Episode 168 | Val Brega | Military Millionaire

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Val Brega on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

What's up Military Millionaires! I'm your host, David Pere. And today I've got my normal co host, Alex Felice, who, someday, I'll find an awesome way to introduce him. But he kind of speaks for himself on the show. So I think it works out. But we are joined by Val Brega who is, well, a whole bunch of things. She was a lead intake specialist for a multimillion dollar wholesale company. And then kind of grew out of that to now founding hiretrainva.com, which is really the reason that we're on this call. Because as many of you know, I currently have three cold callers on my team, and Val has hired and trained and manages all of them for me. And so we wanted to kind of talk through her journey and her journey in real estate and as a lead intake specialist, and also kind of what her company does and how they work as far as the cold caller side goes because I think it's a great business model. And she's been a lifesaver for me.

Intro:

Welcome to the Military Millionaire podcast where we teach service members, veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship, and real estate investing. I'm your host, David Pere. And together with my co host, Alex Felice, we're here to be your no BS Guides along the most important mission, you'll ever embark on your finances.

David:

Hey, guys, if you're looking to take your investing, business, life or just yourself to the next level, then I have something for you. The war room real estate military mastermind group is a mastermind group that meets weekly in small groups of five to six people to help you hold yourself accountable and really experience that growth. But we also have a monthly guest speaker that we bring in. And we've had guest speakers that talk about mindfulness, taxes, or bringing in somebody to talk about marketing. We bring in very specific topics that will adhere to very broad any kind of real estate investing, or investing or entrepreneurship that you want to do, and will really help you out. We let you ask the speakers questions and get very personal with them. And then back to the small groups, weekly accountability for what you're trying to achieve. And just being surrounded by like minded people, and they say your network is your net worth. I know that's an overused phrase. But I recommend that you check it out. So just shoot an email to [email protected] Once again, that's [email protected] And we'll send you some more information as well.

David:

Val, Welcome to the show!

Val:

Hey, it's so good to be here. Thanks for having me.

David:

Yeah, absolutely!

Could you, you want to give like a five minute overview, the story of val, I know, your story is probably worth a lot more than five minutes.

Val:

Oh, yeah.

So we moved to the United States in 2018. We lived in Sweden at the time, and we found out that we won the Green Card Lottery. And so we were like, well, you know what, I mean, we have this chance, let's drop everything and go to the United States. And we had no idea how life was going to pan out. You know, this is, I mean, I've been to the States before, but not I was always taking care of you know, I went here to college. So I knew where I was going to stay. I knew where I was going to eat, you know, stuff like that. But here we are in a new country. We have no jobs, no cars, no apartment, you know, no insurance, no credit history, no nothing. And we're starting everything from scratch. And our daughter was one year old at the time. And we found out that we only have $400 in our pocket. This was the most stressful period of my life.

Now, the reason why I say that we had $400 in our pockets is because we had some money, but they were in Europe, and we couldn't bring them over here. Like our bank didn't understand that we're moved. It was just a whole different process. And we were really relying on that money.

So without a job, without a car, without anything, we just had to, you know, basically literally start from scratch. We didn't have any furniture at home. No nothing. It was just the absolute lowest point in our life financially. And so I found this job working from home for blackjack real estate. That's Bill's company. And I was really hesitant to apply on the one hand, you know, I liked it because it's work from home, all great stuff. I don't need a car. But I was like, who's gonna take me? I don't have any experience in real estate. I'm just wasting my time, these people clearly need someone who's more professional and more experienced. So after about three days of still looking at that tab in my on my computer, I was like, Yeah, I mean, what what's good, I mean, the worst that can happen is they're gonna say no to me, you know, so I applied and to my surprise, I got a call for to an interview. It was with Nate Johnson, the CEO of blackjack real estate. And after that interview with Nate, I knew that that's exactly what I wanted to be the way he sold me on that company and what my opportunities are in real estate in the United States. And the way he connected with me like human to human, he didn't go through like the basic interview questions. You know, after this call, I went to my husband and I said, That's it. That's where I want to be. And even though at that point, I've already gotten some good job offers, some that were paying even more than what blackjack was offering me at the time. I said no to everything else, because that's exactly what I want it to be. And I can believe just how incredibly lucky I've been to, you know, to make that choice. And the rest is history. You know, I grew with the company, and now I'm here.
05:00 - 10:00

David:

Well, I hear a clear case study from Bitcoin in your, in your story, not being able to transfer finances?

Val:

No, it wasn't, it wasn't crypto, actually. No, I mean, we had some crypto too, but it wasn't it wasn't that. No, it was just, you know, the whole pin numbers. We had a device from a Swedish bank, and it just didn't work. And I contacted them. They were supposed to email us by mail one, but it takes about five weeks. So it was just a whole stressful period.

Alex:

How did you find blackjack in the first place? Is it local to where you are?

Val:

So I moved to Pensacola. And the reason I moved to Pensacola is because I had a sister in Pensacola who lived at the time so I was like, you know, I'm gonna stay with her. We don't have a place to live. So I stayed with her for a week. And then it just so happened that, you know, I was looking at indeed, and blackjack has a market in Pensacola. And I'm not sure if they advertised in other markets. But I guess he was just like, you know, I always say that the best things in my life, they find me. I always like to believe that. That's one of the things that I noticed in my life. And I feel like it was exactly the same with blackjack. I don't think I would have been accepted. You know, I don't think I did anything special. It just found me.

Alex:

So how did you transition from blackjack to hire train va?

Val:

Yeah, so I have been working with blackjack for three years. And I started as the person on the phone, you know. And I was promoted very fast. In three months, I was promoted to lead manager, I was asked to hire my own team, train my own team. And, you know, so yeah, we had a very, very wonderful Team Elite intake, no issues, no drama, it was smooth, it was perfect. We were all in sync, getting good leads, getting a lot of closings. And then you know, after three years, I figured that I can spread my wings. And I can do more. And I'm really appreciative of, you know, blackjack for everything and for giving me a good start. But I was like I can do more than that. And so a lot of companies by that time approached me and said, Hey, can you do the same thing for me that you did for Bill? Can you do the same thing for me? Can you train my team in everything that you know? So I tried consulting for a while. And I really liked it. But it takes way too much of my time. And I said, You know what, I can train other people to do what I'm doing. Because what I'm doing is nothing special. You know, it's, you just got to see things a different way. And the reason I say that is because coming from a different culture, it took a while for me to understand what it feels like to work in the American market, it's a little different. And we can go into that. But I felt like well, you know, it's nothing special. I can train other people in everything that I know, I know the struggles they're having, because I've been there. I know the cultural shifts you have to go through. And so I gave it a chance. I hired one VA, two VA’s, three VA’s, I see that I'm getting good results. The clients are happy, everyone's getting leads, people are getting contracts. So that's kind of how you know how things started.

David:

As just a testament, aside from the cold callers, we just bought our lead intake in house. So we had been using a call center for a little while and I brought it to the lead manager. And within the first week, she was like, I need more to do. Let me take intake calls and we're like okay, and we literally took your intake script that we got from flip packing live and I emailed it to her and said Val is awesome at this. Make it your own words. Don't reinvent the wheel. Here you go.

So every everything that I've seen in working with you has been has been very systemized and very, very easy for me which as an end user is what I'm looking for like it and I always joke like I will pay extra for somebody to hold my hand or do it for me in in a lot of situations. But Val has just made the idea of hiring cold callers. I had no idea what I was doing. And she's like, Oh, well here, hang on. Here's six people. Which one do you like better? We'll interview Oh, okay.

Val:

Yeah.

10:00 - 15:00

Alex:

Climb Capital needs to hire some cold callers.

Val:

What was that?

Alex:

Our company, Climb Capital, needs to hire some cold callers and we have no idea how to do it.

This is the guy I cc sent an email to you yesterday.

Val:

Oh yeah.

Well, I replied to your email.

Alex:

Nice!

So we're gonna have to do some business.

Val:

Let’s get a call.

Alex:

Yeah, yeah, this is great. I love that you started out working for somebody trying to figure out what to do. And then like, it sounds like it, they unlock your potential. And you're like, Okay, now you guys just I don't want to, you know, I love Adam. But like, you guys went from like, Hey, I like this opportunity to now you're slowing me down. And I'm pretty quick, in a pretty quick spin. I really like that.

Val:

But here's the thing, I feel like I have such a great relationship with Bill, with Nate, with Adam, with everyone at blackjack, with Ashley, with Chad King, you know, I work with these people. And I still feel like I will do anything for that company. I really, really liked them. I really respect them. And they knew like I remember Nate once told me, if you hadn't come to the States, if you hadn't been in that position where you have to find a job, you would have never accepted this job to be on the phone, would you? And I was like, Well, probably not, you know, I was just put in that position where I really, really needed a job. And when I got this working from home on the phones, I was holding on to hit like, it's all I have, you know, I mean, in just one month after they hired me, they let go of everyone else in that department, I was still in training, and they let everyone go because my numbers alone were higher than everybody's combined. And so I had to figure it all out by myself. And remember, this is a person that had no experience in real estate. I didn't know words like sheetrock, what is that? Or ballpark? Right? Or like stuff like that I heard or mothering last week, oh, man, I had a funny story with that, you know, I have a seller on the phone who says, I'm asking questions about the property. And he says, oh, you know, the garage provides a mother in law suite. I'm like, Oh, your mother in law lives there. And he's like, No, ma'am. That's just, you know, I completely sounded like not an expert in real estate, you know. And so, that's, that's like, you know, but after a while, because I needed this and I was so hungry. I really just ramped up really fast. And as like, it's swim or die. That's what it was. for me. It was either that or go work at Subway, or McDonald's or Walmart, because it was walking distance from me, and I didn't have a car at that time. So I was like, No, I'm gonna make it work. And I worked so much that I made bonuses. Every single week, we had closings, closings, you know, and one time I contacted the HR and I said, I already receive my salaries like what is this? And she says, Oh, no, that's your bonus for all the closings you had this week. Sweet. You know. That's kind of how it started. And I feel like that's probably why people trust me in a way to train their team in this as well. So just a little shameless brag here.

Alex:.

What's the new company look like? Like, what is the model?

Val:

So we hire and train virtual assistants, we are looking for people from all over the world. Ideally, we want some people that would be about $4, $6 an hour. Obviously, some people want more. But if they want more than that, then you know, they'd better bring results that we haven't seen elsewhere, like maybe close over the phone, or, you know, just something that really brings extra value. But ideally, we were looking for people from about 4 to $6 an hour, fully trained in cold calling. So when you hire a cold caller or a virtual assistant, you just take and plug them in, right? I mean, obviously you still have to work with them, you still have to walk them through your systems, your processes, because I don't know how you want things done in your company per se, right? Like what happens in your company. But as far as skills go, then this person should just get your money, you know, they should be getting it leads. That's like, we keep it simple, right? You just take that person, we take care of the hiring, we take care of the training, and then you plug them in.

Alex:

Does it only work in residential dealing? Does it only work for a certain business model? Or can we look for somebody who maybe, you know, is buying commercial properties or buying other stuff? Does it? Does it translate or does it only work for a single family?

Val:

Oh, no, no, no, I don't see why you would only work with a single family. Absolutely.

Think about your everyday tasks. What do you do right, like what things can be taken off your plate? What things are routine, what things are important, but they don't necessarily need to be, you don't have the time for that, right. So anything like that can be done to a VA any cold calling for anything for commercial for multifamily for residential. Anything can be done overseas. And not just that, but a VA can also help you in management. You know, they can organize files, they can create systems and processes. In marketing, they can create flyers or digital content, blog posts, scheduled podcasts, right, there's a lot of things that a VA can help you with.

In administrative tasks as well. Like, I'm not sure of cleaning your inbox, organizing your calendar, right scheduling appointments for you, reaching out to potential sellers, for referrals, reaching out to other buyers for additional business is just a ton of work and a ton of possibilities that a virtual assistant can do. And the people that I work with, they're so grateful to be having this opportunity to work on the American market, you know, so it's a win win.

15:00 - 20:00

David:

It's good money for them. And they, I mean, at least in my experience, are pretty well driven to actually perform and, and I'm going to throw this out there. And I know, this is not the SOP. I'm not telling you that you should expect this. But in my situation, right. So we hired two cold callers. And in the first week, one of them, she had some personal stuff come up and had to leave. And valve replaced her with no questions asked. So okay, cool. Well, we paid for Val to hire and train. Two, we got to one of those two was doing, you know, and so Val basically went out of her way to say, hey, well, let's bring a third one on, we'll hire this person. And then you can decide if you're to keep all three, or you're gonna go down to two. And she took care of all of that. And she made it extremely easy. And I will tell you, that one is crushing it. She's single handedly bringing in I mean, two or three times as many leads as the other two combined. But like the fact that she was able to just say, Hey, I noticed this issue, and we're gonna fix it, you know, like they've been very, very, very easy to work with as far as hiring people making sure that the right people actually training them, they even they'll do management month and month to month, so I don't have to deal with a lot of the stuff that I don't, I'm not a detail guy I don't want to deal with. So it's been a good experience for me so far. But you don't. It's not only a cold call, right?

Val:

No, no.

David:

What else do you guys work with?

Val:

Yeah, so right now we do specialize in cold calling, and also live intake, because that's something that I have experience with. And I feel that's like my element, but also administrative tasks. That's probably the next thing we're gonna do. And there's endless possibilities of things you can do, right? I mean, in real estate alone, there's Airbnb management, rental properties, management, there's a lot of opportunities that we're looking forward to growing in and bringing in more services. And it's, you know, we're probably maybe thinking about the idea, you know, how some companies have this model of managed hire, like they hire their own virtual assistants, and you don't have to help bring them in house, they will, again, manage them, they will take care of everything. So you don't have to manage them in house, which has advantages and disadvantages, I'm still thinking about it. I personally like the direct hire better, because you feel you get that loyalty from your VA and your VA is exclusive to you. And if you can nourish that relationship, it just works wonderfully. And most, I mean, all successful companies that I know, they all have direct hires, as opposed to, I mean, I'm not saying there's no success with managed hire than probably is just, from my knowledge. All the companies I think about have direct hire. So there's a lot of value in connecting just human to human and having that chemistry, like for example, you know, what is your chemistry with your VAs?

David:

Well, and I had, I've worked with a couple managed tire companies in the past. And one of the issues that we ran into on the intake side was like callers, sellers would call in off direct mail or whatever. And I have a weird last name, P E R E, right? Do you see them writing? Not everybody knows how to pronounce it. And there were times where on the recording, I could hear a seller be like, Yeah, I got a letter from David, how do you say his last name, and the person on the other phone instead of just making something up confidently, would be like, I think, you know, and it's like, well, there goes all of our report, because now they know that you're not even really a part of this company. You don't know what you're doing. And so like having the ability to say, Hey, guys, this is from freedom properties, this is what we do. This is blah, blah, blah, blah. Like, I mean, that little nuance is nice.

20:00 - 25:00

Val:

Absolutely. Yeah.

The most rewarding thing that I like about what I'm doing is probably the same thing as the most frustrating thing. People ask me, What's the best thing about your job? I'm gonna say it's the same as the worst thing about my job. And that is working with people. Because it's like, I love working with people, we have some wonderful virtual assistants, right? I mean, like, we have some superstars, or people that are just amazing. Awesome. And then we have, it's working with people, right? You just never, I wish we had a crystal ball and see how things turn out. But sometimes it just you have to find out like, okay, integrity is a big issue, right? So that's why in our training, the number one thing that we focus on is integrity, like guys working on the American market. And with these investors that I'm working with, the number one thing they need is your reliability and your integrity, right, just do what you're supposed to be doing. But, you know, the moment that we discover an issue, that's the moment we let the investor know, like, I'm not sure this person is working out, or this person didn't attend our meetings, or they, they're not meeting their weekly metrics, right? They're supposed to have at least five leads per week, I don't think they're there. What's happening? Let's take a look at that, right? Is it the person's fault, or maybe is your numbers marked as spam, or maybe the data that you have, maybe the lists need to be refreshed, maybe you need, you know, fresh lists. So we analyze everything in detail. And sometimes it is the person's issue, you know, it is a people's issue. And the way we operate is like, we will never just, we want to be completely objective and fair and transparent. And if someone is not, you know, pulling their weight, it's, we'll definitely have to you as a business owner, you need to know, you know, so that's, that's probably one of the things that I like, but we have some amazing, amazing people just awesome. And I'm so glad that you have some of the awesome people as well.

David:

Of you, I also, very admittedly have a lot of the problems where you just described like spam number, bad list, blah, blah, blah, like, there have been, as much as I love all things cold calling that system is the most like unintuitive website, ever. And it bites me in the butt on what seems like a daily basis, like I just uploaded like 63,000 phone numbers. And apparently, all 63,000 of them are listed as like, do not call so the guys are like, all of a sudden, they were like, every call I make is not going through and I'm like I don't know what to tell you let me know. So it's like a losing battle. Sometimes I feel like that system. So I've definitely had to admit that with the cold callers. Like there have been some days where I'm like, Why didn't we get any leads? And they're like, because you didn't do this, this and this. I'm like, Yeah, that's probably right.

Val:

Yeah, so we can help with that. Like, let's take a look at your numbers. Let's make sure they're not coming up as spam. You know, let's take a look at your list.

Alex:

David, you are spam.

David:

I mean, this is valid. Yes, yes. But you know, but I at least take people off when they ask to be taken off the list. I try to remember too.

Alex:

I love this. I feel like I'm way behind the curve on hiring Va’s for stuff. Social admin. And now we have these long cold call lists. And we've been talking about it here and currently at work week. So this is very timely, I'm very excited. Also the VA thing. It's one of those, like from the outside is never used one I see people talking about all the time. And I've never spoken to somebody like you who's not just implemented it, but like, then brokered it to the next person to implement, which I think is probably a huge market for so it's really interesting, it's really interesting to see how it's how it's just like disseminated to people like me, and David.

Val:

And think about your company, think about if you have good Va’s right now, eventually, they can find, you know, they're well connected, they can find more people, they can manage the newcomers in your company, they already know what you're looking for. They know your systems, they know your processes, they will all be speaking the same language, right. So as long as you find that one person that you connect with, it's just, I mean, you know, it's a lot of opportunities there.

Alex:

What kind of job do people have? I mean, I know you haven't been doing it super long. But what's the likelihood that you can find a VA that I stick around for a long time?

25:00 - 30:00

Val:

It really depends. We have people that we hired from the very beginning and they're still with the companies. We had people that usually have a 30 day trial period. And in those 30 days, it's pretty clear whether this person is the right fit or not. We are monitoring the numbers, we give reports, you know, regularly we do call analysis. I give them personalized feedback, coaching calls, role plays, you know, all that stuff.

So it's pretty clear in the first 30 days but typically, I would say, it really depends on the person. And that's that's the issue. Like we had a situation when it was a perfect virtual assistant just perfect. And she left after three months. I don't know, why was it? I don't? I don't know, was it the training? Was it because she got a better offer somewhere? Or did you not like something about the company's policy or management, we can only control as much as we can control. But there's also a lot of work on the investor side or the client side, right or the company. Because you gotta bring that person into your culture and your company, just like you would hire someone locally, you know, someone that you would hire someone to work with next to you in your office.

And so I don't know what happened in three months, I just haven't been able to reach her since then. But you know what, but we were just provided a replacement very fast. So it was fine. You know, like, I understand that. And most of them are so appreciative and so thankful for this opportunity, that they don't go anywhere. And they stay long term.

David:

And to just not that you need further validation in the fact that everything you're saying is accurate. But the cold caller I mentioned earlier who's beating the other two combined, was brought to me by the first person I hired. He was like, hey, Val, actually she wasn't brought to me. He introduced her to Val and was like, Hey, you should check this. This one. She's looking for a job. She's awesome. Blah, blah, blah. And then Val was like, Hey, you want another person? Like yes, yes. Yes, we do.

Val:

Yeah, yeah.

David:

She's amazing.

Alex:

Where are those Va’s, david? The ones that work for you.

David:

They're all in Egypt..

Val:

Yes, yes.

Alex:

Wow, interesting.

David:

I'm taking a business trip to Cairo next year. That's the plan.

Alex:

Really?

David:

I haven't decided yet. But I've told Andrew that as long as we make it, if we hit our goals this year. That's that's the plan.

Alex:

Am I invited? I feel like I'm invited.

David:

I need a photographer.

Alex:

Yeah.

I feel like I'm invited.

David:

I wanted to go to Egypt.

Val:

I've traveled to so many countries, but I haven't been to Egypt, but I hear it's gorgeous. And the food is amazing. And the views so yeah, you're gonna have a good time.

David:

Yeah.

Alex:

I knew a guy in a commercial multifamily. He started using VAs to help them with underwriting and offers for off market properties. And he was a large scale operator, he ended up hiring like 40 Va’s in the Philippines, flying out there buying a big commercial building, and putting them all in a call center. And like his budget was like $400,000 a year, but like he ended up like, you know, these people, they're great. They work well. You can kind of, you know, use some currency arbitrage to save that versus what you'd pay for us. And he created a whole giant infrastructure out of it. So I think it's really interesting.

David:

Yeah, Neal Bawa, right.

Alex:

Yeah, yeah.

I feel like I'm super behind the curve on this VA thing. So it's really interesting too.

Val:

Yeah, it's great. I love it.

One thing that I noticed, we have a lot of VA, so we interview, we have a pretty thorough system, just so you know, like, out of all the people that interviewed with us only 5% make the cut. 5% are qualified for investors. That's what we call them, right?

So the 95% they are maybe their English is not good enough. Or we see a lot of red flags. Or, you know, we noticed that they don't have integrity, or they don't show up at the interview. For whatever reason, you know, we just, we just ran the numbers, and it's 5% of the people. And I think this is so important. And one of the questions we asked in the interview always is like, why did you leave your previous job. And so what I noticed the number one thing is they leave their previous jobs for companies that are hired locally, like they have a local office, because people want to work for $4 an hour. If they are local, I'm not going to name one company, but it's like they are paid 2.5 dollars per hour. And we even had companies from a different country that pay their vas $1 per hour, you know, and they charge I don't know,7-8 va’s. I don't know how much it is, but the turnover rate is so huge. And we have a lot of virtual assistants who come to us because they want to work from home, they can get more money, and they can work from the comfort of their house. And they're okay with being monitored, you know, like with like a look, I mean, we are gonna mark just the fact that you work from home, it doesn't mean that you have all this freedom and flexibility and, you know, we will still monitor your progress and, and, yeah, people are okay with that.

30:00 - 35:00

Alex:

Yeah, so there's this big remote-like movement here in the US right now. And it's so interesting because we're going through this company and I'm sort of like, hey, I'll fly down to Pensacola very often because I work better in person. I'm okay remote, but I just work better with people. So I find it interesting that part of the like, you know, finding the right people is about finding people who work in very specific conditions where it's like, yeah, because especially when you're in a situation like, okay, you can actually get paid more. But the requirements for the working conditions are much higher, like, relatively, right, like, we're gonna get, we're gonna monitor you, and you have to fit into this box and talk to these people. So the screening requirements being high is, you know, another good thing to know, it's really interesting.

Val:

Yeah, yeah.

David:

I always hear people, not always, but there's a lot of people that I hear, say, you know, like, Oh, my goodness, how can you only pay? You know, I think my most affordable VA is 3.75 an hour in the Philippines for and she just does, like some transcriptions and stuff, nothing super big. And then we pay like $5 an hour for the cold callers on average, you know, and people, people in the US, they hear that, and they're like, how could you? It's like, well, I pulled it up, because I was curious. It's $91.85 an hour in Egyptian money, right? And so like, in these other countries, you know, $5 an hour, US is actually a really good paying job for a lot of these people.

Alex:

Okay, but that also, that is terrible, like I hate you right now, I understand. I understand what you're saying but $91 an hour doesn't really mean anything, either. Because the PPP is not the same. The money doesn't go far, or it doesn't track the same. So it's still, if you go against the average income, right? Like she said, if you know, hey, the global companies are paying $1 an hour and you go pay them $4 an hour, then they're obviously making much more.

The conversion rate? Does not tell you enough? I'm sorry to tell you this.

Val:

Well, yeah, but also like, but let's talk apples to apples, right.

Alex:

Yeah, please.

Val:

Let's see from a VAs point of view. So I have VAs in my company. And I asked them like, well, what's the situation in the Philippines? They say, where I'm from, people here make $5 a day. And then I'm given this opportunity to make $4 an hour, right? I actually bumped her to $4 an hour now because she's in a good job for me. So it's obviously she's gonna take so PPP aside, and all that, you know, like, if you look at like, okay, $5 a day or $4 an hour, or it doesn't matter, like or $1 per hour or $4 an hour, like when you convert, it's still about, you know, it's dollars to dollars that we're talking about here. So, she was, I mean, you know, $5 a day, I just can't really wrap my brain around that.

Alex:

Yeah, the conversion is definitely lucrative for a lot of these countries. That's not what I was. I just wanna make sure everything was the way David was doing the math was wrong.

David:

Yeah, well, I appreciate Val who is a trained professional, coming in and having my back on.
So I was in the Philippines briefly at one point. And I want to say that it was very simple, like a electrician that we talked to on base had, it was like, $10 a day for like, a super highly trained, you know, top notch electrician in the Philippines. So, you know, when you're talking exactly 4 or 5, $6 an hour for some of these people, like, that's great money, and they're working from home, a lot of them, you know, depending on the VA, in some situations, they're Moonlighting, it's, you know, it's midnight, and so they might have a day job, and this is a side hustle for him if it's just a part time gig. So it's a cool opportunity.

Val:

Yeah, we actually have a policy against Moonlighting, they have to disclose it, they have to disclose it, they have a different job. We do ask that in the interview, you know, and we did have a situation when that person didn't disclose it. So obviously, I think it reflected poorly on us, because you know, it's like, again, we're working with people, we can only control as much as we can control. But the moment we found it was like, no, that's not going to be okay, right. So we do have a moonlighting policy. And the reason for that is just as close to it, as long as your employer is okay with that. It's fine. But you're stretching yourself too thin, right? I mean, you're not going to do a good job in one job and then in the other job. It is just so with this person that we discovered he was Moonlighting, he was actually fired from two jobs from both jobs at the same time. You know, so I mean, why, I mean, I understand, but there's this element of greed and when in my training, I'm trying to tell them, Don't be short sighted, you know, because like, there's so many opportunities when you work in this industry, I've been there. You know, I was in your shoes, I started on the calls, and then just bring value, focus, you're gonna benefit so much more from bringing value and staying with one company, then by stretching yourself too thin, working for a lot of companies and then not stand out for any of them.

35:00 - 40:00

David:

Well, I mean, a prime example is our first hire Iman and he is eager to. I think we've kind of done this from the beginning, but he's aggressive. He doesn't want to stay in one place. But I am, we're trying to figure out exactly how it's going to work as far as who's paying for what, but he wants to learn email marketing, he wants to get really good at a lot of this marketing stuff. And so I'm going to put him through a digital marketing course for email marketing and copywriting. And then he's going to, you know, in addition to some of his cold calling, he's gonna end up taking over writing my dispo emails, writing my emails to my brand, and just proofreading a lot of my stuff. So like, that's not a super crazy thing. It's not a super crazy expensive course. But here's a guy who's been working with us now for all of maybe four months, and likes the culture enough that he's like, hey, I want to do some other things. Like I'm interested in this, this, this, this, we did much of research and we're probably going to move him into kind of like a dual role where he might take over a lot of the disposition side, because that doesn't take a whole lot of time, from an email standpoint. So he can do both.

Val:

Exactly.

I highly recommend treating VAs not like freelancers, but like employees in our company and have one on one meetings with them. I'm actually having one on one meetings with my VA’s as well. And I uncovered that, you know, one of my VA’s she really likes films and videos and I was like, Well, you know what, we definitely need help on our social media platform like visibility on you know, like, Instagram, Tik Tok, like, whatever, right? So why not, if that's what she wants, if that's what she's really craving, if she can be the best at this, why not give her this opportunity. So having one on one meetings with VA’s and treating them like employees, you will uncover that there's not only will they like this, and they will feel appreciated, and they will feel valued. But also, you might be missing out on important tasks for important talent, just sitting here, you know, being ready to work for you and bringing more value. If they want to bring you more value. That's, you know, any skill can be trained, but personality not so much. So if you find a person that is eager, that is loyal to you that wants to see you succeed, that wants to see you grow, and they can grow at the same time. These are the types of people that you should keep around.

Alex:

How do you pay these people?

Val:

So there's a couple of things, here's the interesting thing. Working with virtual assistants, every country is different. So in the Philippines, I recommend using something like wise.com or remitly.com. Probably Wise is better because it takes one day for the transfer to get to their bank account. Direct bank account, direct deposit, it's one day good exchange rate. It doesn't cost you anything to send money. That's a good thing.

For Egypt, for example, remitly. If you remember Dave, we had some issues with remitly before, right? They didn't work with Egypt. Why is this probably not better? So we use a Payoneer account, it's like PayPal, we just need their email address. So it's gonna work in the same way. So now we're, the more we're growing into this, the more we work with VA’s from all over the world, we have from Latin America, we have from Egypt, we have, you know, from Eastern Europe we have from Philippines. The more we understand geographically what's the best way to pay them?

Alex:

You know, I was just curious. I mean, it's an interesting part of this model.

Val:

Yeah. And we always send when you onboard a person with a VA, I send an email, we have a template that we send you like, you know, this is what you use to track productivity, this is what you use to pay them. These are a couple of ideas how to incentivize your VA’s, right, just take a look at consider these options. Consider these bonuses. You know, I can even share my training materials in case you look for someone to join your company, put them through my training materials, right. I want to make sure that you're successful. I care about everyone's success. So you know.

Alex:

It's only a broker program. It's not like you. It's not like you don't pay the VA for the work that they do for David. David pays directly?

Val:

Yes. Yes.

Alex:

Fascinating.

Val:

Yeah.

David:

I'm also the way that we found out remotely doesn't work in Egypt.

Val:

Exactly.

David:

Because I've made a whole bunch of payments. And then like none of them went through and I'm like it shows completed and he's like, I haven't gotten any money. And I'm like, I promise I paid you like so we ended up moving to Payoneer, which worked great until this last time because I moved everything from credit card to my bank account and didn't realize that that system, ACH takes like a week, Wise two to three days. So I'm gonna move it back to the card, because I paid them all last week and none of them have gotten it yet. It's all completed on my end and it's just pending on there. So growing pains but yeah, I'm going to go back to paying them with a card, but it's, I wouldn't have expected that to be kind of a complicated piece of the puzzle. So actually a really good question, Alex for once.

40:00 - 45:00

Val:

Yeah.

I think probably the Philippines would be the easiest to pay the VA’s, maybe because the Philippines is just like, I don't know what to call it the call center of the world, right? All the systems were great there. So in fact, if you use wise for the Philippines, you know, you can connect directly with Hubstaff. So you don't have to worry about payment, you just put a certain amount on Wise.com, and as soon as your VA submits the hours, you don't have to worry about paying. It is just automatically paying them for you, right. But again, Wise doesn't work in Colombia, for example, I have a VA from Colombia. Wise doesn't work there. For Egypt Wise charges way too much. So we're finding out all of these things. And we're trying to give you the best tools that work for the specific country that you're hiring in. So it's a rollercoaster ride, it can be I mean, no one goes to an amusement park and wants to ride a flat, right, you know, so I mean, it has its ups and downs, but it's what makes it fun and interesting. And, you know, part of the game.

Alex:

Yeah, this sounds interesting. And it's really exciting how much you obviously know this. I mean, as you should know, this business really well. But it, it makes probably anybody who's listening, I know, it's making me very encouraged about like, Okay, this is kind of an area that I've been wanting to tackle, and find out how I can best use it in my business and have been apprehensive because I'm like, I don't know, I don't know how to do this. And so having somebody like yourself, who's kind of worked out the, you know, the infrastructure part and said, Okay, now I just need to find the right person. That makes it a lot more palatable.

Val:

Yeah.

Alex:

It's very, very exciting.

Val:

The one advice I could give probably, I mean, you can hire your VA on your own, right? If you're looking for, let's say, the Philippines, onlinejobs.ph is the most popular website where everyone can go look for VA’s. Anyone can do it. But again, like I said, it's 5% of the people that we think are qualified, right. And the thing is, if you do fine on your own, one piece of advice that I learned is, in your ad, give clear instructions, how you want those people to apply, for example, you can be like to apply, send us an email with this title, right? Or send us your voice recording apps. Let's talk about that as well. But so because what we found is that when you have a lot of traffic of people looking to work for the American market, people just apply. They just send, you know, like, applications left and right without actually thinking about what you have to offer.

So whenever people apply if they didn't include the subject title that we told them to, we just immediately disqualify them. We know those people are not detail oriented. They didn't read our ad, they just applied to us as they applied anywhere else. So that is going to save a lot of your time to screen for candidates, you really want people who are interested in working with you.

Alex:

I guarantee you, there's nobody who's listening to this show and saying, Oh, Val taught me how to do this. And now I'm going to end run around her and hire my own VA’s. Like, that sounds crazy. I wasn't, it was daunting to me before. So anybody who is listening to hiring vas, it's like, Dude, you sold them all. Like, there's no way that's gonna go, I appreciate the advice, but there's a 0.0% chance that I'm gonna go hire my own, I'm gonna call you.

Val:

But that’s the thing, you are an entrepreneur, right. I mean, you either trade time or you trade some money, if you have time on your hands, you can go find your own VA. But if you don't have the time, or if you don't feel confident enough in the training systems, or if you don't have a script enough or good enough, or, you know, I think people come to me not because they don't know how to hire a virtual assistant, but because they trust that I can do it better than they can, right or they can use their time in a way that brings them more money in a company, rather than by spending their time looking at 1000s of applications, only to hopefully find a few good people.

Alex:

You know, that's the whole reason to hire somebody, the whole reason to hire somebody is because you like okay, I'm bad at this thing over here and somebody else is good at it. So the last thing I want to do, I mean, maybe if you're a professional hiring, then you can go do that piece, but if you're a professional, anything else and you're like okay, well, so I was gonna, that was gonna fix my problem here.

David:

I've used Fiverr and Upwork and all the freelance sites, but I've also used onlinejobs.ph in fact, they are to date I think probably the best like sponsored YouTube video I've ever done right? Like they were, they were actually really good to work with. But I remember the first time I ever put a job on onlinejobs.ph It was looking for someone to do like transcriptions and everything. I ended up hiring her. She still works with me. She's great. But I distinctly remember making a post online and basically saying, God I wish I could hire a VA to go through and hire this VA because I got like three or 400 resumes. It took me three and a half weeks to read through them all, just to weed it down to like 10. And then have all but two of them. No show for interviews. And I was like, Yeah, so I remember distinctly being like, Man, I need to hire someone to hire someone, like do you just go and read through all these resumes and tell me who to pick?

Val:

Exactly.

David:

So yeah, absolutely not going that route with the cold callers and anything else when this was way, way easier.

45:00 - 49:20

Val:

Or be very, very specific in the way you know you in your instructions on how to apply. And again, for the exact same reason people just apply anywhere. And now when we send an application, we said, if you apply, you have to send us a voice recording, we're not even going to look, you know, the first thing we do when we get applications, we'll listen to the voice recording, we'll listen to their English, if their accent is way too strong, if we don't understand what they're saying, you know, we're not going to waste our time with interviews are based on the resume, especially if this is a voice account, right? You will be speaking with people on the phone.

So we found ways to make it more efficient. I think efficiency is something that we're really striving to do, efficiency, systems and processes. I have four VA’s that work with me right now. And everybody has their swim lane and it works great.

You know, so we're trying to maximize our efficiency and how to work smarter, not harder, and how to find the best people. We have a couple of ideas that I don't think anyone else is doing, you know, that we're implementing now. So it's just, you know, we'll see, we'll see how it goes. It's fun, you know, it's tweaking, it's trying, it's, I'm very curious to see where we'll be in one year from now. You know, it's like, I look back and like, oh, the things I didn't know a year ago, or how far we've, you know, how far we've come from them.

David:

Val, now that you've effectively sold everybody listening to this on why they need a VA where can they go to get a hold of you and or apply or look to work with hire train VA?

Val:

I like to have a conversation with people so I understand their staffing needs and more about their company so that I can match them with the best virtual assistant. A good starting point would be my website, hiretrain.va.com, which is very simple. We hire and we train VA’s. So it's, you know, hiretrainva.com.

And then book a call with me and let me just, you know, maybe my services would not fit what you're looking for, and I'm completely okay with that. It's kind of like wholesaling. You know, it's kind of like our business in real estate. And everyone we speak with would be a good fit. You know, it's interesting how many parallels there are. But yeah, that would be a good starting point. Let us have a discussion, a conversation, no strings attached. You know, just let you know what we can offer and see if that matches what you're looking for. Simple as that.

David:

I like it.

Alex:

I'm gonna set up a call tomorrow. I appreciate this so much.

Val:

Yeah!

Alex:

It's such good timing. I'm pretty sure David the universe lined this interview up.

David:

Yesterday, when I sent that email. I didn't put two and two together until like, we were on this call.

Alex:

And I love it too, because I didn't know that this was I mean, obviously we hung out, flip hacking, so I didn't know that this is such a small world. I love it.

Val:

Yeah, I know. You know my husband better. You know him. Andre videographer for Bill.

Alex:

Oh yeah.

David:

Ofcourse Alex is the camera guy.

Val, thank you so much for joining us. This has been just a really good episode all around. And more importantly, thank you for all the help over the last few months.

Val:

Yeah, I had fun. Thank you so much for having me over. If you need anything, you know where to find me.

Alex:

Yep, this is great. Thank you.

Val:

Thank you so much.

End:

Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From Military to Millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there. We'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Val Brega quote about Virtual Assistants

Episode: 168

Val Brega

Join your host David Pere and Alex Felice in this episode with guest Val Brega as she discusses and simplifies how working with the world’s best virtual assistants can dramatically impact any area of your business.

Val’s experience and expertise in the field help us absorb how working with VAs can be any business person’s easy entry to outsourcing. For everyone working with HireTrainVA, the world’s best virtual assistants offer less work for the clients and the best standard of service at affordable costs.

In this episode, Val shares how she branched out from BlackJack LLC to HireTrainVA, her approach to bringing the best out of your virtual assistants, and the tips that help meet excellent outcomes when working with VAs from all around the globe.

About Val Brega:

Val Brega, or Valentina Brega, is Sales Director at Blackjack Real Estate LLC. Currently, she is also the founder of HireTrainVA, a human resource company that supports entrepreneurs and businesses in their operations by finding, hiring, and training the best virtual assistants in the market that can help handle different aspects of the business outsourced.

Outline of the episode:

  • [02:47] Starting from scratch in the US, from Sweden
  • [06:14] The best things in life find me
  • [10:13] Val Brega – on working for BlackJack LLC
  • [13:01] How HireTrainVA works with VAs worldwide
  • [16:01] David Pere – on working with VAs
  • [20:30] How do you shape a top-notch VA?
  • [28:14] Only 5% of the screened VAs make the cut
  • [33:35] Val Brega – on moonlighting and bringing in value
  • [37:24] The different online payments system to match your VAs with
  • [41:49] Piece of advice for those who want to hire VAs on their own

Sponsor:

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Resources:

Instagram:          https://hiretrainva.com/

LinkedIn:             https://www.linkedin.com/in/valentina-brega/

Email:                    [email protected]

Contact:               (615) 988-5110

 

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Grab your book copy of The No B.S. Guide to Military Life – How to Build Wealth, Get Promoted, and Achieve Greatness, Book by David Pere:

https://www.amazon.com/B-S-Guide-Military-Life-greatness/dp/1736753010

 

From Zero to One: Real Estate Investing for Beginners:

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My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don’t get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE to the channel for more awesome videos!

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

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