These days, thanks to technology, hiring freelancers to handle any number of tasks for your business is no longer a challenge. In fact, doing so can provide your company with access to a global talent pool and save you money on things like long term benefits that a full or even part time employee would likely incur. Are you ready to take advantage of this opportunity to grow and expand your property management business? If so, here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
Which areas of your business could you comfortably outsource to someone who isn’t physically located in your office? Some projects, like graphic design and content production, are easy to hand off. Others may take a little more work, but if you strategize ahead of time, almost any position can be filled virtually.
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Do your research
There are dozens of reputable sites that are dedicated to matching qualified, highly skilled freelancers with businesses in need of talent. Start by scouting out online databases like Upwork and Elance. These sites are particularly favorable because they allow you to view past work experience as well as ratings and reviews for each candidate.
Clearly define scope and expectations
Once you’ve hired a freelancer that you feel would be the best fit for the job, start him or her off on the right foot by clearly defining the scope and details of the work to be done as well as expectations and timelines. The more information you give from the get-go, the more smoothly the process of working together will be.
Get it in writing
Not every freelance job will require a formal contract, but for those relationships that you anticipate being long-term, or for tasks that involve access to confidential or other sensitive data, drawing up a contract that details the rules, expectations and other pertinent information, such as a confidentiality agreement or non-compete clause may be a wise choice. This protects both your property management business as well as the freelance professional.
Use technology to your advantage
With things like cloud sharing and real-time video conferencing, you can effectively stay connected with your freelancer and make him or her feel like part of the team. This is particularly important if you plan on outsourcing a long-term position. Looping your remote team members into things like company meetings can go a long way toward solidifying your relationship.
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Respect time, scheduling and other cultural differences
One of the greatest benefits of hiring freelancers is the fact that it allows you to tap into talent resources from anywhere across the globe. It’s important to point out, however, that this will likely bring many differences to the forefront that must be taken into account. For instance, you may have to schedule meetings with your freelancer very early in the morning or later in the day to accommodate a time-zone difference.
Understand you are probably not their only client
Most successful freelancers have a book of business containing multiple clients whom they support. Unless you plan on hiring for a full time position within your organization, chances are you’ll be sharing your freelancer’s time with his or her other clients. Respect this by providing adequate notice for deliverables and setting reasonable expectations.
The ultimate goal of any successful property management organization is growth, but achieving this goal can often be challenging, particularly when it comes to hiring talent. The option to outsource some of the work needed can open many doors of opportunity, provide flexibility and even save your firm money. Just remember to keep the above advice in mind to ensure that your freelance experience goes as smoothly and positively as possible.
What did we miss? What tips would you provide to a property management professional who is considering outsourcing? Please share in the comments below.
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