In a property management company, recruiting and maintaining staff members who fit within the company culture is one of the biggest business challenges. Most of us in the post pandemic world are running hybrid if not fully remote work routines so there is no reason to be tied by geographic boundaries. On this episode of Property Management Brainstorm, Bob speaks with Pete Neubig, CEO at VPM Solutions, about finding and retaining talent in your property management company. VPM Solutions is an online placement, payment, and training platform dedicated exclusively to the property management industry, to connect employers with virtual assistants.
[2:55] Pete introduces himself and company, VPM Solutions.
[6:25] What is going on with the “big quit” and why is it so hard to find good people to fill open positions in our companies?
[12:30] Pete explains how VPM Solutions works and walk us through the process of finding virtual employee candidates.
[14:45] What is a Virtual Assistant and what are the positions within property management companies which a VA could be hired to fill?
[18:00] What is the typical savings a company may see in hiring a virtual staff member and why?
[21:50] Are employers at risk at all in getting flagged by state employment regulators?
[25:48] Differences between VPM Solutions and other virtual assistant companies.
[27:50] What’s involved in getting started with VPM Solutions and how much does it cost?
[31:40] Pete talks about his side hustle as the host of NARPM Radio and tells a great story about his positive experiences in training and participating in Triathalons.
Connect with Pete Neubig
Connect with Bob Preston
Property Management Companies in San Diego
This episode is always available for listening, sharing, or download at Property Management Brainstorm. Subscribe to Property Management Brainstorm on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TunedIn, iHeart Radio and YouTube.
Bob Preston: 01:06 Hello, brainstormers and welcome to another episode of the property management brainstorm. This is Bob Preston, your host as usual broadcasting from our studio at North County Property Group in Del Mar, California. If you're new here, please subscribe. You get ongoing access to all of our episodes. And if you like what you hear, we would sure appreciate it. If you would leave a positive review, I'm not sure about you and your property management business, but recruiting and maintaining staff memories who fit within our company. Culture is probably one of my biggest challenges that I have as an owner of a property management business. We've tried so many different approaches seeking referrals to advertising on indeed LinkedIn, even Craigslist. And the fact of the matter is most of us in the post pandemic world are running hybrid if not fully remote. So, in today's day and age, maybe there's no reason to be tied necessarily by geographic boundaries. Today, we are going to speak with Pete new, big to talk about finding and retain talent for your property management company. Pete is a former owner of a property management company and an active participant in the NARPM organization, formerly one of our NARPM regional vice presidents. And more recently he has founded a company called VPM solutions, which is an online placement payment and training platform dedicated exclusively to the property management in his street. Pete and I are going to have a lively discussion today about how employers can connect with virtual assistance and how his company aims to provide best in class talent from every corner of the globe. He's also a podcast coast himself doing honors in hosting NA radio episodes. So, we'll ask about that a bit as well. Pete, thanks for being here today and welcome to the show.
Pete Neubig: 02:43 Bob, thanks so much for having me.
Bob Preston: 02:45 I've been excited about this because you and I know each other pretty well. We are both audio files and podcast hosts and stuff like that, and we've connected every now and then, in fact, I was on your podcast, our firm radio just, uh, earlier this week, but I always like to start our show by having our guests introduce themselves. And if you could tell us a bit about yourself company and kick us off of that, that'd be great.
Pete Neubig: 03:04 You got it. So, my name is Pete Neubig and I'm originally from New York city, but I live in the great state of Texas now. So, you and I share a common story. We were, I was an it guy. Yeah. So, I was you technology and I was an it guy for five years and, uh, I left it and I started my own property management company, but, uh, I didn't really know that there was a property I didn't know about NARPM. And I didn't know that there was an industry, my business partner, and I started buying a bunch of houses. We needed somebody to, uh, we needed to manage them. We didn't know that there was an industry. I did this, so we kind of managed them. Next thing you know, people asked us to manage their properties and that's how we got into the business. I started empire industry's property management in 2012, sold it in 2019 to mind management. I was the Eastern vice president of operations, which sounds like a nice title, but really, I was like a, you know, I was glorified senior property manager for mine for about 18 months. I left them in June of last year to start VPM solutions, which it's not a product manager company, but it services the property management industry. So, we connect property management industry with virtual team members, uh, across the globe. And I was a re regional vice president Nam. And I'm the Nam radio podcast host.
Bob Preston: 04:24 And how did you make that transition? That jump from it and technology into property management, what inspired that change?
Pete Neubig: 04:31 So that's a great question. So, in the year 2000, 2001, I was like having, like, it was almost, I was 30 years old, but I was having like this midlife crisis. I knew I wanted to own something. I knew I did not want to be an employee anymore, but I, I didn't know what to do. So, in 2001, I started buying real estate and I bought enough real estate from 2001 to about 2007, I guess, where it just became more and more like I needed it to manage it. Right. So, I bought, you know, I had, I think 31 properties at the time I had a couple apartment complexes and I was told that if I bought all these properties and had these apartment complexes, that I would be able to retire and the actual opposite happened, right. I need to work more because I needed my W2 income to basically pay for the tax’s insurance at the end of the year, which that's talking about talking about like not buying the right properties, not managing correctly. And, uh, finally, um, I had enough properties had, had, you know, started, started third party managing, even though I didn't know what it was, I wasn't a realtor. So, I was doing it illegally. They had no idea. And, um, it just, the, the management side of things and owning the real estate started taking more and more of my time. And I finally said, if I don't jump into this, it's, it'll be a part-time business. It'll never make money. It'll be a hobby. And that's when I, I sat down with my wife, we had, you know, a candid conversation told I probably wouldn't make any money for about a year. I was probably correct about that. I slung real estate for a year and, and I made some decent money the first year. And then, uh, and then I just focused on property management, but that was it. That was the reason I, I had a great job. I just didn't want, I, I was just unhappy. And I, and I had no reason to be unhappy cause I had a great job.
Bob Preston: 06:09 That's also very similar to my path. You know, I kind of backed into it that way too. And couldn't find anybody I liked. I told you that story the other day and then ended up kind of brick by brick building north county property group. Well, listen, let's start today focusing back on VPM solutions and start at the very high level today. So, you know, we're all hearing about small businesses in our difficult time and filling positions. It's all over the news, the big quit, whatever you want to call it from your perspective, what the heck is going on right in our country, our economy that makes it so, so hard to find good people to fill positions that so many companies have over. Yeah. I
Pete Neubig: 06:40 Think that's a, that's a great question, Bob. And I don't know if I have the right answer, but I have a couple of ideas that I think is trending. So especially in our industry, right. And I, I know it's happened across all industries, because I've talked to other people that are having a hard time. My, my wife works in HR for a big oil company, and they too are having trouble filling jobs. By the way they've given everybody raises. They're like everything's happening. Like we, as far as like we have to get more, more perks, more money.
Bob Preston: 07:07 Yeah. Signing, bonuses, all this crazy stuff going on. Right. And,
Pete Neubig: 07:10 And so I think the big challenge is with, with lower pay type of work, people are getting that P P P and people like, do I really want to work for $30,000 a year doing something that I don't like anymore? Or should I just semi-retire or should I just go find something else or should I, you know, get more government money? I think that's part of it. I don't know if that's the, that's the end all be all. I will tell you what's happening in our industry as property managers, look, we have a lot of low level have that need to get done. And those low-level tasks don't, they don't command a big dollar amount. Right. But however, to find somebody to work for, you know, depending on where you are in the country, 30, 35 or $40,000 a year, you're, you're having a hard time filling that position because one, the people who are super qualified and are good at people are, are, are commanding more money and the people are not qualified. Um, they typically have external problems that bring into your company. Right. Um, they can't afford, they can't pay the rent or, you know, they, they don't, they're not just appreciative of the work. Right. So, you, you, so they were in there one week, they work for you and then they come in out and they say they don't want to raise. So, I don't know why there's a big quit it, but I know why we're having a harder time to fill the positions that, you know, we used to fill pretty easily.
Bob Preston: 08:27 Yeah. And you know, property management to your point is no exception. Right. We hired a couple people recently and I can tell you that, you know, in a couple cases it didn't really work out. And it felt like the tail was trying to wag the dog got super annoying and, and there was this sort of attitude. Like, you need me more than I need you. I'm going to stick it to the man the best I can. And that just did not fly in our company culture. And
Pete Neubig: 08:49 If you let that, that poison into your company, you need to do anything about it. Right. It's like, I, I talk about like, it's a VA of water and it's good clean water. And I sit from the water, but then I get this little poison in there. Hey, Bob, it's just a little bit of poison, drink this water and the poison. It, it contaminates the whole barrel, not just the piece, you know, the saying of the one bad apple spoils the bunch it's so true. I actually, early on had a terrible employee that I did not get rid of and my really good employee left. Yeah. And that's what happens. The good people leave. If you don't do anything about it. So right there tidbit number one, and this podcast is if you have a, a bad team member, um, you need to get rid of them before your good team members leave.
Bob Preston: 09:30 Yeah. No. And I can attest to that. And then when we finally made some changes, it was like this bail got lifted from the company daily interactions. You could just feel the entire level of company spirit lift. It was a blow my mind moment, because as the owner of the business, I was sort of letting this happen and didn't quite realize the extent to which it was affecting other people
Pete Neubig: 09:50 And you're letting happen, because you're scared. Right? Oh, I'm not going to be able to, I'm going to have to do the job or other people have to do the work and it, work's not going to.
Bob Preston: 09:56 A little bit. Yeah, yeah. Or it was in, in this case, it was the timing of the year. It was in the holidays. Well, we can't do it now. Right. I was kind of part of it too. I
Pete Neubig: 10:03 Say, you know, the reason why I started VPM solutions, Bob was, I had a lady named Sharon, Sharon was this angry person and she was my front office coordinator. Right. My front desk. So right there tells you what my hiring process was back then. Right. It was terrible. She's the wrong person and in the wrong seat. Right. Yeah. And so, I'm like, man, Sharon's like this angry lady. Why I, why don't I move her to a maintenance coordinator? I think that's perfect. Right? Like angry peoples, you know, like they, they, they love like, you know, maintenance is going to be good. She'll be tough on the owners, tough on the residents. So, she became maintenance coordinator and within two weeks now I gave her a raise within two weeks. She told me that she needed another raise, that it was too hard of work. And I I'm sitting there like, and, and I only gave her like she was working for me at the time. I, I was a property manager time again, that's another long story. So, she probably needed like, you know, some extra pay just to be able to deal with me, but the role did not require more pay. And uh, and so, so I literally told her that day, like, I'm sorry, but you just job got just your job. Got outsourced. I hired three people, three virtual assistants for the price of one Sharon. And this was a lady who was just not appreciative of, of the opportunity she was given. And I said, you know what? I'm just done dealing with, with people who are, don't have the education, don't have the, and don't have the appreciation. And that's when I started moving, uh, my team over to, to more virtually, um, outside the borders than, um, than hiring people in, in, in country.
Bob Preston: 11:29 Boy, that is also really, really good advice. Yeah. I found it's also true that number one, I don't move a person who's performing poorly into another position. I just don't do that because this is going to probably happen again. And I don't like to throw money at problems, either the unhappy employee who's shown over the period of time, they're unhappy. And then they say it's because of the money they're making also rarely fixes the problem because you're digging with an unhappy person.
Pete Neubig: 11:52 I will say, I will say though, sometimes there was a time when I hire, I hired somebody, I put them in the wrong seat. They were not doing a good job, but I moved them into their right seat. And then they blossomed. So, if you have a really good understanding of personalized profiles and what the job role requires, I think you can actually move somebody who now they're not, they, you know, they're not a bad, they're not the right. They're, they're the right, um, core value type person they're right on the bus. They're just not on the right seat. And so, in that respect, I think you can save people. But if they're just not the right person, doesn't matter what you put 'em in your organization. They're poison.
Bob Preston: 12:26 Yeah, no, that's true. I mean, if it's a positive person, someone who fits into your culture, they're just not in the right seat. That's a different situation. So, you've made reference to cheer platform is primarily focused and specific to the property management industry and it helps attract high quality property management professionals. What does that mean? And tell us how it works, right? Can you walk us through the process that your platform provides and how people might use it?
Pete Neubig: 12:47 Sure thing, man, on the virtual assistant side, we, um, so our platform marries property manage is a virtual assistant. That's what it does. And so, on the virtual assistant side, we are advertising to virtual assistants to, to do they want to get into the property management industry, um, no experience required, or if you have experience in it, great join, join us in, create a profile. So that's how we attract people. And we advertise in multiple countries, mainly, uh, fill Philippines. Mexico are two big ones that we have most of our people on, but we have people in the United States, Peru, not Peru, sorry, uh, United States, Pakistan and, uh, and all the central America. So, we're in a lot of different countries. Wow. On the, on the employer side. And, and I'm sorry. And when the virtual assistant creates a profile, they're asked specific questions. Some of them geared towards property management and that's important because on the employer side, you, when you, when you post a job. So when you, when you first you log on, you create a, um, a, you, you create a profile on our system that takes about two minutes. We ask like three questions. Then you can search the full database of virtual assistance. And there's right now, as of today, there's about 50, uh, 400 people on the site. Wow. From there you can, you can create like a, a search on the master database just to see if what you're looking to hire exists in our database. From there, you post a job and it's about six steps to post a job. And we ask you a series of questions and those questions are geared to match with the, the right people that are on the, with the right virtual assistant that have posted a profile. And then what we have is we have an algorithm that we call talent match. So as soon as you post a job, you have a list of, of people that match your job. And then from there, you can either invite them to the job or you can sit back and have applications come in. And so, you post a job literally on today at four o'clock, you know, and potentially get applications within, within 30, 60 minutes, 90 minutes,
Bob Preston: 14:46 The term virtual assistant, or we often call them VAs, right. Is often used to describe this type of person you're talking about to help companies. What is a virtual assistant? Maybe you can help us define that. And what are the positions within property management companies, which employers like north county property group, my company should consider for a VA to fill. So
Pete Neubig: 15:02 For the jobs to fill, I'll tell you this, go to VPM solutions.com and then, um, what can do, and we have a whole list. I have 40 plus job descriptions that I created from empire and from mind on what a virtual assistant can do. They can do anything from maintain. So, think about it. This, anything that does not require a license or does not require you to be physically at the property, a virtual assistant can do anywhere from bookkeeping to inside sales rep, to marketing, assistant, to maintenance coordinator, lease renewal specialist, um, onboarding specialists, utility specialists, any of those, any of those things and more right. Re resident services, team member, owner services, team member, uh, so they could do almost anything in your business. Now, what we did at empire is we had our virtual assistants be the taskers, which allow, which freed up our, our property manager's time. My property managers were the ones that were paid the most in the organization. So, I want them to work from the neck up. I don't need them working all day and then going home and, and doing 27 35 tasks that are not very challenging, right? They're they have to be done. If they're not done, it causes big problems for, for our, you know, for our organization. But why, why can't we get other people to do the tasks and then a property manager? Cause they don't have to do all the tasks. They can be proactive. They can build relationships. They can look for, um, for properties, for our, our, our clients. They can ask for referrals because now they can get on the phone. And if somebody calls right in the past, somebody would call our property manager. And they're literally trying to do tasks as they're talking to the owner because they have so much work to do well. Now with the taskers, doing all the work, the problem manager can give that person their time and that's relationship you're building. And now if you mess up that person doesn't leave you. Whereas if you build don't build a relationship, they leave you right away. And so, our goal was the VAs can do all the work that is task-based property managers do to think work and look for trends or, or challenges, potential challenges popping up.
Bob Preston: 17:10 Yeah. And I suppose it's up to the property managers to go do the move and stuff like that, which actually requires you to get up your bed up out of the seat and go to a property for whatever reason that might be as well. Right. I mean, that can't be done by a virtual assistant.
Pete Neubig: 17:21 No, it can't, but it doesn't have to be done by your manager either. So, my managers never left a desk. So, um, we had property associates or field techs and they used, you know, um, I think Z inspector was one of 'em like we have software that we used and uh, our, the property manager, the ones that reviewed the inspection reports and they're the ones. So, the move out piece was, that was probably the biggest, the biggest tasking that our property managers did, but they didn't leave when, when the property manager leaves the desk, that windshield time killed us. Uh, Houston is much like LA, like it's really spread out. You could be in the car for three hours in Houston, just going to one or two properties.
Bob Preston: 17:59 Yeah. San Diego's like that as well. So, you mentioned earlier that three virtual assistance replaced your one kind of cranky, uh, employee. So, from a budget perspective, I I've got to assume this is attractive. So, what's the difference from a budgetary standpoint versus hiring a full-time staff member?
Pete Neubig: 18:14 What we found was now, depending on where you hire from, we found it could be two and a half to three people per one person in the United States. Wow. So, I can hire three people let's say in the Philippines from one person in the us, Mexico, more like two and a half to one. And so, think about that, right? I get rid of Sharon, who's doing a terrible job for me. I replace it with three people who are doing a great job. How many more tasks can I get done with three people versus one, how much, how many more properties can I handle if I have these people, you know, handling those tasks versus one. So, what we found was, um, so at empire we were very, we were growth oriented. And so, we were always growing, which, which caused a lot of stress. Right. And it caused a lot of tasks. And what we found was, uh, no matter how much we grew, our, our revenue would grow, but then I had a higher, more and more people. Yeah. And so, my expenses grew just with my revenue. So, you have this, like this line that just never, it never separates. There's never a gap. And sometimes we actually had to hire people, um, because we had some growth that we, that we were counting on, that we would hire them. We'd actually go into the red and then bring in more properties to go into the black. And I just couldn't, I just couldn't live that way anymore. Yeah. So that's when we decided, okay, we need a, we need more people, but we need lower cost, better people. And all of a sudden that gap started creating.
Bob Preston: 19:41 I've been there before, where you can start to, as a property owner or maybe the director of the property management group, whatever, you can start to sense that people are getting stressed. Like you said, based on the growth or the additional properties. And you can just sense that, Hey, I need to add somebody. Right. So, then the decision becomes, oh, who do I add? What do I add? Or how do I, how do I differentiate between these different responsibilities? Right.
Pete Neubig: 20:02 You know, it's, I talked to a lot of property managers and especially when you're smaller and you're running like that portfolio base, uh, you know, kind of, uh, organization, you act actually have to stress your team to be profitable. And that's no way to go through life because yeah, people can't live. They can't, I, I look, I can't work 60 hours a week every week. If I work 60 hours a week, once a, once every quarter, or once every month I can live with that. But when I got to work all these hours and I'm stressed all the time, you're going to burn people out and you're going to lose good people.
Bob Preston: 20:35 Yeah. No question about it.
Pete Neubig: 20:35 You know, and then of course, so you hire somebody to reduce the stress and now you're, now you're stressed because you're not making any money. So, it's really, it's a really tough situation. Um, if you can't figure out the right structure in, uh, hiring the right people and of course automation helps with that as well.
Bob Preston: 20:50 Yeah. And then if you hire the wrong person, you're you spend all this time training the person and then you go through this period of, wow, is this person going to work out? Then if you let them go, you've wasted all this time versus maybe hiring somebody who's already got the aptitude, like you're talking about for the property management industry and has been previous sleeve vetted by you guys, you know, makes a lot of sense.
Pete Neubig: 21:09 So, um, we don't just to, just to be clear, Bob, we don't vet them. So, anybody who's on there can be on there. Uh, we are rolling out training modules that we're going to call certification program. And these, this will roll out in April, uh, of 2022. I love it. It'll the first 12, uh, Sierra are they're numerous hours and it's the life cycle of property management. And at the end of each training module there's tests. So, at a minimum you can require when you post a job, them to have a certification and that's kind of your, okay, now I know that they have this certification. So at least I know they know the basics and they were able to test out. So, they have the aptitude. So, we're going to solve that challenge, but it's not going to be till, uh, April.
Bob Preston: 21:51 I love it. That's awesome. Hey, I have my company in the state of California and we're regulated up the yinging, you know, I mean, it's, it's well known, not only in landlord tenant laws, but also our employment laws. And so, you know, what about tax obligations? Company benefits like overtime health insurance, sick days. I'm assuming these people are hire as contractors. And so are they coming into this expecting that they are given those kind of benefits or what's the what's the program
Pete Neubig: 22:15 That seems to be the trend Bob. So more and more of 'em are looking for other perks. So, the way around it, it's kind of a gray area, because if it looks like a duck talks like a duck walks like a duck cracks, like a duck is usually a duck, right. So, if I hire somebody and they're going to be full time and I give them like an and I give them like, you know, a, um, an offer letter or something like that, um, then if I get audited, they can say, well, that person is working for you. They're an employee of your employee taxes. Right. Um, but they're not in the states. And so how does that work? So right now, the, the, I can tell you this, like, no, one's really figured this out yet. I I've talked I've been following some of the bigger companies that are in this industry that I'm in. And, um, no, no. One's like, no one hasn't really figured out. No one knows I've talked to employment lawyers. No one has really, this is kind of a new we're in a wild west right now with, with this kind of, uh, solution. But what I say, uh, what I tell my clients is don't gimme an offer letter. Let's give, let's give a contract and the contract can be written any way you want to. So, I'm going to contract with you, and I want to give you, you know, five days off for free or, or five days to, to pay you. I'm going to give you those five holidays. I'm going to give you, you know, so you can, you can get around with, with like an, with a, with a contractor, for the contractor. And that's how, that's how most people do it. Now on the tax side of things, if you're paying through VPN, then VP is, is the one who's sending you the invoices. So, you're literally paying a, an LLC inside the states when the virtual assistant creates their profile and they, and they apply for a job, they fill out the right, the correct paperwork that's needed in the us and on their, on their side of things. And they are, they are literally guaranteeing that they're responsible for their own taxes. So, there's no tax obligation. Even if you hire somebody in the United States through our platform, we will handle the 10 99 for you.
Bob Preston: 24:03 Gotcha. Our, okay. So, your platform is such that the company that's hiring the staff member pays you guys and that payments flow through you and
Pete Neubig: 24:11 They flow through us. They don't pay to us. They paid on them directly, but they're flowing through our,
Bob Preston: 24:16 I see
Pete Neubig: 24:16 The payment system.
Bob Preston: 24:18 I gotcha. Okay. So here in California, we have the employment development department, right. And they're always coming around, sniffing around looking or what they want to determine as employee status. And what you're saying is that still a little bit up in the air, right? Defining that we went through this, uh, in the last election cycle in some ballot measures in California, that we're defining the role of, you know, Uber and, uh, Uber drivers and dashboard drivers. And one of the examples of the asset test questions is, is, well, do you instructor supervise the person while working, or is the work being performed part of your regular business? Well, those are kind of both yeses in this case. So, I guess the jury's still out how those might be
Pete Neubig: 24:52 Perceived. It's very still out because even Upwork, who's the 800-pound gorilla in this space. So, they're the 800-pound gorilla as far as like connecting people to get paid through their processing system. Right. And they, they connect all sorts of industries, um, with virtual assistance and, um, they're still doing it right. And so, they're, they haven't really done anything yet. Now it is changing and we're keeping an eye on it. I got my attorneys keeping an eye on it, but right now, there, there there's no guidance from, from, you know, from any anybody that I've talked to that says, okay, have them work 40 hours a week for you that they're considering a fully because they're outside the us,
Bob Preston: 25:29 I guess in today's day and age, right. Post pandemic. So many of us are either working hybrid or completely going remotely. A lot of property management companies don't even have offices anymore. Does that make it a little bit more seamless for companies like mine or your previous ones to bring on VR? We're all
Pete Neubig: 25:43 Working, you know, remotely. So, it's becoming more acceptable.
Bob Preston: 25:47 Totally makes sense. Hey, so your approach seems a little bit different than some of the other VA companies I've seen out there. Do you agree with that? I mean, you, you seem to be positioned a little bit different. Yeah.
Pete Neubig: 25:55 We're completely different.
Bob Preston: 25:57 Okay. So, tell us about that and how are you different in your approach?
Pete Neubig: 25:59 Sure. Well, first of all, I like to say that all those companies that service the industry are great companies. Um, I've actually used a couple of 'em in the past. So, um, but the, I call 'em traditional placement service companies with a traditional placement service company. You lose a li you lose a little bit of time, because what happens is they take your job description, say this is what you want. And then they go, and they'll go vet some people and they'll find some people and it takes 'em a couple of weeks. And then they say, here's three people that you should interview. So, you lose a little bit of time, and you lose a little bit of control with our, with our system. You can post a job and within minutes you can invite people to your job, or you can you'll receive any applications within minutes or hours. Um, secondly, with our platform, there is no cost to the employer. So, with traditional placement service companies, they're going to charge you an upfront fee, right? A, a finder's fee, if you will. And that can be anywhere from 500 to $2,500. And so, with our PLA with our platform, not only is it free, um, but we actually offer a free white glove service. We call it where you can schedule a meeting with us, and we will meet with you each week or as many as long, however many times you want until you hire somebody and then we'll meet with you once they're hired. And then 30 days after we meet with you again. So, we actually have a hand holding piece to our company that's free. Uh, and then, uh, of course you, you know, so you have the control, you have the money and then you have the, um, you have the kind of the freedom to, to, to run your business. However, you want. Like you can, you can interview as many people as you want. You cannot interview as many people as you want. So, there's, there's a lot of differences there. Um, and then once we get the training platform, we'll have the certification piece, which like I said, is coming out in about 30 days or so actually 60 days.
Bob Preston: 27:47 Sure. So, if I'm property management company say north Kenny property group wants to look for a VA, I can more or less sign up on your website on the VPM solutions website, I can post a job and then immediately start searching. And that job also might attract other people who are VAs throughout the world in applying to me. Right. Correct. All right. Then if I want to speak to that person or if I want to interview that person by zoom, whatever, is that all done through the platform or is that done off to the side? How does that work? Not
Pete Neubig: 28:14 Yet. Yeah. Unfortunately, not yet. Uh, so what happens is once you, once you invite somebody to a job, now you can message them. Or once somebody applies to your job, you can message them. So, you message to, to our platform, typically what'll happen is like, you message them, you know, and you say, Hey, I want to interview you, you know, and then send 'em your zoom link is kind of, and you have to go off platform. So, it's a little clunky, the hiring process. Uh, we're in, we have, you know, there, we're going to be building that in, you know, probably Q3 Q4 of this year or maybe 2023. Um, and then, um, let's say they like you; you guys like each other, you negotiate a price. And um, so that's the other thing too. So, uh, that I miss, right? So, we're a, we're a free market platform. Meaning I post a job and I say, Hey, I want to pay anywhere from $2 to $8, somebody and a virtual assistant. When they put, when they post their, um, profile, they're saying I want $6 or eight, whatever they're putting in, what their desired hourly rate is. So, when you, when you're going through the hiring process, you negotiate and you say, Hey, you know, this is, uh, this, this is going to pay around, you know, more like $6. They can, they can accept it or not. Now the nice thing is you're, you're, you're negotiating with them. So, they're getting not just a fair market rate, but they're getting what they want in most cases. Now, when you use a traditional placement service company, that person is hired by the traditional placement service company for a lot cheaper. And then they, and then they increase their price and then they take the spread. Now what happens is because they're getting paid so low, let's say they're getting three bucks an hour. And if somebody says, I'll give you 50 cents more. Well, that's a huge percentage of that $3 an hour. So, they jump ship. But if they're getting $6 an hour, the chance of somebody giving 'em $7 an hour or $8 an hour, because they're getting more than fair market rate in their, in their area. So, a chance of them leaving because of a 50 cent raise or, or, or any raise actually is a lot less.
Bob Preston: 30:06 Gotcha. So, for north county property group, then if we were to come on your website, open up a job, start looking, what is it costing us to go through that process, besides the cost of hiring that person and paying that particular vehicle,
Pete Neubig: 30:18 There is no platform cost. So, I want to be clear there's no platform cost. The only cost to you is we use a payment service company, and that payment service company has a payment processing cost that is passed on to the property manager. If you are using ACH to pay your VA, it's 1%. I see if I have a VA, I'm paying 400 a week, I pay $404. It cost me $4. Okay. If I'm using a credit card, it costs 3%. Um, so, so, but get the miles at least.
Bob Preston: 30:51 Yeah. So, okay. Different approach for sure. Then instead of paying this unknown markup that you don't really understand when you're, uh, an employer hiring a VA, you guys just are upfront about it, pay your VA what you want, and then when you pay through our system, take a percentage, right?
Pete Neubig: 31:04 So that 1%, 3%, that's not mine just to be clear that that goes directly to the processing company. Okay. The way VM makes money is we take 10% on the VA side.
Bob Preston: 31:13 I see.
Pete Neubig: 31:14 So my example, I pay Leon $400. It costs me 400, $4, but Leon gets $360.
Bob Preston: 31:21 I see. Okay.
Pete Neubig: 31:22 That's how, that's how we make our money.
Bob Preston: 31:24 I see. Okay. All right. Well really, really interesting. You've given this a lot of thought. I can't wait for this to further mature and develop, and I tell you, I I'm going to come to you if I need somebody, because I like what you're doing and, and I like you. And I think it's a great platform. That makes a lot of sense. I appreciate it,
Pete Neubig: 31:38 Bob.
Bob Preston: 31:39 Yeah. So, I've got to ask you about your side hustle, right? Because you're also a podcast host and you're doing the honors for the NARPM organization for NARPM radio. Hey, are you having fun with that? And how has that been going for you?
Pete Neubig: 31:51 So first I wanna say thank you to you Bob. Without you, I don't even know how I would get this thing off the ground. I mean, you are instrumental in making, you know, just, just kind of teach to me all about the equipment I needed, how I should do it, you know, uh, the, the, the sound quality and all that stuff. So, thank you so much. Um, I, I am having a blast with it. I really am. Um, we had some really, you know, I've had some really good people on there and my next guest is going to be my old boss, Doug Brian, who's the CEO of, of mind. I just had you on, um, I had Gail Phillips who was the, you know, the CEO of NARPM she's been on Liz claiming will be coming out soon. She's a president of NARPM. So, I've gotten, uh, you know, I've gotten some RVPs like you I've gotten, uh, I gotten a president, Liz, uh, and, uh, I've had a past president on Eric Worthington. I've had a couple of vendors. I mean, it's been, it's been super fun just to, you know, it's funny, I've known some of these people for a long time, but when I interview them, I learned something about 'em and I'm like, oh, I didn't know that Liz, I known you for, you know, five years and know, you know, that, you know, so it's been, it's been a lot of fun, but I think more important it's been, uh, you know, like, like we try, we try to give good content so that people can learn, uh, about business or about property management in general or about the industry as a whole. So, I think we're, I think we're doing good. I think we're giving some good content as well.
Bob Preston: 33:18 That is so cool. You know, it's hard to keep up with, uh, you know, you you'll probably find this. Like I remember when I started my podcast, you know, I had all these great ideas, probably had, you know, 20, 30 great ideas of people to talk to. And then after 20 or 30 weeks, it's kind of like, oh boy, now, where am I going from here? You know? So, it's kind of funny, but you, I'm glad you're having fun with it. And, uh, God, you sound great. Uh, coming from high tech, you got to be kind of an audio file too, I guess. You know, so that's kind of fun.
Pete Neubig: 33:41 Uh, my tech is so old. I, I, I do little old stuff like that. My, that tech is no longer around than I used to be in. You know, I was a Cobalt programmer, Bob. Wow. Yeah. All time for youngsters out there. You Google it.
Bob Preston: 33:56 Yeah. I remember in graduate school doing the little, uh, for one of my doing those little punch cards, you know, that used to, oh yeah, I remember those. That was, I mean, that was really
Pete Neubig: 34:05 Longer. I came right after punch cards. They were doing the cake. When I came in,
Bob Preston: 34:09 I always ask my guest to tell a defining story about themselves. You know, maybe something that shaped your lives, either personal or profession, you got something for today that could shape.
Pete Neubig: 34:17 I have a few things, but I think I'm going to, I want to go with, um, with when I start, when I decided to do my first triathlon, my first Ironman triathlon. So many people in, in our industry, they don't that know me. They don't know that I was a three-time Ironman finisher, and the Ironman is a 2.4-mile swim of a hundred and uh, 12-mile bike and a 26.2 or a marathon run. And in my twenties, I was always, I was doing sprint triathlons and I would watch the Ironman, uh, the Ironman triathlon, the Ko of the world championships on NBC. And they would just, it would be so much drama and they have these backgrounds, and I would be crying when I watched this and I got into it and I started doing a lot of training, but I know ever thought I could do an Ironman. Like it just wasn't part of my mindset. And one day my wife's friend of all people sends me his YouTube link and it's of Dick and Rick Hoyt. And, um, if you don't know Dick and Rick Hoyt, I, I would recommend that you Google them. It's uh, H O Y T and Rick Hoyt was, was literally with, um, he can't, you know, he can see, but he can't communicate. Um, he he's going to have, you know, he's just, he has to communicate by looking at a computer, you know, it's, it's, it's really sad, but he was, you know, almost like almost like a Def dumb blank. And one day, Rick, uh, you know, he looks at his dad and he basically mentioned to him like, like they were watching a running thing on TV and Dick white was a smoker. He was a drinker. He never trained, but he started taking his son out on runs and they started doing marathons and they did the Ironman triathlon. And this guy puts his son in a dingy swim with him. Then he puts his son. Now his son's 130-pound man at this point, puts him on the carries him because the kid can't walk, carries him, puts him on his front of his bike rides 112 miles and then pushes this guy 130-pound man in a stroller.
Bob Preston: 36:14 I've seen that. Yeah, that's unbelievable. Unbelievable story.
Pete Neubig: 36:17 So when I watched this, I just said, wait a second, these, this guy can do it. And I'm scared to do an Ironman triathlon. And uh, and I signed up, I thought I could sign up for one, like right then and there, I signed up for one and of course, you know, um, they're all sold out for like years for like a year. And my, and I did, I signed up for the Brazil, Ironman triathlon 2007. And, uh, that was my first triathlon. And I think by doing an Ironman triathlon, your mindset changes about things that you can do. And I believe that was the foundation. Believe it or not on me leaving my cush job to start a property management company and you know, me starting VPM solutions. And I just, you know, I'll say you this when I first started training, I, my mindset was, um, I'm how can I complete this? And then I started hanging out with guys, who've done five Ironman triathlons, 10, 15, 20. And I started training with them. Then my mindset became, how quickly can I finish it in? So, it's a, it's a, it's a little bit of a difference, but the people you hang out with and that have accomplished things that you want to accomplish in life, uh, is, is paramount. So, if you're listening to this and you have a hundred units and you want to get to 250 units, find the people who've been there, and they will create the blueprint. And all of a sudden, when you start hanging out with those guys, it's not like, can I ever get to 250 units? It's how quickly will I get to 250 units? And that's a different mindset. So that's my story today.
Bob Preston: 37:53 It's a great story about pushing boundaries and pushing yourself to achieve things you didn't know you could do. And I love it. It was a great story and directly applicable to all different life experiences, too professional, personal, you know, whatever, whatever you want to apply it to. So that's great. How many triathlons in general, forget the Ironman one for a minute. Uh, how many triathlons have you done? Too many to count?
Pete Neubig: 38:13 I can tell you this. I've done about 19 marathons.
Bob Preston: 38:17 Wow. Are you still, are you still active in it?
Pete Neubig: 38:19 Yes. Uh, I not, not an Ironman triathlon. I kind of hung up my triathlon days. Um, but I'm actually training for a marathon as we're, as we're recording this.
Bob Preston: 38:28 Wow, fantastic, Pete. Hey, this has been a great conversation. I love the information exchange today and thanks so much for coming on the show. I'd love to continue, but kind of got to wrap up because we're up against our deadline here and we need to wrap, but do you have any last words for our listeners? And also, if someone wants to get ahold of you and learn more about VPM solutions, what's the best way to do that? Best
Pete Neubig: 38:48 Way is, um, email me, Pete VPM solutions.com, or just go to our website, VPM solutions.com. We have lots of great content. You can download stuff there. And I would just tell people like, if you're not growing your business and you're not looking to reduce your expenses, um, you're, you're going to be a dead business, so grow and reduce your expenses. And the best two ways I know to reduce expenses is the right, you know, hire V virtual team members, and reduce your office space. This is a great time to do it. So
Bob Preston: 39:21 Hey, thanks, Pete. That was a great episode today. Super enlightening. Thanks so much for coming on the show. As we wrap up today, I'd like to make another quick plug to our listeners to click on the subscribe button and please give us a, like you too, Pete, you got to give us a like right pay, pay it forward with a positive, you help encourage more great guests like Pete to come on our show. And that concludes today's episode of the property management brainstorm. Thank you for joining us. And until next time we'll be in the field, maximizing our property owners and landlords rent values and maintaining top 10 in relations. We will catch in next time.