Real Estate Assistants: The Good, the Bad, and the Productive

By: Markell Hardin

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Hiring an assistant has to be one of the most frustrating tasks out there in the world of real estate. If you find a good one, it will make all the difference in your business. But even the best Assistant can disappoint if expectations and task priorities are not spelled out correctly.
This post will be part of a series, all themed around gaining success with the Assistant you have.

Here are some guidelines for those of you who currently have an assistant (and there is room for improvement), or those of you who are in desperate need of an assistant but cannot fathom hiring one..yet:

Tasks are outlined in writing. You are not going to have the time to set up a ‘weekly schedule’ for your Assistant, so you need to prep them with a ‘Master List’ of priorities. What would this list look like? See below as an example – let’s say the assistant services a Short Sale Listing Team:

  1. Maintain marketing on all existing listings, delegate lead follow up for leads generated by marketing/listings to team members.
  2. Maintain databases of leads, ensure follow up by team members assigned to leads
  3. Check status of files ‘pending approval’ daily. Make notes. If Negotiators have not responded, call in to check on file, ask for foreclosure dates weekly on each file, document all communications. Stay in touch with sellers, cooperating agents to reduce panic/anger in cooperating parties.
  4. Weekly: Blog, post listings to social networks, complete SEO tasks
  5. Design/email newsletter to client databases according to  category: Past clients/Prospects/Existing clients
  6. Maintain all post-closing activities to ensure referral systems are in place
  7. Maintain all existing listings with sellers – price reductions, advertising, feedback, etc.
  8. Provide weekly reports on lead status: Number of leads received, leads talked with, converted, and ‘dead’ leads. Provide charts that show where leads came from and percentage chart.
  9. Extra assigned tasks by team members
  10. Extra marketing activities for new clients

Your attitude That’s right, I said it! 99.9% of Asssitant problems come from the Leader’s Attitude toward the team. I attended Dave Ramsey’s ‘Entreleadership Seminar’ when I was at the brink of an assistant meltdown. I’d hired two team members back to back that were high maintenance, non-problem solvers, and their mistake ratio was off the charts. So guess what happened when I learned that “if there is a problem with your team, most likely the problem lies with YOU – the Leader”?! That was a hard one to swallow! So what do you do, if you have a staffing issue, and you have to look inward? Start with your list. Does your assistant have a list like the one above? If not, make them one. If yes, stay tuned for our next entry, we’ll go further into YOU being the leader and setting the stage for your sucess.

Business Plan Basics

If your business does not have a DAILY plan, and your assistant does not know about it, you’re setting yourself up for frustration.

I suggest starting with this: Use the Steven Covey Quadrant System to manage your time effectively. (If you don’t know who Steven Covey is, stop, bang your head on the wall 10 times for good measure, and go to Amazon to order one of his books, or add it to your Kindle ASAP). To apply the quadrant system to your business, draw 4 quadrants on a sheet of paper, with your assistant present and participating with their own quadrant. Here is a picture of what it will look like:


Once you have sat down with your Assistant to accomplish these suggestions, take 30 days to evaluate his/her progress. Have they improved their job performance? Is it easier to identify where they have gone wrong?


Stay week we’ll look at how to approach unsatisfactory workmanship and how to resolve conflict, as well as looking further into your role as a Leader.


If you would like to learn more about these concepts and how they can improve your business, I suggest looking for an upcoming Entreleadership class in your area. If you know that you are not ready for the salary of an in office assistant, I suggest looking into real estate virtual assistance – you can gain help for as little as $250.00 per month while you grow your inventory, sales volume, and team.




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