In Commercial Real Estate brokerage, it is normal for an agent to have a very busy day doing lots of things. A personal assistant (PA) can help you remove pressures of the working day by handling mundane and time consuming basic tasks. That then allows you to get back out into the property market to find more new business.
The ‘golden rule’ that should apply to the use of personal assistants in real estate should go something like this. They should be:
- Competent in client communication
- Know how to use special real estate technology, software, and website portals
- Be professional and helpful in taking your telephone messages
- Understand how to contact you when urgent issues arise
- Know who your clients are and how to contact them
- Be able to track and monitor your emails for important issues while you are engaged elsewhere
- Understand just what your deals are doing and how to track an event or problem
- Help you in documentation, listings, marketing, telephone contact, and database entries
So these things take intelligence and competence. To a large degree they also take a PA with a certain professional character and skill set, and that doesn’t come in a ‘junior’ office person; if you want a very good assistant to help you build your real estate business, be prepared to look for competence in business skills and a professional attitude in the person you select. Top agents usually have a very skilled and experienced PA behind them helping with daily issues; very busy agents will have two assistants helping them in different ways.
If this is something that sounds sensible and useful to you in the way you will serve your clients, then don’t employ the first person that applies for the job. Ask questions and get to know the complete skill set that a personal assistant can bring you, however design a job specification before you do that. Decide how you want the person to help you and then be prepared to delegate from the very start of the business relationship.
Maturity and experience in the person you select for the personal assistant role will help you get your job done efficiently and directly. They will help you earn more commissions and build your real estate business. I go back to the point that you cannot usually find all of these skills in an ‘office junior’; whilst the cost of employing such a ‘junior’ person can be far less than an experienced PA, the lower relevance and effectiveness that they bring to the position will frustrate you and slow you down.
Build your real estate business as an agent by making the right choices from the very start; choose the best people to help your business thrive. Many top agents will use a ‘virtual assistant’ from a remote office to help them get the work done. That can be a cost advantage where you need good quality support at a lower cost.