Which Real Estate Assistant Are You?

COO vs EA

When you were first hired as a real estate assistant, you may not have been shown what your career path could look like.

I want to change that today.

You see, when you first get into this role, you are learning how things work and specifically you are learning how to do your job. Typically, your job is extremely task-based. You’re doing things like creating flyers, entering contacts into the database, setting up a 33-Touch plan, and creating listing and closing checklists.

The majority of your training for these tasks is coming from your lead agent. You’ll supplement that training with whatever you can learn on your own through Google and YouTube, plus you can find those things in Facebook groups for real estate assistants like this one or this one or in this blog.

You are very much seen and treated as an employee by the lead agent, and thus, you take your direction from her.

If there’s a team in place, you’ll respond to the needs of team by doing the tasks that need to be done. That might be writing an amendment for your buyers agent. Or dropping off a pre-listing packet for your listing agent.

Over time, the highest and best use of your time and talent becomes less and less task-based. Increasingly, your time should be spend on more idea-based things.

For instance, if the team needs more leads, you are the one researching new methods and what return on investment your lead agent can expect.

Another example would be when marketing the team, you are the one deciding which print or social media avenues are best suited for what the team is trying to accomplish.

This is what is becoming known as the COO level. Chief Operating Officer. Everything operations falls on your shoulders.

This means you are making decisions for the team that have wide-sweeping implications.

And, your lead agent now sees and interacts with you like a business partner. She comes to you with her ideas, and you determine the efficacy.

Rather than jumping in to solve the team’s problems, you coach them through it so that they come up with their own solution. If those solutions are task-based, you’ve hired a listing manager or a transaction coordinator to handle those. You are no longer the one doing those tasks.

A key function in your role as COO is being a loyal follower of your lead admin while at the same time being a leader to the rest of the team. If you haven’t bought into your lead agent’s vision, or you don’t feel as though you have your lead agent’s trust, you will not get to the COO level.

If your lead agent second-guesses decisions that clearly fall under your role, you will not get to the COO level.

Essentially, you and the lead agent will come to the realization that one plus one is more than two. When you have a lead agent and a COO functioning as yin and yang, the relationship produces extraordinary results. The real estate team is provided with a leadership team that trusts will help them achieve their personal goals within the company.

Bottom line is, do you have the desire to become a COO? Are you prepared to take on the responsibilities of the role?

I’ll be talking more about what those responsibilities are in a future post along with specifics about how you can make the transition.

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What questions do you have about becoming a COO? I’d love to be able to answer those in a future post! Leave your questions in the comments, or email me at egilbert@kw.com.