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:
- I have no time to train or manage them
- Too expensive (perception)
- I don’t know where to find one
- 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.
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