Saturday, April 10, 2021

Buying a Condominium for Call Center Agents

NOTE: This story is based on my own personal experience.    

Owning a condominium is not an impossible goal for Call Center Agents.  If you work hard on those promotions, and you get to a higher salary bracket, then it may be possible.  Condominiums now have payment schemes that are easier to pay with more reasonable amounts.  

However, there are still a few "things" we Call Center Agents should be aware of before buying that said investment.


You see those sales agents in malls handing out flyers for Condominiums that are as low as 7,000 - 8,000 a month.  Like outbound call center sales agents, their goal is to get their target hooked, with the terms of payment explained as vaguely as possible. 

Metro Manila Condominiums are expensive - period.  You will get cheaper deals if you buy a low cost house and lots in Cavite or somewhere farther away.  If the deal seems amazingly cheap, then there has to be a catch somewhere.

Payment schemes for condominiums are like metrics for calls - a lot of computation is involved.

The down payment is usually 10% or 20% of the actual Condo total price.  It is usually the down payment that is advertised as the low-monthly payment and not the amount you have to pay this afterward.  

 -- 'ang daming nabobola dito'

Let's say the condo unit you are buying has a total price of 1M.  The down payment is 10% so that's 100,000.00 PHP.  Divide the DP by 12mos - and you get the low low price of 8333.00PHP per month.   WOW!

However, once you pay off the down payment after a year, you now have to produce the remaining amount of 900,000.00.  You pay for this in cash or through a bank loan.  

Since you are a call center agent and not a millionaire, I am assuming that you will opt for a bank loan.  The amount you have to pay off may have a 6-10% interest from the bank (which could also increase every year).  Your original monthly 8333.00php can go as high as 10k - 15k a month.  

'Never think of banks as charitable institutions.'

Factor in also the fact that the banks approved Loan may not be the full amount at all.  After paying for the down payment, banks will give you a loan based on your income and age.  So if you ask for a 900k loan, the bank will assess first and offer you different amounts.  For the 900k request, the bank may only approve a 600k loan - so you have to get the remaining 400k magically.  - 'parang mga goals at incentives na di mo alam sang kamay ng Diyos huhugutin...'

What happens to your down payment then if you are unable to continue paying for the Condominium?  Some developers give back a certain amount only, some have clauses in their contract that if you fail to pay - 'nganga'.

So what to do?

Ask ask ask and ASK.  Factor in all the points from the down payment to the monthly amortization, to the loan amount you may get with your current salary.

Get a credit check - some banks will not offer loans to Call Center/BPO employees.  Go to a bank first and ask if you will be granted a loan.

You are a call center agent, so you know how agents should work - and IF the condo sales reps cannot or will not cater to your inquiries, then walk away or ask for another sales rep.   
You have the right to know what you are getting yourself into.

Once you get all the terms clearly - then you go and compute your finances.  Factor in all your expenses and see if it's feasible or not.  Contact a bank and tell them that you are planning to buy a condo and what is the "loanable amount" you are to get in the future.  

'If hindi talaga kaya, wag mo ipipilit.  Wag mag pa pressure or madala ng sales-talk.  Hindi naman si condo sales rep ang magdurusa pag di mo kaya bayaran ang binili mo...look for other options...'

Call center agents are supposed to be smart.  So practice due diligence and pursue your dreams.

'Bawal maging tanga...'

Can you share other condo buying tips?

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

TIPS on Working from Home Jobs for Call Center Agents

With the Coronavirus pandemic, more and more Filipino Call Center Agents are turning to work from home jobs as options.  This is the most logical option since our economy has experienced a new downtime low.  Many companies have gone bankrupt and laid off their employees, this leaves more people who are now looking for opportunities to work from home.

Remote call center jobs, virtual call center jobs, and home-based call center jobs are now the trend.  However, there are other options available for you as call center agents.  

See the tips below on working from 

So how you as a call center agent get started with work from home jobs?  How do you start?  What are your options?

1)  Invest in a computer and stable internet

The first thing needed is to get a computer.  You need to Google specs of cheap and acceptable computers you can use to work from home.  A desktop is always a cheaper option, and a secondhand laptop will suffice.  Just make sure you have someone who knows computers to help you out before making any purchase.  

For the internet, we all know that our options in the Philippines are limited.  But to work using mobile hotspots is doable.  Get all types of simcards and test the LTE speeds when you use hotspots.  A wired cable or fiber powered internet is optimal.  Make sure you canvass the cheapest options.

Remember:  Treat computers and your ISPs as an initial investment.  However, do not spend too much since you need to make money first.  

Some people asked me if we can use mobile phones to work.  The answer is yes - but the work is limited and it has smaller pay ranges.

2) Target a niche.

You cannot expect to start working from home, and you have no idea what you want to do.  You need to know what skills you have and target a particular niche.  
  • Can you speak good english and have an aptitude to teach? - Try teaching English Online
  • Are you tech savvy, organized and you know basic internet tools and apps?  - Try becoming a Virtual Assistant.
  • Are you good in English and have worked in a BPO before?  - Try to work with online Customer Support/Call Centers.
  • Can you listen to a video and transcribe the language? - be a transcriptionist.
  • Are you a fast at typing - try online typing jobs at home

There are lots of jobs that you can do at home which may be as simple as a data encoder to a full scale company manager.  The key is to find what you are good at and research how you can utilize those skills to work at home.

3)  Build your skills.

When starting to work from home, consistent and constant studying is involved.  It will be like you are back in college and you have to learn new things again.  Invest in online classes and learn as much as you can.  Take time to study and increase skills that you need to make it as a work from home employee.  Be aggressive when it comes to learning

No one ever said working from home will be easy.  You need intellect, resourcefulness and an aggressive attitude to learn as much as you can to make it.

4)  Use Work from Home platforms 

Think of these platforms as job agencies.  They will match your skills with potential clients and customers who will give you real jobs.  All these platforms have openings for call center agents.

Sites below are actual sites where I found work and earned money.  

Upwork - my personal choice on working from home.  Has a good platform and has all the tools you need to find clients.  However, you have to pay fees to avail of their services. *I got scammed in this site.  Be careful when getting jobs from here, but some are legit.

Again, you have to research on these sites and learn more about them.  There are lots of tips online on how to land jobs on these platforms.

5)  Try to search for Online Customer Support jobs.

Many BPOs/Call Centers have embraced the new normal and now have options to hire call center agents who will work from home.  Try Jobstreet or actually apply online to the major call center industries.  Then when contacted by a recruiter, mention that you prefer to work from home.

Always remember that there are lots of ways to earn money from the comforts of your own home.  However, you need to have the mindset that it will not be easy.  Be resourceful, reasearch as much as you can, be aggressive and never give up, and you will land that perfect job for you.

What other work from home jobs can you suggest?