Growing Your Business – Hiring an Assistant

If you run your own real estate or other small business, rapid growth means getting help. What are some best practices for hiring your first personal assistant?

Before we explore the daily duties of an assistant, let’s first discuss when is the best time to hire an assistant? Answer: when you first start thinking about missed opportunities because you are inundated with non-incoming producing activities.

Your first instinct may be post a job on a job board such as CareerBuilder. What are the requirements of the candidate? Give them a straight forward idea of what to expect.

Transaction Coordinator Job Description:

  • Maintain COI and client database in any contact management system
    • Birthday
    • Anniversary
    • Home purchase anniversary
    • Other important dates and life changes
  • Track lead activity
  • Set up files in a shared workspace, such as Dropbox and/or Evernote
  • Schedule photographer and update photos in Dropbox file
  • Update exterior/or interior photos of properties as necessary
  • Generate and run flyers
  • Maintain social media outlets
  • Set up important date reminders in agents’ calendars based on contract timelines
  • Turn in and process all file related items to office administrative staff
  • Send copies of contracts to others involved in transaction, such as title and lender
  • Review contracts for correct names/dates
  • Get all closing information for all parties
  • Request loan payoff information for sellers
  • Get approval letter from lender
  • Order title and/or coordinate ownership and commitments
  • Create, distribute, and turn in Amendments as needed on files
  • As transaction progresses, keep office file up to date in regard to inspection, amendments, title, etc.
  • Verify inspection is done and coordinate necessary paperwork for repairs
  • Schedule closing
  • Be sure utilities are coordinated
  • Schedule exchange of keys, openers, etc.
  • Pick up sign and lockbox
  • Thank you notes to coop agents, lender, title companies
  • Once a transaction closes:
    • Turn in file to office
    • Set up reminder calls for agents for next week, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days
    • Set up clients on any drip campaigns
    • Get a copy of the HUD for agent file

o   Schedule distribution of the HUD for January of following year for clients so they get them for taxes

Other Expectations to help Agents’/Team’s Growth

  • Send expired letters daily
  • Call expired listings to schedule appts – you can even incentivize by offering $50 per appointment or more
  • Send Just Listed/Sold cards
  • Call neighborhoods about Just Listed cards
  • Schedule Open Houses for agents
  • Call neighbors about the Open House
  • Call farm neighborhoods about move up/down opportunities

Many other duties will be specific to your business.

Questions to ask:

  • How is the candidate’s personality? Does she/he compliment yours? Do they portray the image you want?
  • Sense of humor – do you want someone serious or light-hearted?
  • What are their strengths? Play to them. Weaknesses? Maybe now isn’t the time for you to play hero and help them. You need help, not the other way around.
  • Are you slow to hire, quick to fire?   Be diligent and have several meetings, phone discussions, etc. How do they answer their phone, if they do at all? How will they interact with your clients?
  • Have they done a DISC profile? Use a free one like Tony Robbins’: Click Here for Tony Robbins’ DISC
  • Communication skills: do they put smiley faces in their emails? Do they structure sentences like sending a text to their best friend? How will that affect your high-profile clients?
  • Do they volunteer outside of work? Many who volunteer or have past leadership experience are great team players.
  • Again, meet with them several times, perhaps even in different environments.   How do they handle the process? Are they patient? Do they follow-up?

Be slow to hire, quick to fire. If you are desperate for help, sometimes that leads to irrational decision-making. By being diligent and systematic, you may not have to pay for it later with a bad hire and starting all over.

What are your thoughts?