying to find something that would reduce that friction and the accent thing
might be a friction. That was ñ what my own observation was so I say you know what, that
didnít work for me. So I go to China and I went to China to do what I needed to do,
it didnít work for me as well. So somehow I found about a Filipino and I tested it out
and sort of they made sense for me because what I found that the accent was something
clear English than myself. The accent was really very good so it really worked for what
I was trying to do. Not only was it affordable because it was out of the country but also
the accent also helped because Philippines, English is their first language as well so
it was a match and made it work at that point.
Oh so talking about affordability, can I ask you when you first started to outsource to
India and then afterwards to the Philippines, what kind of rates were you able to achieve
with that as well?
Definitely I mean the thing with rates is basically depending on several different factors.
Because if you go to a company or companies that provide virtual assistant services, itís
still going to be affordable rate, affordable than in the US, but itís not going to be
as affordable as if you went and really got that person that is working from you from
their own home. So you know what Iím saying.
So because the people, if you go to a company that provide virtual assistants, they have
to provide profit too and it was in the sense, affordable but not as affordable for me as
I needed to which is was to get the virtual assistants to help me from their home as well.
So the risk I was getting from people that are working for companies, and agents, outsourcing
comes some $6 to $5, that was the rates.
Thatís really good still.
Yeah, which is good! And then you know and also the rates of the people who were working
from home took about less than $2, less than $3 in that rate so it really depends on what
you get. But then, it now becomes a thing where yes, youíre getting a company that
provides the service telling you that okay, if your virtual assistant does not show up
and does not work for you for one reason or the other because theyíre taking the time
to know your entire system and all that, now they have a backup for you and all this sort
of mixed up and you have to go with it.
And then yes the other option was way more affordable, way cheaper but you also have
to do with the fact that if theyíre not around, if ñ because itís not countries like in
the US where your power is always stable. Sometimes things might happen, thereís no
power, thereís an outage, thereís no internet whatever. And certain things are on hold because
that person is working for you from home and was not able to solve.
At that point, I didnít even care about those disadvantages, at that point it just makes
sense to go with that option of finding someone that will work for you from home.
Definitely. I think thatís interesting and when I first started as well I think I was
able to get about a rate of about $5 per hour from India as well and weíre talking about
hourly rates for people who were thinking. Itís not $5 per month so.
I wonder I donít think any country even does that.
So yeah, thatís a pretty good rate especially when youíre working with a company as well.
When I was actually hiring people directly from the Philippines, I was able to get roughly
working with a company a virtual assistant company for about $4 an hour. So paying roughly
about $3 an hour an under for someone working for you full time, that is one of the benefits
And power shortages do happen but that donít happen that often and I got to say Iím not
too concerned about that. The main thing is as long as you trained them up well and also
too that your virtual assistants work with you on a regular basis, theyíll be able to
follow-up on their work and thatís what I found. If theyíre not available on there,
theyíll always got work offline anyway. So thatís good to hear, really, really good
And since then -
Definitely and so the journey, the journey goes to the situation where you know at that
point you say you know, I donít want to get somebody from India just the thought of the
language barrier, what tasks I give. If it was been in programming, graphic design or
something else that was not really way the have to be in front of my potential clients
which in the sense the asset manager, it would have been a good fit.
But at this point I needed someone that the language was not a problem so somehow I found
about Philippines and went through the process of trying to find someone from the Philippines.
And to be honest with you, the person I started out using from the Philippines, I found the
person through oDesk which is a service that allows you to ñ itís kind of like eLance
where they have a lot of people and project in there and basically you tell them what
you want, them to do for you and they all bid on the projects, you need to group people
and you choose the best person for your task. So thatís how I found the first person I
used from the Philippines to start with the process.
Thatís excellent. So from there, since youíve had them, what exactly are they on at this
point in time. Theyíre working for you full time, part time or they have a contract?
Okay so in regards to these people I hire from the Philippines with that very task,
at this point right now theyíre not working for me full on that part of the business for
doing non-performing notes because I donít focus on that anymore. So if I would be permitted
to say to you the complete story, so what happened was it happened to a point where
because the business is a game of numbers where youíre trying to match the buyers with
the non-performing notes to potential buyers and theyíre not buying, so youíre creating
all these relationships and maybe ñ one in 10 or less or even worse than that donít
get close, so for me ñ it was like you know what I already have these virtual assistants
trained on how to handle this very niche industry, why donít I take myself out of the picture
and guess Iíll be the guy whoís being paid a percentage of the trade, what the trade
happens, why donít I take myself out of it and thereís a certain amount that Iím paying
the virtual assistant, I can still make a profit thatís constant and thatís coming
in continuously but itís not going to cost the end buyer as much as if there was a trade
of the non-performing notes itself and they will pay me a commission.
So I started picturing the ideas to my buyers and I said you know what, take me out of the
picture, I can provide you the VAs who are doing the work for me and then youíre paying
them this rate per hour to do the work for you. So do you understand? This is how -
Ahh. So you turned your clients over to ñ yeah
So weíve become a provider of virtual assistants.
Yeah I got ya so that worked really well for you so instead of just I guess firing your
virtual assistants or allocating them somewhere else in your business, you actually sell them
ñ not sell them but offer them to your clients then and you offered them too as in rates,
youíre obviously making a margin on top of that to be able to ñ yeah keep these virtual
assistants going as well?
Definitely so it works out for everybody where you know they weíre getting what they wanted
because itís the same ways that they were charging me when they were just my VAs and
now, the clients are working with them because the clients wouldnít have to pay me huge
amounts in terms of the trade. If the trade gets done, they give you certain percentage.
They wonít have to do that.
Now they pay per hour for ñ for rate that they filled. You know to them, it makes so
much sense because a lot of them had admin staff in their office and if they tell you
what they are paying them and what Iím telling them to pay my own VA, itís just makes sense
so much sense for them to just go ahead and use the service.
Thatís a really interesting story. So from doing the business yourself from real estate
and hiring your own virtual assistant to actually outsourcing it and giving it to your clients.
Thatís how I got involved in the process. Thatís why if anyone were to look at my website,
most users weíll find are from people in the real estate notebuying business because
thatís how I started. And so weíve put this according to this whole thing that really
came about because I took the time to systematize what I was doing, taught the right people
that I hired on how to do it.
So if I canít figure out how to get into other business, you know all entrepreneurs
are taking the time to systematize what theyíre doing, right?
Then we can do the same process of learning what they do and train VAs on how to do it
and thatís how I wanted to do this business.
Thatís really amazing. So for anyone whoís actually interested in outsourcing their business
as well or wanting to just go down or maybe a similar path not necessarily real estate
but just starting out in their business as well, whatís probably your number one tip
you can give them? From your experience yeah.
Definitely Iím saying look at it from the perspective of kind of look at 360degrees,
look at your business. What is your business and what are different things that you do
in your business? What are those things that really bring the income in and those things
that are not necessarily bringing in the income but are necessary for your business?
So you want to start with okay which ones are necessary ñ that donít bring the income-producing
activities that are necessary. These ones you now have to think a way which to systematize
the process so that you can hand it over to somebody to handle for you. You know, to handle
But then you also actually have to realize that there are several things that you know
how to do in your business and kind of quite administrative tasks and there are certain
things that you donít know how to do but are necessary to find someone so thatís why
you go ahead and find a specialist to handle those tasks.
You understand what Iím saying?
Yeah so basically anything thatís income-producing, you want to keep for yourself to do and then
the tasks that are administrative, theyíre not income-producing, you want it outsourced.
Thatís probably your number one tip to be able to provide the readers and listeners.
And I appreciate it, thatís a really, really good tip and very powerful point as well,
too. Just curious as well Owen, what kind of projects are you currently working on at
this point in time? And weíre actually were calling this just before the New Year as well,
too so itís nearly nearing the New Year so obviously, what are some of the upcoming projects
that youíre going to be doing for 2011?
Thatís a good question. And we started out as working for people in the notebuying business
so basically you think of them as bankers because theyíre buying notes from banks so
we started in that industry and I started going into more of administrative kind of
provider where weíre looking for work that the client knows how to do administrative,
they can spend some time how to do it, data entry or some kind of processes that they
need for their business.
And now, what Iím moving forward to now in the future now is really go about very, very
specialized type of activities where some of them might say itís not really a virtual
assistant, I might say some virtual assistant specialists. So one of the things that a lot
of people ask about is social media marketing. They see how personally how weíre doing some
of the blogs and all these things that Iím doing and they want to learn how do we do
it for our business.
So my team is going out there to find their partners that I can use that already have
that skill set and incorporate them as part of my team, right? And offer that social media
marketing services to clients in the future. So now weíre going from administrative tasks
to more of social media stuff. So we are basically trying to find different niche services that
we can create and add to the team and basically increase that portfolio.
One of the things that Iím actually looking for is a team of what I can actually outsource
SEO works. I have a lot you know, people that are interested in stuff like that so thatís
another thing thatís on my list. So find the right partners in this country to provide
SEO work and we can add them as part of the team.
That sounds great. So youíre looking at doing consultancy work for both social media and
also SEO for next year and have them all outsourced over so to Philippines and stuff like that.
No doubt, I can definitely assure you that youíre going to be able to find them. Itís
just a matter of looking and finding the right people next year. There are plenty of them
I can guarantee that because Iíve got a few as well.
Definitely and the benefit is really to the people is that you know, you can actually
go out and do a lot of the things that I will provide yourself and it will involve taking
that time and to create those relationships and taking that time to make those mistakes,
go find them the right partners. Or you can go to another route or go to somebody who
already has established a team of people that provide strategic tasks for you and you can
jump through that having to making that mistake on your own. Either way, thatís why you can
learn it yourself and make the mistakes and ñ which is not bad.
You can learn a lot of things from mistakes or you can choose not to waste that time,
and go for somebody who already have a team in place to handle certain tasks and have
them do it for you.
Absolutely and thatís the way outsourcing really works. If you can leverage the power
of outsourcing, you can save a lot of time. You donít have to know it, you donít have
to learn it so I definitely can see that youíve got a real potential there.
Well excellent Owen. I really appreciated you coming onto the interview today. Also
how can people get in contact with them if they want to find out some of your services
and potentially any of your SEO or social media services for next year?
Definitely, and I really appreciate you give this chance to tell them to get a hold of
me. What I wanted them to do is to come on my blog because one of the things that I do
is Iím interviewing entrepreneurs such as yourself that have experience in outsourcing
in their business so that when they come onto the blog, it talks about what theyíre doing
and how they use virtual assistants in their business, how they outsource in their business
so that I can keep my listeners a chance basically relate to that business owner and see how
it works for them so that they can take that example and see how they can apply it for
So what I wanted them to do is to come to the blog and they can access to the blog by
going to www.HireYourVirtualAssistant.com/BLOG or blog and thatís the best way to get a
hold of me and you get there, you get videos of video interviews with entrepreneurs about
various topics about lifestyle design, virtual assistant, outsourcing. And even some of them
come on there and talk about how they build their business, in their entrepreneurship
journey on how they became who they are so that we can learn how to be successful like
them too. And if you want to get access to me via social media, you can go to Twitter,
I love Twitter because it allows me to just ñ and it gets directly to my phone so itís
best place for social media. And that is the Twitter.com/HYVAssistant or @HYVAssistant
Awesome. Well Owen, Iíll definitely put those links below there so that anyone who wants
to get in contact with you. Definitely check out his Youtube channel as well, Owenís got
a lot of great interviews. Iíve checked them out myself so Iím keen to actually go through
them myself to have a look at all these interviews heís done and I really, really do wish you
all the best for 2011 and thank you so much for coming onto the call today. Itís a pleasure
to interview you today.
Thank you very much. And for a bit, I was actually wearing the shirt so that people
can see it for people on Twitter, can you see it?
Yup, I can see it loud and clear.
So just go there and find me, thank you very much.
Thank you again.