You Hired an Assistant! Now What?

February 13, 2018

Is the hard part over, or just starting? Don't blow it now - follow these quick steps to get your assistant up to speed in no time.

How to Train Your Assistant

You wrote a great job description, interviewed qualifying candidates, and found the perfect assistant! Now what? It's time to begin training.

Before hiring an assistant keep track of your day-to-day tasks over the course of a month. While it might seem tedious, you’ll start to accumulate a record of how your time is spent, where things could be streamlined and what requires your personal attention versus what could be delegated to someone else.

Once you have this list, you’ll be able to figure out what tasks you’d like an assistant to be responsible for on a daily basis, and you’ll know the sort of skills and experience they should have.

There will be a learning curve but with most good assistants, it is short. With experienced assistants expect to hit the ground running with very little training, but when issues come up and, of course, they will, express yourself honestly and clearly about the problem.

Most assistants will try very hard to read your mind, but it is not always possible. Check-in with your assistant at least once a week, “How’s it going? Are you okay? Any problems?” Taking this time at the beginning will short-circuit long-term problems. Your assistant can’t fix it if she or he truly doesn’t know a problem exists.

For the first few weeks, you will have to guide your assistant in the specific ways that you like to get things done. When you finally hire an assistant, you will find that by having a track of your day to day tasks you are less overwhelmed when getting your assistant started.

  • Sit down with your assistant for a few minutes each day to help them sort mail and email. Show them what can be deleted, what can be saved, and where to sort different types of mail.
  • While your assistant should be asking you questions about each task, you should aim to give them as much information as possible. Give them plenty of time to finish the task. If it is an emergency or a top priority, inform them right away that they should push back any other jobs.

If you’re not sure on some tasks to let your assistant handle here are some examples:

  • Scheduling showings
  • Cleaning up your database
  • Keeping database update
  • Implementing drip campaigns
  • Electronic signatures

Give your assistant the permission to speak up if he or she has a suggestion, an idea, or sees a problem. Your assistant is in a prime position to hear and see things that you do not. Openly encouraging independent thinking and creativity will bring out the best in your assistant and ultimately, serve your goals and needs.

In general, job satisfaction has to do with feeling respected, appreciated, and fairly compensated. These things make the difference between an unmotivated assistant who quits after six months and a world-class right arm who is loyal for twenty years.

It will be up to you to decide whether to trust your assistant with information like passwords and other sensitive materials. Start out with small things, such as granting access to social-media accounts. If you are uncertain, you may want to consider having an assistant sign a nondisclosure agreement.

When you start to get overwhelmed, it makes sense to consider hiring a real estate assistant. Even a part-time assistant can help you organize your schedule and take care of administrative duties so you can spend more time focusing on your buyers and sellers. The process of training might seem intimidating and time consuming, but in the end, it is worth it.

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