Navigating property management: setting up a remote team in Mexico

Navigating property management: setting up a remote team in Mexico

You are part of a growing group that understands the opportunity of recruiting in Mexico. For the last few years, you have seen how technology and processes have matured when it makes sense to take advantage of the talent pool across the border, improve your team performance, and save significantly on your monthly costs. This move enhances your team’s capabilities and presents a promising opportunity to optimize your budget. But you also realize that knowing vs. doing is very different. A lot of preparation is needed so this transition is smooth, and you can enjoy the advantages this move provides you. 

What are the most critical steps you need to take to open a remote team in Mexico?

Understanding the Landscape

Like any good operation behind enemy lines, you need intel. You might have visited Mexico on your last vacation, but drinking Margaritas on the Playa in Cancun doesn’t give you a deep knowledge of how the system works in Mexico. 

team in Mexico is the best in the real estate

Start by conducting thorough research on the legal and regulatory requirements to set up a team in Mexico. Labor laws in Mexico are different from those in the US, and you need to consider that what is accepted in the US might be fundamentally different in Mexico. By arming yourself with this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the process and ensure compliance with local regulations. 

Inquire about the different taxes and benefits of hiring a team in Mexico. You can consult a local accountant who can explain the dos and don’ts. 

Choose the Right Structure

There are three ways to structure your team in Mexico:

  1. Open a legal entity and hire employees through that entity
  2. Hire them as contractors 
  3. Hire employees through a 3rd party – like a staffing company

What structure will work best for your needs is not a straightforward answer and depends on many factors, such as the size of the team you expect to hire, the length of time you would like to hire a team, and the costs you are willing to pay. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of costs, liability, and the ability to attract high performers. To simplify your decision, if you are looking for a big team for an extended period to attract high performance and are willing to invest in an initial investment, your best route will be to open your legal entity.

If you are looking for a short-term solution and the quality of the candidate is not a deal breaker, consider contracting the candidate as a freelancer. In this way, you won’t have any obligation to pay any taxes or benefits above the agreed salary, but the contractor won’t be your employee. 

If you want a professional staffing agency to offer you all the benefits of having your entity in Mexico without the liability of hiring them under your company, this option is right for you. 

1.Cultural Awareness

Some cultural differences have a direct impact on the way Mexicans work versus Americans. Mexico is a family-oriented society. Not by chance, every Mexican has two last names: his mother’s and father’s last name. The reason is that your origin depends not only on your achievements as an individual but also on your family history. As a society, personal relationships are significant, and social interactions are essential to work. As such, detaching a Mexican from social interactions could be challenging and affect his work quality. Unlike Americans who live in a society that cherishes individualism, understanding the importance of the internal dynamics of a team is crucial for its success. Mexico is also a patriarchal society, and although in the major cities, the gaps have narrowed, there is still a pay gap between men and women. It is an opportunity for the employer to contribute to the change and support women employees to excel and develop. You can foster a more inclusive and productive work environment by respecting and understanding these cultural nuances. 

2.Recruitment Strategy

Recruitment in a different country is a challenging task. Unless you hire a local HR manager, your best bet would be to use a staffing company to manage the recruitment. Of course, you can use different platforms like Indeed to post a job and navigate through the other candidates. Still, your learning curve is very steep since you must consider various aspects such as salary level, compensation structure, cultural differences, and market location where you post the job. That could be overwhelming, but the staffing solution would be more efficient and cost-effective. 

3.Language Proficiency

Mexico is Spanish-speaking, and English is now more widespread among the younger generation than ever. You must ensure that you set the English level required for the position you are recruiting for. Don’t ask for 100% proficiency from someone who would not work directly with clients because you will lose many good candidates whose English would be sufficient for the work but not at the native speaker level. 

4.Technology Infrastructure

Technology allows us to consider Mexico as an option for your remote team. Over the last few years, especially since the pandemic, Tech companies developing solutions for remote teams have seen an exponential demand. With that, investors made immense contributions to accelerate the development. The tools are out there, and you need to define the tools you need. There are general tools like communication and CRM, and each industry has more industry-specific tools (for example, Yardi is an industry-specific tool for the property management industry). 

If you use a staffing agency, ensure they have IT support to help you prepare the workstations for your employees. Otherwise, you must do it remotely or send IT to Mexico

5.Legal Compliance

Having a legal consultant in place is very important when you operate in a new country. Refrain from assuming that the contracts and laws you have in the US apply to Mexico. The rules are different. Knowing the rules can save you from a potential lawsuit. You can hire a lawyer to help you or use your staffing company to explain how to comply with Mexican law. 

6.Onboarding and Training

Congratulations! You hired an employee in Mexico. Your work only starts. To ensure that the employee has a smooth entry into your company, make sure you have a plan for your onboarding and training. Your onboarding plan will include the introduction of your employee to your company, industry, and teammates. Since you might operate two teams divided by a border, preparing an onboarding that would close that gap as much as possible is essential. After those first few days, you must ensure that you also have training, allowing your employee to understand what the expectations are from him and how to operate in his role. Multiple technological tools will enable you to record your process and create a comprehensive training course for your hiring positions. 

7.Cultural Integration

After realizing the cultural differences and learning about the background of your new employees in Mexico, it is essential to promote the beauty of both cultures (yours and the Mexican one) in joint activities. Recognizing those differences will create mutual respect and tolerance, essential for healthy teamwork. 

8.Performance Management

Performance metrics and KPIs are keys to a remote team’s success. Since you will be out of the Mexican office most of the time, you need to set clear, measurable goals that you can review in your scheduled meetings. Setting those goals will also improve performance and drive the team to success.

9.Adaptability and Flexibility

Each team has its own culture and dynamics. There is no one way to achieve success; most success comes after trial and error. Keep the remote team solution after one failure. It takes time and patience to succeed in a less charted market, but the fruits are unbelievable when it will be successful. 

10.Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Do not see your remote team as a way to increase your bottom line. All your employee have their life and families, and respecting that balance is crucial in the long run. Show interest in their personal life and remember important facts about them. It will go a long way if they feel you care about them and not only see them as a number. Please encourage them to live a healthy life both physically and mentally by keeping a balanced life. 

Setting up a remote team in Mexico requires planning, investment, and implementation. Success could be critical for your bottom line and change how you manage your properties moving forward. You can do it all by yourself or choose a reliable partner in Mexico to help you with that process. Base your decision on your requirements, budget, and goals, and consider that, like any project, you must be patient and persistent to succeed.

Wexpand is a staffing company specializing in creating teams for property management companies.

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