As much as we’d like to control everything that has to do with our business, clients and transactions, it’s not actually an efficient way to work. Sometimes we need to allocate tasks because another colleague is better versed in that type of client or aspect of the transaction. Other times it’s because an emergency comes up that requires our undivided attention, leaving our regular duties in the lurch.
Then there are the everyday moments when we realize that we simply cannot get to certain tasks—or at least, we cannot get to these tasks in a timely manner. This is usually when we start fantasizing about what it would be like to clone ourselves.
Until that day comes (and we’re sure it’s on the way), this is when the question of hiring an assistant comes up. While there are many factors to consider when making this decision, including budget, local labor pool and office space logistics, the operative word in that last sentence is “need.”
How to know when you need help
As a broker, your time is best utilized when you’re closing deals. Following up on viable leads, being available to your clients and prospective buyers’ agents, getting to know your listings inside and out and ultimately negotiating to close those deals are the best use of any broker’s time. If you find that you can handle this process with relative ease from start to finish, you’re probably doing just fine.
If not, it might be time to call for backup. Here are a few warning signs:
- You’re chasing dozens and dozens of leads that just aren’t going anywhere
- Weeks go by without the time to prospect and cold call
- Deals or connections fall through the cracks because you didn’t follow-up in a timely manner
- You missed attending a conference or networking event because you didn’t register in time
We all have occasional busy periods, which is when we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from co-listing brokers, fellow teammates, our mentors, administrative staff or even interns, if any are available. But if the above signs are happening consistently, you may need a dedicated source of help.
Just think about all the little tasks that end up consuming your days: organizing your inbox, taking property photos, returning phone calls, making copies, mailing postcards or posting on social media. Someone else can take care of that. And if it means you have more time to focus on high-value activities, then it could be worth the money.
Don’t waste more time than necessary
Many brokers end up kicking themselves for waiting so long to hire someone once they see how easy their lives can be when another person is fielding the non-essential emails and phone calls, organizing paperwork or setting a calendar. All of these tasks are still essential to the business, of course, but they can be arduous, time consuming and take away from time spent moving that actual property.