Real Estate Marketing Ideas, Farm Fridays

When Should I Hire a Real Estate Assistant?

By Meaghan Loraas Last Updated March 9, 2022 5 min read

Welcome back to Farm Friday! I’m so glad that many people found our business card ideas helpful last week. This week, I will address a common concern of real estate agents at the beginning of their careers: when to hire someone to help!

Are you stressed out, too busy, and struggling to find time for business planning, marketing efforts, showings, or networking? When you run your own business, you reach a point when it’s time to hire some help. I call it “operations debt.” You run into operations debt when you’re too busy doing the day-to-day tasks to keep the lights on. As a result, you don’t prioritize other critical aspects of your real estate business: networking (referrals), marketing (lead generation), and business planning (the big picture stuff). 

4 Signs It’s Time to Hire an Assistant

How do you know when you’re ready to hire an assistant?

1. You close at least 20 transactions a year.

A widely respected rule of thumb for real estate agents is to consider hiring a part-time assistant when you close between 20 and 25 transactions a year. Why? Well, it’s essential to make sure you have a stable income to pay your real estate assistant, as they won’t be working for commission. Most assistants receive hourly pay, and some agents offer a bonus when properties sell. 

2. You are comfortable with delegation.

Are you at the point in your career where you feel okay about letting someone else handle certain aspects of your job? If not, you may want to start thinking about what your day could look like when delegating more responsibilities. Delegation can be one of the most freeing things you’ll ever experience in your career. Having someone else take care of administrative tasks and other daily tasks frees up your time to focus on sales and closing deals. 

3. You have a financial plan.

You’ve been running your business for a while now, and you know how much money you need each month to cover expenses. However, you will also want to consider upcoming costs, such as your assistant’s wage, expected return on investment, and how much time you need your assistant’s help. Do you think you can afford to hire an assistant right now? What about a virtual assistant? If you’re unsure, you should consult with a financial planner specializing in the real estate industry.

4. You have a good network.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s crucial to build a strong network of contacts within your industry. Networking is a great way to meet potential clients, but it’s equally important to stay connected with current clients. Your network can provide you with referrals, introductions, and even advice. Additionally, when you have a solid network of other agents, you can ask a real estate agent’s advice if you encounter any issues while hiring an assistant. Your network can be an excellent source of referrals for assistants as well.

when to hire a real estate assistant
Are you ready to hire a real estate assistant?

How to Hire a Real Estate Assistant

Hiring an assistant isn’t easy. Many factors go into making this decision, including cost, availability, and qualifications.

1. Answer These Three Questions

But before you begin looking for an assistant, there are a few questions you should answer first.

What type of assistant would best fit my needs?

There are three main types of assistants available: full-time, part-time, and virtual. Full-time assistants typically work 40 hours per week, although some choose to work less than that. Part-timers usually work 25-30 hours per week, while virtual assistants work from home and perform various duties remotely. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks. For example, a full-time assistant might give you more attention and personal service, but you will pay more for someone working full-time. On the other hand, a virtual assistant might be cheaper, but you will miss out on the social interaction and camaraderie associated with having an officemate.

Keep in mind that, with certain tasks, you may need a licensed assistant. Each state has many rules about what an unlicensed assistant can and cannot do while assisting you with your business. If you’re looking for an unlicensed assistant, you may not be able to have them do certain tasks. I would suggest hiring an unlicensed assistant if you need help with marketing collateral, content creation, or routine tasks such as social media management or answering phone calls.

Do I have enough time to train them?

Training new employees takes time, especially if you don’t have prior experience training others. It’s vital to ensure you have adequate time to teach your new employee all they need to know to do their job correctly.

What are my qualifications?

Qualifications vary depending on the position you’re hiring for. Some jobs require specific education or certifications, whereas others require previous experience. Make sure you understand precisely what you need from an assistant. Also, think about what sort of qualifications, experience, or education you’d like your assistant to have. For example, do you want to mentor someone who hopes to get a real estate license? Or do you just need someone to answer phone calls? These positions likely require different qualifications that relate to each job description.

2. Ask for Referrals from Your Network or Post a Job Listing

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be ready to start searching for a personal assistant. The next step is asking your network for recommendations. This could include friends, family members, colleagues, or anyone else you know in the industry. Once you find someone who seems qualified, ask them for a referral. If they recommend someone, follow up by sending a brief email introducing yourself and letting them know why you’re interested in hiring them.

Another option is posting a job listing on Indeed, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor sites. You can also use platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr to post jobs.

3. Interview Potential Assistants

After receiving several referrals and applications, you may decide to interview candidates. This helps you get a better feel for how they interact with people, whether organized, detail-oriented, or friendly. When interviewing, keep in mind that not everyone is cut out for the job. Don’t let personality quirks or lousy behavior discourage you from hiring someone. Instead, focus on the skills and qualities you want in an assistant.

4. Choose the Right Candidate

After narrowing down your list of potential applicants, it’s time to select the right person for the job. There are many factors to consider when choosing between two candidates, including salary requirements, availability, and personality.

5. Offer the Position

Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, it’s time to offer them the job! Be prepared to discuss the responsibilities, compensation, and benefits of the role. Include information about any additional paperwork or forms they’ll need to complete before starting.

6. Start Work

Congratulations! Now that you’ve hired your first assistant, you’re officially off to a great start. Keep in touch with your new employee so you can stay informed about their progress and answer any questions they may have along the way. Happy hiring!

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