Hiring an assistant can feel both necessary and confusing at the same time. One of the most sought after skills in a real estate assistant, is prior experience in the field. This quality does, however, make it more rare to find the right assistant to help you. Even more confusing, can be to understand where to start and how to train your assistant to ensure that you are putting in place an efficient workflow. Realtors often may opt to hire an assistant who is new to the real estate industry, despite it being a less than desired outcome. In addition, may realtors are also looking for an assistant who will continue to work with them in the long run, and those who have no desire to become a real estate agent himself. Narrowing down the search results, for an assistant who has experience, has no goals to become a real estate agent and will stay with you for the long term, can hinder outcomes. This is only half the battle, the next thing to think about, is how to start with your assistant and what expectations you should set out. It is not rare to see real estate designations for realtors, however, there has been a lack of focus on training assistants, who eventually become the backbone of your business, if trained correctly. Although Designation Hub offer four different online real estate training for assistants, we are going to break down some of the most important lessons from the Advanced Real Estate Assistant Designation (AREA).
Although the real estate assistant training places focus on teaching the real estate industry, so even assistants new to the industry can get up to speed, we are going to focus on how a realtor can find, and keep, the right assistant.
The first step is to place focus on capturing the right talent. Pay attention to the type of traffic each job board provides you. For example, if you are placing ads on websites such as Kijiji or Craigslist, pay attention to the type of responses you are getting. Deduce whether it is mainly from students, or if there is another common theme from those who are applying.
When posting for a job, consider your local community boards as well. Many local newspapers also have a community online, including their website and social media. Consider posting using different resources to attract you a different group of talent, which also includes your own social media accounts as well, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. If you do receive a response, don’t let too much go by before interviewing and selecting your assistant, especially if you find a few candidates that closely match your ideal candidate.
Prior to placing the advertisement, stay committed to taking action if or when your potential ideal candidate has applied. First impressions work both ways, how you approach the candidate and take action is a reflection of how you expect your business to be dealt with as well.
Salary & Expectations
Setting out the right expectations and salary will attract the right candidates for your real estate business. Working in the real estate industry is unique, in the sense that the hours required to work varies from day to day. Especially when dealing with open houses, listing presentation, showings and more, its very difficult to have a set schedule for yourself, and for your assistant.
Organization and productivity will be key for your business and the efficiency of your assistant, which we will discuss in further detail in the next section. At the bare minimum, outline the guaranteed number of hours required (which can be part time), and the potential of hours they may be needed. Having a set of tasks broken down in the following categories:
- On Demand
Based on these tasks, you will have a better understanding how many hours you will require and set the guaranteed number of hours. It’s also to explain the nature of the business to your assistant, and what their role will be while working for you. Setting a higher salary is not the only strategy to attract the right candidates, other factors may also make it appealing to work with you. For example, benefits such as flex time, or being able to work from home during certain hours or days, can be very appealing, and off-set a lower salary or out of the normal working hours (9-5). If there is an opportunity to increase the salary or to make a bonus, if targets are met, this also creates a sense teamwork and expansion of opportunity to increase monetary funds, making it more likely to keep your assistant for a longer period of time.
Creating the Right Role
There should never be any confusion about the task at hand, or the next task to finish. Creating the list of tasks required to complete, prior to even hiring a candidate, will put everything into perspective. This includes the hours needed, the training required and the expectations. If you are hiring an assistant who is brand new to the industry, patients is a must. Investing time to train your assistant properly will yield you much better results in the long run.
Giving your assistant a list of clients to cold call in their first or second week and expecting great results can be both frustrating for the assistant and for you. For example, assistants who have trained with real estate assistant designations were able to complete their designation within 3 days, and begin using the tools and the workout scripts.
The average time an assistant took to complete their vocal training on the system, practicing with a set of scripts by listening and recording themselves repeat the same script, was 2 days. Within 5 days assistants were able to learn the real estate industry, their role as a realtor assistant, practice with scripts and begin implementing their tools. Realtors would then set out the tasks required to be completed and explain the expectations from each task. This made it easier as assistants were able to keep up with the real estate ‘lingo’ and participate in further training with background information. Regardless of the method of training, having a clearly defined role and expectations will increase the level of productivity.
These are the minimum expectations when looking to hire a real estate assistant. Keep in mind that assistants may also develop a desire to become a real estate agent himself. In this case, you may want to explore the options of creating a team, and having them join your team, expanding your clientele, dividing costs for an office space, advertising and even hiring a new assistant. If you have a great working relation and see the potential of building a strong team, then it may be worth it for your real estate business to grow, creating your own team.