The Right Time To Hire An Assistant?Mar 03, 2015
By Mike Pallin, Floyd Wickman Master Trainer
Back when I had a lawn, I used to mow it myself, and I made up a lot of reasons why I didn’t hire it out. Nobody took the care with the job that I did, especially the edging. The lawn care services were too expensive. It was good exercise, and a good time to think while doing a mindless task. It was bred into me. From the time I was big enough to push a mower (that’s right – PUSH!) it was one of my jobs to mow our family’s lawn. I had a lot of money invested in mowers, edgers, rakes, blowers, weed whackers, etc. and I took pride and satisfaction in sprucing up the castle grounds. I enjoyed doing it. Besides, hiring out lawn care was something rich people with estates did, while their chauffeur waxed the Bentley.
It might have been a different story if I had been physically unable to mow the lawn, or too busy to mow the lawn, but that was never the case.
I am not a do-it-yourselfer by nature. Never had a problem hiring someone to clean the house or do my taxes. I could have done those things myself, but I made up different reasons why it was okay to hire them out. I was contributing to the economy, giving someone a job. I could use the time saved to do some money-making tasks. Not my favorite things to do. Fifty bucks for a clean house was a bargain.
What does making up reasons have to do with real estate?
Up to a point in time and a minimum level of production, doing everything yourself is probably the way to go. But when it comes to hiring an assistant, too many agents wait until they are too busy, and by then it’s too late.
The time to hire an assistant is when you want one, not when you are so busy and overwhelmed and swamped and exhausted and playing catch-up and always running late that you need one. Don’t wait until everything’s either bleeding or on fire.
Oh, by the way, if you reach that state doing 5 closings or less a year, you don’t need an assistant, but you might need help.
And here’s the thing. Sometimes we make up reasons and stories in our heads about why we don’t deserve to have an assistant. I can do it all myself. (The bullet-proof Wonder Woman syndrome.) No one will do it as well. Why should I pay someone to do something I can do better myself? I’ve always done it this way. I have a lot of money invested in automation, systems and stuff. I can’t afford it. It will take too long to train someone. Who do I think I am, some Hollywood big shot? And so on.
Give it some thought. Examine your assumptions and attitudes about having an assistant. Do a little what-if thinking. You might find there’s room for a new possibility. You could start by sharing an assistant with a colleague. Or try a virtual assistant. Or mentor someone into the business.
You’ve heard all of the reasons why it’s a good thing to have an assistant. You can take better care of your clients. You can devote more time to your strengths. You can grow your business. As Floyd says, “You can’t make six figures doing minimum wage tasks.”
Sometimes the stories we make up in our heads push the good things away. Who’s mowing your lawn?
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