How to Use the DISC to Find the Perfect Real Estate Assistant

When it comes to making the right hire, a crystal ball could really come in handy. There are so many unknowns, like: How will this person fit in with the team? Can I trust them to get the job done? Will they stick around for the long-haul?

No matter how much vetting you do, extending an offer for someone to join your team is always a leap of faith. One tool many hiring managers use to help them reduce the guesswork of hiring and find the right fit is the DISC assessment.

What is DISC?

DISC is a behavioral assessment tool commonly used by hiring managers and recruiters that centers on four distinct traits: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Employers can take the assessment to understand themselves better and have job candidates take the assessment to learn about their style and how they might work together.

“Matching an assistant to an agent is an art, not a science,” says Kathleen Metcalf, the founder, team coach, and hiring consultant behind Inspired for Results. But the four styles can give us clues as to candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, and some combinations of styles are more successful than others.

“Different roles on the team, and different combinations of personality styles, play a part in the dynamics amongst the team members,” Kathleen says. When working with clients on team communication, she says, “The DISC assessment reports give me insight into how each person approaches their work.”


How real estate teams use DISC

In particular, real estate teams can use the DISC to better understand one another’s preferences for communication, problem-solving strengths and weaknesses. Many agents fall into the high “D” and “I” categories, meaning they’re usually very decisive, assertive, and extroverted.

These types also thrive on chaos and don’t sweat the details, which can be a blessing and a curse, as remaining disorganized and missing the little things can keep the business from really taking off. That’s where an assistant who’s an “S” and “C”—calm, organized, detailed, and task-oriented—can be a huge asset.

“It is useful for an assistant to have complementary skills to those of their agent,” Kathleen says.  “At the same time, it is helpful if the assistant really ‘gets’ the agent, including their personality style, quirks, goals, and habits.”

That’s why taking the DISC assessment can foster greater understanding and empathy between teammates with different styles. You can play to your strengths and trust and let others to play to theirs.

It’s also important to think about the role you’re hiring for and what strengths that role really requires of a new hire. For example, if your assistant will be handling much of the direct communication with clients and vendors, it’s important that they’re not all “S” and “C” and no “D” or “I.”

And that’s how DISC works: Everybody falls within a certain range for each type; few of us are all of one category and none of another. What we love about the DISC profile report you receive after taking the assessment is that it’s a thorough and illuminating snapshot about what makes you tick. Reading your own might even give you an “aha!” moment that helps you articulate something about yourself you’ve never been able to express.

What the DISC is not

Of course, while the DISC is a valuable tool in understanding yourself and others better, it’s not a replacement for the work required to identify the right candidate, and it’s not an exact science. Scores can change over time, and they don’t reveal the skills and talents that make for truly standout candidates. That’s why it’s best used as supplemental information to all of the other information you’ve collected throughout the screening and interview process.

Pro R.E.A. president Vanessa Rosenblum sees the DISC assessment as a jumping-off point for a conversation during the interview. "The DISC prompts me to ask questions I might not think to ask,” she says. “For example, if the report says that this person prefers to work in a quiet and steady work environment, and that does not match the environment of the job they are interviewing for, then this is something we should talk about.”

Ultimately, the DISC is useful for eliminating some of the guesswork that can keep employers up at night wondering if they’re making the right decision about a new hire. Because while your gut has gotten you this far, the right tools are just as invaluable.

Want to try the DISC assessment for yourself?

Through our partnership with PeopleKeys, Pro R.E.A. Staffing offers the DISC assessment at a discount from the retail price. Get your DISC assessment now for just $25.