How to Hire a Real Estate Assistant – Learn the most important hiring considerations and strategies for real estate agents to address when hiring administrative assistants and transaction coordinators.
Let’s talk about how to hire a real estate assistant. The hiring process has many layers — all of which are covered in our online course, Hire: The Complete Hiring Process for Real Estate Agents. Today, we are going to talk specifically about what happens after you receive applications, review them, and make your hire. Now what?
VIDEO: How to Hire a Real Estate Assistant
When to hire an assistant
The rule of thumb for real estate agents is to hire an administrative assistant once you hit 30 transactions in a year. Once you hit 30, it becomes hard to service your current business while continuing your vital lead generation activities. This can ultimately stunt your growth, or even move you backwards. You’ll start to feel it as you get close to that point. If you want to continue to grow your production, you’ll need to know how to hire a real estate assistant.
So you posted your job online … NOW WHAT?
Once you post your job online (Indeed.com, Facebook Marketplace, other local job boards), the applications will flow in. If you follow the process outline in the Hire course, you’ll know that you should use the DISC assessment to narrow down your candidates. You’ll want an S-C behavioral profile, so you can weed out everyone that doesn’t fit those parameters. After you have narrowed your candidate list down, it will be time to set up your phone interviews. (For the complete hiring process and resources to help you along the way, be sure to check out the Hire online course.) After the phone interview comes the in-person interview for the remaining candidates.
Now, you’ve chosen your favorite candidate and need to make them an offer they can’t refuse. What should you consider as you make this final selection?
Licensed vs. unlicensed administrative assistant
When you think about the tasks that a real estate administrative assistant will be doing, there are pros to having your admin licensed as a real estate agent. I think it’s a great idea to have an assistant that is licensed. However, remember that they don’t need to be licensed necessarily upon hire. You can begin to train them, and they can get their license as they work for you.
One concern that some teams have is that if the admin has their license, what should prevent them from moving on to a sales position? Well, most great admin hires are S-C behaviors. This type of behavioral profile is not the type of person that wants to be a salesperson. So it is very rare that an admin with an S-C behavior will want to become a practicing real estate agent. You want an administrative assistant that likes the job and does not want to get into sales.
It’s a great idea to have a licensed administrative assistant because not only does it provide them with more knowledge in general, it also allows them to do more for you. This will give you better work/life balance, and make them a more valuable asset to your team. Now they can cover for you and show a property, use a lockbox, open the door and let an inspector in, etc. All that being said, it is absolutely not necessary that your administrative assistant has a license. When you consider how to hire a real estate assistant, just remember that having a license is not make or break.
Hiring with the DISC assessment
We’ve talked a bit about the DISC behavioral assessment in this blog. To learn more about how the DISC behavioral assessment works, here are a few helpful articles (and a link to our helpful online course on the DISC):
- DISC Behavioral Profiles for Real Estate Team Roles
- Understanding DISC Behavior in Real Estate
- Take the DISC online course
Learn how to hire a real estate assistant
This blog is only the tip of the iceberg. To really dive in and learn the complete process of hiring, be sure to check out our robust online course. Click the link below.
Paying your real estate assistant
Once you hire your favorite candidate, it’s time to get them set up as an employee. To most real estate agents, this is new territory, and it brings up a lot of questions. What liability do I have? How exactly do I pay them? Do I need to pay benefits? (Quick disclosure: though I am a licensed attorney (not currently practicing), this is NOT legal advice. I have coached and consulted with many people on how to hire a real estate assistant. I will provide advice as a real estate coach — not as an attorney.) There are a few things to consider.
- 1099 independent contractor vs W2 employee. Technically, when you hire an assistant, you are hiring an employee, which requires a W2. A W2 employee must meet certain expectations as your employee, and taxes are taken out of their paychecks automatically. You can hire an assistant as a 1099 independent contractor, but you are lowering your expectations and will likely get lesser talent. It’s just not as attractive.
- Paying hourly vs salary. I prefer salary because salary comes from an abundance mindset. Hourly comes from a scarcity mindset. Some will say, “I want to pay hourly because I don’t want to overpay for when business is slow.” The fact is, you will attract better talent with a salaried position than hourly. The focus becomes on the work that must be done, not on the hours it takes to get it done. You hold your assistant accountable for accomplishing all the required tasks, not to their daily record of hours.
- Payroll. Hire a full service accountant. They will handle paying your payroll for you. They will handle workers comp and any liability coverage you need. I strongly recommend that you get a full service accountant for this purpose.
- Benefits. Providing benefits is a huge value add. If you don’t offer it, someone else will. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either. $500 per month should cover health insurance, so that’s $6,000 a year. Use your payroll service (aka your accountant) for this as well.
Check your ROI
When learning how to hire a real estate assistant, you must consider your return on investment (ROI). In general, the rule of thumb is that you should make a 3:1 return on your investment. Your income should increase by at least three times the amount you are paying your assistant to make it worthwhile. As I mentioned before, you should also be at the production level of about 30-40 sides per year.
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