Help Me, I’m Drowning! Where to begin.

Published on May 22, 2012

Still wondering if you should hire an assistant to take your real estate business to a new level of success?  We encourage you to take a look at our recent article, Too Many Hats? Time to Add a Team Member.

If you are ready to start the practical process of hiring an assistant, we are assuming that you have already embraced the following concepts:

  1. Recognition of the value and need for an administrative assistant.
  2. Creation of an outline of the skill set, behavioral style & character traits you will require from an assistant.
  3. Some consideration of forming a preliminary pool of potential candidates.
  4. A willingness to start now.

Already convinced?  Then it’s time to move forward! Once you hone in on what you need and what you are looking for, the actual process will require less time, develop more efficiently, and end with more satisfactory results.

Our first and perhaps the most important suggestion is, Please, avoid hiring the first person you interview who appears to fill at least some of your qualifications because you are desperate or feel you don’t have the time.

Instead, get real about the level of support you need.  Spend some time on this concept.  Then you will have more clarity on exactly the type of person you need to hire.  Fit is critical.

 

What do you need?  Consider a ‘Level 1, 2, or 3’ Assistant:

Level 1:  Such a person would be able to handle all of your social networking, email campaigns, and other written marketing materials.

A Level 1 assistant:

  • Could be an on-site or virtual assistant.
  • Could be Full or Part Time, as your needs require.
  • Will be reachable, teachable, reliable, and will understand that you have an agreement of ‘employment’—they realize you rely on them for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
  • If they will be a remote (or virtual) assistant, then Skype connections, face-to-face from time to time, are essential.

 

Level 2:  This person should fit the requirements of a Level 1 Assistant plus they will play critical administrative and customer service roles for you.

If on-site, a Level 2 assistant:

  • Is proficient in all administrative tasks: filing, computer programs/database programs/internet, handling all details for mailing, listing packets, etc.
  • Will most likely have opportunities to interact with clients so must be able to handle those interactions professionally and personably.
  • Handles correspondence and lead tracking.

 

Level 3:  Level 1 + Level 2 PLUS a trustworthy Operations Manager with a systems-oriented skill set = Gold.

  • Must be local, in the office, truly a right-hand assistant.
  • Will be answering phones, providing impeccable customer service and reflecting a positive demeanor with your clients, will be reliable and on time, with superior organizational skills.
  • While they may have different strengths from yours, a Level 3 assistant will understand that their role is to allow you freedom to handle those tasks only you can do! Like...
    • Generate leads
    • Convert leads into relationships and a client base
    • Negotiate contracts
    • Go on listing appointments and showings
    • Close deals
  • They will understand that when you succeed, they have succeeded.

Beginning with a Level 1 with the intention of ‘working up’ to a Level 3 may sound tempting.  Caution:  Does the Level 1 have what it takes when it’s time to be your ‘right hand’ assistant?  If the answer is Yes, how long will they want to work for you completing Level 1 tasks.  In short, someone else might snatch them up with more challenging work!

Conversely, offering a candidate a Level 3 position and then assigning only Level 1 or Level 2 tasks could potentially leave them too much time to kill, as well as a sense of dissatisfaction that can create a dulling effect.

 

Important note: Don’t let money stand in the way of saying, “I want a Level 3 Assistant!” There are LOTS of people looking to trade the stress of corporate America for a low key but rewarding role with a leader who cares about them as a person. Know what you want, set your budget, be confident about the value you have to offer, and make them an offer. You may be surprised at what pay rate you can hire talent.

 

In the world of professional real estate coaching, it is standard practice to know what you want, ask for it, and require both you and your employees to deliver.  Watching our clients succeed is the lifeblood of our business.  We hope to have helped you in the process of seeking out an assistant for your real estate sales team.  If you have had experience in this area or are able to implement some of these suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!  Drop us a line in the comments section below~

Stay tuned for upcoming articles on Team Leadership.

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Nikki and Chris Buckelew are recognized international real estate coaches, trainers, and speakers. Their specialties include sales, real estate, seniors real estate, and leadership coaching.  Clients who hire Nikki and Chris are often seeking assistance in increasing their profitability without sacrificing their health, relationships, and core values. For more information visit www.NikkiandChris.com.

 

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