A great leader does more than delegate tasks. A great leader inspires others to set and achieve their own goals. Knowing that their success depends on their team, a true leader is dedicated to each employee and colleague.
George Green of Exit Realty Crutcher, The Green Team, believes many of us are looking at leadership a little backwards—or perhaps upside down.
“For years, we have seen leadership and achievement modeled through a pyramid or a ladder. Those in charge are “climbing” to the top.” Instead, Green suggests the opposite.
The “visionary” should be at the bottom with “the weight of the entire company on that person’s shoulders,” according to Green. Like many successful brokers and team leaders, Green has found that servant leadership and dedication to one’s team reap many benefits.
According to several experienced FORCE members, real estate leaders need these seven skills to prosper:
“A real estate business is based on people skills,” says Elona Hamilton of Hamilton Realtor Group. “Your business would not last long, if we did not have the ability to make others comfortable and confident within their environment.”
Hamilton compares employee relationships to client relationships, saying, “You are selling your client on you and your abilities; you are selling staff just as well. When your brokers and your staff can feel safe and confident in their work environment, you will have longevity with them.”
She suggests leaders have compassion.
Ability to Listen and Understand
Good leaders understand what is happening within their business. Therefore, it is important to listen to agents and staff; and according to Hamilton it takes more than just hearing the words being said. Hamilton says, “It is helpful to always try to read between the lines.”
Angela Prince of Prince & Associates Realty also feels strongly that listening is not a passive activity. “If you pay attention and listen well, you will hear more than just the words, which will give you some inside information on what is being said,” Prince says. “Not everyone knows how to say what is on their mind.”
In addition to listening, leaders should be intentional with their own words. “Being honest is huge,” Prince says. “When you are honest with your agents and employees, they will gain a level of respect for you. Honesty goes a long way for the growth of the agent/employee and your relationship with them.”
Agents and brokers continue to expand their knowledge through experience and education in their field, and according to Hamilton, this is an essential component to any professional but is especially important for those leading a team of other professionals. Hamilton says “staying on top of rules and regulations” and “following them even when there may be an easier route” is crucial.
Succeeding in real estate takes a lot of dedication. Furthermore, succeeding as a leader in the real estate field requires a strong level of commitment not only to gaining clients and making sales but also to one’s employees. “You must be committed to your agents and their success,” Prince says. “I am sincerely committed to my agents and their success, and it is the best feeling as they grow into super agents.”
Strong Team Development
Muniz feels that creating a strong team of driven individuals is vital for any real estate office. “I’ve picked my team carefully based on past performance, and if the person doesn’t work out, we simply move on,” says Elizabeth Muniz of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.
Building a strong team even applies to those who are a one-man team. Agents working in the REO field must develop and lead teams of vendors and contractors. Gary Farrera of Atlantic Florida Properties uses a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to thrive with vendors.
“I look for people with the necessary talent, the necessary licenses, I explain what I want and show them I have a checkbook in my pocket,” Farrera says. “Everyone gets paid immediately on my watch.”
When things go well, he provides feedback. When things don’t go well, he doesn’t rehire that contractor.
Ability to Motivate Others
A true leader does more than delegate tasks. A leader motivates others to work hard, take initiative, and pursue their own achievements and that of the entire team.
Many will agree that appreciation and recognition go a long way in motivating others. “I motivate my employees and my agents by appreciating them every single day. They know I am there for them and they can come to me for anything,” Prince says.
Similarly Hamilton says, “Remember and acknowledge them every chance you get; it will pay off in the end.
Muniz says, “Constant reaffirmation is the best way to let your team know they are doing a great job. I will always take the time to reward my team and tell them they are appreciated. I let them know they are a crucial part of the success of the business.”
Emma Djiya, broker of First Class Realty recognizes her employees through achievement awards. She also “clearly communicates expectations” to set her employees up for positive results.
While appreciation goes a long way toward motivating agents and staff, Green says it is critical to recognize that different people are motivated in different ways. “You motivate employees in the way they need to be motivated,” he says simply. He uses the DISC personality assessment to determine how to motivate and reward each of his team.
“You can’t blanket everyone as motivation to some is demotivational to others,” he says. “Understanding your team and their needs is paramount to success.”
About Author: Krista Franks Brock
Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.