If you’re a real estate agent buried under the weight of running your own business, this article is for you. If you’re tired of working 70 hours a week – exhausted and just barely keeping it all together – read on. If you’re overwhelmed, underpaid, and ready for a change, it’s time to hire some backup. A real estate assistant will not only add support to your everyday business responsibilities but will also lead to more income over time.
Why Do Real Estate Agents Need Help?
Imagine your real estate business is like a restaurant server carrying a massive tray of plates and drinks. You are the server. Everything you’re carrying on the tray is a responsibility you take on when you run a small (or large) business on your own.
If you’re carrying everything yourself – the showings plate, the closings plate, the answering phone and emails plate, the accounting plate – that tray is likely to get very heavy, and very unstable. Pretty soon, your entire focus is directed to the tray, trying to keep it from spilling. You move more slowly. You spend less time focused on your customers and more time worried that you’re going to drop something.
Now, imagine you have an assistant (or two, or three, or ten assistants!) who comes to help you. Now, you can take some of the plates off your tray, leaving only what you can comfortably carry. The tray is lighter. You have more control. You can deliver drinks and meals to your hungry customers faster, for which they are most appreciative. You can do more work in less time. And, you’re a happier person overall.
Get the picture? When you’re trying to do everything for your business by yourself, the weight of it all can become crushing. But when you ask for help, you can hand off tasks you no longer want to hold. That frees up your time and energy to focus on the things you do love doing – like connecting with clients, showing homes, and making sales. In the long run, that mean happier clients, more referrals, and more income for your business.
Most full-time real estate agents should consider hiring an assistant.
What Kind of Help Do I Need as a Realtor?
First, you need to consider whether to hire a licensed or an unlicensed assistant. Below are some general guidelines as to what licensed and unlicensed assistants can help with, but for specific “do’s and don’ts,” please check with your local real estate board.
- Licensed assistants can act in your stead to complete real estate transactions, show homes to clients, and complete vital real estate paperwork. A licensed assistant will be able to work with clients to make offers or counteroffers, facilitate open houses, and show properties to clients. Licensed clients can help your business run smoothly by increasing how many clients you see in any given day, therefore increasing your overall income.
- Unlicensed assistants can help with various administrative tasks, but won’t be able to participate in any real estate transactions. Unlicensed assistants are extremely helpful in the office: calling clients (though they cannot solicit sales), answering questions, scheduling appointments and showings, updating MLS listings, and maintaining your database and marketing lists. While unlicensed assistants can’t help you show homes or sell properties, their help with administrative tasks means you can spend less time in the office and more time making sales.
How much capital are you willing to set aside for staff? Let’s be honest: hiring help is going to cost you. In the long-term, you’ll likely do more business, bring in more income, and be able to close more deals than if you’re doing everything on your own. But initially, it might be painful on your wallet. If you can’t afford someone full-time right away, perhaps finding a part-time assistant would suffice in the beginning.
Managing a Real Estate Office Staff
Each real estate office is different, and each has its own unique set of needs. Building a strong team will be a marathon rather than a sprint. Hiring the right real estate assistant takes time, finesse, and some trial-and-error.
First, determine which help you need the most. Do you need someone to maintain your website, social media accounts, or marketing materials? Or do you need a licensed real estate assistant who can interact with clients, take on showings and open houses, and help you close deals? Next, make a “wish list” of assistants you’d like to have, from the most-needed to the least. As your business grows and your income increases, you can always add to your team.
Time to Get Started
It’s time for you to set down some of those plates, ask for help, and lessen your load. Imagine having a better work-life balance, spending more time with your family, going on worry-free vacations, and being home in time for dinner. It’s possible with the help of a great real estate team.
Need more tips on how to run a successful real estate office? The National Association of Realtors offers some excellent advice for overseeing your team.
Now, get hiring!
Want to place an ad for help wanted and get some help promoting it? Give the WinningAgent Job board a try…it’s cost effective and works.