August 26, 2020

Teach Them How To THINK (Not Just How To DO)

Agents call me ALL THE TIME to ask about how to “train my assistant”. And what they mostly want to know is how to quickly & easily teach them things like:

• How to put a listing in MRIS
• Transaction Coordination
• How to create a brochure
• Social Media & Marketing
• How to create a drip campaign for leads
• Doing client events
• How to manage their CRM
• How to put order in their chaos

In other words, they want them to learn how to DO.

What they don’t ask (and they forget to do) is to teach their assistants how to THINK. (This also applies to EAs, Directors of Operations, & COOs when they are hiring other operations staff for their teams.)



It’s so much faster to give people answers than it is to help them discover the answers on their own. That’s why many Agents make this mistake. But if you are the one with all the answers, your admin will not be resourceful, independent or creative. If all trails lead back to you, you may feel important, but you will also be bogged down.
Instead, help them know where to look for answers. Ask them what they would do to solve the problem or create the system. And when you do need to provide an answer, take them through your thought process. Answer the WHY along with that WHAT.


This sends the message that you actually care about what they think. When you ask, listen and actually implement things they suggest – your admin will spend more time thinking through things, looking for problems to solve and finding great answers; instead of just “checking off the boxes” of a task list. For example, instead of blindly following a listing to-do list, they might put themselves in your clients’ shoes and think of a new way to wow them.


If you are a Top Producer, then it’s likely you are part of a high-minded, elite network of big thinkers. You probably mastermind, network and learn from many of the other Realtors in the community and across the nation. Open the door to big thinking for your Ops Boss™. Take them WITH you or invite them to join in when you are masterminding. Introduce them to other top notch performers who are “behind the scenes”. Encourage them to start their own operations mastermind group. If “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, who is your Ops Boss™ spending time with? (This is one reason Ops Bosses™ love coming to our annual Ops Boss™ Leader Retreat in Northern VA in October. They get to meet other high achievers and find their own “tribe”!)


Instead of only asking your assistant questions about their work “in” the business. Ask them questions & set goals around their work “on” the business. Ask open ended thought questions, not just task oriented questions. For example:

• What was challenging at the beginning of the year, which is no longer challenging?
• What have you learned about yourself this year?
• What have you learned about the business this year?
• What is one thing you will do differently between now and year-end that will make a BIG impact on the business?
• What is one system you can implement before year-end that will make YOUR life easier?
• What is one system you can implement that will make our clients raving fans?
• How have you adjusted your mindset and routine as a result of coronavirus so that we are both better equipped to handle the “next normal” – whether that’s industry changes, another virus, technology advances or something as yet unknown?
• What is your favorite accomplishment this year & why?
• What should we keep doing, stop doing and start doing?

BOTTOM LINE: Assistants who know how to THINK, can DO much more. They problem solve faster and better, they take more off your plate, they become PARTNERS in growing your business. An Ops Boss™ is MUCH more than an “average assistant”. And knowing how to THINK is one of the hallmarks.

Thinking is BOSSY!

Christy Belt Grossman, CEO, Ops Boss Coaching™


Christy Belt Grossman is the CEO & Owner of Ops Boss Coaching™, and a Director on the Board of NARESP (National Association of Real Estate Professionals). Prior to that, Christy was the COO of one of the nation’s first real estate teams to sell $1 Billion. Ops Boss Coaching™ provides classes, a video resource center, group coaching, Elite 1:1 coaching and an annual conference focused on real estate operations professionals.

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