Welcome to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Every week she will share valuable information that you need to know in order to successfully invest in real estate and other business endeavors in North America. We believe in helping clients invest, live, work, and play across borders. And now, your host, Lauren Cohen.
Lauren Cohen 0:28
Good morning, everybody. This is Lauren Cohen, international legal and real estate investment expert, welcoming you to Investing Across Borders, the show where we teach you how to invest, live, work, and play across borders. And I’m super excited too that our sponsor, Lendai continues to support us. Lendai is a company that helps Canadians, Brits, Australians, and Canadians invest in US non-owner occupied, real estate. It’s a great option. Yesterday, I was talking with one of my colleagues in Calgary, and she was blown away by the amazing support and artificial intelligence program that Lendai has created. So if you’re from another country, and they’re going to be adding other countries soon, do check out Lendai, and I’m happy to make a connection. Anyway, I’m here today with my friend Jessica Koch. And Jessica and I have known each other for a year and a half, something like that. We met during COVID, like, you know, half the world. And we met because we were both speaking at an event. And I think Jessica reached out to me because she was intrigued by what I did. And since then I’ve been intrigued by what she does. And she actually has a team of people that work for me. So that’s what we’re here to discuss today, Jessica’s teams all over the world and how she started expanding her business internationally. And I’ll let her give you some details about the business, I could give you my take, but I think my take is just narrow, to what they do for me. So I’m going to let Jessica say hi, and tell us a little bit about what she and her team do and about herself.
Jessica Koch 2:05
Well, thank you for having me on your show, first of all. And I am more than intrigued in what you do. I look forward to being a part of playing in that sandbox, it really makes sense to have multiple streams of revenue, multiple investments of various types, and real estate being on the top of the list because it just makes so much sense, and having professionals leads you through it is mandatory. It’s not a space you should walk alone, this is a path that’s been forged by others. And they’ve already taken and done the clearing for you. So why not take advantage of that path. I am the Italian mother of seven, I have been speaking nationally for about 25 years, internationally for about three. Our firm does sales and marketing consulting, LinkedIn and social media training. And we do have this virtual assistant membership program. I’m a big believer in it no matter what kind of business you have. And kind of funny it’s trending even if you’re in a traditional career, or working for a corporation, is outsourcing so that you have more time. So even individuals and corporations, as long as it doesn’t conflict with their contract and their company, they’re taking a lot of the projects that they have to do, or complete, or create, and outsourcing that work and then just reviewing and checking it before they submit it. And people are looking, I think, you know, with what’s happened in the world. And we just started that division of our company just over a year ago. With everything that happened in the world, there was more demand, more requests for this hands on support, than had ever been before, at least in my space, the clients I was working with. And so, you know, having that life freedom, so many people are working more virtually than average it before. And having a laptop lifestyle, and looking at the tasks, the things they’re spending time on, you know, for everything from follow up from a sales perspective of a company, to social media, to admin tasks. That can be done by someone else, I mean, really trained and outsource for less than what we’re getting paid to do it then it makes financial sense of return on investment. It’s a math equation, it makes sense to do.
Lauren Cohen 4:17
100 percent. Yeah. People spend way too much of their time doing these menial tasks and banging their head against the wall. And it’s so much easier when you have somebody that you can just say, Hey, I have an event, can you promote it? Hey, have an event. Can you create an event invite? Hey I have this, hey I need to connect with that. Like a few weeks ago, just to give you an example of what Jessica’s team does. I had a client that was looking at investing in Cambodia, buying a business in Cambodia. Now, I have a lot of contacts on LinkedIn, as Jessica knows, but I didn’t have a contact in Cambodia. So I reached out to the team and I said hey, can you guys get me in touch? I needed lawyers specifically, can you guys get me in touch with some lawyers in Cambodia? They did. We connected with about 50, I screened a few of them, brought it down to two, introduced them to my client. My client ended up not going forward with the investment, but either way, it’s still, if I had had to do that, it would have taken me 10 hours. And 10 hours at my rate of $400 or $500 an hour is a lot, because the ROI is a lot lower than if I’m paying Jessica’s team at their rate. And so it’s all about smart, using people smartly. Not using people, but you know, using resources smartly, and leaving yourself for the highest and best use of your time. And if you don’t do that, you’re always going to be chasing your tail.
Jessica Koch 5:46
Well. And you know, also, if you think about best intentions, if you look at what you’re doing in your company and your business, whether you’re a huge company, or you’re a smaller company, what would you like to be doing right for your clients, or your customers, or even your prospects and joint venture partners. Wouldn’t you love it if every person that is in your community, whether it’s a joint venture partner, or client that had a book and was an author, which is a lot of people right now. Wouldn’t you love it if you had written them a Google review for their book, or, you know, done a nice recommendation for them on LinkedIn, or, you know, done some sort of Google My Business or Facebook review or whatever, all these things. We have these great intentions to do these nice things for people, but taking the time to do them personally is a lot. You know, if you want to do 50 or 100 of those from scratch, that’s a lot of hours. Now, if you have someone else, pull something together with the framework, and then you go through and personalize 50 to 100 of those because you still want it to have your personal touch, and it to be authentic and genuinely you. But you can go through 20 to 50 of those written recommendations or written Google reviews, or book reviews, or podcast reviews, for that matter. Much faster than you can write them from scratch. And it’s those kinds of things that make such a difference to your client and to your joint venture partner who’s funneling you all these leads, when you show up like that for them.
Lauren Cohen 7:14
So as you’re talking, I’m realizing that I need to do exactly that. So there’s a task for your team. Because I have a very robust LinkedIn profile, but we don’t have very many recommendations. Endorsements, tons. Recommendations, no. Why? It does take work, you have to reach out and ask for them, they’re not usually automatic. And also, one thing you want to be careful of, and I’m sure you’ll agree with this, is I get requests for recommendations from people that I really don’t know, that I just happened to be connected with on LinkedIn. And I cannot recommend somebody in good conscience that I don’t even know. I could recommend Jessica, I know her, I work with her. But I can’t recommend Joe Smith, just because Joe Smith and I connected through some event that I met him at or something like that.
Jessica Koch 8:00
I agree 100%. I always say when I teach this, if someone hasn’t seen your song and dance, or doesn’t know your level of professionalism, or can genuinely write something on you don’t ask for those. Because then you dilute the value that they have. They are really valuable, and the same with book reviews. The way you can do book reviews without buying and reading every single book is, typically nowadays, on Amazon, there’s a chapter or two that is released that you can review, that you can get a feel for the book, you can get some value even from the book. And if you know the author and their work ethic and their knowledge, and you’ve seen them in other ways, you can then genuinely write something that has authentic value. But I agree with you 100%.
Lauren Cohen 8:45
And there’s that word authentic and authenticity. I have a colleague, and he was down here filming videos for webinars and so on. And I asked them to create a testimonial for me from him and they didn’t end up doing it. And part of the reason was because it wasn’t going to be authentic. Because if it’s a filmed video, it can’t be authentic. Whereas if he’s just doing it from the heart, that’s him coming from the heart. And so at first I was like, Oh, that’s too bad, I wanted something professional. But it’s true. The authenticity is more important in some ways. Obviously not when you’re doing a commercial or something like that, or an ad, but you want to be sure that authenticity supersedes all else. And that’s really important. So Jessica, when did you start speaking internationally? Was it during COVID or before?
Jessica Koch 9:40
No before. So for about three years now. So I think as I started my firm, pretty quickly, I was invited to speak on summits organised in Norway and Australia and I’ve done a lot in Canada, which is one of your favorite places.
Lauren Cohen 9:59
That used to be where I’m from, so part of my life.
Jessica Koch 10:04
That’s right, and I’ve met some of the most amazing people from there. So I’ve just really gotten to and Jamaica and the Caribbean some other places. And the UK, I’ve done a lot in the UK. So, I’ve been blessed to have that reach, just started to stretch, like I said, just the last three years.
Lauren Cohen 10:22
Yeah, and COVID has opened those doors a little more, because you don’t have to leave the comfort of your green studio.
Jessica Koch 10:28
And typically also, because of the way speaking engagements have gone, some of them are now virtual and internationally streamed. And fascinating, I find that wherever the main organizer of the summit is from, is where the largest audience, of course, is coming from. And that’s part of what’s stretched our clients out so far, is being introduced to these different summit organizers, from being on this, and then speaking in them, and then having a high concentration of individuals from that region, on the summit. And then you know, they start to get to know, like, and trust you. And before you know it, you have global clients. It’s interesting, when I very first started, probably about five years ago, I did a vision board session, and I wrote that I was gonna have you know, that my company was gonna have a global impact. And I had no idea what that meant, or what that could even possibly look like, years ago. And now, between my team and my clients from different parts of the world, it’s been fascinating.
Lauren Cohen 11:32
Those vision boards are powerful. I have one in my dining room. And yeah, it’s leaning against the window. So I see it all the time. And always something pops out at me. And it definitely makes a difference. I think we did those back, you know, I don’t know, maybe around April or so. Something like that.
Jessica Koch 11:49
Spring is a great time to do a vision board for new beginnings. And also the new year, a lot of people are starting.
Lauren Cohen 11:55
Right. Like it’s often a New Year’s Day levy thing. So I had a vision board before, but it wasn’t as forward thinking. Because as we grow in our businesses, and in our professional or personal lives, I think our minds open, and blocks are cleared. Right? So and we stop having excuses. Look, you have seven kids and a couple of grandchildren, for goodness sake. I mean, I’ve got to be able to get through all the challenges and find that silver lining, right? So what’s one of the most interesting things about going global for you?
Jessica Koch 12:31
The culture, and the people. One of the things I’m learning, I think I’m learning and growing as a person, you know, to be more sensitive, to be more, to listen more, to try to learn and research, to ask questions. Because there are differences in the mindset and the culture, and phrasing things, and different kinds of values. And, you know, and also just respecting other interesting and amazing like holidays and family time for different parts of you know, the world and what matters to them.
Lauren Cohen 13:01
Yeah, it’s even different, like, you know, just dealing with Canada and the US. People don’t realize how different the cultures are and the people, and the way that they approach business, right?
Jessica Koch 13:11
Mm hmm. Well, yeah, and you want to be sensitive to not offend someone, but you also want to be able to communicate that, you know, if I did offend you in some way, please let me know. Like having good, high levels of emotional intelligence, and when you’re working with people in the business world, really does matter. Because if both of you have that high level of emotional intelligence, then you’re able to have a conversation about things when there is an issue, right? Because sometimes we just don’t know.
Lauren Cohen 13:14
Right. It’s just like in, you know, interpersonal relationships in general, because you don’t know what the other person’s thinking. And it’s, what is it, the Four Agreements, don’t assume. And, you know, it’s never about you.
Jessica Koch 13:56
Well, I don’t make stereotypes too, because I try really hard not to do that. And, you know, I’m human, I’ve made some mistakes. But I was exposed to being on the other end of stereotypes. And I was quite surprised of that, oh Americans this, Americans that, and I was like, oh, well maybe some. But I think not everyone. I think we have to remember that we’re you know, we are part of a country, but we are also individual. And so everybody has their pluses and minuses for all countries and for all people individually, and as a group. We have those pluses and minuses, so I’ve been for the most part I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve really enjoyed learning and understanding different perspectives and you know, it’s funny, things that I didn’t know before that I just never paid attention. Yeah like our Thanksgivings in Canada, and here in the United States, they miss each other, right? They have theirs first and then we have ours second and I realized just little things like that, that are fun to learn. Learn about and appreciate. Appreciate for each other.
Lauren Cohen 15:03
Yeah, agreed. And respect. Mutual respect is really important.
Jessica Koch 15:07
Well, yeah. And there’s things, every person who lives no matter. I mean, I feel like I was fortunate to be born here. Truly, I do feel I was fortunate to be born in the United States. But there are things I love about my country. And there are things that I really do not care so much for. And would, you know, like to see change and hope to be a part of that change at some point, you know, every little bit helps, I think, on some level, moving the needle to the right, or in the right direction, but certainly a lot of improvements to be made here. I think that’s the same to be said, for everywhere. There’s things people genuinely love about where, you know, they just happen to be born, we all just happen to be born, wherever it is, we were born, right. And that’s our country. And, you know, there’s things we like about it, and there’s things we’d like to see, maybe be different.
Lauren Cohen 15:51
Yeah, it’s definitely interesting. Developing a business that has clients and staff from other countries. You know, you and I both have staff in completely different time zones, completely different countries, all over the world, you know, some are 12 hours ahead, some are six hours ahead. It’s challenging to figure out how to have a meeting with all these people, when they’re getting up and we’re going to bed.
Jessica Koch 16:16
It’s super fun. When it’s Australia and I’m like, wait, it’s gonna be Wednesday for me. And I think Thursday for you, or Tuesday, I don’t know.
Lauren Cohen 16:30
Yeah, it’s definitely, it’s interesting to pull it all together. Logistically, it’s challenging. So what do you find to be the most challenging part about running an international team?
Jessica Koch 16:42
I think it can be not just the time, I always say time zones and sugar are the devil. But times zones are definitely a challenge.
Lauren Cohen 16:51
Definitely a devil.
Jessica Koch 16:52
That’s right. But the other piece, I think, is when the technology doesn’t work as well as we would like. I mean, even in the United States, the internet goes out right? It happens. It happens wherever you are. There are some weather challenges and technology challenges that can be a little bit more amplified, depending on what countries you’re working in. So that’s something to really be careful for, especially if you’re looking to hire and outsource, those are questions you want to ask, you know, the speed of their internet, the access they have to internet. You know, the stability of it, and what kind of weather conditions that they face is a challenge. I mean, nobody can control the weather. And really, we can’t control the power and the Internet either. But if they’re in a place that has regular, you know, enforced outages, like they’re planned, and if there’s regular challenges, I mean, they’re going to know. And that’s something you have to take into account. Because as wonderful of a person as they are, if they can’t get the work done…
Lauren Cohen 17:54
It’s definitely not going to help you, and reflect on you. Because at the end of the day, they don’t care if they don’t have power where they are, the client only cares that it’s not done. Yeah. And that’s really important to understand. And you know, I have sometimes like there’s a, there’s like gas, things that turn off the gas. I mean, it’s crazy stuff that we just don’t deal with here in North America. And of course, you know, in Canada, you also have, well, here in Florida, we have to deal with hurricanes and in Canada, we have to deal with winter, and lizards and so on. But it’s been challenging and interesting and fun all at the same time. And having different perspectives and being an international entrepreneur and an international lawyer it brings with it those challenges and opportunities. And I think through every challenge, there is an opportunity as long as you look at it as such. Can you give us three LinkedIn tips, because everybody wants to know how to use LinkedIn better?
Jessica Koch 18:47
Yeah, well, and I always say this, especially when I’m with Lauren, I feel like I have a high level knowledge of LinkedIn. And I don’t just feel that way, I’ve actually taught it internationally and work with some of the Microsoft team directly. But when it comes to LinkedIn, Lauren, you’ve probably, I mean, in addition to being everything else, brilliant that you are, officially could train and teach. There’s no question. But with the fun of playing the game on the podcast interview, I will give you three amazing tips. Lauren could also give you 50.
Lauren Cohen 19:22
I should do one of my own.
Jessica Koch 19:25
But I will tell you that people aren’t taking advantage enough of events. And that’s both searching for things that you can attend. There’s some great, I mean, every single time I’ve used this example in a class, no matter when it’s been, there’s always been anything from two to 500 speed networking events. Every time I put in the word in the top search engine, speed networking, they’re free, they’re virtual. It’s a great use of your time to meet a lot of, you know, high concentrated amount of people in a really quick time to achieve a goal of you know, just making more connections, or making some sales or promoting an event that you have, or promoting a product, or launching events are not used well enough, also creating your own events. And then the fun things I’ve just been sharing about lately are the video that is in your headshot, and the audio that is next to your name. And both of those features need to be added using your cell phone and using the app in that way, just taking care of this and taking advantage of this new piece of real estate that they give you, and no pun intended. I always call it that.
Lauren Cohen 20:32
I don’t think I even have that. Guess we’re gonna have to fix that.
Jessica Koch 20:36
Yeah, so if you go to my profile, and you hover over my headshot at the top card right by my banner, a video comes up, and you can click on that. It’s just basically your 30 second commercial, right. And then next to your name, there’s a little microphone. And if you click that, it was designed to help you pronunciate people’s last names properly. But there’s quite a bit more, extra time there. And you might as well give a little bit more of you in that format. And people ingest information so many ways. Some people really are drawn to the audio, some people are really drawn to the visual images and video and then other people really want to read. So having those different formats can be more powerful.
Lauren Cohen 21:19
Well, that’s really helpful. I think everybody can benefit from that because I don’t bet maybe 2-5% do that, or know about that trick. So thank you for sharing that. Jessica, how do people reach you?
Jessica Koch 21:32
My website is the best and LinkedIn. So that’s www.JessicaLKoch.com and then you can find me on LinkedIn pretty easy.
Lauren Cohen 21:42
You can find her on LinkedIn pretty easily. And we’ll put all of that in the show notes. And I thank you for joining us today. And I wish everybody a happy holiday season. I’m Lauren Cohen international legal and real estate investment expert signing off for today from Investing Across Borders, where we teach you how to invest, live, work, and play across borders sponsored by lendai. And I also wanted to mention that you can subscribe to our podcast on any of the major podcast channels. And please do give us five stars because it makes a huge difference in terms of our ratings and in terms of our opportunity. So thanks again, Jessica. Take care everybody, be well and stay healthy. Bye for now.
Thanks for listening to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Make sure to check the show notes for any links and for guests contact information. If you have questions for Lauren, please reach out to her at FOUNDER@ecouncilglobal.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share the podcast with a friend.