Is a Real Estate Assistant Job Right For You?
What to Expect on the Job.
Being a real estate assistant is always not easy, but it is often deeply rewarding—and it’s a career in its own right.
Too many applicants think of a real estate assistant job as a stepping stone to becoming an agent. While it certainly can be for some, what many of those people don’t consider are the opportunities for growth, learning, and satisfaction that can come from a career as a real estate assistant. It’s not for everyone, but it can be life-changing for someone who places great value on making a big impact on a business’ bottom line (and finds they’re happy to leave things like tense contract negotiation to the agents!).
Whether you’ve recently made the switch to a real estate assistant career or are considering one, here’s what you can expect to encounter on the job.
There will be interruptions.
Every day, you’ll receive numerous requests from your lead agent, calls and emails from anxious clients, and lots of other unexpected complications or issues that need to be addressed throughout the day. It’s your job to figure out how to deal with interruptions and not let them throw you off track.
To combat this, you’ll need to be a superstar at prioritizing what comes across your desk and flexible at handling the truly urgent issues that crop up. If you expect interruptions and plan your day to accommodate them, you’ll be less rattled by whatever does come your way. Train yourself to ask, “When does this need to be done by?” when your boss adds something new to your plate. Often, it doesn’t need to happen right that very second. Then you can say, “Great! I’ll get to that when I’m finished with what I’m working on.” That’s where a well-kept to-do list or pile will come in handy so nothing slips through the cracks.
It will never be boring.
This is one of the most appealing aspects of the job—each day is different, and the hours will fly by because you’re never not busy. Of course, the downside is that you may become frustrated or exhausted if you like order and sticking to a strict routine. That’s why flexibility is essential to thriving as a real estate assistant, not to mention being happy in your role. You can’t fight the nature of the business, but you can adapt.
Best of all, you’ll constantly be learning. Even the most experienced real estate agents will tell you they learn something new during each transaction. Your knowledge and understanding of real estate will never stop expanding, which means you’ll constantly get better at your job.
You’re there to make order out of chaos.
As a new real estate assistant, you might come onto a team and find that a lot of policies, checklists, or systems are outdated or nonexistent, especially if you’re an agent’s first full-time hire. You’re there to transform dysfunction into function!
The added challenge is that usually by the time an agent decides to bring an assistant on board, they’ve had the need for a long time and are eager for you to get up to speed fast so you can make their lives easier. (No pressure, right?) But deep breaths—again, doing well comes down to prioritizing and having a place for everything. Keeping your agent’s schedule organized and inbox managed, as well as communicating regularly with clients and maintaining a healthy database, are good tasks to prioritize.
Leave your ego at the door.
Real estate is not for the faint of heart—or ego. Stressed out clients and agents will inevitably be short or take out their frustrations the wrong way. Don’t take it personally. Instead, smooth things over when possible and let things roll right off your shoulders (and learn from the experience) when it’s not. There’s no time to dwell on hurt feelings or whatever happened yesterday.
Another thing you’ll learn quickly in real estate is that no job or task is beneath you. It’s not uncommon for agents to print their own flyers, rush out to a listing to install smoke detector batteries, put out their signs in the rain, and clean up before an open house because their sellers aren’t very tidy. So if your agent asks the same of you, remember you’re there to take those tasks off their plate so they can operate their business at a higher level. Do it with a smile.
You’re only successful when you share your agent’s goals.
To be an invaluable asset to your team, you need to think like your lead agent, and that means getting clear on the team’s short-term and long-term goals. This will require regular and ongoing communication with your team to make sure everyone’s on the same page. (We recommend short daily check-ins and weekly meetings.)
What’s important to your agent should be important to you—that’s called thinking like an agent. Your common goals will inform every decision you make and directly impact the business. A team player attitude and whatever-it-takes mentality will take you far.
If it sounds like hard work, it is! So why become a real estate assistant? As a realtor’s right hand and secret weapon, you’ll be involved in just about every step of each transaction and every aspect of the business. That means unlike so many administrative jobs, which are so often detached from the end result, you’ll be able to see the impact of your hard work. (And so will your boss! Can you say “bonus”?)
Plus, you’ll get to help your clients reach their goals of homeownership and growing their wealth. You might not love every client, but you’ll learn from them and get glimpses into their lives—and some of them might impact your life in unexpected ways.
If a career as a real estate assistant sounds like a perfect fit for you, check out our open positions and find your dream job today.