Help! When and how do I hire help?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with The Broker Ben Group at Realty Idaho

I really appreciate all the advice and information people so willingly give on Active Rain.  I love being able to write about some issues, or concerns, and get great advice from people who know what I'm going through, and have ideas of how they would handle things.

That being said, here's what I need help with this time.  I've been actively selling real estate for 8 years.  I'm not a mega producer, but I'm consistently a Top Producing agent in my market.  My question is how do you know when its time to hire an assistant, or buyers agent, or whatever.  The Boise, Idaho real estate market has been a little soft over the last year to year and a half, like a lot of markets around the United States.  My business has stayed pretty consistent, and through some of the slower times I've been able to roll out some of the marketing ideas that I'd been brainstorming for a while, but never had time to incorporate.  That being said, our market here in Boise is beginning to show signs of life again, and my schedule is beginning to get full and hectic again.  My concern is that along with these programs that I've rolled out, I've had a substantial increase in maintenance, etc. to keep these programs running smoothly. 

For those of you that have hired assistants, formed teams, etc., when did you know it was time, and how did you go about finding good, quality people to help you.  What position did you hire first, and what responsibilities did you delegate.  Also, what kind of compensation did you offer, salary, hourly, bonuses, profit sharing???

I know I need help, it just makes me nervous to think that someone will be relying on me for their income. 

I welcome any advice, and any input you think I need to make an informed, intelligent decision here. 

Comments (6)

Jonathan Osman
Jonathan and Associates, Inc - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte House Hunter Group
Read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent as it contains a great blueprint for hiring all of your hires.  I'm at the same point right now and found the MREA very helpful
Apr 25, 2008 01:33 PM
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team
Ben, I just went through this myself. My 2nd year in RE, I closed 40 transactions. My 3rd year 58 transactions. I was about to drown in admin work. Everytime I tried to hire help, it would slow down and out of fear of feeding someone else, I continued to drown in paperwork.  Well at the beginning of this year, I said that's it. I'm just going to take the plunge and do it.  My business slowed down. I just moved forward because it was probably slowing down b/c I couldn't handle all the pieces that needed to be in place by myself.  My assistant has been with me for about a month now.  She agreed to start part time and supplement my needs with other temp work until I could handle a full time asst which is what I really need.  It is time for me to let go or otherwise I wouldn't be able to do any more business.  There's still a learning curve but I know in time, I'll be able to relax and know she's handling it. I'm still learning as I go but the key to knowing you need an asst is when your quality of life starts to suffer b/c you're working too much doing work that can be delegated to someone else. Best of luck!
Apr 27, 2008 04:51 AM
Scott Cowan
RE/MAX Professionals - Olympia, WA

Ben- I 2nd the recommendation to read and really digest the Millionaire Real Estate Agent. The book provides a blueprint to business growth that simply is brilliant.

Best of luck with your very good to have "problem"


Apr 27, 2008 05:22 AM
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team

Ben, I also recommend reading Millionaire Real Estate Agent.  I read it about 8 months ago. However, It doesn't take away the fear of "feeding another mouth." It's a good guide to developing your team and what to look for as your hire.  It still took me several months to put my toe in the water by placing an ad for an admin asst. Just remember that if you hire the right person, they can make you wildly successful by helping you so that you can really do the things that make you money. 

Apr 27, 2008 06:20 AM
Ben Myers
The Broker Ben Group at Realty Idaho - Meridian, ID
CEO/Designated Broker

Jonathan - Thanks for the pointer.  I read the book over the weekend, and it is a great road map.

Scott - It is a good problem to have, and the MREA really helped in giving me an idea of how to start the process of finding someone good.  Thanks for the tip!

Michele - Thanks for relating your situation.  How do you compensate your assistant?  Hourly, by the project, ???  I'd be interested to know how its working out for you.  Anything you would do differently?

May 01, 2008 05:53 AM
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team

She's only been with me 1.5 months.  She's currently paid by the hour part time 20 hours/wk. $12.50 until she grasps the process. After she gets a handle on it and can run the office efficiently, we agree to increase her to $15/hr.  She started part time since a listing doesn't come in everyday or a ratified contract, however, since I told her that, it has seemed like we've been getting one of each every other day. We've talked about lowering her pay to a salary when she goes full time and then get paid a percentage of each sale so it's a bonus for her to make sure all the steps happen to get it to the closing table and give the opportunity to make more money and encourage business to come in via referrals.  

I hired someone not familiar with RE b/c I didn't want someone saying while I use to do it "this way." I wanted her to learn my way. I was also looking for someone that would potentially be a great office manager and understand the concept of the team envirmonment and how everyone's job is important and not want to become an agent.   

What I would do different? Start with lower pay since she's coming from out of the real estate field and then increase from there as she progressed. I might have considered someone more familiar with RE so that my training time would have been minimal, but I think that depends on the candidate.  She's picked it up well given she has no RE background.

May 01, 2008 01:37 PM