#1) What exactly should I expect my assistant to do, and what should I not expect them to do?
#2) What hours can they work?
#3) Should I hire a virtual assistant in addition to an on-site assistant?
Get ahead of the game and know what will be expected of you in your next job.
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What should my assistant do? As an agent, your job is to do dollar-productive activities. That is prospecting, negotiating, following up with clients, and staying in touch with past clients. That’s your job.
In an ideal world, you would spend 100% of your time focused on dollar-productive activities. If you were able to spend all of your time interfacing with clients, closing deals, and networking with new clients, how would that impact your business? I’m guessing it would grow substantially.
So if you’re going to focus on those activities, someone else has to handle everything else. And that’s where your real estate assistant comes in. While you’re out prospecting, they’re managing your CRM.
When you’re preparing for a listing presentation, they’re putting together your presentation package, managing the listing paperwork, and prepping the listing for the market. And then, once the deal is closed, they’re there to provide follow-up support.
Their job is to free up their boss to focus on the most important tasks and remove distractions. Their focus will include email, calendar, and phone management. They’ll be responsible for customer service, which entails following up with clients, answering questions, and providing support throughout the process.
Your assistant is there to back you up so you can focus on your dollar-productive activities, and they’re involved in every step of the real estate sales cycle as your back office support. Also, organizing your office and creating systems and procedures to make your office run smoothly is another really important part of what an assistant does.
What don’t they do? A real estate assistant won’t handle personal tasks (i.e., getting your dry cleaning or scheduling your doctor appts). If you want your assistant to do these things, it’s really important that you talk about that upfront because some assistants don’t want that to be part of their job description, and they’ll be disappointed.
What hours should I expect my assistant to work? Residential real estate isn’t going to be nine to five. That said, it is not normal or okay for your assistant to be on call 24-7 OR work six or seven days a week. Your assistant needs two days off.
Most assistants work between 40 and 50 hours a week, but it’s important that you make that extra time the exception when things are busy and when you need extra help. And that’s not the rule that they’re just available all the time. That is a recipe for burnout.
And trust me, there are other agents who will happily hire away your assistant and give them a better work-life balance.
Should I hire a virtual assistant in addition to an on-site assistant? Absolutely, you should, if you haven’t already employed a virtual assistant before hiring your on-site assistant. In reality, you are beholden to your on-site assistant on some level when it’s just you and one assistant.
If they want to take a day off, are sick, or decide to quit, you’re really in a pickle. When you employ a VA in addition to an on-site assistant, there can be cross-training. You have two people who can cover each other when things get really busy.
If your assistant is sick, goes on vacation, or resigns, you still have somebody supporting you. And here’s the best part about this. You can hire an experienced real estate assistant who lives and works in the Philippines for between $1,000 and $1,500 a month. Think of it as an insurance policy for your business so that you and your lead admin aren’t stretched too thin.
Now that you know the most common questions agents ask when hiring a real estate assistant, you know more about what’s expected of you. Use this information to own your role or your next interview!