NMP - February 2018 - 77

Working
BY BRIAN KENT

hen I'm out
of town, or
better yet,
out of the
country, I
come up with
my best ideas. I'm away from my
computer, away from my phone,
away from people (no offense to
people), but when it is just me
and my thoughts, I come back
with perspective on the business.
I come back refreshed and ready
to work.
We all need to get away and
get our minds OFF the business
so when we're back, we can be
fully ON and engaged.
I know it's easier said than
done to break away for a week or
two. Only originators with a big
staff to handle things in our
absence can do this. The oneman or one-woman shop cannot
do this as they need to be
around to handle fires that may
crop up.
So ... the cycle continues.
The originators with a staff that
can afford to break away, get
refreshed, get re-motivated and
their business get stronger.
The originators without a staff
cannot afford to take a vacation.
They do not get refreshed, they
get worn down and their
business gets weaker. This is a
similar concept as to why the rich
get richer. Which is why the first
order of business for 2018 is to
find a competent, organized, proactive, smart individual who is
your right hand-person. Don't get
me wrong. I'm not saying it's
easy to find the right person, but
it is possible. Only then will your
life change and will your business
get better.
If you do just one thing in
2018, it should be to find the
best possible assistant
available-someone who can
help with paperwork, marketing
and the other day-to-day stuff

W

that eats up the minutes and
hours of your day.
Most ignore this advice, not
because they don't want to do
it. Most would love to, but most
do NOT for the following five
reasons.
1. They don't know where to
look for an assistant like this.
2. They don't know how to
interview to find the right
person.
3. They don't think they can
afford an assistant.
4. They don't know how to train
an assistant.
5. They only have a home office
and some assistants may not
be comfortable with that.
So let's look at each of those
issues and try to deal with
them.
Where to look?
There are tons of places to look.
Here are a few strategies to try:
Start by asking others in the
industry, including escrow
agents, lenders, account
executives, vendors,
processors, etc. if they know
anyone who is excellent who
may have simply found
themselves out of a job after
their company closed or had a
big layoff. Or someone who
simply may have taken a few
years off after taking a
sabbatical or having kids, but
are now interested in getting
active again in the business,
perhaps just on a part-time
basis.
E-mail clients if they are
aware of anyone who might be
a good fit. You can give it a
positive spin and get some PR
out of it: "Our office is
expanding and we're looking to
bring on an assistant. We are
looking for someone ultraorganized. OCD is ok! Must type

40 words per minute. Familiarity
with Calyx a plus, but not
required."
Post the position ...
l On a military base (if you live
near one). There are many
great spouses of our soldiers
who look for part or full-time
work and they understand
order, chain of command, etc.
l In your company's monthly
newsletter.
l In your local mortgage
broker/bank association Web
site (if they have a job board).
l On your Facebook Page or
any other social media outlet
you use.
l In your local newspaper.
l On job recruiting sites.
You might consider some more
out-of-the-box ideas listed
below.
l Approach a community college
professor in your area and ask
they have any "all-star"
students who may simply be
looking for some part-time
work or full-time work.
l Ask if others in your
neighborhood who may be
looking for work. This can be
done easily using sites like
NextDoor.com (assuming you
have that set up in your
neighborhood).
l Consider a 'remote' type
assistants that can be found
through sites like
UpWork.com. Of course, using
a remote assistant is
specialized only for certain
tasks, but can work extremely
well for things like
layout/design, article writing,
hand-written thank you notes,
etc.
Interview
You can try using the DISC
profile screening or other
screening methods. If you're not
great at figuring out if someone

is actually good or not, you can
look around for someone with HR
experience-there are a lot of HR
consultants who will take on this
type of work or UpWork.com
might be good for finding an HR
person to handle everything
(search the keywords: HR
consultant, recruiting consultant,
talent acquisition). Then, they
give you a scrubbed list of the
final candidates. Or, you can try
a temp agency. Sure, it's going
to be a bit more expensive, but if
the temp agency is good, they
handle all the initial screening for
you and find someone worthy.
You say I want someone who is a
problem-solver, pro-active, can
type 40 words per minute, are
good with computers, and can
work 20 hours per week, and
that's what they'll send your way.
You'll know within a few days if
it's going to work out. They say
"Hire slow and fire quick." There
is a lot of truth to that. Do not
keep a subpar person around for
more than a week. It will backfire
and drag down your entire
business.
Affordability
We all know that initially, yes, it
will be a hit to the pocketbook,
but over the long term, as the
person gets trained up and
understands their duties and
systems, it will of course free you
up to do other things like
prospecting, meeting real estate
agents, attending caravans,
working on marketing campaigns,
etc. But keep in mind, it may take
two or three shots to find the
right person. Stay the course.
In terms of compensation,
most will pay an assistant an
hourly rate, plus some sort of
performance bonus or a bonus
based on the number of closings.
An unlicensed assistant cannot
continued on page 78


http://www.UpWork.com http://www.NextDoor.com http://www.UpWork.com

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