The real estate profession can be fast-paced and highly demanding. Meeting schedules, calls, and other daily details can easily distract you from your big picture goals. Hence, you might feel the need to hire a real estate assistant. Hiring a real estate assistant can help you manage your time and take your business to the next level. Here are some tips on steps to hire an outstanding real estate assistant.
Are You Ready to Hire a Real Estate Assistant?
Ask yourself whether you are ready to hire a real estate assistant. Being convinced that you are ready to hire an assistant is as important as the hiring process itself. Here are a few signs that might let you know if you truly need to hire:
- Cancelling meetings due to scheduling errors
- Finding it frustrating to answer or return scheduled calls
- Needing to be in two places at the same time
- Needing administrative help
- Overworking yourself on a daily basis
- Needing a hand in evaluating and taking business decisions
Prepare a Job Listing
For your job listing to attract the most qualified candidate, the listing has to be grammatically correct. Competent assistants will acknowledge your job listing quickly, based on the requirements. Make a note to point out required responsibilities and character traits, which can include a range of the following:
- Database management skills
- Preparing detailed market reports
- Maintaining business and personal calendars
- Preparing letter drafts and press releases
- Understanding how to use Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel
- Organizing files and keeping track of valued documents
- Scheduling and booking meeting spaces
- Taking notes
Now that you have established the underlying requirements that you need from an assistant, it is time to get the word out there! A few career-oriented sites allow clients to post job listings. Even more, there are other ways to connect with potential assistants who are ready to work. A student who is studying real estate might be attracted to an internship position, to learn a few things about the office dealings in this field. So, feel free to reach out to recent graduates. Additionally, sending the job description to local universities can help. Seeking referrals from business associates has oftentimes been the quickest and most efficient way to reach out to a potential real estate assistant.
Create a List of Qualities to Look out for
The next step is to list out important things that you expect to see in a hired assistant. Are you one of those people who values personality or moral conduct over technical skills? Are you looking for someone with experience in real estate or someone with general assistance experience? Try to find a real estate assistant who will be strong in areas where you are weak or areas that can cause a significant impact on how your enterprise is perceived. You want to get someone who will plug holes, not make the job more tedious or strenuous.
Create Interview Questions
Conducting an interview with the right questions is important. Remember, you are asking what prospective assistants can offer you to make your daily life easier. The more direct the question gets, the better for both parties. You can also see how well and quickly the candidate thinks, by asking unexpected questions every now and then. This helps you figure out how the assistant will react under pressure, which is important in this line of work. Interview questions can include:
- Why do you have an interest in real estate?
- It is stated here that you worked with a company for a year. Why did you decide to leave?
- Brief me more about your time at that company. What did you learn?
- As an employee, what are your weaknesses and strengths?
- What are your professional aspirations?
- Are you willing to work on the weekends or in the evenings?
Without a doubt, this is a topic that most employees shy away from during the interview process. However, you can handle money matters upfront. State out the exact budget that you have for the position or that you are willing to provide, and make sure the candidate understands it. A professional assistant will need to make at least minimum wage. Just to be safe, make sure that you are offering a competitive wage for assistants in your niche. You can also check by making searches on websites such as PayScale and Glassdoor.
Bring the Assistant Onboard
The process of scouting and selecting an assistant is over, so what is next? It is time to accustom the assistant with your working environment, as well as getting the assistant ready for day-to-day activities. When communicating the responsibilities, always assume that your assistant will need a detailed and full explanation of the dealings of your office, to avoid miscommunications. You will want to do the following:
- Introduce the assistant to all of the co-workers that your assistant might be seeing on a day-to-day basis
- Provide your assistant with an overview of the workspace, filing cabinets, calendar, and all other important systems
- Familiarize your assistant with your top clients
- Put an emphasis on communication as a crucial factor
- Ask for questions, to eliminate any confusion
- Treat the assistant to lunch, to establish a good working relationship
- Create a 30-day onboarding plan, to help monitor the process and spot areas to work on
Assess the Assistant
Since you intend to keep the assistant, you should be proactive about managing your assistant’s progress. If an issue arises in the long run with the assistant’s job performance, you should point this out to your assistant. The job of the assistant is to make your professional life easier, so make sure that this is the case. Provide your assistant with quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Additionally, provide detailed feedback. Give examples of when your assistant helped you and when your assistant was off course. You can also consider creating a scorecard or downloading ready-made scorecards.
An assistant can help improve your day-to-day life. The hiring process is tough, but once you have an assistant, you can establish a good working relationship and avoid miscommunications. Additionally, you can provide your assistant with a clear career path and advancement goals.