Q: Denise, how do you feel about partners vs assistants? I think an assistant would be less expensive than sharing my business 50/50, and since an assistant can do everything a partner could I’m not sure I see the downside. What am I missing? Why do agents have partners instead of assistants?
A: What a great question! I think agents opt for partners, rather than assistants, for a couple of key reasons (and not all of them are valid!). Agents are worried about training and managing assistants, and they don’t want to have to do all the bookkeeping and tax reporting that comes with having an employee. I also think that agents believe that a partner will bring in business (and increase revenue), which isn’t usually something an assistant does. If you’re going to move forward with an assistant be sure to check with your broker, and your department of licensing, to be sure you understand what duties he or she can perform on your behalf.
If you decide that a partner is a better fit than an assistant the most important thing you can do is create a partnership agreement. Do not start any business partnership without both partners signing a written document describing your working relationship.