Your Short Term Rental Business

How to Automate Your Short Term Rental Business

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 493. In this podcast episode we're talking to John Jonas, founder of Online Jobs PH which is a website where people can hire virtual staff from the Philippines for outsourcing jobs.

Here's the audio for this episode:

Here's the video for this episode:


Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Introduction
01:59 – An introduction to John and his online platform
04:16 – What is the term OFS?
09:24 – What’s different about Online Jobs PH?
14:14 – What mistakes does John see business owners making when they outsource?
18:11 – What was John's ‘aha’ moment from The 4-Hour Work Week Tim Ferris book?


Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. And welcome to another episode of the Boostly podcast. Today, we're talking about outsourcing, we're talking about short-term rentals. We're talking about how to replace yourself in your short-term rental business through savvy marketing. And we've got the founder of online jobs, pH with us, but before we begin, as we always like to do, let's start with a little freestyle wrap.

[00:00:22] Mark: This is a freestyle. I'm going off the done.

[00:00:28] John: Ready for my closeup. Good looking, let me tell you get more bookings. Ah, that'd be nice. Giving me tips, tools and advice. Yeah, you're gonna get 'em hun. You're gonna sit back. Listen to Mark Simpson. What? Having a blast, gonna get out on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee, let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tee is loose leaf making up those rhymes.

[00:00:47] John: Don't write it. Just do we loose leave if you want my respect, you'll better. Put. Mmm, here are the words in the podcast. That's what comes

[00:00:55] Mark: next. All right, Mr. John Jonas, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. Um, thank you very much to everybody that is tuning in with us live and watching back on the replay.

[00:01:04] Mark: Those of you who are tuning in live, please do go leave a hashtag live in the comments, but most importantly, let me know. How are you outsourcing in your business right now for your short term rental business? Let us know in the comments and I'll flag up anything call that comes in, but Mr. John Jonas.

[00:01:19] Mark: Thank you so much for joining us. How are we?

[00:01:21] John: great. Things are good here. Yeah.

[00:01:23] Mark: Good. And where are you tuning in from right now? For those of you who don't know who you are and where you are come from.

[00:01:29] John: So I'm in Utah, uh, in the us and. It's spring, I guess it's may it's may is it may. I'm about to go skiing.

[00:01:37] John: So there

[00:01:38] Mark: you go. Well, I wanna give a, a quick shout to Ruben of the real estate experiment who put I was in touch together after I saw your amazing podcast with him. So thank you very much for doing this. And so, um, you're the founder of online jobs, pH founder of so many things, just give a quick run-through of, of who you are, what you've created, and most importantly, You created it, please.


An introduction to John and his online platform

[00:01:59] John: So I run an online platform for hiring virtual workers in the Philippines. It's a job board. So it's kind of like or, but specifically for the Philippines, for employers around the world to hire a virtual worker, uh, either a virtual assistant, which people, people like to call it a virtual assistant.

[00:02:17] John: I no longer call it a virtual assistant. Mostly what people are hiring. Aren't virtual assistants? You're hiring specialists that work online from the Philippines. I call them OFS online Filipino specialists. So like designers, programmers, content writers, customer support people, uh, uh, SEO, lead generation, custom customer account reps.

[00:02:42] John: Whatever it is that you need to build and promote your direct short-term booking website and short-term rentals – like people to manage your listings, or talking with guests on your direct booking website or whatever it is. Um, so, I run this job board where you can find these people. We have nearly 2 million Filipino profiles on the site.

[00:03:01] John: So you can, anything that can be done online on a computer, on the phone can be done by someone in the Philippines. I currently have 38 full-time people in the Philippines that work for me. Um, we run. I run an eight-figure business and, um, it's all run in the Philippines. That's all I have is people in the Philippines doing everything.

[00:03:22] John: Um, so that's like where we are. You want me to talk about where, like, why? No,

[00:03:26] Mark: that, no, that's cool. I mean, me, myself, Boostly we, we are a, a subscriber of online jobs. pH we have been for many, many a time. We are currently going through the process of hiring our 34th member of, of, of staff ourselves over here at Boostly, which is great.

[00:03:40] Mark: We've used your platform many times. So for me personally, when I saw you pop up on Ruben's podcast, I was like, oh, this is amazing. Like, I wanna first and foremost say, thank you for creating an awesome platform. Uh, yeah, it's definitely impacted us. And I wanted to get you on the Boostly podcast to sort of showcase you more to short-term rental owners.

[00:03:59] Mark: Um, because as you are aware, as you build out things right now for this industry, is that the problem is that so many people try to do it themselves. They try and wear all the hats at once and try and do everything without looking at job boards like yourself. Um, so, uh, really, thank you for doing that.

What is the term OFS?

[00:04:16] Mark: I actually wanted to start by saying. I'm asking the question. So a lot of people call 'em virtual assistance. So why did you term OFS? And again, repeat for anybody who missed it. What, what does that actually mean?

[00:04:29] John: So OFS means online Filipino specialists and the reason I did it. So I, I invented that.

[00:04:34] John: I created it because as I, as I talk about this or people think about, oh, I, I want someone to work for me, but how do I, I can't find, I need to find someone talented. I don't want just like a secretary and cuz that's what people think. A virtual assistant is it's a secretary. It's someone who's not really skilled.

[00:04:54] John: They can do data entry. And that's not really who I hire. That's not who you want to hire. That's not who you're gonna find is just blah. And, so that's why I started calling them OFS. And because I, I also got the feeling like my team didn't really like it. Like, I have these programmers who are amazing, amazing programmers, right?

[00:05:16] John: They're virtual assistants. No, he's not a virtual assistant. He's a programmer, you know, or I have this, I have this girl who writes my social media and my newsletter. She's not a virtual assistant. Like she's really dang good, and she's writing my content. Or I have people that, like, I have people that manage teams on, on my team.

[00:05:40] John: I have people in the Philippines that manage teams, and they're good at the process. And they're good at managing the process. You know, it's just not, it's not a secretary. That's, that's why I did it.

[00:05:52] Mark: And so again, you could have based this in any country in the world, as Venezuela, South Africa, et cetera, you name it as theres virtual assistance or OFS is, or, and anywhere all over the world.

[00:06:02] Mark: Why the Philippines, why did that sort of hit home to you more than ever? And, and why did you build a whole business around it?

[00:06:11] John: So this is interesting. I, I actually, so I spent two years living in Brazil as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of latter day. Uh, I speak fluent Portuguese. I also speak fluent Spanish, and I could easily have done this anywhere else.

[00:06:28] John: Um, in fact, I first tried hiring people in India and Pakistan and it just, it just didn't work. I mean, I, I, I so badly wanted it to work else. and it wasn't until, so I was talking with the owner of bat years and years ago. He said, when you're ready to start outsourcing some outsourcing, some of this stuff, make sure you go to the Philippines with it.

[00:06:50] John: And I was like, what? That's, you know, like who knew? And he gave me some reasons why he gave me a reference and I started hiring someone, which fully changed my life over the next 10 years. I mean, that was, that was 2005. When I hired the first person who. Still works for me today. That first person that I hired still works for me today.

[00:07:10] John: Um, I, I started learning like, wow, there's this amazing culture in the Philippines that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. And it's not like, oh, they're loyal. I mean, they're super, super loyal. It's not like you can't find loyalty anywhere else. It's. They're loyal. And they're honest with foreigners, hardworking, and like it's a pleasing culture.

[00:07:33] John: They want to please people and they have computers and internet access. So you don't have to go through a service to find them. And they're, they're not entrepreneurial. They don't wanna steal your ideas or your business or your domains or, or the government's fully on board with this virtual work. And so like digital theft laws are twice the penalty as normal theft laws.

[00:07:53] John: There's this whole culture around why the Philippines work super, super well for this that, you know, like I, I had no idea when I hired the first person, I was just told like, Hey, try this. And I was new at business and, and, and it worked super well compared to what I had experienced in the past. Since then, I've watched the whole world turn their outsourcing to the Philippines since, I mean, I started this in 2005.

[00:08:18] John: It was hard to find people. I started online in 2009. Kind of to help myself be able to recruit people because I was tired of using agencies cuz they sucked. Um, and it like I've watched all of call centers, you know, like Comcast or Amazon or whoever change from India to the Philippines and customer support is now in the Philippines.

[00:08:45] John: Every, the whole world woke up. Um, which is, has been really kind of confirming and really great.

[00:08:51] Mark: So, and, um, so people will be watching this or listening to this or watching back on the replay or watching live. We've got loads of people watching live. Some people have been saying in the comments, this man has changed my business life with what he has built with online jobs, which is, which is amazing.

[00:09:05] Mark: And someone's saying, I need this right now. please take off my mini hat. So. People will have heard of Upwork. People will have heard from five now, how does online jobs pH sit differently from those? I know it's a job listing website, but there's loads of job with listing websites. What's like your USP.

What’s different about Online Jobs PH?

[00:09:24] Mark: Like what's the thing that you love most about it that others don't really hit home with?

[00:09:28] John: So Upwork and fiber, here's the gist of it. Upward and fibre are based like their business models and require turnover. Um, That doesn't, this doesn't sound like what they do, but that's, that's what Upwork and Five are want.

[00:09:43] John: They want you to turn people over because you pay them every time you hire someone for a job. That person gets a review. That means the next job that person gets, they get paid more, which means Upwork and Five are get paid more, which is their goal. I mean, that's, they charge you a backend fee off of everybody.

[00:10:02] John: You hire Upwork is like 20 to 40% and the fibre is, is about the same as those. Um, [email protected], we took a different approach. Like for me, I, I was using upward well, so I was using Upwork before it was Upwork. It was Elans. And, uh, I didn't realize this at the time, but that was, it was what was preventing me from making six figures at the time.

[00:10:29] John: Um, I didn't realize like it took just, it took the same amount of work to hire a full-time long term person. That'll stick with you for, I mean, like I said, that first guy I ever hired still worth with me today. And I have people that have been with me since that I was hired in 2007 and 2009 and 10 and 11 and 12.

[00:10:46] John: they're all still with me. Um, which number one makes my life so much easier? Number two makes training so much easier. Creating standard operating procedures so much easier or less re less necessary. Um, and, and that's not. So it takes the same amount of effort to hire a, a long term full-time person, as it does to hire a short-term person, that's gonna turn over and that.

[00:11:09] John: So at online that that's just hard for a small business owner. So at online jobs, we've focused on not hire someone long-term, full time. And if you don't have full-time work, hire someone part-time, but hire someone long. Because, especially as a small business owner, that it just makes all the difference when, when you hire someone long term.

[00:11:29] John: And then here's the other side of it that I didn't realize. So I hired this first guy full-time. It took me months to commit to doing this because I was like, oh, I don't think I can keep someone busy full time. I don't know if he can actually do good work. I don't know if I can afford it. And finally, I was like, well, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't matter.

[00:11:46] John: I can't keep doing what I'm doing. Right. I can't. There's not enough time in the day to get everything that I need to get done. And I recognize that. So I took the leap. I hired this guy. It was the most liberating experience in my life. His full-time job was to do anything I asked him to do. But more than that, I didn't realize what was happening was for the first time ever.

[00:12:07] John: So I gave him this task, and it, and he completes it, and I wasn't expecting him to complete it. And he says, sir, I'm done. What do you want me to do? And I was like, oh crap. I, I have to give him something to do. And for the first time ever, I stopped; this is what I, this is what I like to say. Like, I'm like pecking away at my email, you know?

[00:12:31] John: And his email comes in and, and I'm like, oh my gosh, I have to, I can't just go back to this. Right. I have to work on my business, and I have to create something here. I had to create a system that was the first time that I ever worked on my business. And that was that's the other really big thing that I see changing people's businesses and lives is when you hire someone full time, and you commit to a salary with them, you commit to that person and to helping them succeed.

[00:13:02] John: But you also commit to your. That you're gonna succeed in your business. I'm gonna make this work. I'm gonna work on my business, not just in my business. And there's a whole bunch of commitment there that goes along with it. That that Upwork specifically allows you not to commit to because you can pay someone hourly.

[00:13:19] John: And that's great. And if they're not working, you don't give a crap. You can continue pecking away at your email, you know, um, That that's, those are the real big

[00:13:28] differences.

[00:13:29] Mark: That's a perfect answer. Thank you so much for that. So you've obviously created this job listing board. It's gone down really well, loads of people on there, loads of people transaction and hiring it on an annual, on a monthly basis on a daily or weekly basis.

[00:13:42] Mark: And you've gone from just having a scratch in your own itch and having an online board to help you. But now you've got people coming to you and now you're showing other people. How to find a VA, how to outsource, et cetera. What's the, I guess the, the sort of one as we wrap up the final sort of questions is what's the one main mistake that you see most business owners make when they start to outsource, when they start to hire, when they start to assign tasks to their OFS.

What mistakes does John see business owners making when they outsource?

[00:14:14] John: Okay. So I'm gonna give a cup, I'm gonna give a few mistakes. Um, one is expectations either your expectations are too high or too low. So like, you think you're just hiring a robot and all they can do is data entry. And that's not the case. Not, that's not the case in the Philippines that comes, that assumption comes from when we only outsource to India.

[00:14:32] John: And the it's not that they're robots either. It's just that the culture doesn't allow them to step up and go above and beyond to become rock stars in your business. It's really hard for their culture to allow that. So. Number one, they want to contribute. They want to work hard. They want to do really well in your business.

[00:14:49] John: The second part of expectations is people thinking, oh, I'm just gonna hire someone. Who's gonna take over my whole business for me. I don't have to do anything like that anymore. I get emails from people who are like, I need someone who can. Write this content, create a sales page, write this sales copy, create this custom software, write these articles every day, and do this design work.

[00:15:09] John: Like, sorry that that person doesn't exist. Right? So those are, those are two really big mistakes that I see. I mean, you should be hiring for a role, um, and hopefully that role, and this is another, another, it's not this isn't a mistake, but there's just a better way of doing it. So. People often want to hire someone to build their website for them as like the first thing I need to build my website.

[00:15:32] John: And if you don't know how to build a website or have no clue what you're doing in this case, the problem I see is you're gonna hire someone you're working 55 hours a week. You don't know how to manage this process. Well, so now you're working 60 or 65 hours a week. You're not managing it. Well, now you're not managing the rest of your work well because you don't know what you're doing with this new thing.

[00:15:53] John: So. The, that that's a big mistake that I see people make is go out and find someone to do something you don't know how to do. And I think that's terrible advice. From most online gurus, they're like, oh, do what, you know how to do really well and outsource the rest. Like that's so dumb and has no place in the four-hour work week.

[00:16:14] John: The best thing to do is hire someone to do something. You do know how to do get something off of your plate, get some time back and become better at the things that really matter in your business. Making sales. Right. And then teach someone else how to do that thing and get it off of your plate because you're the entrepreneur, you're the one who's, you're the one who's supposed to understand the marketplace and understand the customers and understand what's supposed to be going on here.

[00:16:41] John: And if you're outsourcing all those things because what you're really good at is social media marketing. Well, you know, all the rest of those things suck and social media marketing is cool and all, but it's not what makes money. Right. So, be realistic with your expectations and hire someone for a specific role.

[00:17:00] John: And hopefully, that role is something, you know, how to do that you can teach someone else to do. And that's how, that's what I always tell people. Like, you know, you're ready to hire someone. If you have a process in your business that you can teach someone else to do, whether you're doing it or not, because maybe you don't have time to do it.

[00:17:18] John: Um, it doesn't really matter. As long as you could teach someone to. Get that thing off of your plate, get it done for you. So those are probably two. I mean, I can go on and on, but yeah,

[00:17:28] Mark: no, that's, I mean, that's great. And if, if you relate to this in the comments, whether it's li replay, just put a hashtag relate for me, because I feel like so many people, the reason why you see in the comments on maybe Facebook groups or videos like this, they say, oh, I tried it.

[00:17:45] Mark: It didn't work for me. I feel like you go into, like you say, with unrealistic expect. Um, we're both a massive fan of, of a, of the book. You mentioned it for our work week by, by Tim Ferris. What, what year? This is interesting for me. Like what year did you discover the book? And more importantly, as we finish up on the final question, what was like your big aha moment when, when reading that book or what'd you finish that book and obviously what, what you did on the back of it?

What was Johns ‘aha’ moment from The 4-Hour Work Week Tim Ferris book?

[00:18:11] John: I don't remember the year, but I do remember the aha. So there were, there were two things that, that I did based off of that. Three things, two things, three things. Um, so I read it when it was early on, like it was 2007 or something. I don't remember when it came out, but I read it thinking, oh my gosh, he's like describing my life, but I could do some better things.

[00:18:38] John: So a couple of the better things that I did was I immediately gave people better access to stuff like, um, yeah, here, you know, you can do your job better and. Here's access; here's my credit card. Do your job better. Right. And that was scary at first. And then I realized that any visa card will give you your money back if they steal a visa.

[00:19:00] John: Right. You just tell 'em it's fraud. Plus if they steal something, then they lose their job, which is. Another amazing thing about the Philippines is they really, really, really want this job because it's hard to find a job and especially, especially hard to find a full-time stable job. Right? So that was, that was one thing that I was like, oh gosh, I took a leap here, but I had to trust these people be more.

[00:19:22] John: Another thing that I, that I learned from the book was, um, mini-retirements. And so we started going on month-long mini-retirements, where I walked away, which were amazing. I figured I'll keep doing my work where we are. So we spent a month in Costa Rica. We spent a month in Florida. We spent a month in the Philippines on the beach, which was another amazing experience.

[00:19:44] John: Um, we're spending in two weeks, I leave for Europe with my whole family, and we are gonna ride our bikes across Europe for a month. Um, and every time I've gone on these, we, I think I'm gonna, I'll work while I'm gone and continue my stuff. And then I. Realize as I'm there, like, oh my gosh, the internet here sucks.

[00:20:04] John: Or I don't have the capacity to deal with this right now. And I find that the important things that make money continue to happen; I make those things happen. And all the other things that are like draining my time and my mantle energy just kind of like fall off during that month. And when I come home, All those side things are gone, that isn't making me money, and I've focused once again on like, oh yeah, here's the really good stuff that we do.

[00:20:29] John: So those are, those are two of the things that, that I took from that

[00:20:34] Mark: I, of as many people in short-term retinal business, where it's a management company or somebody who's an owner and a host who are like a month away, seems so, so scary. But again, if you, you put into practice. Things that you've picked up in like books.

[00:20:48] Mark: And, obviously, we're gonna give you some domains to go and check out some URLs to go check out in a section from, from John and, and the resources that he's provided you are one step closer. You gotta take, take that leap. So, John, thank you so much for doing this today. I won't keep you for too long, so I know you gotta get out on the skis and on the slopes, but give me some resources, places that people can go to if, if they wanna find out more and, and obviously, um, come and chat with you or, you know, emailing or, or find out more about what you're doing and how you're.

[00:21:16] John: okay. So I'm gonna give you a couple of things and I love what you just said. Like you, you have to jump in; like you have to, you have to try it in order. Uh, this doesn't work for everybody, right? Like it, some people's personalities don't work for this. Yeah. But if it does work for you, it's so dang good.

[00:21:35] John: And you, so the only way to know is you have to try it. So let me give you a couple of things. Number one. You can get started at, uh, VA quick start So there's my quick start guide that will give you 24 things you should be aware of from there. OFS is the top nine questions I get asked and answers to.

[00:21:58] John: Um, and then one is my it's my. Recruiting process. It's me, it's me walking you through finding a great person. And I guarantee you find a great person or it it's $49. So it's pretty reasonably priced to find someone great. And if you don't find someone great, I give you your money back. Um, no questions asked.

[00:22:23] John: So those are the three things that are like, this is a great way to get started. Uh, I'll help you move forward.

[00:22:31] Mark: There's a, there's a quote that I was thinking of just as you were, you were talking there, and it's a problem without a solution is just complaining. And I see so many. I think it's Teddy Roosevelt, but I see so many people saying, oh, I need this.

[00:22:43] Mark: I need what you're talking about, John; what you're talking I need. But then, they never do anything about it. What you've got there is free domains, free resources on, on how to get started. So I'm really excited to six months time or five months time, or year's time getting a message from somebody saying, Hey, I checked that podcast and I took that.

[00:23:01] Mark: Now look at me; I'm going on a month-long vacation, which is, which is awesome. So Mr John Jonas, thank you so much for doing that. Thank you to everybody for tuning in as always, we'll be back with another episode of the dub Bley podcast, uh, for now, vote. Let's, uh, let's leave you with a little freestyle rap to say goodbye.

[00:23:16] Mark: Thank you, everybody. Take care. Thank you so much for checking out today's podcast episode. Now, before you head and go anywhere else, before you click to the next episode before you do, do me one big favour and go check out Boost Lee dot code. Forward slash trust. IRA is the sponsor of all of the booster content and the reason why I work with them.

[00:23:35] Mark: And the reason why we spread the message of IRA is that when a host or a company is looking to get more into DRA bookings, the main question they have around trusts as in will a guest trust that I'm a true and real business will IRA take care of all of that. And they've got a special offer that is only available to Boosty people, but to do that, you need to go to Boost Lee, which is B O.

[00:23:59] Mark: STL Y dot code UK slash trust. You can find out all the information there. You can book a demo book in a call, and then you'll get your super special offer that is only available to Boley peoples, thank you again for tuning in do go check out IRA. We'll be back again very shortly with another podcast episode, but until then, we'll see you all very soon.

[00:24:19] Mark: Take.


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