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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.

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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.

Written By

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.



  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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