If there’s one thing that sets us real estate assistants apart from the agents, it is our ability to figure things out. It’s the ability to learn new things. To put our heads down and concentrate on one thing long enough to learn and master how it works.
If this doesn’t sound like you, quit your job as an assistant right now; it’s that important.
This one skill will get you everywhere as an assistant.
My most memorable example is learning Adobe Illustrator.
My agent Ron Henderson wanted a new logo. So he went on 99designs.com and had several designers submit logo ideas. The two of us chose a design, made some tweaks and ended up with something we both really liked.
Then we had that same designer create a flyer, brochure, postcard, letterhead, and envelope.
The postcard is what prompted me to have to figure out how to use Adobe Illustrator.
Our previous postcard was created using an online template. I would go to the website, upload new photos, change out some text and submit the postcard for mailing. It was super simple.
With the new postcard, we wanted the same thing, but now it was a custom design submitted to us by the designer in Adobe Illustrator so that the print quality was the highest we could get. In order to change out the photos and the text, I had to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator.
Ron asked me if I was familiar with the program. “No,” I replied. “But I’ll figure it out.”
I have to admit that this is my standard answer for most things that are unfamiliar to me. I recognize that there are lots of things I don’t know. And my personality type is one that gets anxiety over not knowing things. I’m hardwired to have all the right answers. I’m glad I can fall back on my superpower: the ability to figure things out.
At Keller Williams we have a couple of websites that the company supplies to us. These websites have some varying levels of customization. At the highest level is the ability to manipulate the HTML code. I didn’t know HTML code, but I figured it out. When I started teaching other agents how to customize their websites, I would show them our site and they would ask, “How did you do that?” I had to explain that you need to know HTML code to get that particular look or feature, and then I would tell them that they shouldn’t spend their time learning how to do that when they should be spending their time just getting their websites working at the minimum level to start bringing in leads. The fancy stuff with the HTML code was just icing on the cake.
And yet having those extra features made us stand out.
That’s why you as the real estate assistant are invaluable. You are paid to learn these systems so the agent doesn’t have to. The ability to figure things out, learn new programs and systems, and then implement them is your greatest asset.
My method for figuring things out is twofold.
First, click everything! When I first get a program or online system, I click all of the buttons, links, drop down menus in order to get an overview of what I’m looking at. I analyze how each section is connected and how they work together to build the whole. Then my brain starts piecing those things together and I think them through until it makes sense.
If I try a series of steps to get something to work, and it’s not working, then I try a different series of steps. Over and over, I repeat the process until it works. That’s how I learn.
80% of the time, this is enough.
Second, for the other 20% of the time when I can’t figure something out, I Google it. You’d be surprised at how many videos there are on YouTube to teach you exactly what you want to know.
Why don’t I start with Google? Yes, it would likely be faster. For me however, if I teach myself how to do something, it stays with me. If I Google it first and follow the step-by-step instructions, then I easily forget that information and the next time I need to do it, I have to go back to the instructions.
Yes, figuring it out for myself takes longer in the beginning. But then I never waste time looking up how to do something ever again. I just know it.
For additional stuff I don’t post on the blog, head over to my Facebook page. And feel free to email me with your questions. I’ve already spoken to several assistants and I love connecting with you!