How Well Are You Really Doing This Key Aspect of Being an Administrative Assistant?

Every morning when I make my coffee, I measure out four cups of water and four tablespoons of coffee. I actually use the back of a knife to scrape the excess coffee off the tablespoon.

After my coffee is brewed, I pour in two measured tablespoons of cream and exactly ten drops of liquid Stevia.

Why would I take the trouble to do this? It’s just a cup of coffee right?


I like my coffee this certain way. Any deviation in water, coffee grounds, cream, or sweetener changes my coffee experience.

But, I want the same coffee experience every time I have coffee at home.

Plus, it’s just easier to remember four cups, four tablespoons, two tablespoons, ten drops.

If I didn’t have this formula, and I didn’t have consistency, I probably wouldn’t remember how much of each ingredient to use.

Let’s look at it another way.

Your business is running at a pretty good clip. You’ve got your systems going and for the most part, things are running pretty smoothly.

But then you get a little lazy and you deviate. That small deviation grows to a larger deviation and spreads to other areas. Now you are looking around thinking, “What the heck happened? Things were going so well.”

This video of a dude on a bike illustrates my point:

Did you see how a small wobble, just the tiniest imperfection, turned catastrophic for this man?

I want you to think about this when it comes to your customer’s experience.

Your consistency is key to how well you run the administrative side of the real estate business.

Here are a few examples of how I stay consistent.

File Naming

Every one of the files in our DotLoop system follows the same naming convention. Listing or Buying: Address (Client Last Name). It looks like this:

Listing: 123 Oak St (Smith)

Buying: 456 Maple Ln (Robertson)

When you have a ton of contract in DotLoop, the easiest way to find something is to search for it by street name or by the client’s last name. With this naming convention, I never have to worry that a teammate won’t be able to find something if I am out of the office. And every single team member knows that when they create a new loop, they are to use this same naming convention. That’s the only way this works. Consistency.

Email Templates

Very rarely do we ever communicate to clients without using a template email.

It is so much easier and faster to use the same email every single time I communicate the same information to our clients. I never have to think if I’ve forgotten to mention something.

Plus, there’s a record of that communication in my email archives. So if I ever forget whether I have communicated a certain step in the process, I can always search my archives for that client’s name and the subject line of the email template.

Of everything I repeatedly do, using email templates is probably the most crucial.

Each one is strategically crafted to convey the right message at the right time without fail.

Again, if I am not in the office, another team member can use my exact email template and just as easily communicate the information in the same way that I would using my email templates.


Once a month I put together a postcard. It’s a template. Three photos, a headline, and a block of text. I switch out those three elements, send the postcard to the printer, and the printer mails them for us.

It’s easy. I don’t have to design a new card every month.

I have a reminder on my calendar, so my time to do this is blocked.

Every Friday I put together an email newsletter that gets sent to our current clients, past clients, sphere, and leads.

I follow a template so that I’m consistently sending out information in the same way every week.

When someone receives the email newsletter in their inbox, they know exactly what it will look like and exactly what sort of information it is going to contain.

I am also extremely consistent in when I put out the newsletter; it has to go out at 4:00 PM every Friday.

Even if I’m not in the office that day, I will put the newsletter together on the last day I’m in the office and have it scheduled to go out at 4:00 PM on Friday.

I never miss a Friday.

That’s Consistency

I know it sounds a little a boring. But this sort of consistency is what keeps your real estate business moving forward faster and faster.

Consistency gives you freedom in other areas of the business. When you don’t have to spend so much time designing marketing materials and writing emails, you can watch an online webinar about lead follow-up or how to use Facebook to get more business.

The key here is quite simply to do it the same every time. Use whatever tool you need to make it consistent. It might be a template or a checklist. It might be an email add-on or a file naming convention.

Let’s face it, if our lead agent (or any agent on our team) could be as consistent as we are as administrative assistants, they might not even need us. We need to be the solid base of the business that the agents can use to grow from. We enable them to reach new heights by implementing the sort of systems that have consistency at their core.

When your lead agent can relax about making sure the newsletter goes out every week and not have to worry that you’ve got it covered, she can occupy her mind with bigger things. That’s what makes you so valuable. Your ability to get consistent with these systems and keep them running.

The more consistent you can be, the easier your life will get.

So you don’t crash and burn like that dude on the bike who didn’t even wear a helmet. SMH

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You’ve been an administrative assistant for a little while now. Where are you being consistent and what results has that brought you? I’d love to know. Add your story to the comments or send me an email.



  1. Nicole DeMiglio

    Where do your email templates live?

    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      Hey Nicole! I am using MixMax. It’s free and it allows you to create templates that are organized alphabetically. In fact, I’m giving up Boomerang in favor of MixMax. MixMax lets you schedule future emails. It also lets you snooze emails so they show back up in your inbox at a later time just like Boomerang. I would keep using Boomerang except for the fact that it doesn’t have a place to create templates.

  2. Pingback: 7 Tips for Real Estate Email Newsletters | The Assistant Files by Elizabeth Gilbert

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