What do we look for in an assistant? Well, we've learned a couple of hard lessons. One is to look not only for skills but also for work ethic.
We thought we had one assistant who could handle marketing, get everything into a system, do the paperwork and handle transactions. We only had one problem.
We never knew when she would be there. First, it's the daycare, then it's food poisoning, then it's injuring herself on a 4-wheeler. Next the boyfriend and she have a fight, and we have no idea the status of her work for several days. Is she coming in tomorrow? Will she be on time?
Then there were constant smoke breaks, long lunch breaks, constant personal calls, errands to run.
Sympathy we have, but after a while it wears thin. It was beginning to look like we were on different planets as far as work ethic. Sometimes talent is wasted if the person has the wrong attitude. We parted ways.
Our part-time licensed assistant nearly quit real estate altogether. She got into the business and found she hated the erratic schedule, felt she was a failure and did not want to go out after the business. She felt she was disappointing everyone and could not do a good job. When the broker said she quit, I thought about it awhile and we talked it over. We decided that maybe this gal might work out as an assistant.
I gave her a call and told her she would be working in real estate but would not have to do any of the outside agent duties. She loves paperwork (which we hate!) and is delighted with this job. This assistant hardly knew how to turn on a computer, but she is like a sponge and willing to learn. In a few months, she has learned much of Top Producer, how to complete the office files, enters the listings in three MLS systems and 8 websites, handles mailouts, enters customers for specific searches, does CMAs, learned a few Excel basics, can now do Visual Tours, and is beginning to use Publisher to do fliers. Wow!
We have told her that we don't want to hold her back if she ever gets the courage to go out and get business, but she figures that may be years away. Sometimes the shoe fits.
If there is something she doesn't get, we work on it together. The best part though is that we can count on her to be there and have a positive attitude. Since I was a former teacher, I enjoy teaching eager learners. If we can find another one like her, we'd be truly blessed. We can teach the skills, but not the attitude.
Her only vice is Starbucks, and we can live with that. Mine is chocolate.
Kim, our great assistant, also calls me The OZ, and it always makes me smile.