How Much Are Real Estate Assistants Paid in 2018?

Are you wondering what it costs to hire a real estate assistant in 2018? If so, stay tuned. 

As I write this, it is July 2018, and so far this year, the Pro REA Staffing team has placed 48 assistants with real estate teams nationwide. And now I'm going to share their base salaries and bonus structures. 

By far, the number one question I get from clients is, what do I pay my assistant? It's a fair question, however, the answer is, it depends. Location plays a significant factor, and we'll talk about that in a little bit. However, the demands of the job, the experience that you expect, and frankly, how easy you are to work for, all play into what you'll end up paying your real estate assistant. 

Before we get into the numbers, let's define what we mean by real estate assistant

In our business, we place Directors of Operations, Operation Managers, Real Estate Assistants, Assistant Executives, Listing Coordinators, Marketing Coordinators, Transaction Coordinators; you get the idea. Basically, we are talking about the administrative support to an agent or team. This person does not sell and they work full-time. 

Let's talk about the types of assistants we place.

Most of our assistants have at least two years of relevant experience, and they're early to mid-career. This translates to five to fifteen years of work experience. They typically have a college degree, or they're close to completing their degree, and many of them hold a real estate license. 

Back in 2017, we saw salaries increase by almost $10,000 over the course of the year, and this was because in 2017, the unemployment rate dropped to a point where wages had to rise. The good news for you if you're a real estate agent looking to hire is that salaries have started to level off, and the numbers that we see now are pretty much in line with what we saw at the end of 2017. 

So let's break down the numbers. It probably won't surprise you that the most expensive salaries in the country are in the San Francisco Bay area, where an experienced, licensed, rock star real estate assistant can easily earn an $80,000 base salary, plus bonus. In general, we're placing assistants in the $70K to $80K range in the city and just slightly less just outside of the city in the Bay Area. Now, in our more mid-level markets like Los Angeles, assistants are commanding between $60K and $70K base salary, plus bonus, and along the East Coast, we see $50K to $60K base for the most part, and then in our least expensive markets, meaning they have the lowest cost of living, like most of Florida, assistants are earning between $35K and $45K base. 

Average Real Estate Assistant Salary

In our business, we coach clients not to allow the bonus to be more than about 30% of the candidate's annual salary. So you'll see, if you download our free report, that about 65% of the jobs that we place include some type of bonus structure. Moreover, there are two main structures that seem to be the most common, and this is simply because they're easy to measure and there is no ambiguity. 

The first is a flat bonus paid per closed transaction. The amount of this bonus varies wildly. For a high-volume team that might do a hundred, or two hundred or more transactions a year, the bonus might be $25 or $50 per closed transaction. Alternatively, if this is a luxury team that does 20 multimillion-dollar deals a year, the assistant's bonus might be $500, $1000 or maybe even more per closed deal. 

The other bonus structure that's fairly common is a flat bonus per benchmark met. So, for example, let's say the team hits the $10 million threshold in sales volume, the assistant earns a bonus. When they hit $20 million, another bonus. 

What do you think?

If you're a real estate assistant, I'd love to hear from you. Leave your location and your salary data in the comments below and let us know what you're earning. And if you're a real estate agent, I'd love to hear from you too. Do these numbers line up with what you're seeing? Let me know in the comments below. 

Trying to figure out what to pay your assistant can be tricky, especially when we have record low unemployment and high demand for experienced assistants. I highly recommend that you download our salary survey to get even more detail about your region. Also, feel free to reach out to us. We'd love to help you work through what to pay your assistant.