Tips for Employing a Trainee Commercial Real Estate Agent

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In commercial real estate, it is quite usual to see an agency or sales team leader employing an assistant to work with the successful agents in the sales team.  Unfortunately it is commonly the case that the new assistant employed is given little training and guidance when it comes to getting the job done correctly and on time.  Setting the right foundations will help the trainee become a valuable part of the staffing structure.

Trainees have a lot to learn when it comes to establishing and growing their commercial real estate career.  They can learn the hard way and in so doing will pick up some bad habits and issues of poor performance.  Alternatively they can learn the right way by being paired and attached to the top people within your agency.

If you are going to employ an assistant within the team, it is essential that some controls are put in place to encourage and grow that person through a learning curve.  Don’t let them take on the bad habits of underperformers within the sales team.

Connect the new assistant with the right salespeople that can share experiences and knowledge.  Get the correct foundations set when it comes to local property knowledge, property procedures, client relations, and work ethics.

So here are some rules to help you employ an assistant within commercial real estate agency today.

  1. Take them around the office and introduce them to all other team members, so that they can understand what happens and who will be involved.
  2. Give them a set of job specifications that apply to each of the roles within the office.  That will help them understand how the team performance works across the business.
  3. A trainee can do a lot of mundane tasks many of which others will not do or simply avoid.  That is however the way that they learn about the industry.  Monitor their progress through this basic learning curve.
  4. Allow the trainee to set some goals and targets that can apply to their career.  Monitor their progress on a weekly and monthly basis.  If they aspire to the status of a top agent, they will need a particular mindset and a strong work ethic to support their progress.
  5. A commitment to knowledge and personal improvement will be a requirement.  Every trainee should be expected to learn and grow with the job as required as part of their career.  That takes a particular mindset.
  6. A good assistant or trainee needs good personal communication skills and organization.  Make sure that the candidate has the appropriate personal skills to shape their career into that of a good real estate agent.  Give them the right guidance in the process.
  7. You can and should get a character test done when it comes to employing any new person within your agency.  That character test will give you an understanding of the basic traits and work practices of the individual.  You can then decide whether those traits fit the business model and the required job specification.
  8. A probation period should be established for the new person.  It usually takes between three and six months to fully understand the capabilities of the person that you are employing.  The probation period that you apply to the trainee should be legal and ethical for local employment standards in the industry.  That being said, don’t be too eager to remove the probation period until you are fully satisfied that you have the right person for the right job.  It is very difficult and costly today to remove or replace incorrectly placed people within the business.

So the message here is that you can and should choose the right person as a trainee, but also give them the correct guidance through the early days of their career.  A well-managed trainee will become a good asset for the real estate business.  They can also become a top agent over time.

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