Is it time to hire an assistant for your real estate business?

The real estate business never stops, and now that listings can be seen online 24/7, many brokers like to say they are also available 24/7. As technology allows customers access to more information though syndication sites like Zillow and social media platforms, brokers find that their time working these channels cuts into time working with clients. Perhaps that’s why more than 80 percent of agents report using an assistant, many after only working 1-3 years in the real estate industry.  

Hiring an assistant can help to ease some of the day-to-day burdens you face, allowing you to work more efficiently and be more accessible to your clients. An assistant who is well trained can help you maintain your schedule, as well as assist with a number of other tasks:  

  • Marketing your services 
  • Marketing your listings 
  • Helping to build your brand  
  • Lead generation  
  • Managing your social media 
  • Utilizing technology to support your success 

In other words, they can quickly become an invaluable asset to your team, helping your business to grow and allowing you to reach your goals.  

Among those agents who don’t have an assistant, Chicago Agent Magazine reports that the top four reasons for not hiring an agent yet are:  

  1. I have no time to train or manage them 
  1. Too expensive (perception) 
  1. I don’t know where to find one 
  1. I’m not sure what I need them to do  

While the benefits of hiring an assistant are clear, it can still be difficult for many agents to make the jump from working alone to hiring an assistant to help lighten their load. And it’s even more difficult to find an assistant who already has training and experience in the real estate industry. Once you’ve hired an assistant, it’s crucial that you train him or her properly so that they can become an integral member of your team. Unfortunately, many agents report not having this necessary time to spend with their assistants — or they simply don’t know where to start in the training process.  

Which type of real estate assistant is right for you?  

There are typically three types of real estate assistants: licensed, unlicensed, and virtual. The type of assistant you will want to hire largely depends on your needs, what tasks you want completed, and what the license law requires in your particular state. Simply put, if you want your assistant to be able to do many of the listing and/or selling activities that you currently do, you will need to hire a licensed assistant.  

If you plan to have your assistant simply helping with administrative tasks and duties, such as maintaining your schedule, setting appointments, sending out prepared, placing ads, updating and maintaining your databases, and other general tasks, you probably don’t need a licensed assistant. Keep in mind that many states also allow unlicensed assistants to add or remove information from the MLS, access property lockboxes, place signs on properties, and deliver documents pertaining to listings.  

Virtual assistants are growing in popularity in many industries, including real estate. Virtual assistants are typically based out of their home or remote office and use technology to carry out many of the same tasks your in-person assistant would do. There are also benefits to hiring a virtual assistant, which includes more hiring options and reduced overhead costs.  If you’re wondering what kinds of things an assistant can take off your plate immediately, we can help with that.

Want to learn more?  

Once you’ve hired an assistant, the next step is proper onboarding and training. While an assistant’s tasks and daily workload are often determined by the needs of the employer and can vary widely, there are steps and systems that you can put into place to help your assistant succeed and thrive as part of your team.  

To learn more about developing your own onboarding and training program, sign up for the courses in our Assistants and Team Building tracks. If you’re looking for common leadership pitfalls to avoid, see our post on why real estate teams often fail.

AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. 

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For 18 years, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning. 

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3 Tips for Creating a Business Plan that Adjusts with the Market

As any practicing real estate agent knows, market conditions can (and do) ebb and flow throughout the year. What’s important, however, is that your business is prepared to weather all types of markets so it can survive the negative effects that plague unprepared agents. 

Whether you’re entering a buyer’s or seller’s market, consider these tips for adjusting your business plan.

#1. Monitor Your Business Plan 

With fluctuating markets comes the opportunity for your transaction volume to change. It’s not enough to set your business plan at the beginning of the year, put it in your desk drawer and pull it out when the next year rolls around. 

Savvy agents need to be able to adjust their business plan throughout the year to account for buyer’s and seller’s markets and other market fluctuations. This helps agents project their revenue, adjust marketing plans as needed, and consistently (and consciously) know what they have in their pipeline. Here’s a great article on how to “check yourself” throughout the year. 

Pro Tip: Schedule time in your calendar for business plan review — the same way you’d schedule an open house or floor duty. Review it at least quarterly to ensure you have plans in place depending on the market conditions. 

#2. Set Client Expectations  

Fluctuations in the market will have a great impact on both your buyers and sellers. Clients may need to be educated on market conditions in order to set expectations. As such, it’s always a great idea to have regular check-ins with clients to ensure they’re aware of market trends. 

Of course, this can mean keeping sellers abreast of recent comparable properties and having the “pricing conversation” as needed. For buyers, this can also mean a conversation about urgency and how to approach offers that are more appealing to sellers in a market where they have the power. 

Pro Tip: Consider adding some buyer’s and seller’s market content to your drip campaigns to help educate your sphere on market conditions. If you have your CRM segmented with “buyer” and “seller” buckets, this can be very helpful for sending appropriate content to your sphere.

#3. Consider Your Marketing 

While there are certain marketing activities that require year-round effort like your social media and website presence, there are some that can be implemented in advance of market fluctuations to keep your business flowing. If your market is shifting to a seller’s market, for example, the months prior are the ideal time to send out market reports to potential sellers in your sphere to showcase the value of their home.

Your marketing should ebb and flow with the market trends (ideally, in advance of trends) so your pipeline is always stocked with ready and able buyers and sellers.  

Pro Tip: The summer is too late to start marketing to buyers looking to move before the school year, for example. Map out the highs/lows of the previous year and use those to help you compose your marketing plan for the next year so you can always be ahead of trends. 

Mastering Your Business Plan 

For more information or to learn the ins and outs of a great business plan, sign up for our AgentEDU course on Creating a Business Plan today. 

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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.