28 Feb Ep. 24: Assistants with Rebecca Rose

 

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In this episode Adam interviews Rebecca Rose about how real estate agents are losing money by NOT hiring an assistant.

Email questions to PODCAST@HermannLondon.com

WHAT’S INSIDE

:55 Adam introduces Rebecca Rose, a real estate assistant expert
2:23 Why does Rebecca like being a real estate agent assistant
2:53 At what point in their career should a real estate agent get an assistant
3:53 How an assistant can gain an agent more credibility
5:57 Why is it so hard to convince an agent to get an assistant
7:28 An assistant doesn’t have to work 40 hours a week
8:55 How to tell if an agent is spending all their time on assistant work
11:24 Making an agent keep a list of what they did all day
13:20 The most appropriate time to get an assistant
14:15 How to start out slow when trying an assistant
15:44 Getting used to paying someone hourly and by the deal
16:59 The gamble when paying an assistant only if the sale closes
18:01 Charging a buyer’s agency fee to pay an assistant
20:06 Splitting a commission with a partner who is just an assistant
23:05 What are some examples of how Rebecca Rose has helped an agent
31:39 A new agent should learn the paperwork before making an assistant do it all
33:45 Overcoming the fear of delegation
34:49 The best way to communicate with an assistant
39:04 How should an assistant introduce themselves to the agent’s client
40:26 What parts of the deal does the agent take care of
44:58 How an agent can promote the fact they have an assistant
47:46 Having an assistant makes a great accountability partner
49:58 Adam’s favorite thing for an assistant to do is have them schedule his showings

 

Adam Kruse & Rebecca Rose

Adam Kruse & Rebecca Rose

Adam: live from the rooftop of the Herman London real estate group in beautiful downtown Maplewood at the st. Louis realtor podcast with your host Adam Kruse welcome welcome to the Herman London real estate group st. Louis realtor podcast episode number of 24 today as February 26 2016 were alive from the Herman London real estate group in beautiful downtown Maplewood Missouri and we’re going to talk all about assistance real estate assistance why does it realtor need an assistant how should they use an assistant why do people become assistance we got all sorts of things to talk about assistance we’re really going to break it down we have a very special guest here we have one of Herman London real estate groups assistants can i call you an assistant

Rebecca:  you may

Adam: okay and her name is Rebecca rose she’s live here in the studio with us and Rebecca tell us quickly about yourself

Rebecca: well Adam I have been in real estate for about 15 years as a broker or salesperson I realized very early on that I did not want to actually sell or list real estate by myself that I most enjoyed working as part of a team and so I was hooked up with some agents and started being there assistant transaction coordinator just working for them and a lot of different ways and I realized that by doing this for them I got a lot of enjoyment and excitement out of watching them grow out of being part of a team and throughout the years I’ve seen that even just a small amount of help can help agents move from a stuck position to a better position in their career and I’ve helped a lot of agents see how they can do that

Adam: there’s there’s so much to say about assistance I love talking about this I’m always trying to encourage people to get them so there’s different types of Realtors obviously right and there’s the realtor who is graded sales loves people loves to be out constantly talking talking making phone calls prospecting whatever and then there’s the type of person who likes the transaction and to keep things in order and like you saying you kind of like to make sure there’s a good process to things and what you’re saying is that you found pleasure and keeping it all together is that right or am i putting words in your mouth

Rebecca: no you’re not that is exactly I am one of those OCD super organized people who loves at the end of the day nothing more than to see files with labels printed on them and to know that every box has been checked every eye has been dotted and I am never happier than to [???] an email that proves that I did what I said I did

Adam: okay okay that’s awesome and so there’s Realtors who are successful they’re making good money they’re doing lots of business but their lives are that’s all they have right they’re just all they do is they work work work work work all the time so they’re making money you can call them a successful realtor but they have no balance in their life that person needs an assistant right

Rebecca: correct

Adam: there’s a new agent who just got their real estate license and has their first couple deals going on they might still have a part-time job and so there’s I mean at least if you’re Herman London agent we give our new agents so many things that they need to be doing you know like putting themself on different profiles online finding different places they can market finding different meetup groups they can go to a network and writing articles and following up with capacitance and getting their database together all that kind of stuff and they sort of have to do that they sort of have to do a lot of things right and they don’t want to spend any money on assistant right they say I’ll get an assistant once I’m successful or once I make some money or something like that and it’s kind of a chicken or the egg thing is it that should they do the get the assistant once they’re successful or should they get the assistant to be successful

Rebecca: well I think that sometimes you have to take a little risk to get a little bit of reward and getting an assistant maybe not the first day you get your license but after you have a few contracts under your belt and you have work an assistant can actually gain you a little bit more credibility because it makes you look like you have a team it makes you look like you’re serious about this especially if you’re working part time to have someone fill in the gaps when you’re at your job and to show that you have a full-time real estate career on side of maybe whatever else you’re doing but you can hire assistance I mean I used to to be at a place and have used places where some of them have a minimum of two hours a week that’s not a lot of money out of your pocket

Adam: right

Rebecca:  you invest to have someone who’s making sure you don’t drop the ball who’s making you look a little bit more professional incredible and then when we get to the people who are these assistants who have or real estate agents sorry that don’t have a life that are spending twenty-four seven working you don’t want to burn out you want to kind of enjoy the success that you don’t and getting an assistant for those people is it should be a no-brainer for them to try to transfer some of the stuff to these people I tell agents I work with figure out how much you want to make a year figure out how many hours you want to work every week and do some math and now you know how much your words an hour would you pay someone that much an hour to make some copies if you wouldn’t don’t do it

Adam: right

Rebecca: because you should be making that much now are out listing selling showing properties making the magic that salespeople only they can do only they only you are Adam when someone wants add them to show them a house and tell them if it’s a good investment or you know whatever they looking for from you they don’t want me to show up and be like who are you so any time you waste doing things that someone besides Adam could do that’s money out of your pocket

Adam: you know you and I are not biased right I’m not trying to be hired by our listeners as an assistant you’re not trying to be hired by our listeners as an assistant I mean we just care because we we like the idea but why do we have such a hard time convincing people that you can have someone else put your paperwork together while you’re out getting business why do we have such a hard time

Rebecca:  I think a lot of agents especially because their salespeople and they have this type of personality where they they don’t want to take the time it takes to show someone to do it they feel like that is a waste of time I could do it in 10 minutes I’m not going to take 30 minutes to show someone and I always say well if you took the 30 minutes once think how many times you’d save 10 minutes and they just don’t want to take the time to slow down and do it and i also think people are afraid of delegation they think what if they mess it up what if they do this what if they do that and then some people really are I mean you got to be a little egotistical to be a salesperson to take all those no to yes I think they think they can do it better than someone else could and so why why pass it on

Adam: okay and you mentioned when we were talking before we started recording with this podcast today that a lot of times we think that the agent thinks too big and you didn’t mean that in necessarily a good way you meant it in like they think oh if I hire an assistant that means i have to have someone here 40 hours a week and pay him a salary and benefits and oh my gosh health insurance and all this kind of stuff and you make a great point they don’t have to do that you know at our office we have a lady who does assistant work for a lot of different people how do you met her earlier right and so one of our agents can hire her for a half an hour project if they want to write so you’re thinking that the agents assume that I can’t afford that that sounds really expensive

Rebecca:  they do and they also don’t think about easing into it you don’t have to figure out everything that assistance going to do for you in one day you could give them you could start out with project work and say oh here’s this person i’m going to give them a half-hour project i’m going to see if I like them I’m going to see if I like the work you can start sharing assistance with someone some agents have assistants who they would be happy to for that assistant to give up a few hours to you and you to pay them there’s also online places where you can go you can place craigslist ads there are tons of people who have real estate experience who may be got out of the business and started to be a stay-at-home mom or or doing something else but we’d pick up a few hours of work trying to help you

Adam: you know a lot of the objections I get when I try to encourage our agents or my friends who are realtors at other companies whatever I say you need to get an assistant and a lot of times they say what would they even do for me it’s the question sort of boggles my mind and you know I have sitting in front of me this long list of things that I made out that you know what an assistant could do for you but lately when I’ve been doing some business planning with our agents one of the things i start with it i just ask them i’m standing at the whiteboard and i say what have you not been doing and that’s an interesting question because it’s like well i haven’t been following up with my past clients i haven’t added any one to my database i haven’t been sending my monthly newsletter i haven’t been going to those networking events i haven’t been doing this i haven’t been doing that and you kind of wonder like what have you been but they’re busy they’re here they’re doing stuff but they’re doing assistant work

Rebecca: they are doing a system work and I think what have you not been doing is a great question I also when I used to talk to people about this i would say here’s what I want you to do I want you to carry around a scrap of paper our notebook for a couple days I want you to write down everything you do kind of like keeping a food log but keep a were clogged and write down what you’re doing and just put down next to it a guesstimate you think you did it for 30 minutes you think you did it for 20 minutes whatever it is not only are you going to see you’re doing assistant work but you’re going to see what you can give to an assistant I think they don’t realize oh they spent two hours putting labels on postcards or they you know spent 25 minutes entering a listing into the MLS but an assistant who does those all the time could have injured it way quicker and way cheaper than that for you or calling people following up on things and kind of things like that you know I’ve done most of this list I’ve done these four people it’s also I think it makes agents look good when they’re out in the field to have someone to call and say hey can you see if this house can be shown and then they don’t have to awkwardly be trying to do it when they’re with their buyers like all my assistants going to look into that so there’s just so many things but I think agents don’t like to slow down and salespeople are notoriously good at filling up their time with busy work so they don’t actually have to try to sell

Adam: and they go home that day and they made I worked all day

Rebecca:  I worked all day and I don’t know why didn’t sell any houses and when you say how many people did you talk to they can’t tell you if they called anybody or they didn’t call anybody I didn’t contact anybody no but i was at a desk all day doing it when i had to work

Adam: i know every single thing that’s going on on facebook

Rebecca:  i do

Adam:  right

Rebecca:  and not even that i mean i am a much quicker at getting together contract packages and putting them out through docusign than any agent i know so it’s just a matter of if they want to sit there and fiddle around with that or spend three hours trying to figure out how to get a business Facebook page up when I already know how to do it and other assistants do and have done it for people when you could be on the phone calling your SOI contacting people following up with leads doing things that only you can do and I think that’s just one of the big they think most that stuff is stuff only they can do when it’s not not true

Adam:  so you made some really good points i want to touch back on the thing where they’re like keeping track of their time i wonder if they would even think to write down like spent three minutes forwarding contracts on to the title company into the lender you know they probably wouldn’t even put that on their list but it’s on there they did that that day

Rebecca: right you know what you will see sometimes on the list like email for an hour and you have to dig into it you have to say we’ll look back in your sent items would you send for an hour and have them kind of read it off to you and then say so you spent an hour sending emails that either top producer could have done automatically or someone else could have sent for you

Adam: yeah

Rebecca:  and then that kind of opens up their head like oh you know it just it takes a while for them to get used to it most people have to ease into it but things as simple as flyers some agents will spend hours on a flyer when someone else could have thrown it together in 30 minutes made the copies and delivered it for you and you could have just let it go

Adam:  but no but I need to make sure that flyer is perfect what if it’s not perfect

Rebecca: well then you have someone to blame your assistant yeah

Adam:  that’s a good answer and probably it’s not gonna be perfect if you do it cuz you don’t do that all the time but your assistant does

Rebecca:  right

Adam: she knows how to reformat that picture that doesn’t fit in the flyer or whatever

Rebecca: right she knows how to do all the tricks because she’s made more flyers than you’ve made but it is a struggle but I think maybe seeing other agents have success with it and saying oh what are they doing how those numbers go up

Adam: for my very first day in real estate I had a business partner he moved here from Florida we were like a team right and he had an assistant when he was in Florida so from our very first day when he moved up to here we hired an assistant Jenni she’s a great girl but so I’ve always had an assistant and and I feel like I’m a little bit biased when we get an agent that joins our company whose brand new or whatever I’m like you need to hire an assistant and now I’m like what’s the word where I’m like tainted or whatever because I when I say I’m jaded because as soon as I say that I know they’re not going to do it because they don’t do it but so you know we can talk later about how to give me advice on how to convince people to get an assistant maybe I should just have them listen to this but what do you think is the appropriate time for an agent to get it in like they’re kind of the growth of their business

Rebecca: well that agents grow so differently and agents have such different expectations of what their real estate career is going to bring them I think you know you’re really suggesting to your agents right now that they do business planning and I’d say if you are closing probably more than a deal a month and you’re ready to grow you definitely need somebody because you could get caught up in that deal each month and if you’re not getting you know takes 30 days to close something if you’re fiddling with this deal all month then how are you filling your pipeline i would say that but i’d also say that what you’re doing here at Herman London group by providing someone that’s on site that is willing to work on like a fee schedule is huge that’s huge because you can kind of dip your toe in it and be like hmm i’ll try that out

Adam: the dip in the toe and a thing to me seems like the best way for me to convince people because a you know we had Heidi make I one of the first things I asked MLS mls for X amount of dollars or mail postcards for you for X amount of dollars whatever and I’m actually starting to see some results from that where our agents there at least thinking about it they’re like oh I thought about having Heidi injured by listing in my M into the MLS for me but I didn’t but I’m like okay at least they are kind of open to the idea but I’m also i would encourage anyone who’s considering getting an assistant especially if you’ve never paid anyone hourly to maybe hire them for what i would call like a special project on a short term

Rebecca:  right

Adam: because then you don’t have to worry about firing that person you know you can say hey can I hire you for 30 days to update my CRM with all my database with all my contacts my past clients and all that stuff and that then that gives the agent the ability to get used to paying someone hourly right get used to managing someone get used to coming in I I shouldn’t even admit this but when i first started having an assistant back in the day you know she would come in on friday and so what are your plans for this weekend what are you doing you know and i would literally be like thinking in my head to her i was like oh I’m going to this or that whenever but in my head I’m like I just had to pay three dollars to tell this lady when I’m doing for the weekend and you know getting used to paying somebody hourly was it took me a while to do that

Rebecca:  I think that it’s hard when I first started out as an assistant I had a little bit of a hard time with the hourly mainly because I don’t really like to work hourly I like to work by the deal and so you know in Missouri and I don’t know how you feel about this on both the buyer’s agency and the listing agreement there’s a blank what you can charge your clients

Adam: absolutely

Rebecca: to pay your assistant and I have taken those fees before as okay what do you charge is your buyer’s agency fee two hundred fifty dollars I’ll close a buyer side deal for you for two hundred fifty dollars and you know when we’d have things where if it made it past this much you still owed me money even if it didn’t close but if it only got you know so far in then it was a wash so that’s something that they can do if they really are worried about money out of their pocket up front is to say hey you know what I’d like to try one deal out with you I’d like you to close this for me my buyer’s agency fee is whatever and I’m willing to give that to you if you can get this to the closing table

Adam: okay so kind of the assistant business model is either the menu thing like i mentioned earlier or the hourly thing either on a short-term a longer-term basis or it specifically in real estate there’s true we call them transaction coordinators right and they’ll say for X amount of dollars you just mentioned 250 I’ve heard up to 350 I think for X amount of dollars i’ll close this deal for you

Rebecca:  right

Adam:  and now the in that case they’re both parties are sort of taking a gamble right

Rebecca:  you are

Adam: well I don’t know what the agents campbell is because if this deal closed you didn’t want technician

Rebecca: the agent wants the commission so you know they want it to close and now you have your assistant is your partner in this because they want it to close to because they want their fee and that’s something where I think it is hard to commit to someone i’m gonna pay you X amount of hours a week through the dry season and the good season because real estate is cyclical it’s hard to commit and I think if you say we’re going to pay by the deal maybe after the project basis that takes that stress off of the real estate agent of if you want to come in here and chat with me for 20 minutes go ahead you’re still getting the same amount of money if it takes you 20 hours to close this deal or 40 hours to cool is this deal

Adam:  so maybe in that case you’re paying a little bit more per hour but you’re only paying if the deal closes and so I guess that’s kind of the trade-off

Rebecca:  it is and it’s money that wasn’t your money anyway especially if you’re new to adding those fees so some agents don’t put those fees on there right so it’s kind of free money that’s came that you’re like oh you know what I’m now that I have this assistant I’m gonna charge two spires agency fee I didn’t get it before so I’m not gonna miss it it’s not even part of my commission I’m going to give this or a portion of it to my assistant and sometimes the assistant says you know what I just made some really easy money because some deals are really easy and other times the assistant thinks I’m barely got minimum wage on this deal because that took forever so it’s just kind of in the end it’s a wash everybody’s taking a risk on getting this

Adam:  that’s gamble of it right

Rebecca: it is

Adam:  one of the other things I like to mention is that when a realtor becomes a realtor right a lot of the people that I interview or that are interviewing me that want to become a realtor they say i love houses i love looking at houses that’s why i want to be a realtor or I love sales i love the freedom of it i want commission whatever that’s what i want to become a realtor whatever their reason for becoming a realtor is I think once they get their license they come here it’s their first day or they’ve got their first listing or whatever they realize oh my gosh being a realtor means i have to be a professional graphic designer i have to be a tech expert i need to be good at putting strong enough to put signs in the ground I need to be a photographer I need to be good at making flyers I need to be all these things and my goal for our Realtors is to say no you don’t have to do all that you can be a salesperson and you know i always say Herman London we cater to our agents so they can cater to their clients so there’s a bunch of services that we offer our agents that they don’t have to do because of that but the gaps on that or you need an assistant there’s no reason why a realtor should have to become a facebook expert

Rebecca: right

Adam: or even an expert at how to work our copy machine you know let somebody else kind of do that stuff for you so I like to get on my high horse about them

Rebecca:  that’s fine I’m right there with you I mean I I try to sell it to everybody I mean not just because I don’t want to wear I don’t need the work I just try to sell it to people because I see how agents change with it

Adam: one of the other things that bothers me about Realtors sometimes and they can people can do things however they want to but a lot of times there’s two Realtors that are sort of friends and one of them is the salesperson type who loves to go out and talk to people once the prospect wants to do whatever and the other one says I like to do the paperwork I like to behind-the-scenes stuff and a lot of times those Realtors then partner and they say okay we’re going to do this time 5050 I think the realtor who’s the salesperson is crazy in that particular situation because they go out they close something let’s call it a six thousand dollar commission and they give half of it to their agent friend who’s their partner that just likes doing the paperwork in that case they just paid three thousand dollars to someone to do what you would have done for somewhere between 250 and 350 dollars right so

Rebecca:  I have made I’ve been made very good money working as transaction coordinator for teams before and I’ve never made fifty percent so and I never thought I’d get fifty percent so I do I think it’s crazy that you would give that much money to someone who’s really just acting as the transaction coordinate

Adam: and that is going on all over

Rebecca: as i said i have my broker’s license i have the ability to do everything an agent  can do so i can answer those questions over the phone for your clients i can do a lot of those things perfectly legally in Missouri I just choose not to use my license to you know sell property so i think that that is one thing that agents do need to think about is when they get the assistant in the beginning I don’t think it matters but if you’re going to use an assistant to fully coordinate your transactions them having a license is pretty important just to keep you on the up-and-up legally

Adam: and it’s nice because they know what they’re doing it you know what

Rebecca:  they’re doing but just legally there’s so many things you can’t do without a license and it’s just you don’t want to be in that gray area

Adam:  if the mindset is interesting to me though because they will hire their friend they’ll partner with their friend and give their friend have their money but it’s my friend and they need the money and this and that but then when they want to hire an assistant somehow that is not even a human to them and it’s like two hundred fifty dollars I could pay for a week’s groceries with that my son could go to summer camp for that I could get those shoes I wanted for that and they start spending your money and it’s like come on you wouldn’t have made the money that you made without having this assistant or you wouldn’t have been able to go out and get that extra deal without having this assistant you’re going to make more money

Rebecca:  you are I’ve never worked for an agent that it didn’t see especially in the first few years exponential jumps in their sales volume exponentially I mean it’s just it’s it’s huge what you can do when you can be out of the office all day and not worry and just look at your calendar and say oh yeah I have a closing this afternoon I didn’t worry about a thing from the time I wrote that contract maybe got involved a little bit on a negotiation of a building inspection but besides that nothing else was even crossed your mind that whole time you go you pick up your check

Adam: well without naming names and I know I’m putting you on the spot here but I’m kind of curious how have you seen yourself help someone’s business or kind of can you tell a little bit about about agent X’s business how it you know they were selling this much and then they got an assistant and their business group

Rebecca: oh definitely so when I first started out you know I I did the thing I went and got my license I started at one of the big brokerages in town they put me on phone duty and I realized that I had no idea what I was doing that I was really scared and I did not want to write a contract and be where the buck stopped if something got messed up I didn’t know I didn’t know what to tell these people so i went to the broker and I said I thought I wanted to be an agent but I’m not really sure so maybe I could like be with someone and I give you like a mentor something and she’s like why no an agent who needs an assistant and I was like I would be great i could kind of learn the business and so I jumped in with one agent in her and I worked together for a little while she was already a top agent and so I kind of just helped her streamline things and stuff and she moved to another brokerage and then I got put on with two agents that were a team and we took them I mean we probably saw increases i think when i first started working with them they were both doing about maybe two and a half million a year so together about five and i worked with them for three years before i left the business to have my son and we took them from about five together to about maybe seven or eight in three years and one of them was only part time and the other one was she wasn’t part time she said she was full time but her husband was retired and they weren’t really like the one hundred percent driven agents I took a few years off where I worked I’m doing some other things just from home and then when I went back to my most recent kind of more full-time job I took an agent and her husband when i started with them they were at seven and when I left they got third in the Midwest and they were 18 and a half million

Adam:  holy cow ok so the those first people you mentioned it went from about 5 to did you say to about eight or so

Rebecca: yeah about eight or so I didn’t know their numbers exactly because when I worked for them I was doing it more on a deal by deal basis for both of them and I also work for the broker so I wasn’t kind of as invested it’s like this team where am I taking them

Adam:  okay

Rebecca:  I kind of was more of an ala carte assistant for them when I went on to work for the last team that I worked for you know it was her and her husband and myself and we were a team

Adam:  Yeah

Rebecca:  and I’m i know we ended at 18 and a half million because i remember getting the award but i think when i started with her she was around seven and it took a mean it took here a few years i was there i think four years

Adam:  yeah

Rebecca:  um but we grew and we grew because she took advantage of what I was offering I was offering to do

Adam:  in a good way

Rebecca:  in yeah she took advantage of it in a good way she didn’t stay in the office and say well you’re here but I’m gonna stay here anyway she said you’re here I’m out there

Adam: okay

Rebecca: and you know she wasn’t in the office a lot it was me I answered the phones i coordinated all the transactions we did I did most of the listings the husband did do a chunk of like the listing stuff but I did everything from if you got a contract to the time it closed I wanted her to not be involved and I wanted to handle it and by letting me do that it freed up so much of her time and mental space to to just not have all those things rumbling around in the back of her head 24 7 look oh did we get that one deadline and we get the inspection schedule does this are we going to do this we’re going to get the gas inspection you know all these things that agents are constantly thinking about when you could in the morning send an email to someone and say I thought about all this stuff all night could you just let me know and I can go down and be like done done done done and we automated a lot of her stuff too I’m really tech savvy so we brought on top producer we learn to communicate through it use it to coordinate everything you know I did her Facebook page we did her website all the marketing for the listing you know sometimes she go out to listings you make a ton of promises right bring me back the list of promises and they’ll get fulfilled and I became the person people talk to you know I’m kind of the voice of the deal so I would send them an introduction email in the beginning and it said clearly at the bottom unless you have an emergency please contact me don’t you know don’t contact kelly unless you have something you know that’s just crazy or way out of the scope of business hours

Adam: okay so I’ve got a lot of things I want to talk about from what he just said okay so the first of all the people that you brought from five to eight million just for context for whoever is listening to this that’s a three million in sales volume growth which is around ninety thousand dollars in commissions okay so I’m sure they got their value out of you

Rebecca:  right I was not making ninety thousand dollars

Adam: maybe you weren’t and just take all the extra profits hey they’re already making a decent living probably correct kind of crazy though then they made an extra 90,000 to split between them this next one from 718 that is a rare case right i mean you can take a lot of credit that agent was just superior to

Rebecca: she’s an amazing salesperson oh she’s an amazing salesperson and she had just gotten to the place around the 7 million mark when you’re doing it all alone where you are overwhelmed

Adam: right

Rebecca: and if she was real technologically savvy um she probably could have gotten even higher without me I’m just using some more systems based she was your typical agent who would just come in handfuls of papers i wrote a sales contract did you do something with this

Adam: right

Rebecca:  and you know i would go through it all I’d contact the other agent ID contact the buyers introduce myself make sure it was all they’re all the boxes are checked eyes or dots teaser cross all that stuff I turn it into the broker I deal with everything from there right you know I’m the one who sends the intro you saying Who I am I’m the one who says we need to get your inspections scheduled here’s three people we recommend or you can use whoever you’d like you know keep us legal we don’t want to tell you who to use I’m the one who makes sure that the title and survey came back that we’ve reviewed it if we’re going to make we’re going to send the title and survey form if we have an issue you know all those things that some agents don’t even think about I mean I’ve worked with agents where I’d say where I sent you the survey you didn’t send me the form saying you had an issue and you’re 15 days are up

Adam: like what I’m supposed to look at them

Rebecca:  but they’re supposed to be a form and I was like oh yeah there was and since you let the time pass we don’t have to fix it

Adam: right

Rebecca: and there would be agents that would be crying into the phone so but I didn’t know and this and that I’m like I’m really sorry you know our sellers sent you what they were supposed to do and per the terms of the contract you were supposed to do this we thought you were okay with it

Adam: oh you’re talking about the agents from the other side of the deal

Rebecca: yeah and I would deal with the other agents if the other agents had issues or needed things I would track down paperwork you know things that not only do agents not want to do it most agents I know are not good at it

Adam:  right they should that’s the different personality

Rebecca:  you’re just not good at it it’s you know making sure that the all the wording and the inspection notice is what you really want that you’re gonna provide receipts and you’re gonna provide lien waivers within three days of closing and actually three days before closing making sure you have them not just saying it you know things like that where agents shouldn’t have to they should be the happy one right the one who shows the house sells the house shows up at the final walkthrough and gets a check

Adam: and there’s a lot more that goes into it and they’re probably not doing it and that’s a good point you know and that’s why they need somebody like you

Rebecca:  they’re not doing it they’ve gotten lucky on deals and it’s the deals where something is wrong and they never realized that when they send that title commitment you’re supposed to read it there’s agents just who didn’t even know

Adam:  I’ve heard agents before being like oh if I could count the number of refrigerators I had to buy for people I never knew what they meant by that because I guess because I’ve always either had my stuff together or I’ve had an assistant I’ve never to buy anyone a refrigerator

Rebecca: Yeah

Adam: I guess

Rebecca: he didn’t add it in the contract and at the final walkthrough it’s gone and you told your buyers it was gonna stay

Adam: yeah

Rebecca: you’re buying a refrigerator yeah

Adam: I just don’t do that you know so it’s just the crazy concept to me but i think that’s that’s sort of a great metaphor for what an example of agents are missing right up there

Rebecca: oh absolutely it mean things as simple as agents getting you know something and addendum to a seller’s disclosure and not remembering to give it to people and get everyone’s signature on it those are things that can cost you a lot of money down the road if people find out that that happened or something occurred and you just either didn’t know because you don’t have that much experience or it slipped through the cracks because you just have too many things going on

Adam: you talked about coming in and an agent being able to come in and basically put the listing paperwork on your desk and then you just run with it maybe a brand new agent should get an assistant but they should do more marketing stuff for them the brand new agent should stick up with their stick with their paperwork stuff for a little bit just so they even know what they’re doing

Rebecca: right

Adam: and then eventually they should use their assistant to do this stuff like you just mentioned putting not only just putting in the MLS but making sure all the paperwork’s they’re forwarding the title survey work order communicator the title company communicating the other agent and they can kind of like grow into that type of relationship because i was thinking I’m like at an agent will never know how amazing it is to be able to come in like I did today I got a listing last night I came in today I was like here Jerry Jerry you know are my main assistant and here Jerry and I don’t have to worry about anything else

Rebecca: it’s beautiful thing

Adam: and I probably wouldn’t realize how lucky I am if I hadn’t gone through doing this all myself for a while

Rebecca: right I think you need to do it for yourself a lot of it for yourself one because you may be training an assistant so you shouldn’t have an assistant who knows more than you do and then it gets roles get reversed but I think that look forward to the time be planning for the time have it in your business plan where you say I am going to turn over all maybe you turn over the listing paperwork first and your same turn over all listing paperwork with an X amount of time and then I’m going to turn over all sales paper work within X amount of time

Adam:  ok

Rebecca: I think that that’s something to shoot for because eventually your goal is to be on listing appointments and showing houses all day

Adam:  exactly and that’s why they may be should still get an assistant up front but that assistant should be doing stuff like they want to be mrs. richmond heights right then they can have their assistant finding all the opportunities to network in Richmond Heights and all the opportunities to advertise their and you know all the for sale by owners put a list together for them and that kind of stuff

Rebecca:  I’ve called for sale by owners before I’ve looked into craigslist for things before I mean there’s a lot of things that you can do to fill an assistance time that they can help you get your name out there market

Adam: and so if they we talked a little about overcoming the fear of delegation and so if they start with somebody who’s doing little behind the scene things for them they build a trusting relationship and then they get to the point where they’re comfortable delegating you know I’m guessing that these people when you first started working for them they weren’t like here’s every password i have here’s my bank accounts mook Go With It Girl

Rebecca: no  that is not how it started but it did get to towards the end of time where at the end of the time that I was there where I did know all those things I do have all the credit cards I do know the last for your social security number and your mother’s maiden name and I know all those things and I build that trust over time but yes we started in the beginning where I handled little bits and pieces and and there was micromanaging in the beginning

Adam: right

Rebecca: there was a lot of did you do this did you do this did you do this what about this did you check on this so I did this already so you don’t need to do it and we built the trust over time where she learned oh no she’s got it handled

Adam: she had to learn how to be an assistant right how to communicate

Rebecca: right

Adam:  and she had to learn how to have an assistant right i mean that’s kind of often

Rebecca: definitely

Adam: what would you say are some tips for the best way to communicate with your assistant if I’m a realtor I’ve never had anyone work for me before heck I just quit my job where I was you know working at the restaurant as a waiter and now I have this person who works for me what are some tips for how I can best communicate with that person

Rebecca: I am big on having everything in writing that we’ve decided on so if you’re going to do something small like a project spend the time with them you know 15 20 minutes to write out what you expect what the expectations are here’s everything I expect you to do here’s how long I think it’ll take here’s so much I’m willing to pay you

Adam: here’s what I think it’ll be done

Rebecca: right here’s what it needs to be done by um here’s what I’m going to get to you here’s my part of the project I promise to give all these things to you and you promised to give me this finished item by this day and then I think you have to just be really open like if you’re not happy with something tell them i would rather someone say hey you know you did this flyer but this isn’t my style or i don’t like it like this or you made these typos and typos drive me crazy whatever it is say it up front because no one’s going to be a hundred percent perfect from day one you might have to expect a few little growing pains while they learn your style but don’t give up on them instantly

Adam: so have the guts to tell them that you’re not happy give them a chance to fix it

Rebecca:  have the guts to be the boss you’re the boss say you know you did this here’s what you do that was great here not so much next time I give you a project here’s how I need it to look and then the next time give them the chance if they continue to make the same mistakes obviously look for someone else but I see people give up on assistance too quickly or expect something from assistance that it takes a little while you have to have this relationship that it needs to build

Adam: and then it gets weird and they sort of stopped returning phone calls occasionally and the assistant wants to be paid and they take a couple extra days longer than normal right

Rebecca: and it gets awkward and you know it builds up like it builds up in your head like every time you saw her you were thinking why am I paying you to ask me this you know you don’t want that stuff to build up and then all of a sudden there’s an explosion over something small because you’ve really hated these 10 other things that they’ve done and I think assistance should be professional enough that they should be able to say oh yeah I’m sorry I messed that up or oh I didn’t know that wasn’t your style could you show me what is your style like could you give me some flyers you like or show me something you like if they’re not willing to work with you then they’re not a good assistant most assistant should say oh well that’s how I’ve always done Flyers I like them that way but show me what you like

Adam:  so i guess you have to give the assistant a chance to sort of get to know you and your communication style and all that stuff right

Rebecca: correct and even though i have closed hundreds of deals i’ve closed them the way other agents wanted them closed I’ve sent things other agents wanted sent and done things certain ways I’m going to need to learn how do you like to do things how do you like to communicate with your clients what do you to know about do you want to really hear every detail or do you not want to hear every detail you know I found that certain systems you know I’ve used top producer I know there’s other ones are great for note-taking you put in the notes of what you’ve talked to about with the client I put in the notes of what I’ve said if the client calls in either one of us can pull it up and say oh i see that adam has already told them this

Adam:  yeah

Rebecca: we want to be on the same page with this situation or you can do the same and say oh i see they just called Rebecca yesterday and she told them this so it makes it look like the two of you are always together in what’s going on but that takes some time I mean you have to build trust you have to build systems systems are important if you’re going to use an assistant you cannot kind of life processes systems and processes that you can both agree on and share because if you’re flying by the seat of your pants you can’t expect them to just be underneath you grabbing things and never drop anything

Adam: okay yeah i mean i found that communication is crazy important so i’m always see seeing Jerry and on emails that I right so she knows what’s going on

Rebecca: right

Adam: and i love that Jerry will write me and be like hey what’s going on with the steal and I’m like well weren’t you listening last night at seven thirty when I took the phone call that deal died or got accepted or we need an inspection it’s like no I guess I had to communicate that right you know so the communication part is important you mentioned earlier that when I guess this was after you’ve grown into a strong relationship to this person when you when she got an accepted deal you would send an intro email to the other agent and what would it say basically I don’t know her anymore call me

Rebecca: it would you would say hi my name is Rebecca rose I’m the transaction coordinator for this team I see that we just have an accepted contract on this address I reviewed the file here’s what we’re missing here’s what I need from you good please review your file let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed anything that you are missing for me and from this point on if there’s any questions concerns anything you need please contact me at any time Kelly is no longer really I tell the other agent I would never tell the client but the other agent Kelly really doesn’t deal with this process so you know you got to call me don’t email Kelly don’t leave Kelly voicemails don’t send her text messages if it’s not with me and I can’t I can’t manage it basically I think I said it a little bit better than that an email but I had a lot of canned emails that went out to people just letting him know that I’m taking over now please or have your assistant contact me you know if you’re doing a deal between two big agents sometimes it’s just system the two assistants get together and we figure out everything

Adam: ok so we’ve identified that I’ll just call our Kelly you keep calling her Kelly Kelly would write that contract or get the listing and you would do everything from there what point which you get back involved which you negotiate the inspections

Rebecca: yes I am not an inspection negotiator so I would coordinate the inspection we’d make sure the install the correct inspections occurred

Adam: we’re talking about with the buyer now

Rebecca:  right with the buyer or even with the listing with the seller I’d make sure that they knew the people were coming  make sure they understood if they were doing a raid on you know don’t open your windows so i coordinated all that with whichever side of the deal we had and then she would step back in and be the one who would go over the report or go over the notice clients and just advise she had a lot more experience in that realm than I did and I think the clients do need to see their face reappear and kind of say I’m I’m the expert here let me show you or tell you what was going on once they had come to conclusion about what was needed then i would get it all typed up get it

Adam:  you would actually write the inspection notice

Rebecca: she would tell me what they wanted i would get it all typed up get in docusign said

Adam: oh you’re kind of CYA way

Rebecca:  right all the yeah cuz that’s my job and so I would say please review let me know if this is what you agreed on with Kelly if it is sign it if it isn’t let me know when I can edit it we get that together I’m the one who’s watching the date making sure we’re getting it to the seller on the correct amount of time if we had the seller we’d be waiting for it kind of keeping the seller calm saying well they have until this day to get us the inspection so Brooke don’t worry about

Adam:  over communicating

Rebecca: yeah over communicating I’m a big over communicator

Adam: which she would never had have time to stop and think to remember to do

Rebecca: right and i’m also a in real estate I’m really big on the paper trail so

Adam: You love the papers trail

Rebecca: I do love the paper trail I have never had a phone conversation with a client or another agent that I’ve not followed up with an email that summarized that to say this is what we just spoke about if I have misunderstood anything please let me know right away I will take if you do not respond back that this is all true because I’ve had too many phone conversations that later people come over it’s a week you didn’t call me you didn’t say that the similar no no I have this email that I sent you that said this is all the things we talked about and then also a lot of things most agents don’t watch is after you’ve sent that inspection notice you have 10 days to come to full resolution of this notice

Adam:  Right

Rebecca: there are agents that will let it sit if it behooves them and not sign and if you don’t come to a resolution and you don’t withdraw you’ve kind of accepted it without accepting it so these are dates that I watch and I would I would keep her in the loop I would say you know what we’re on day 8 and we haven’t resolved it yet

Adam: she would probably get a lot of emails from you

Rebecca:  right

Adam: but you made it so she didn’t have to get a million emails from other people right

Rebecca: she would get emails from me and we were in an office together so when she was come in there would i’d have a list of things like basically top five things you need to know today we know today we’re on day 10 of this inspection notice and it has not resolved what do you want to do and she could jump back in and be like oh let me see let me see if the buyers definitely need to have that or what’s going on come or some you know things would come up crazy on other things we’ve had I was in the business for a long time you see a lot of crazy stuff you know over the weekend the house flooded the vacant house flooded what are we gonna do we need to write something up we need to do this when you do that and she would kind of jump in and help there but I wanted to keep her out of the the minutiae of stuff

Adam: but then she would go to the closing

Rebecca: she would go to the closing with closing gifts that I bought

Adam: really

Rebecca: of course

Adam:  I need to get JD that I’m really better gonna bring it

Rebecca: I’d always ask her the week before closing here’s who’s closing we had standard closing gifts or some people she wanted something specific for and she would say we want this we want that I’d make sure it was either it was there or at their house

Adam: whose idea was the standard closing gift

Rebecca:  it was her idea

Adam:  really yeah i was gonna give you  full credit for that

Rebecca: no no she we changed it every now and then but she would get things in her head that she he liked as a closing gift and we would have a bunch of them just in the office wrapped ready to go yes sir but I always work schedule the closing it would be on her calendar she would get a text message reminder because you know Google do that send a little text message reminder reminder you have a closing today you know 1 o’clock

Adam: yes

Rebecca: but then I’d be the person that made sure that things funded worked with the title company to know when the keys could actually be transferred make sure that they had all their numbers and everything was kind of moving slowly make sure sellers know that they have to leave

Adam:  yeah I was curious about this do do you think that she sort of talked about you on her listing presentation or when she was meeting with the buyer or so she said I want to go back i’m going to give this to Rebecca you’re gonna hear from her she didn’t because I think that’s something I probably need to work on is being like I do have an assistant and this is their role you know

Rebecca: she played me up is actually super human I was a

Adam: which you you are super women

Rebecca:  is no it’s not actually true but she would tell people all the time I have an amazing assistant her name is Rebecca you’ll probably get an email today if not first thing in the morning please know that you can ask her anything she knows everything about the contractual she’ll help you through all this she’ll send you the email because I would always send buyers emails that summarize the contract because I know that they’ve just signed a lot of papers we buy and sell houses every day you forget how emotional and stressful it is so I would send them something that’s at home thank you so I’m hope glad you found a house you love here’s what you need to know and I would give them little bullet point dates when you have to have that little weird insurance contingency doesn’t really mean much but make sure you can ensure the house because if you can’t we need to know here’s when your loan commitments do I’ve already sent the packet to your lender but get him everything he asks you for please be timely here’s when your inspection notices do here’s the inspectors we recommend if you’d like to use your own or use the ashy website do this here’s the day we’re gonna close Oh totally see why  here’s the day we’re going to close I’ll get back to you about scheduling stuff but start looking at your calendar see what’s going to work for you know that you know as buyers we want to be there as early as possible just things like that but kind of took the eight pages of legalese that they just signed because you told them to write and summarized it into here’s the dates put on your calendar

Adam: okay

Rebecca:  I’m gonna remind you of all these again

Adam: we use something like that we call it we have an accepted contract now what it kind of goes to a lot of that stuff that’s a good idea maybe you enjoy I should talk it’s more updates to our processes let’s see what else we want to talk about with assistance you know

Rebecca:  I just think it can’t hurt you to try it out I think your idea of the projects is such a good idea and giving assistance that menu is a great idea or not assistance agents that menu is a great idea because it kind of helps them say oh I see I see that I see that besides that you know they have to decide if they’re going to take their career seriously and wrote serious people have people helping them they’re not doing it all by themselves

Adam: I know what I was going to say earlier and we’re already going way over this is probably our longest podcast today but I love talking about this and I love you too so I’m glad to have you here but

Rebecca:  I love talking about this too I could talk about this forever

Adam: one of the things that I like about having an assistant and I think anyone would benefit from this is that if you hire an assistant you’re going to work at least when they’re working right so Jerry he or she works 9 to 4 if I’m at home still and it’s 9:15 I’m feeling guilty I’m like Jerry’s they’re working I should be there working you know or I should be doing something work-related I don’t have to necessarily be at the office I think that’s good for agents especially if they’re trying to build their business and maybe they’re having a hard time like staying motivated or whatever if they have an assistant let’s call it a 10 hour a week person they a have to think of things for that assistant to do so now they’re thinking about their business and they’re coming up with ideas on how to grow it and be there probably going to be there working at least you know at the beginning while their assistants working so

Rebecca:  I think that’s true and I think an assistant can be a good accountability partner

Adam: Right

Rebecca:  i mean i had no problem saying why are there no listings on the listing board like why do we have like six listings six listings is not good this phone what do want to do you need to go get a listing

Adam: it she’s like oh my gosh I didn’t even realize our inventories that low

Rebecca: or if because i would do her listing presentation so I’d make them for her I would ask her what happened on that listing do you have paperwork for me did you get it and if she said no I’d say well when are you gonna follow up with them do you want me to send him a note what do you want me to do like just a little bit of the push of someone else new knows you went on that listing call and someone else wants to know what happened with that was right call they told you they’re interviewing someone else when are they interviewing them on Wednesday okay well on Thursday you should call them yeah we’re I’m gonna make a for Thursday and I’m gonna ask you a Thursday about it you know just things like that are buyers you know I know you went and you showed all those houses the other day I would a lot of time has put together her showing plans for her and like print out the map call and make all the appropriate in a row and

Adam: yeah

Rebecca: tell the buyers were to meet her and I’d say well what do they think what do they think of that one house that looked really cute that you liked you know are they gonna make an offer or what are they gonna do and I think having that little bit of accountability to someone or having me ask about a buyer you might say oh yeah I haven’t talked to them since I show them those houses on Saturday action I should call it is it gonna see what’s up with that

Adam: it’s their birthday today heck I should tell him happy birthday

Rebecca:  right and because especially once you are paying them so many hours a week you have a team you’re a team together you know five hours or 30 hours that’s your teammate and they’re gonna you know hopefully you’re gonna have the kind of assistant who asks you those types of questions

Adam: by the way that one of the things you mentioned is one of my favorite things for anyone that’s going to hire an assistant to do is have that assistant schedule your showings for you it’s annoying you have to type in all the addresses and then print them all out and then schedule them all and then type them into a rout optimizer to optimize the route and then type them into your GPS again right it’s just annoying and that’s one of the best things that someone could do for you because it’s stressful like did we do be scheduled at showing I don’t know and sometimes i’ll be showing one person properties for a few hours and then run back to the office and then have to go show someone else it’s amazing to just come back and get my little stack of papers with everything written on there exactly how i like it and you know here’s your showings are all scheduled blah blah blah

Rebecca: yeah we had a whole system where I’d scanned it in it would go straight to her email she could open up on her iPad flick through it all we had it all set up and it’s also nice while you’re out showing people she would walk into a house and say hey we drove by a house on this street it’s for sale call and find out if we can see it in like 10 minutes

Adam:  oh yeah

Rebecca:  so then she could walk in that house and focus on showing them and then say oh you know what my assistant did get that appointment we’re going to go right down the street and see that other house that

Adam:  instead of her standing in the kitchen awkwardly making a call while they look around

Rebecca: she can jump on the phone with me real quick and say we saw this or we saw this or you know call so and so and see what this is about or you know we see it we see a for sale by owner call that for sale by owner and see if we’ll get in if we can send me a audacious show then I can get them to sign on my iPad just stuff like that that makes it so they’re not trying to do those things with the clients standing right there like can we get in there

Adam: okay for the next hour of the show we’re gonna continue talking about blood assistance could do it I could

Rebecca: I could do this forever I used to sell virtual staffing I’ve been an assistant I love being an assistant being an assistant is probably one of my favorite things I love helping anyone not just real estate agents I love helping any type of small business owner entrepreneur whatever do what they want to do

Adam:  and you do a great job and we appreciate you here at the Herman London real estate group

Rebecca: here the best appreciate ever

Adam:  I do appreciate appreciating people so I guess we’ll wrap it up for anybody who’s listening that has questions or wants us to dive into something deeper you know obviously we’d love to just keep talking about this email us podcast@HermanLondon.com and let us know what you want us to talk more about because we’re going to try to be diving deep into these different topics and maybe we’ll do a whole show on what an assistant could do for you I mean we could probably do a whole show on that intro email that you sent you know because we can get detail

Rebecca: I’d be happy to tell anybody how I would do it how I would set it up you know I can set up action plans and checklist for ever the thing is you’re gonna have to get with your person and make it work for you but I love helping people use an assistant in helping the assistant see how to work with that person

Adam: thank you for being here thank you for listening and we’ll see you next time take care