Being a new real estate assistant is both exciting and challenging. It offers a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the real estate industry from the ground up. Taking a look at my own journey, there are several things that I would have done a bit differently had I known what I know now. So, here’s what I learned:

1. Ask for Clarity With the Right Questions

You know what they say when you assume, right? Well, early on I found myself assuming I understood what was expected of me, only to realize later that I missed the mark. The fear of appearing inexperienced held me back from asking for clarification. In the times that I did ask for clarity, a lot of times it wasn’t exactly… clear. So I would have made sure I knew what questions to ask to provide that clarity, making sure I understand the task or the vision fully. If I had the chance to do it over again, here’s what I would ask:

  1. “Can you walk me through the specific outcomes you’re expecting from this task/project?”
  2. “Are there any specific steps I should follow or avoid?”
  3. “If I encounter any challenges, who is the best person to approach for advice?”
  4. “What is the absolute deadline for this task/project?”
  5. “How does this task/project prioritize alongside my other responsibilities?”
  6. “Would you like regular updates on my progress? If so, how frequently?”
  7. “What does success look like for this project?”
  8. “Can you provide some context on how this task/project impacts our clients or the business overall?”

2. Set Boundaries

I get it – as a new assistant, you’re eager to prove your worth. And oftentimes, that comes at the expense of your own time and well-being. Well, that’s what my experience was anyway. I accepted tasks at all hours, blurring the lines between my professional and personal life. I remember answering questions past 10 at night, and even worse, sending contract amendments 30 minutes after having my second child. Now, I know that I am responsible for my own actions, but when you’re the go-to person for literally everything in an organization, you feel a sense of pressure and responsibility that is hard to ignore. However, I was draining faster than my laptop battery. And that very quickly led to what we all know as burnout. Setting boundaries early on is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and if I could go back in time, I would have absolutely implemented boundaries from the get-go. It’s important to communicate your availability and make sure that both you and your team respect these boundaries.

3. Asking for Help

A little bit of pride and a lot a bit of the fear of judgment often prevented me from admitting when I didn’t know how to do something. This not only hindered my own learning, but also impacted my efficiency. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a crucial step in the learning process. Everyone starts somewhere, and seeking assistance or clarification is a part of the growth in the dynamic real estate industry. Simply put, it’s okay to not know what you don’t know.

4. Networking

I immensely underestimated the power of networking within and outside the real estate office. Well, I was also held back from it, but that’s a story for another day. Building relationships with colleagues, clients, and other industry professionals is invaluable. Networking can provide new opportunities, insights, and support systems that are beneficial both professionally and personally. If I could do it over, I would have attended, and actually participated in, more industry events, engaged in more online forums and attend masterminds, and created genuine relationships with others in the field. Connecting with those around you that are in similar situations brings a sense of community, which often leads to all kinds of opportunity.

5. Having a Mentor

Navigating the complexities of real estate operations can be daunting for anyone new to the industry. Without a mentor in my early days, I missed out on guidance, support, and the chance to learn from someone else’s experiences and mistakes. A mentor can provide direction, advice, and encouragement, helping you to fast-track your learning and avoid those common pitfalls. Finding a mentor should be a priority for any new real estate assistant.

Introducing CoreOps Collective

CoreOps Collective was created to turn chaos into clarity, inefficiency into productivity, and help real estate professionals thrive without the burnout. In doing so, we created a place for real estate operations folks to gather, learn from each other, build each other up, and develop our careers together. I’m proud to present CoreOps Community!

I have taken my lessons and my mistakes and turned them into a place where you can learn from them; a place where you can share in your own and know that you’re not the only one who feels like they have no idea what they heck you’re doing. So join us, embrace in our experiences, learn from our resources, optimize your systems with our templates, and develop your career with our mentorship. Build up your confidence to take your career to the next level.

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