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. 

real estate assistants working together

4 Things a Real Estate Assistant Can Take Off Your Plate Immediately

As a busy real estate professional, chances are that you could benefit greatly from the services of a professional assistant. Real estate assistants can perform a wide variety of routine tasks. An assistant can support a general agent, a buyer’s agent, or a seller’s agent; an individual agent or an entire real estate team; or some combination of the above.

Most often, an assistant is expected to pitch in with general tasks that can free up real estate agents and allow them to spend more time doing what they do best — helping represent clients to buy and sell property.  

Be Mindful of State Requirements

Before unleashing an assistant in your business, make sure that you have a full understanding of what duties are and aren’t allowed to be performed by unlicensed real estate assistants in your state.

You Are Responsible for Their Work

Real estate brokers are responsible for the supervision, training, and control of an assistant. If assistants perform duties that are reserved for licensed professionals, you will be held responsible and it can jeopardize your own license and business. This is an important compliance issue for brokers and real estate business owners, so it’s important to be careful and do your research up-front. If not done properly, using assistants in your business can become a liability.

Obtain Official Guidance

To understand what duties are or aren’t allowed in your state, check in with the real estate board or commission of the state(s) in which you operate — to obtain the official guidance.

You can also supplement your research with resources such as this one from NAR, which aggregate state-based information into a user-friendly chart. It’s always wise to verify this information with your state to be sure, however, as state statutes and regulations can change unexpectedly and these changes not yet be reflected in secondary resources like these.

So What Can They Do?

Assuming you’ve checked what’s allowed in your state, let’s look closer at 4 things an assistant may be able to take off your plate immediately. 

#1. Scheduling Showing Appointments and More

One of the biggest benefits of an assistant is the help with keeping track of your schedule. Your assistant may be able to help in scheduling showing appointments, walkthrough appointments, and more. 

#2. Creating Social Media Posts

It’s no secret that social media is a huge piece of the real estate marketing puzzle. Your assistant may be able to create and schedule social media posts, promoting your personal brand as well as your current listings. 

#3. Answering Calls and Emails

As a busy professional, you know how often your phone rings, whether it’s incoming calls or emails. An assistant can help you by handling basic communications, fielding incoming calls to curate and prioritize the list of people who want to claim your time and energy. 

#4. Create, Post, and Manage MLS Listings

Your assistant may be able to access the MLS on your behalf to create, post and manage listings. In this capacity, he or she can upload information and photos about each listing, as well as making sure the information is correct and the status is up to date. 

What Makes a Great Real Estate Assistant? 

Now that you have an idea of some of the tasks an assistant can handle for you, how do you spot a great assistant candidate? A great real estate assistant will possess a number of different traits, including the following:

Organizational Skills

All assistants are expected and asked to do a number of different tasks — and often all at the same time. A great real estate assistant will have strong organizational skills, allowing them to keep track of both current and upcoming tasks. Consider investing in an automated task management system, to help simplify your requests. 

Ability to Multi-task

In addition to being able to organize tasks, a great real estate assistant will be able to juggle different tasks simultaneously. He or she should also know how to prioritize tasks, allowing for the most important tasks to be done first. 

A Strong Desire to Learn

One of the biggest benefits for real estate assistants is that there is the possibility to learn so much about the real estate industry on the job. In addition to learning from the agents, great real estate assistants will take it a step further and choose to invest in learning on their own. 

Pleasant Demeanor

Your assistant is hired to make your life easier. Even when he or she is stressed or having a bad day, a great real estate assistant will not outwardly show this stress and will remain professional. 

In order to be successful in your role, it is crucial to delegate some of the more menial tasks, allowing you to spend more time on what’s important — buying and selling homes. For education about and for real estate assistants, check our our Assistants skills track of courses. 


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.