For real estate agents, time is money. Real estate assistants help their bosses maximize earning potential by taking on administrative duties, freeing up real estate agents to take on more listings, offer more services to clients and build their business.
According to the National Association of Realtors, about half of real estate assistants are licensed. Licensed real estate assistants can perform duties such as:
- Show properties
- Place listings
- Hold an open house
- Go over legal documents with buyers and sellers
Unlicensed real estate agents are generally limited to clerical duties, although the duties for unlicensed assistants vary by state.
Earnings for real estate assistants vary depending on the size of agency and compensation structure. Licensed real estate assistants may be compensated on commission, which allows them to share in the profits of a successful real estate company. Other real estate assistants may be paid an hourly wage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative assistants had a mean annual wage of $32,000 in 2010. Office managers, who oversee an office staff at larger real estate firms, had a mean annual wage of $50,770.
Real estate assistant courses
Dedicated real estate assistant programs may last a couple days and cover basics such as real estate listings, contracts and legal forms, and showing properties. These short programs can lead to a certificate, the Chicago Association of Realtors reports, but generally aren't sufficient for licensure. Licensed real estate assistants must meet the same requirements as real estate agents, including passing a state examination. Many also complete a real estate degree to learn the fundamentals of finance, law, business administration, marketing and property management, among other topics.