How to get a job as a real estate assistant
A job applicant recently emailed and asked: “I wonder how one gets the minimum 2 years experience without getting a job to acquire such experience? Is there another way to do such? I'd like to learn the 'real estate assistant' role, but everywhere, people want experienced people.”
This is the answer that I sent to him. Hopefully this helps other aspiring real estate assistants.
I know – it is really tough to get your foot in the door. Some agents are willing to train someone from scratch but rarely will they train someone who wants to become a sales agent. Their thinking is, “why train the competition?”
One of the most successful methods I have seen is for an assistant to get their license and get training where they can such as from the MLS, the Board of Realtors and courses like our Real Estate Assistant Workshop. If you join an office like Keller Williams you will have access to a lot of training for free as well. And then, like most jobs, it comes down to networking. You could also try volunteering your assistant services to agents for a good price ($12 - $15/hr). The important thing is to find an agent or team this is the right fit for your personality, skills and career goals. A big determining factor is personality fit. Every agent and every Agent / Assistant team is different.
I have seen all types succeed in this business however I think that the things that matter most are:
- A true desire to serve others
- Strong administrative skills (organization, systems, customer service, etc)
- Strong computer skills
- A professional presentation (the way you look, speak, and carry yourself)
Most agents just don’t have the time or interest in training an assistant (which is why they send them to us for training). If you can get training in the following areas you will have a much better chance of landing a job:
- Transaction management (what the contracts mean and how to manage the flow of paperwork through the transaction)
- MLS and WinZip
- Top Producer 8i (enough agents use this program that it is worth learning. I know agents that will only hire assistants with TP experience)
- MS Office (I think this one is obvious)
- Roles / Responsibilities / Checklists / Marketing websites, etc (these are the topics we cover in the class. It’s the day-to-day value-add stuff that makes your agent more productive!)
The rest of it is pretty much dependant on the agent and will vary from office to office. I hope this helps you target your search and your training. Please feel free to contact me if you want more guidance.