This is a question I often hear from agents in my office. The simple answer is, Yes!
In my eyes, there are 3 different kinds of agents:
- The Hobbyist - No plan for success and little desire to work. Obtained a license to see houses and work with the occasional friend or family member.
- The Worker - Has no real plan, but is eager to work. Expects the office or team to provide the tasks, support, direction and leads but will work 8 hours a day and a full week.
- The Business Owner - Has a plan and a strong desire to work; Executes the plan & is willing to invest in their business from the beginning both financially and physically.
The reason I said Yes, is directed to The Worker and The Business Owner types of agents. With all due respect, I have no interest to entertain The Hobbyists, as I do not look at my business, nor my company, as a hobby.
The First Step is for agents to get over the psychological barrier of excuses that an assistant is not right for them at this time. When you are beginning any business, there is hardly a "right" time. It is up to each agent to assess their business and find a way to make it the "right time" to hire an assistant. By the way, these are the same agents who complain they don't have enough hours in the day. Well, a properly trained and skilled assistant can instanty add those needed extra hours and increase your profits.
Let's break this down: A Good Assistant Will Assist!
Tasks such as (but not limited to) ...
- Schedule/confirm your appointments
- Send Thank You and Note Cards
- Manage your database
- Manage your social media posts and reviews
- Create presentations and Flyers
- Run comps
- Prepare neighborhood stats and facts
- Write Property Descriptions
- Manage websites
- Order supplies
- Retrieve feedback
- Send offers / Confirm Paperwork Completed
- Create and manage Stay In Touch Programs
- Stay educated to latest Apps and Technology
- Create events
- Transaction Coordinating (My office offers this service, so assistants focus more on agent business development)
- Showing Properties (yes, smart agents hire a licensed assistant and even get them to show the agent's clients business. And there are many assistants 100% fine with this).
These are only a portion of the tasks a good assistant will perform DAILY (let's face it, most agents ARE NOT doing these tasks daily! They are getting business In Spite of their own efforts).
The above tasks can be perfromed at a rate ranging between $8/hr and $20/hr. Obviously, like anything in life (including sellers who hire you as an agent), you get what you pay for.
Review the above and the cost, and ask yourself:
Is It Worth It To You? Is It Worth It To Your Business? Is It Worth It To Ypur Clients? To Your Family?
Now, perform this quick self-evaluator:
How much is your hourly rate? I hope you at least value yourself at $50/hr (about 80k - 90k in commissions a year). Now, next time you are scheduling an appointment (instead of talking with clients or reaching out to new prospects), writing a card, buying a gift or supplies, printing, copying, uploading photos, calling a photographer.... think to yourself that you just performed tasks at half of your rate. I hope you invest that financial savings into marketing.
Any business owner will hire a staff as soon as the business opens. When a restaurant opens, does the chef prep and cook and wait tables and take reservations? I assure you that most businesses invest much more than the average agent before ever making a dollar.
Assitants can be virtual, on site or a combination of both. There are services that have international assistants at a much cheaper rate, however, this will require more time for you to train and educate your assistant than hiring an experienced real estate assistant.
Hiring an assistant is the first step to cultivating a business that will grow year after year. It is the first step to achieve the success and freedom that led you into the real estate business in the first place. And it is the first step to reach higher financial freedom year after year.