I have been a very successful real estate agent, broker, and investor. There is no way I could have done what I have done without help and a real estate assistant or assistants. I began making good money in real estate as an REO broker, but I also flip houses, own rentals, started a brokerage, and run this blog. I realized early on that one of the keys to success is hiring good people to help you succeed. It is possible to be successful without help, but it takes a lot longer and is not nearly as much fun. When I hired my first assistant, it took some work to train her, but it was worth it. She has graduated from an assistant to a project manager (she is a huge asset to my business), and I have continued to hire more assistants to help with various parts of the business.
Why do so many people have a hard time hiring a real estate assistant?
When I was younger, I wanted to do everything on my own. There were multiple reasons why I did this:
- I thought I was smart enough that I did not need outside help or someone to tell me what to do.
- I thought I could handle everything if I just worked hard enough.
- I took pride in being able to do everything on my own without help.
- I did not trust other people to do as good of work as I did.
I was wrong about everything. In fact, many of these reasons for not getting help or trying to do it all on my own were excuses I made because I did not want to get out of my comfort zone. Hiring an assistant is hard, and it takes time. It is much easier to keep things the way they are than to get help to expand your business. If you know you need an assistant but are not hiring one, is it because you really don’t think you need one or because you just don’t want to?
How did I get to a point where I had to hire an assistant?
Early in my career, I sold houses and worked on a few house flips each year with my father. I did not have to have an assistant because I did not have that much work to do. Then, I started to list REO properties (foreclosures) for banks. I became a HUD listing agent, and suddenly I was listing 5 to 10 houses per week. Things were crazy. I had to drive to a house and inspect it within 24 hours. I had to complete a BPO and perform other tasks within 48 hours, and many of these properties were over an hour away from me. I was working 12 hour days and the weekends to get everything done. I had to get an assistant or I was going to drown in work.
I hired someone who ended up being amazing when I had no time to train anyone. I was so busy it was tough for me to think of tasks for her to do. Eventually, I trusted her with some minor work. She did amazingly, and I realized how much of an asset an assistant was.
What did hiring a real estate assistant allow me to do?
When I had an assistant and trusted her to perform tasks, an amazing thing happened: things were done faster and better! I thought I could do everything better than anyone else, but I was wrong. I was so busy that I was taking shortcuts, forgetting things, and overall not doing great work. When I had my assistant doing the work, she took her time and got it done right.
Something else amazing happened when I hired an assistant: I became happier. I realized that I could give her all the tasks that I did not like doing. I did not like keeping track of expenses or accounting—I could give that job to her. Eventually, she started doing BPOs and was taking care of most of the tasks associated with the REO listings. I had more time, and I started to invest in real estate instead of just selling it. I was able to buy rentals and flip more houses once I had that assistant to take care of the other tasks.
I went from flipping 5 to maybe 8 houses per year with my dad to buying him out and taking over the business, and last year, we did 26 house flips. I also own 20 rentals, started this blog, have written 6 books, and started a real estate brokerage. Not all of this happened because I hired one assistant, but I was able to hire more people as more and more happened. Eventually, the REO business dried up, and I made her my project manager on my flips. She has done an amazing job there, and now she is the one who tells our contractors what to do.
How can an assistant help your real estate business?
I am not saying an assistant will magically make you successful, but they can certainly help. You may not want to do what I do. You may think it sounds horrible, but you can still get help with an assistant. In the real estate business, whether you are an agent or investor, we rarely get time off. Something is always coming up that needs to be done. When I was on my honeymoon, I spent half the vacation doing BPOs. Now, when I go on vacation, I do not even take a laptop. I can take weeks off without worrying about the business because I have help. If you are a one man or one woman show, that is impossible to do.
Not only did my assistant help my business, but she also became a licensed agent as well. She has almost paid for herself by selling houses on her own.
If you are a real estate agent, broker, or investor, an assistant can take your business to the next level. They can do the tasks you hate doing, can give you more time, and give you more freedom. They may even make you more money. It does take time to hire someone, train them, and make sure they do a good job, but it is all worth it. I go over how to hire people in the article below:
When Should you hire a real estate assistant?
I like to tell people to hire an assistant as soon as you can afford to. The sooner you have help, the happier you will be, and the more you can get done. Do not wait until you are too busy to train and find an assistant. It is so much easier to find people, interview them, and train them when you have time to do things right. If you are already past that point, the sooner you hire someone the better.
Some of the most successful real estate agents and investors I know have a team or at least an assistant. They realize that people helping them is an amazing asset and will make them more successful. Not only does an assistant save you time, but they are also another brain to bounce ideas off of. Nikki, my project manager and first assistant, has been a huge help in planning my business and coming up with ideas.
I wrote a book on how our mindset and attitude will help us succeed. It is not just hard work that makes us successful but the way we think as well. How to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Huge Success: Why your attitude and daily habits have more to do with making more money and having more freedom than anything else.