Who Are Freelancers & Why Do They Matter?
Outsourcing has become an essential asset for real estate businesses and professionals, but who are freelancers, and why do they matter? Outsourcing has gone from being a way to trim costs and get the edge in the real estate to the norm. It may be even more popular than local hiring for the bulk of real estate agents, brokerages, investment firms, investors and the vendors that serve them.
Despite the rise of freelance workers, many are struggling to get their hiring and organizations just right. A big part of this is understanding the freelancer psychology. Just as with in-house recruiting and team management, it pays for the CEO and managers to assemble a talented team of freelancers, as to attract the top talent.
It’s likely that very, very few in the real estate industry ever take two minutes to think about it. Yet, understanding freelancers is critical to your overall success.
Freelancers are somewhat different to the average in-house employee, but they are still people. Hiring outsourced staff should definitely retain some of the mainstays of brick and mortar hiring such as screening, probationary periods, finding a good fit, etc. However, just like the different roles and characters in local hiring, there are different types of freelancers and personalities which are attracted and managed differently.
Outsourcing, as we know it now, really began taking off with low level data entry staff in exotic locations. This was great for extremely low cost, basic data entry, research and phone handling positions. These are your consistent worker bees that like plugging into the office every day and clocking hours at the desk. With the exception of internet outages and being offered more money by someone else (which really isn’t difficult considering what they get paid), the biggest challenge was finding those that could get along well in the business’ language.
However, as outsourcing has evolved and roles are becoming more important, the bulk of the positions being filled by freelancers can often involve an entirely different type of person than we have come accustomed to. This requires a slightly different recruiting and management approach.
Highly accomplished and talented freelancers work remotely because they work well independently and enjoy the freedom it brings, not because they can’t work well with others. Putting them through the wringer when it comes to job postings and interviews and micro-managing them daily doesn’t always work.
This is because they are in ultra-high demand, have a dozen other clients, and really have the pick of who they want to work with from companies all over the globe. These freelancers do it, and choose who they work with based on what they enjoy and are passionate about and often equally screen their clients (you) as much as they are screened.
This has many advantages. This includes passionate team members which are experts in the industry, that believe in your project or vision and are seriously invested in making it work. They are also generally conscious with the hours they bill and strive to deliver great work, while working autonomously most of the time. Look at them as truly independent contractors.
To develop a better working relationship and maximize the ROI on these vendor relationships; pay fast, give clear instructions, with clear objectives and also keep them tuned into what’s ahead.
Now, as a real estate investors, you may be wondering how this relates to your particular situation. If you intend to use a freelancer, make sure you do your due diligence. Make sure you hire individuals that fit in with your company work ethic and policies. You will be as good as those whom you surround yourself with, that includes in-house employees and freelancers. Make sure they are the best fit for you.