Tips for Hiring an Assistant for Your Real Estate Business
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Because you work in real estate, you know better than most that time is a limited and oh-so-precious commodity. You're constantly pressed for time and on a mission to squeeze even more tasks into your workday. Assuming you've already optimized your schedule with these productivity tips, it may be time to hire an assistant for your real estate business.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of hiring a real estate assistant along with how to choose the right one for your business. Let’s get started.
Assistants come in all varieties.
Whether you're looking for an entry-level assistant to answer incoming calls or an experienced office manager to help you grow your real estate business, there’s someone out there to meet your needs. Real estate assistants can help with all sorts of tasks, from marketing to neighborhood research. Let’s take a look at the biggest benefits that a real estate assistant may offer:
Perhaps the biggest benefit of hiring an assistant is to free up your time. Right now, you’re a one-man-band. You do everything, from closing deals to sealing envelopes. But, with an assistant to help you, you can conquer the world, or at least your part of it.
Real estate assistants can do the small tasks that seem to take up the majority of your time. This allows you to grow your business, spend more time with your loved ones, or get some sleep.
Not sure how to set up a website or manage your social media presence? Hire an experienced assistant for the job. You don’t have to know it, you just have to know someone who does and hire them. For example, consider hiring a real estate assistant who is a photographer also. Or consider hiring an assistant with a strong accounting background. They can keep your books and receive and deposit funds.
Take inventory of the skills that you need the most, and look for an assistant who specializes in them.
Because you’re saving so much time with an assistant, your productivity is sure to skyrocket. How could it not? With an assistant, there are four hands instead of two. Plus, you’re freed from worrying about the pesky details so that you can concentrate on the high-level part of running your real estate business, such as wooing clients and expanding your professional network.
Real estate assistants who are proficient in marketing can help you bring in more clients. Assistants can write and place ads for business marketing purposes, assist with open houses, get feedback from showings, enter contact information into CRMs, and speak to clients on your behalf. You can grow your business twice as fast by employing an assistant to help you with your daily tasks.
Speaking of daily tasks, real estate assistants can relieve your burden by doing all of your busy work. Think about all of the small but important tasks that you do in a week, such as placing and removing yard signs, picking up and delivering documents to other agents, getting keys made, submitting listings to the MLS, scheduling appointments, photocopying, et al. Those tasks may be five minutes here and 30 minutes there, but they sure add up. Before you know it, half of your workday is over.
Now imagine not having to do any of those tasks and instead hiring someone else to do them for you. What would you do with all that free time?
Real estate assistants can perform deep research about your neighborhood, your listings, and your clients, both current and prospective. By utilizing an assistant, you can become an expert. See trends in the market, know more about your property before you show it, and connect with your clients based on tidbits of information that your assistant finds on LinkedIn or Facebook.
So, are you ready to hire on a real estate assistant or should you delay that dream until a later time?
Here are some clues to help you figure out if now’s the time:
You’re making a decent, comfortable, and consistent living wage. This is clearly and hopelessly subjective. Most experts suggest that you make at least $50,000 a year from your real estate business before you bring on an assistant.
You can predict how much you’ll make each month based on past experience. In other words, you’re not constantly cycling between feast and famine. You should have a steady stream of clients with at least two transactions per month if you’re looking to hire a full-time agent.
You are ready to create systems for your business. When you first start out, everything is new. But as you continue in your real estate career, you’ll want to develop systems that run and grow your business. If that’s where you are, you may find it easier to have an assistant create those systems for you, especially if you’re not administrative.
You are ready to relinquish some control. This is a huge indicator that you’re ready to hire an assistant. Not everyone is ready to hand over tasks, even the menial ones. Be honest with yourself. Are you going to micro-manage your future assistant or are you willing to give them the autonomy to do the tasks that you’ve assigned them?
You are willing, ready, and able to train your assistant. While your assistant may come to you with an impressive skillset, they still need to be trained to do what you want and need. They’re not mindreaders (unless that’s also part of their skill set), so you shouldn’t hire an assistant unless you have the bandwidth to train them.
While all assistants will ease your workload, not all assistants are made equal.
On one hand, you have licensed real estate assistants. These assistants have taken a state-mandated licensing course, passed the state exam, and received a real estate license. But instead of working as agents, they work as professional assistants.
Licensed assistants can offer specialized support to your real estate business. They understand real estate terms and are able to offer interpretation, opinions, and advice. Here are some of the tasks that licensed real estate agents can do:
On the other hand, you have unlicensed real estate assistants. These assistants can handle administrative duties, such as answering phones and other generic tasks that don’t require a real estate license. Aside from answering calls, an unlicensed real estate assistant should not do tasks that require them to interact with clients directly. For example, your unlicensed real estate should not discuss marketing strategies with a listing client or negotiation tactics with a buyer. While they can assist you with hosting an open house, they can’t be left alone.
Whether you should hire a licensed or unlicensed assistant depends on your needs. If you’re looking for more generalized help, you should consider an unlicensed assistant. They’re more affordable and can be a big help, especially when you’re just starting to grow your business.
However, if you’d like to have someone who’s able to interact with your clients directly, while also providing you with more real estate-specific help, hire a licensed assistant.
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