Tips for Onboarding Your New Assistant
Bringing on an assistant in your real estate business could be a big milestone in your career. Whether this is your first assistant or not, it’s important to know that the onboarding process could make the difference between your assistant staying for the long term or using your business as a stepping stone. Onboarding helps your assistant understand what is expected from them and how they can be successful in your business. You are now trusting someone with your business operations and that can be unsettling for someone who has been used to doing all the work on their own. But have no fear, we have compiled some strategies and tips to help you onboard your real estate assistant and set them up for success in your business.
Strategy and Goals
Before your new assistant walks in the door for their first day, you need to make sure you have a plan for their onboarding. The worst mistake you can make is piling a load of work onto a new assistant and expect that they are unprepared for. Create a schedule of milestones that your assistant should reach by a certain date so that they have a sense of direction with a realistic timeframe to adjust to the new position. Also, it’s important to plan time in your schedule to check in on their progress and to answer any questions they may have throughout the day. Write down what your long-term goals are for your business ahead of time, and when it’s time to add more responsibilities to their list, you’ll know just what to do. Now that you will have extra time thanks to your new assistant, you can start to plan what you will do with the extra time you’ve gained.
Clarify Work Responsibilities
To avoid any misunderstandings, clarify to your new assistant what their work responsibilities will be. These should be clearly defined and updated when necessary. Since an assistant should be making your life easier, don’t be afraid to let them know exactly what those tasks are and when you expect them to be completed. It’s important to establish open communication with your assistant from the start to encourage any questions or suggestions they may have for your business. Some assistants have previous real estate experience, so you can use that as an opportunity to ask if they see any ways to improve the operational work flow of your business. In the beginning, you will definitely need to plan time out of your schedule to spend a few hours going over your business’ operations. As time goes on and your assistant gets the hang of things, it’s still a good idea to speak with your assistant daily even if it’s for a 15-minute catch-up. Create those routines early for a healthy work relationship.
Work Culture & History
Taking the time to explain to your new assistant the history and culture of your business will help avoid any confusion in the long run. The culture of your business includes how leadership and management is handled, workplace practices and policies, and of course your work environment and its people. Without this guidance, your assistant may form their own practices and opinions that do not align with your business. Introduce your assistant as soon as possible to people that they will need to be in contact with such as clients, partners, and other co-workers. Office attire is another topic you’ll want to touch on to make sure your assistant knows what is expected of them. Job description says business professional but everyone at the office wears business casual? Let them know that ahead of time so they can feel comfortable.
Be Patient with The Learning Curve
Whether your assistant has little real estate experience or they have 10 years under their belt, every business has their own way of doing things. Understand that your assistant may need some time to learn and adjust to technologies, company databases, or websites that you use. If you have someone on your team that handles the technology side of the business, be sure to introduce your assistant to them and create an open channel for questions and concerns. A good way to introduce your assistant to your systems is to use a fake lead and walk them through your entire process. If there is a certain way you want your assistant to conduct themselves on the phone, it may be helpful for your assistant if you write down a script for them to follow along and reference.
Now that you have gained an assistant to tackle the day-to-day tasks, you can focus more on your larger goals and growing your business.