To Have An Assistant, Or Not Have An Assistant, That Is The Question

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty 0575737

Faithful AssistantMost folks in real estate as their business grows wonder

To have an assistant, or not have an assistant, that is the question.

Usually books like the Millionaire Real Estate Agent say get an assistant before you need one even part time so you can start leveraging another's time and focus on what you do best.

It seems there are a few key areas to remember with assistants:

 

In Office or Virtual Assistant - Many like the in office assistant for the face to face communication but in today's Internet world Virtual Assistants can do many of the same tasks. You could even have both.

Focus the assistant on your low dollar per hour activities.

When checking who they are with references and their background make sure they get high marks for reliability.

Don't forget to pay them well if they are good. Sure we all have budgets, but the good ones are worth it.

Chemistry. Your getting along very well with an assistant is critical. As you interact with them make sure they clearly understand what you want, that they clearly communicate back to you with questions, and understand deadlines.

Real estate can be one agent, one agent with an assistant, to the skies the limit with huge teams. There is no one size fits all. But a good assistant is worth their weight in a suitcase of milkbones. Plus they are so faithful to you.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Karen Jackson 08/27/2009 07:56 AM
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Rainmaker
889,462
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Gary - I've hired a part-time assistant twice in my real estate career and both were excellent, but I feel really bad about letting them go when the economy dips, so I'm doing it all myself now.  I also have had two bookeepers, but unfortunately, both of them messed up my financial records, so I do that myself now as well.  Hopefully the market will bounce back to the point where I can hire an assistant again and keep one. 

Jun 01, 2009 04:10 PM #29
Ambassador
1,485,851
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

I have always opted to have my computers take up the slack.  This is not a market to hire an assistant for me...

Jun 02, 2009 02:13 AM #30
Rainmaker
314,256
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

Gary - To NOT have an assistrant is my choice ....I have to have a pulse on EVERYTHING or it keeps me up at night. ANd, that's why I am an agent and not a broker.

Jun 02, 2009 04:16 AM #31
Rainer
166,774
Sharon Senger
tcDocs - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator

Hi Gary,

At some point an agent will get to the stage where they know they need to hire an assistant.  But there is the fear of can I afford it, will I continue to be busy and keep my assistant employed. 

This is where hiring a Virtual Assistant can be the solution.  As independent contractors you only contract for the services and the hours that suit your business. 

For example:

Depending on the transaction a Transaction Coordinator spends an average of 12.5 hours on a typical transaction; the average agent spends approximately 19 hours managing a transaction.

The time an agent spends managing a transaction has significant financial implications.  Assuming the average full-time agent earns $63,000 a year median for 40 hours (equal to $30.28 per hour), the agent will spend in excess of $575.00 of their time managing one transaction.*

*Source: National Association of Realtors

There are some great VA resources on ActiveRain as well as references from other agents.  Also you do not have to use just one VA you can use several for their individual areas of expertise.

And if your business slows down then we understand.

 

Sharon

Jun 02, 2009 07:16 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,072,115
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Gary-As a VA myself I think it is wise to delegate some of the tasks that others are better suited for is a excellent idea. It makes for a more productive situation all the way around.  <SMILE>

Jun 04, 2009 02:35 AM #33
Rainmaker
226,084
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Gary, I've been away from AR for awhile so of course as soon as I get back I check your post. Sure enough, another piece of good advice that I was just sorting out this past week. I definitely can use an assistant to do the virtual aspects of my business and I agree that the good ones are worth paying well so that your work is done on time and with enthusiasm. Surround yourself with positive people who like to make things happen as requested and you will have a winning team.

Jun 05, 2009 12:09 AM #34
Rainmaker
428,983
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Dear Gary,

I think using a Transaction Coordinator is a  great investment in my business. Letting her do all the follow up work leading to closing allows me to keep selling & prospecting. That is a win win in my book!

Betina

Jun 05, 2009 02:47 AM #35
Anonymous
Geri Kenyon

Gary,  I lost my assistant of 15 years and suffered seperation anxiety for about a year...in business and emotionally.  

I've created a new business model to use more of the technology that's available to us as Realtors, now working with a wonderful virtual assistant.  It is different for me, but there are benefits... to my bottom line as well as a  fresh perspective and re-newed energy.  Challenging and exciting.   Life is good! 

Jun 06, 2009 01:21 AM #36
Rainer
36,215
Skye Hawk
At Your Service! Virtual Assistant Specialists - Fountain Hills, AZ
NAR Cert. REPA "Rockstar REVA"

Hi Gary- One great thing about working with a Virtual Assistant is that you can utilize us for just a few hours a week or month. Some of us don't have a set amount of hours you need to work with us a month. Allot of times when you hire a Virtual Assistant you are getting an assistant that is experienced and the learning curve should be very small.  

Jun 09, 2009 12:14 PM #37
Rainer
8,417
Cathryn Jones
Assistants For Agents, LLC - Houston, TX

Gary -

Great post! Agents should look at their day, find the one task that is non-income producing and is consuming the majority of their time and delegate it!  Since you can't "multiply" yourself, you have to find a way to delegate if you want to grow your business and stop working 24/7 for 365 days a year.  No fun! 

I've been a Virtual Assistant since 2002 and went to NAR in 2003 to work in Michael Russer's workshop about VAs!  I now lead a team of VAs that work with agents nationwide.  From my perspective, during a call from a prospective client, I "interview" the agent as much as the agent is interviewing me.  I want to work with an agent that wants to partner with a Virtual Assistant.  In reality, we are not "assistants" but rather "administrative partners" or "virtual office managers" as we are usually handling many of the administratvie tasks that an unlicensed assistant can do. My team and I consider ourselves an extension of the agent. 

Shop around till you find the VA and/or VA team that fits your personality and needs.

 

 

Jun 16, 2009 11:03 AM #38
Rainmaker
310,771
RealSupport, Inc.
RealSupport Inc. - Schaumburg, IL
- Virtual Real Estate Marketing

Hi Everyone,

It's so interesting to read about everyone's personal experiences with on-site and/or Virtual Assistants!  As a team of Real Estate Virtual Assistants, I can proudly say that we contribute to our clients success on a daily basis.  They delegate administrative, marketing, design, branding, lead generation/management, transaction coordination and more to us, therefore freeing up their time to SELL, SELL, SELL!

We always say, "Do what you do best and hire out the rest"!

A couple of you commented about things not working out with an on-site assistant or having to train your on-site assistant...  You do not have to train a Real Estate Virtual Assistant!  No additional office space, no desk, no overhead, no benefits to pay, no employee issues to deal with and best of all, no training!

Some tasks/projects that you can delegate to a Real Estate Virtual Assistant:
• Listing marketing/coordination
• Custom flyers, brochures & postcards
• Online advertising on major real estate sites
• Virtual tours & photo manipulation
• Seller marketing reports
• Website design & customization
• Company/agent marketing
• Company/agent branding
• Technical coaching/training
• Lead/prospect management
• Marketing/prelist presentations, CMA development/design
• Closing coordination/transaction management "from contract to close - we've got you covered!"
• Special projects
• Much, much, more!

Hiring a Real Estate Virtual Assistant will not only change your life, it will also tremendously enhance your business! 

Still not sure how you can work with a Virtual Assistant?  I invite you to attend one of our (free) webinars about working with a Real Estate Virtual Assistant.  Below you'll find my contact information - please call or email me for more information and/or upcoming webinar dates!

Make it a great day!
Real Estate Virtual Assistant - Erica Parpan

 


Erica Parpan, Operations Manager

RealSupport Inc.
Phone: 847-705-1655 x201
Email: Erica@RealSupportInc.com
www.RealSupportInc.com
Our Real Estate Client Testimonials
Our Real Estate Marketing Samples
Real Estate Virtual Assistant Team

 
RealSupport Inc. - Providing superior Real Estate Virtual Assistant services to Real Estate professionals nationwide since 2000.

Jun 24, 2009 06:39 AM #39
Rainmaker
318,971
Tamara Inzunza
RE/MAX Executives - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

I've had both in the past.  The full-time assistants had too many personal problems that they brought to work everyday, and didn't really want to work, but wanted to get paid.  My very first one was the best, she was a past client and we worked great together.  She was mature, great phone voice, and meticulous.  She had to leave because of benefits, which I totally understand, and we still keep in touch!  I've had mixed results with virtual assistants, but I'm ready to try again! I'll be contacting my last virtual assistant.

Jun 28, 2009 08:28 AM #40
Rainer
6,207
Bev King
Global Connection Virtual Office - Macomb Township, MI
Global Virtual Marketing Pro

When I first read the headline of this post, it reminds me of the FSBO homeowner and the question, "Should I list with a Realtor, or not?"

It is the exact same concept.  When selling your home, you want a professional in charge.  Someone with the experience and qualifications to get the job done.  Same goes for an Assistant, Virtual or traditional.  A virtual assistant is often more experienced and qualified in areas of your business than you are.  Someone that takes the daily tasks and can automate them or manage them so that it is only a benefit to the Realtor.  Many times Virtual Assistants are approached by Realtor vendors and offered "FREE" training for their real estate specific programs.  This creates a win/win/win situation.  Vendor creates an avenue to bring in potential new customers, Virtual Assistants obtain new knowledge to expand their services, and the Realtor does not have to learn another new program.

Now, I ask you, What could be better?

Bev King, Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Dec 02, 2009 05:09 AM #41
Rainer
7,612
Laura Nakatani
Sell-EZ-1 Realty - Aiea, HI

Our goal is to always work ourselves out of a job.  We have a book keeper, which is your best spent cash as a first assistant, then a VA to answer phone for marketing, and a VA to do market research, which is great for international VA that can do that online. We are always looking for good VA so we can do more and provide more services.

Mele

Dec 16, 2009 10:14 AM #42
Rainmaker
265,092
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

I am thinking about hiring an assistant this upcoming year and your post helped as well as reading through other peoples reponses. I think I may have problems delegating at first as well but I can see the benefits of having more time to do what I am good at... thanks!

Dec 20, 2009 02:10 AM #43
Ambassador
605,385
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

I've had 3 in-office assistants over the years.  None were cost effective for me.  I'm going to try a VA now.

Jul 21, 2010 10:16 AM #44
Rainer
87,527
Amber Boyd
Novus Real Estate - Wylie, TX

in just starting your Real estate business, how soon should you get one? I am about to get my license number. just waiting for it to come in, i know business is slow. when would be the best time for me to get one? would it be beneficial for me to get one to help me market and market and market to help me get the business. please all comments are appreciated!!!!!!

Nov 08, 2010 01:03 PM #45
Rainmaker
1,072,115
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

iI am glad this is one of the posts I chose. Not only for Williams comment but with the new job it is timely.

 

In Office or Virtual Assistant - Many like the in office assistant for the face to face communication but in today's Internet world Virtual Assistants can do many of the same tasks. You could even have both.

Focus the assistant on your low dollar per hour activities.

When checking who they are with references and their background make sure they get high marks for reliability.

Don't forget to pay them well if they are good. Sure we all have budgets, but the good ones are worth it.

Chemistry. Your getting along very well with an assistant is critical. As you interact with them make sure they clearly understand what you want, that they clearly communicate back to you with questions, and understand deadlines.

Real estate can be one agent, one agent with an assistant, to the skies the limit with huge teams. There is no one size fits all. But a good assistant is worth their weight in a suitcase of milkbones. Plus they are so faithful to you.

Oct 20, 2011 04:08 PM #46
Anonymous
Tina Pierce

Good advice. If the <a href="http://www.catchfriday.com/media/content/virtual-assistants">Virtual Assitant</a> is doing great with their work then its also best to pay them right. There are many virtual personal assistant that you can find online but make sure that you got them from a reliable company.

This is one of the companies online that I know that will help you with your online business and they also have virtual assistants. Check out their websitet: <a href="http://www.catchfriday.com">Catch Friday</a> for more information.

Jan 03, 2012 12:40 AM #47
Rainer
20,594
Angela Jones
Quiet Systemz Business Solutions
Virtual Administrative Professional

Hi Everyone,

I am a Virtual Assistant and I am wondering are you open to suggestions from your VA? Do you have a set of guidelines that you forward to the VA or are you trying to figure things out as you go along?

I think it can help if you have some idea as to what tasks you want to delegate and if you’re not sure, I would suggest having a conversation with the VA and giving him or her some idea as to what your day consist of; doing this will allow the VA to help you figure out what tasks he or she can take away from you.  Whether the task is big or small and takes 5 hours a week or 20, this will be one less thing on the list that you have to worry about doing.

Just as a reminder working with a Virtual Assistant is like working with a Sales Agent, they are a contract worker.  The work whatever hours you agree on and for the amount you agree. 

 

 

 

Mar 01, 2013 06:00 AM #48
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