Are You Ready for a Real Estate Assistant? Is Your Business?

If you can relate to this picture you might be ready to hire your first Real Estate Assistant. But is your business ready as well? Today I'm going to break down the three critical steps you must take before you hire your first Real Estate Assistant. Yes, I know I'm giving you homework, but if you follow these three steps I promise you, you will be prepared for your new hire and they will thank you for it. 

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Before you make your first hire there are three critical things you must do to be prepared for your hire.

1. You need to get organized
2. You need to work out the logistics
3. You need to have a plan. 

So let's dig into those in more detail. 

GET ORGANIZED

When it comes to getting organized it doesn't have to be perfect but there are some basic things that you should have prepared for your new hire. The first is your contacts. 

If you don't currently use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System), you need to at a minimum get all of your contacts into one place. They can't be in your head or stuck only in your phone, or in a notebook. 

And yes, I have seen a million dollar producer carry around a notebook filled with names and phone numbers and different highlights and that was it. That was her whole, literal book of business. And she couldn't work with an assistant because that assistant didn't have access to her contacts. And she couldn't slow down enough to hand it off. 

So get your contacts in one place so that your assistant can access them. 

The second thing is to get your listing process and your contract to close, process down on paper. As you can imagine, it's a lot easier to explain to your assistant what they need to do for you if it's already written down. 

The third thing is to capture your marketing tasks. If you have a marketing program or a newsletter you send out every month, you need to have a checklist or a calendar that lists all the marketing that you do and when it's due. So that your assistant knows what is expected. 

I can remember years ago getting a call from a frantic assistant who had missed the deadline to submit ads to the local caravan newsletter. And agent was upset with them because they didn't know when the deadlines were. But the assistant had come from a different city that used a different newsletter and nobody had told her when the deadlines were. So, avoid these kinds of problems and just get everything out of your head and into a system. 

LOGISTICS

The next step is to sort out your logistics. And the biggest piece of this is figuring out where is your assistant going to work? 

This is really important because it impacts who is going to be attracted to your job. If your desk space for your assistant is basically a closet in the basement of your office, and they're not going to see anybody else or have interaction with anybody else all day long, a social person is going to hate their life. And vice versa, if you have someone who is very systematic and detailed and they just want to, focus on getting the task done and you stick them in the middle of the bullpen in the center of your office, where there is a lot of noise and interruptions, they're not going to succeed in the role. A

Also, the quality of the space matters. We have assistants decline jobs because they didn't like the feeling of the office. In one instance, the future assistant's workspace was a child-sized desk, squeezed into a corner next to their boss. We ended up consulting with that client to find a whole new work environment because nobody wanted that job. 

So, before you get into the interview process and you lose quality candidates, have a good plan for your assistant's workspace. 

The next step is getting prepared to have an employee. You will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number. You'll need to look into Workers Compensation and a Payroll Service. I strongly recommend sticking with one of the more prominent services like Paychex, ADP or QuickBooks Full Service Payroll, if you're already using QuickBooks. Those are all great services, and they handle everything for you. 

You then need to connect with either an Employment Attorney or an HR Service. Because someone with professional expertise needs to prepare your offer letter and you need to have a go-to person just in case you have any questions or concerns. 

Moreover, when it comes to logistics, you need to put aside three to six months worth of salary for your assistant. This step is important! During those first few months, you are not going to see an increase in revenue right away. It's going take a little bit of time. You don't want to feel the pinch of having to pay your assistant and not pay yourself. So put aside three to six months of their salary, and it will be much easier for you to handle the ramp-up period. 

If you're not sure what to pay your assistant make sure to download our free Salary Survey where we have documented every placement we've made for the last year and a half. You can see the location, the base salary and the bonus structure for each new hire. 

HAVE A PLAN

Now finally, the most critical piece of all of this is to have a plan. Your role within your company is going to change when you hire this assistant. And if you don't have a good plan for what you're going to do differently then you're not going to get the best leverage out of your assistant. There are two steps to this.

Obviously, the first part of having a plan is knowing what your assistant's job description is. What are you going to take off of your plate and put on theirs? The second piece is, what is your job description? How are you going to generate more business, spend more time, quality time, connecting with your clients and closing more deals? 

If you work with a business coach this is the time to break down the numbers and have a clear plan of action for how many calls or contacts you need to make. How many listings or buyers you're going to work with monthly and what kind of revenue goals you're working to achieve at the end of the year? Your assistant wants to support you in this and they need to know what your plan is. You should show them on paper, the goals you set for the team, and the steps that each of you are going to take to achieve them. That will help you and your assistant hit the ground running and set the stage for amazing growth. 

Are you prepared and ready for your first hire? If not leave a comment below and let me know which steps you still need to accomplish before you're ready to start looking for your next hire.