A Second Pair of Hands

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

Become a Mega-Producer Real Estate Agent: Profit From a Licensed Assistant By Robert L. Herd (Thomson South-Western, 2005)

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Running a successful real estate business alone can lead to quick burnout—and throw your personal life out of whack. So when 70-hour workweeks become the norm, it’s time to make a choice: scale back your operations or hire a licensed assistant. This book offers guidance on the second option, with tips on hiring someone who will relieve you of time-consuming paperwork and keep the business running smoothly, even when you’re on vacation. Learn where to recruit, how to interview, what to pay, and how much training to provide. You’ll also get a rundown of the “five deadly sins” to avoid as a boss if you want to keep a top-notch licensed assistant. The book includes a Q&A with high-producing practitioners and assistants, along with a number of sample employment forms that will come in handy when you’re hiring.

Tips From the Book:

  • Look for the right characteristics. When interviewing candidates, remember people skills are among the most important skills a licensed assistant needs, as he or she will interact with your clients regularly and act as a substitute for you. The right person also should be good natured, very organized, and a quick learner. But be careful of hiring someone who really wants to be a full-time real estate salesperson, which could lead to quick turnover.
  • Never criticize in public. Sincere praise for a job well done is a sure-fire way to motivate your licensed assistant to continue doing an excellent job, and congratulation in front of his or her peers is even better. However, if your assistant does something irritating or offensive, the discussion should be private. Confronting the person in public is the fastest way to lose a good employee, and it simply isn’t the right thing to do.
  • Learn to let go. It might be hard to admit someone else can do your job while you’re away. But get over it. If you don’t get time completely away from your business, it has a tendency to devour you—leading to stress and burnout. People with the highest quality lives and most successful businesses also are best at delegating tasks to competent people. A well-trained assistant means you can be away for a two-week vacation but be fully in business 52 weeks a year.