As you’re assembling a team to help you develop your business into a full-fledged real estate powerhouse, you need to think critically about the type of people you want to surround yourself with.

First hire: Assistant
The first step to building a strong team is finding somebody to take over much of the administrative work that you take on so that you can focus on generating leads and customer service.

The top priority for an administrative assistant is finding somebody who is organized and competent, not necessarily somebody who knows a lot about real estate. In time they will learn about the business, but in the short-term the most important thing is that they be good at following directions and helping you stay organized.

Unlicensed or licensed assistant?
Unlicensed assistants are restricted to office work. They are not allowed to show homes or offer customers advice on real estate transactions. In many cases that may be perfectly sufficient for your needs. However, there is also an opportunity for the assistant to become licensed and become an even greater asset to the team down the road.  

Don’t hire “yes” men and women
As you seek people to join your team, either through your own outreach or formal job interviews, try to look for people who seem frank and willing to try to think about things for themselves. It’s easy to be charmed by people who will flatter you or who seem most eager to serve you, but it’s far more valuable to have trusted advisers who are willing to tell you when they disagree.

Personality matters
Intelligence and competence are great, but they don’t mean much if they are accompanied by a terrible attitude that makes everybody else miserable. Beware of big egos or aggressive types who could be a threat to workplace morale. Try to find people who seem truly interested in being part of a “team” and who are eager to contribute, not conquer.

What’s the pay model?
You need to think through how your team members will be compensated before you start asking for resumes. You need to consider how much of their pay will be salary compared to commission as well as how their business will be split with you.

You need to be able to offer pay that is both competitive from the perspective of the applicant as well as beneficial for you. Sitting down with your accountant and going over different revenue scenarios would be wise.

Consider test runs
Committing to a new teammate is a big step. Members of the team should not be constantly on edge about losing their positions, but it’s entirely fair to begin with a probationary period, perhaps for a month or two, to see how things work out.

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