Many Hands Make Light Work

JOSH PHEGAN LOOKS at the question of when you should hire an assistant.

AS THE NUMBER of properties you list and sell increases, it’s vital that you build a team around you to cope with the increasing workload. There’s only so much one agent can take on; that’s why hiring an assistant is a key component in progressing your business.

Now and always, you need to cast a look in your crystal ball and focus on the success you want to achieve.

If you don’t have goals for the future you will never get there. But knowing when to employ an assistant can be a tricky task, as you have to balance having enough income to afford the extra help with needing the firepower to boost your finances in the future.

Once you have recorded three consecutive months of earning $30,000 then the time has come to hire an assistant. Ideally, you want to have a reasonable amount of savings so you don’t have to worry about whether the position will succeed.

Once you earn $60,000 for three consecutive months you are ready to hire your second assistant; and when you hit $100,000 per month you can employ your next team member.

Usually the first assistant an agent hires will focus on administrative tasks, such as taking care of phone and internet enquiries, managing the database, undertaking office jobs and agent marketing.

Often the second and third assistants an agent hires will have more of a sales focus, helping the lead agent with campaign management, buyer work and overflow prospecting.

The biggest plus of having an assistant is having more time to focus on what really matters – prospecting, listing and selling. An assistant frees the agent of administration tasks and allows them to narrow their focus, as well as equipping them with the capacity to conduct more open homes, grow the number of listings, branch out into new markets and take a break to avoid burnout.

It’s also important to make sure your team is made up of dedicated, productive members. One way to assess the strength of your team members is to grade them according to how much time you spend directing them.

A Graders: require as little as five minutes’ direction each week.

B Graders: require a couple of hours of guidance a week.

C Graders: need significant attention every day.

Another option is to rate each agent with a plus or minus according to their performance. These strategies will help you target how you train your staff and assess their capabilities for achieving business goals.

Recruitment is an ongoing task that helps you not only to replace low performers but expand your business.

When employing new team members, don’t limit yourself to interviewing or hiring people only from within the real estate field. If someone is a high flyer in another industry, they will likely also shine in your organisation with the right training and coaching.

When you hire someone, it’s best to place them in a position that matches their current level of expertise. The new assistant will then learn the tasks that are essential to the business, as well as how your brand works and what drives its success.

Employing a new staff member can be an expensive operation if they can’t meet their position requirements or your business goals. Therefore it’s best to offer new team members training and hands-on experience before moving them into a higher position. If they can’t cope with their current workload they won’t be able to complete more complex tasks.

New hires can also be expensive if they leave and take their income-producing power with them. As such, my advice is that any one agent should not be responsible for more than 15 per cent of your total revenue. This does not mean you should hire mediocre staff, but that
you need to balance the number of agents you employ with how much income they can produce.

Successful growth is a decision. Decide what your vision is, decide to create it, decide when to put on that first assistant and then decide to let go and let it grow.

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Josh Phegan

Josh Phegan is a renowned coach, trainer and speaker for high performance real estate agents and agencies across the globe. Visit