Seth Godin writes:
I’m not sure that anyone has a calling. I think, instead, our culture creates situations where passionate people find a place where they can make an impact. When what you do is something that you make important, it doesn’t matter so much what you do.
It’s not that important where. It matter a lot how. With passion and care.
What’s so beautiful about real estate teams is that as the executive assistant, you have a place where you can make an impact. Your role is integral to the business, and I hope you see that. I hope that you make your job important to yourself as well. There is no such thing as just an assistant on a real estate team.
1. Growth and Self-Improvement
As an executive assistant, it’s critical that strive to grow and improve yourself. You’re constantly looking for ways to improve your skills, your knowledge, your attitude, and your habits. When you grow personally, you grow professionally and the real estate business benefits from that.
One example is to teach a class at your market center. If you know eEdge or DotLoop really well, you could easily teach those programs to new agents. When you teach, you gain skills in leadership and training. So when it comes time to lead and train a new member of your team, you will already know how it feels to do that. And thus you impact your team.
2. Running the Business Like a Business
You are really good at following models. And thankfully, the model for building a real estate business has already been laid out in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.
So when your clients complain to you about your title company, you can fire them and find a new title company who will work to your standards. You recognize that this is a business and every business decision you make is with the knowledge that the game is to build and run a business; it’s not all-day-long happy hour for a bunch of friends.
3. Finding Ways to Save Money
You keep track of which systems you’re using and recommend eliminating those which no longer serve you. You compare vendor services twice a year to make sure you are getting the best rates.
4. Finding Ways to Spend Money on High ROI Systems
You do the math and recommend purchasing or investing in systems that make your job easier (i.e. more efficient) or will provide a high return on investment.
For instance, Zillow leads cost a bunch of money, and the ROI is high if you have the systems and people in place to adequately handle those leads. You do the investigative work to see if that’s true for your team.
5. Hiring Talent
If I had to pick just one way that the executive assistant has the most impact on a real estate team, I think this would be the one. A business grows through its people. And if you are the one screening the candidates, weeding out the losers, and finding and hiring the talented individuals to add to your team, the impact is huge. HUGE!
My first hire was a transaction coordinator. My first hire didn’t work out, though she did help our business grow. My second hire was phenomenal. And the impact she is having on our real estate business is also phenomenal. We are all making more money because of my hire. That’s a major impact.
6. Acquiring Reviews
Simply put, reviews bring in new business. When you ask for and collect a large number of positive reviews, that’s an immediate impact on the team. And the only reason people will leave positive reviews is if they had a positive experience with your team. A large part of that experience is with you personally and with the systems you’ve put in place to provide a positive and smooth real estate transaction. This is highly impactful for the business.
7. Building the Systems on Which the Entire Business Runs
Building the way your team uses the CRM, the e-signature program, the website, the team communication platform, the email templates, etc, etc, etc, all impact the way your business runs. When you build it right and maintain it, your system for doing things becomes the foundation of the business. It’s the platform upon which everything else runs.
What good is it for your rainmaker to bring you a signed purchase contract if you have no way to process it, track it, and communicate with the clients? This is why your work on the systems is crucial for the business’s survival.
8. Coaching the Team
Let’s face it; we all lose motivation sometimes. That’s why it’s important for you to coach your team members through their rough patches. To ensure them that you will get through it and come out better on the other side.
When you coach your team members to better themselves, the entire business gets better by default. How do you coach your team? Read Fierce Conversations. I promise it will change the way you communicate with your team.
9. Tracking the Numbers and Noticing Trends
You have to know the numbers. If you don’t have spreadsheets that track the numbers every which way to Sunday, you are not running the business like a business. That’s like taking a long-distance trip without ever checking the gas gauge. You may get to your destination, but you may not. You won’t know unless you check the numbers.
I wrote an entire post about this: 20 Numbers an Administrative Assistant Can Track for the Team. One number I tracked for our team was how many listing and buyer appointments we made from cold calling, circle prospecting, etc. For six solid months our team spent a couple hours every morning prospecting these cold leads. They ended up with a handful of appointments and no signed agreements. So I let them quit that particular type of prospecting. I’m not saying we won’t ever go back to it. And perhaps they needed to improve their scripts. But for now, they are sticking to staying in touch with past clients and their circle of influence as well as following up with incoming leads from our marketing efforts which return much greater results. How do I know this? Tracking. And now I know where to invest more time and money…hugely impactful.
10. Auditing Files to Avoid Lawsuit
One day, your team will be involved in a lawsuit. When you do enough business, it’s just going to happen. You can however, do your very best to avoid them in the first place by making sure your contracts are filled out correctly and by making sure you have communicated the correct information to all parties.
Does it take a little time to audit a file? Yep. Is it worth it? Very much so. You don’t want to get involved in a lawsuit just because you missed a typo.
11. Committing to Excellence in All Things
When you have a standard of excellence for yourself, it rubs off on people. You have standards for how you process requests from your agents and you are committed to upholding those standards. People respect those who are committed to excellence and it shows when you and your team communicates with clients and co-op agents. When the real estate world knows how easy it is to do business with you, your transactions become easy. People just expect it to go smoothly and it does. Having standards eliminates having to decide what to do when problems arise.
12. Doing the Rainmaker’s 80%
Your rainmaker’s 20% is lead generation, going on appointments, negotiating, and recruiting. That’s it. It’s not deciding which CRM the team should switch to. It’s not forwarding paperwork to the title company. Your job is to keep your rainmaker in his or her 20%. If you do that well, the business will grow.
13. Guiding the Direction of the Business
Once you’ve been an executive assistant for a while, you’ll have a better understand of what direction your rainmaker wants to take the business. If he wants close 25% more business this year than last year, you need to help him decide how to get there.
What does that look like from where you sit? Does it mean hiring a new person, or implementing a new system? Your input is incredibly valuable to your rainmaker.
14. Being the Voice of Reason
Sometimes your rainmaker or other agents on your team want to do something brash. They may be chasing squirrels. And because they haven’t taken the time to research and investigate, they could be making a costly error. That’s where you come in. Your ability to validate or discredit a new system is impacting the outcome of the business. You provide the balance the team needs in order to stay successful and profitable.
Can you see and feel the impact you are having? Do you recognize your value? This job has completely changed my life, and it’s because I have such a passion for systems and for the process of creation. I bring those things to this job and I see the results I create. The agents on my team love their jobs and they love that they can rely on me and my systems to keep everything moving forward. They may worry about things, but they certainly don’t worry about me. And I love knowing that I have their trust and respect. It’s extremely rewarding for me, and I hope you have the same in your job!