By the time a Realtor calls me for help filling an open role on their team, chances are they’ve looked on their own, and they’ve probably made a few hiring mistakes along the way. Today I’m going to share with you the four most common hiring mistakes I hear from agents, based on my more than ten years of experience helping Realtors hire.
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There are really three subcategories within this mistake. The first is hiring out of desperation. They just needed ANYBODY to fill the role so they hired the first person who showed up.
The second is hiring out of pity. There was an agent in their office who was struggling or a candidate really pulled on their heartstrings, and so they hired them.
The third subcategory is hiring someone that they like but who isn’t fit for the job. This makes sense. Real estate agents love people; they’re attracted to people who are dynamic and polished. Therefore when this kind of a candidate walks through the door, they sometimes get blinded by the package, and they don’t look below the surface to make sure that the person has the skills and experience to actually do the job.
Now, I don’t think most Realtors or most people, in general, try to be deceitful during their interview process. However, I do think it’s easy for a Realtor to have a more grandiose idea of what this role is. And when you try to sell an Operations Manager on a clerical job, and that person takes the position, you’re going to lose them. They’re going to feel really disillusioned by their job, and they’re going to move on.
The other part of not being truthful is not being honest about what’s happening in your world and your life. If you have ADHD, if you’re going through a divorce, if you have four young children, your future assistant needs to know about it. Whatever is happening in your life that impacts you, impacts your executive assistant. And they should know before you hire them what they’re getting into and what kind of things you’re dealing with that are going to impact them.
The third most common hiring mistake is not checking references! You must check references! I can tell you after all of these years of hiring assistants, that sometimes the people with the most perfect package have the craziest skeletons in their closet. And even if you end up with excellent references, speaking to former employers gives you an opportunity to understand how to communicate with this person, how to manage them, and how to support them in their growth. So check their references.
If this is something you just don’t have time for, we do check references for clients. The fee is only $50 per reference call, and we use a detailed and thoughtful reference check form to gather the information you need to know about a candidate. Contact us if you want to learn more.
The fourth most common hiring mistake is hiring salespeople before you have your full administrative staff built out. Your first hire must always be an executive assistant. This person is responsible for building the foundation of your business so that you can continue to grow. Once you have your systems and procedures in place, and you’re ready to scale, then hire a second assistant. Do whatever you can to avoid hiring salespeople until you must employ salespeople to sustain your growth (and sanity) and then do it strategically.
Buyers agents are looking to you for guidance, coaching, support, nurturing and most importantly, leads. If you are not ready to give all of that to another agent and if you don’t have the systems, procedures, and the experience to provide a healthy work environment for your buyer’s agents you are just going to waste your time, money, and energy.
Have you made any of these hiring mistakes? If so, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you. And it’s all well and good to know how to avoid these hiring mistakes, but do you know what questions to ask during the interview process so that you can get to the truth with your candidates? We created an interview guide for interviewing real estate assistants. Download the interview guide.