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Business Marketing

I Must Give Up Something

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Saying it Out Loud

This is not news, only a self realization. I can’t be all things to all people; not alone, anyway. There, I said it, out loud and for the world to read. I should feel better now, but I am still left with the task of sorting out the “I must do’s” from the “someone else can do”, so I can concentrate on the dollar producing activities.

In theory, this should be a simple task, requiring little effort. Ha! Another realization is, I don’t let go of tasks easily. It seems easier to keep doing, rather than delegating. But, I must give up to accomplish my goals. If I repeat this phrase several times an hour, will it make it easier? It hasn’t yet ?

The busier I get, the further behind I fall aptly describes many of my days. Except for staying up until midnight every day, I have to find a better way. I know the better way requires an assistant to handle the “tasks” I don’t need to do. Why is that so difficult?

In Search of a Perfect Fit

Finding the perfect fit in another person requires due diligence and a bit of trial and error. This person must be totally opposite of me; loves being in the office, filing; all the detail work. I have thought about a Virtual Assistant, but, I need someone local who can do more than files and marketing for me and my team. I prefer to have one person who can handle many different tasks.

While I am sorting my “to do” lists for my future admin person, I would love your input. If you have an administrative assistant, what tasks do they do for you? Are they licensed? What programs do you use to keep everyone organized and on the same page? Any ideas are welcomed.

Paula is team leader for The "Home to Indy" Team in Indianapolis . She is passionate about education and client care and believes an empowered client is better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. You'll find her online at Agent Genius,Twitter and sharing her insights about her local real estate market at Home To Indy.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Matt Thomson

    August 14, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    You may want to pick up Gary Keller’s “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.” He’s got an entire section in there on how to make hires, when to make them, etc. There’s even a detailed task list of about 192 real estate tasks that can be a great guide.
    It’s really a very valuable book for anybody looking to make a hire. You can get it from Amazon.

  2. Mariana Wagner

    August 14, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    OMG … We are doing this too. We just hired a listing coordinator and an “official” admin assistant, in addition to our licensed transaction coordinator. If you know about the DISC test, you probably need someone who is a high S-C to be your admin asst.

    Our Admin asst is not licensed, but has a great background in admin. and LOVES being a supportive member of our team. She helps up maintain contact with all our leads/clients, hounds both our short sale clients and their banks to assure all ppw is in to avoid foreclosure, keeps us accountable with the phone calls that we need to make each day, manages our schedules, keeps in contact with our agents and helps with all our team marketing (like newsletters, etc.).

    She needs a definitive job description, but will do whatever she needs to to get the job done. And she is very friendly – yet, very professional.

  3. Mariana Wagner

    August 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    … and what Matt said. Here is the link: MREA

  4. Jennifer in Louisville

    August 15, 2008 at 5:02 am

    We recently hired an assistant after looking for someone for quite a while. You need someone that can be “somewhat” of a pain in the ass thats always following up making sure that everything that is supposed to be happening – is. We use Top Producer, and Treo phones to communicate back and forth. [Any changes to my schedule, appointments, or even customer base, etc – the assistant makes the changes as appropriate throughout the day – and I just get home and sync up my phone and poof, I’ve got my schedule updated.] Any appointments I get a notice on 2 days prior so that I can prepare for whatever it is that I’m needing to do. She’s currently not licensed, but I see her eventually getting licensed.

  5. Paula Henry

    August 15, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Matt – Thanks – I recently bought a new copy. Couldn’t find my original.

    Mariana – Congratulations on finding a right fit for you. It sounds like you have exactly what I need – the one person who does a little of everything. Thanks for the list – It will help me define my list and think of activities I may not have thought of.

    Jennifer – Another great list of assigned tasks to add to my list. The biggest obstacle I am finding is assigning specific activities and defining an assistants job description. It can’t be too much, but enough to allow me to do what I do best,

    I find it interesting neither you or Mariana have a licensed asssitant. I thought I wanted someone who was licensed, but have found some agents only want a “filler” job until the market returns or they want the big checks and go back on their own. I’ve seen it happen with other agents. Painful!

    A pain in the ass is exactly what I need 🙂 Someone who keeps me on task behind the scenes.

  6. Ginger Wilcox

    August 15, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I have 2 part time assistants. Both are licensed. One handles mailings (yes I still do them!), general errands and occasional open houses. The other handles all my escrows, listing paperwork, etc. I really like having licensed assistants personally. Neither of them in enough of a pain to keep me in line, however.

  7. Paula Henry

    August 15, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Ginger – Maybe you don’t need to be kept in line 🙂 Sounds like you have the perfect combination. Those are all tasks I have to give up. Little details!

    Thanks everyone – this has been difficult for me and am glad to see I am not alone in taking more time than I thought it would take to find the right person.

  8. Matthew Rathbun

    August 16, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I have a hard time with this, as I am always looking for something new to try that might make me money, or enhance / replace those things that are making just a little money. It’s more complicated when I realize that some things that I do today may not work for 12 months from now…

  9. Paula Henry

    August 20, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Matthew – I have really taken a slow approach to hiring an assistant. In line with your thoughts, I, too, am a bit more creative at times – trying new things, without tracking their success; sometimes not giving new ideas enough time.

    I feel like an assistant to handle the office tasks, paperwork and tasks I don’t like may free me to analyze my marketing, new ideas and hone in on those which are most important. My thought is, a good assistant should free me to do the money making activities.

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Business Marketing

Ten podcasts that every business owner should hear

(MARKETING) If you’re a business and want to learn something, give one of (or all of) these ten podcasts a listen.

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headphones listen podcasts

So many choices, so little time

As podcasts grow more and more popular, it has become increasingly difficult to sort through the sea of excellent options out there.

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From interviews with business leaders to industry specific advice from experts, podcasts are an incredible free and convenient way to get a small dose of inspiration and knowledge.

Business podcasts for your listening enojoyment

This short list offers just a taste of the myriad of business podcasts available. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some tips on breaking into a new industry or a seasoned vet hoping to get some new inspiration, we hope you’ll find something here worth listening to.

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz.

Podcast fans will recognize Guy Raz’s name (and voice) from TED Radio Hour. While that show can be a great source of inspiration for businesses, one of the most consistently inspiring shows is his new project that shares stories and insight from some of the biggest business leaders in the world. In just four months, Guy has talked to everyone from Richard Branson and Mark Cuban to L.A. Reid and Suroosh Alvi. While there are plenty of excellent interview-driven shows with entrepreneurs, if you want to hear about the world’s best known companies, this is your best bet.

The Art of Charm, hosted by Jordan and AJ Harbinger.

The Art of Charm is a business podcast by definition, but the advice it provides will definitely help you in other parts of your day-to-day life as well. With over three million listens a month, the incredibly populat show provides advice, strategies and insight into how to network effectively and advance your career and personal life.

StartUp, hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there is no excuse not to be listening to StartUp, the award-winning business podcast from Gimlet Media. The show’s talented hosts come from incredible radio shows like Planet Money and This American Life and bring a top-notch level of storytelling to the show, which provides behind the scenes looks at what it is actually like to start a company. Now on the fourth season, StartUp is one of those business podcasts that even people not interested in business will get a kick out of.

The Whole Whale Podcast, hosted by George Weiner.

One of the best things about podcasts is the wide variety of niche shows available that go in-depth into fascinating topics. One of those shows is the Whole Whale Podcast, which shares stories about data and technology in the non-profit sector. You’ll get detailed analysis, expert knowledge and can hear from a long list of social impact leaders from Greenpeace, Change.org, Kiva, Teach For America and more.

Social Pros Podcast, hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown.

Navigating the surplus of social media guides online can be a nightmare, so look no further thna Social Pros. Recent episodes talk about reaching college students on social media, the rise of messaging apps, and making better video content for Facebook. Plus, there are great case-studies with companies doing social right, like Kellogg’s, Coca Cola and Lenscrafters.

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas.

One of the original entrepreneurship shows, Entrepreneur on Fire has logged over 1,500 episodes with successful business leaders sharing tips, lessons and advice learned from their worst entrepreneurial moments. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always inspiring, this show is sure to have at least one interview with someone you can learn from.

The $100 MBA, hosted by Omar Zenhom.

Think of The $100 MBA as a full-fledged business program in snack-sized portions. The daily ten minute business lessons are based on real world applications and cover everything from marketing to techology and more. Cue this show up on your commute to or from work and watch your knowledge grow.

This Week in Startups, hosted by Jason Calacanis.

This is your audio version of TechCrunch, Gizmodo or dare we say The American Genius. Each week, a guest entrepreneur joins the show to talk about what is happening in tech right now. You’ll get news about companies with buzz, updates on big tech news and even some insider gossip.

The Side Hustle Show, hosted by Nick Loper.

This is the show if you want answers for the big question so many entrepreneurs face. How do I turn my part-time hustle into a real job? Featuring topics such as passive income ideas, niche sites, and self-publishing, host Nick Loper is upfront and honest about the tough world of side hustles. The show features actionable tips and an engaging energy, and may just be that final push you need to grow your gig.

Back To Work, hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
Focused on the basics that you don’t think about, Back To Work looks deep into our working lives by analyzing things like workflow, email habits and personal motivation. Somewhere between self-help and business advice, Back To Work takes on a new topic relating to productivity each week.

#LearnSomething

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Business Marketing

Use your love of the past as a niche marketing tool for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia.

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nostalgia

Likeminded interests

Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

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With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy — going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

#Nostalgia

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Business Marketing

Get a personalized daily checklist for your digital marketing strategy

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

Check!

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

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Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

How does ClearPath work?

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website. If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

A great start

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

ClearPath is currently in beta. Check out their website to learn more.

#ClearPath

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