Assistants are a blessing to the solopreneur – especially in a constantly-changing industry such as real estate. Many are licensed and are able to take more responsibilities off of your plate, ultimately allowing you to focus on directly addressing your client’s needs and building those relationships. But like many assistants in the industry, there will come a time when she will want to make the leap and become a full-fledged real estate assistant, once again leaving you with all the work.
A Note On Losing Your Assistant
If your support has given notice, don’t rush your resource out the door. Here are a few ways to leverage them, prepare for the transition, and make it less painful.
- Create Documentation – Ensure that all procedures that your assistant completes are documented so that the task handoff to the next person is as seamless as possible. In addition, include an exit memo that details all work and projects where the assistant left off as of their final day. Include details such as the Realtor’s scheduling preferences, best ways to contact them, email and other application accesses, and suggested task prioritization, to name a few.
- Research for Replacement – Your assistant is the best person search for their replacement because of their insight into the role and its requirements so they would best be able to hire for the role. Don’t strictly rely on licensed assistants – individuals who can leave to manage their own business after a time - widen your search to include unlicensed assistants.
- Conduct an Exit Interview – The goals of this conversation is twofold: first, to figure out if there is any way to make your interactions with the assistant more efficient. Second, to leverage the connection you already have with your assistant and ask if she knows anyone within her network who is looking for a similar, open opportunity.
If Your Assistant Has Already Left
If your support is long gone, here are some pieces of advice to help you get back on your feet.
- Don’t “Stick It Out” - Getting the admin work done brute force is not how you grew your business – it took quality time and nurturing efforts to achieve its current level. The danger of resolving to do the admin work yourself can cause you to focus less on relationship-building and more on your to-do list, which is unsustainable and can lead to burnout.
- Leverage Your Network – Reach out to your network for help. Do your peers know of any great assistants looking for job openings or managed assistant services you could use? Can your local NAR chapter recommend any budding Realtors or agents you could partner with, who can take some of the load off of your shoulders?
- Hire A Freelance Assistant – As a short-term solution, freelancers can help get your administrative house in order. If not already done, concentrate on documenting existing processes, listing out application logins, as well as daily, weekly, and monthly expectations and deliverables, and detail your administrative preferences. In addition, they can help you look for a full-time administrative solution – whether licensed or not – and help support you throughout that hiring process.
- Hire A Managed Assistant Service – These services can provide a long-term support solution at an affordable rate. While remote, you won’t have to worry about training and managing the assistant because they are trained internally by their organization and you can again focus more on your clients and less on the administrative work. In addition, if your processes are not documented, a great service can create and document them in tandem, along with any preferences and expected deliverables.
Once you leverage an assistant, it would be regressing to try and take on the administrative work again. If you are able, prepare for the transition – block off time in your schedule dedicated to making the administrative handoff as smooth as possible. If your assistant has already left, take action as soon as possible towards finding a replacement: leverage the knowledge of your network and hire a temp to prepare for the transition to a long-term support solution.