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Hiring an Assistant: Make it Productive, not Privative

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By : Lynn Bulmer    99 or more times read
If you are finding that the small and lower payoff tasks are bogging you down, you may find it worthwhile to hire an assistant to help you with everything from filing papers to handling the initial calls of prospective clients. Hiring an assistant can be a complicated proposition, though, especially if your first one doesn’t work out and you’re feeling a little “gun shy” at the thought of going through interviews and hiring someone who may not work out. It is necessary, however, to have the right kind of assistant to truly make your business shine.

Before you go out and start advertising for an assistant, you need to sit down and make a list of the jobs that you don’t like and/or don’t have the time to do. As your business grows, this is most likely to be filing, organizing, many of the calls that come to a busy agent, assembling materials for clients and the myriad other details of running any office set up. Once you have the list of things you don’t want/don’t have time to do, you have to evaluate them to see what an assistant can reasonably expect to accomplish. (Unfortunately, there are some things that you will still have to do because you’re qualified to do them and the assistant isn’t – it’s just part of having your own business!)

Someone who adores organizing and who looks to you for leadership is what you need. While it is easy to hire someone with your attitudes and ambitions, it also can set you up for personality conflicts when your assistant thinks they can do the job better than you can. The worst case scenario is someone who eventually grows beyond the job to the point where they set themselves up as a rival of yours – and take some of your clients into the bargain. Hire someone who complements you instead of your mirror image.

Another issue with the hiring of assistants is that you may just not work well with a particular person. If your assistant is rude, is careless and shows few signs of improving, you may find that it is in your best interest to let them go and try again with someone, it is to be hoped, is a better fit. Some people have found that while their assistants were largely unobjectionable people, working with them was difficult. You need to be prepared for this possibility – be prepared to let an assistant go if s/he does not work out.

Try to hire when you have time to spend teaching your assistant the job. Real estate is a very different environment from many office jobs and many assistants will need some time to acclimate themselves to its unique demands. A slow period is a good time to interview and hire assistants, as it allows for a smoother learning curve so that when things heat up, your assistant is equal to the challenge.

While assistants can make a big difference in your workload, you must take the proper time to evaluate your needs, advertise for and interview possible assistants and train the one you hire. Don’t be afraid to let someone go who isn’t working out; an assistant who you can’t work with or who can’t/won’t do the job is costing you money and time. Keep searching until you find that one person who is going to be an asset to your business.
View the many listings for Washington D.C. real estate. Lynn Bulmer, Washington D.C. realtor can help you find your dream Foxhall Crescent home.

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