It used to be called “managing,” but these days it’s more important to know how to be an effective team leader. Working together as a unit is appealing to today’s young real estate professionals, and cutting edge offices are changing their workplace culture to meet those expectations.
For instance, instead of formal reviews, leaders of the next generation work more closely and actively with the team as work is completed. Effective leaders also know that everybody likes to leave at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment. It’s easier for someone to hear they need to improve on something when the issue is a small one, so it’s important to discuss issues as they occur.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your workplace is adapting with the times:
1. Make Sure Team Members are Suited for Their Work
Hiring is an important factor in real estate, and a leader should define the requirements for each position before someone is hired. For example, if a job requires hosting open houses, a team leader would ensure the potential new hire have evenings and weekends available for work.
If the requirement is a quick calculation of estimates, someone with outstanding mathematical ability would be most suitable. Oftentimes, a new hire will be willing to take the initiative to improve communication skills in another language or educate themselves on the latest technology. Ideally, they will be committed to these requirements when explained at the time of the job offer. A team leader will know the right candidate when they see them.
2. Adopt an Attitude That Supports Success
Leaders have goals for their team to meet, like the number of new listings booked, the attendance at an open house, the speed in lead conversion or the success in reaching price targets. They are also aware of what their team can realistically achieve before the numbers are set, and keep everyone aware of how the team is performing. Leaders ask team members to suggest improvements in the process, and are sure to acknowledge good ideas.
3. Assign Responsibility in Relation to Strengths
People should be hired to fill specific positions. Expecting them to perform well outside of those specialties is not likely to lead to success. If someone has to fill in temporarily, a quality team leader provides all the information necessary regarding how progress will be measured. If someone wants to venture outside of their comfort zone and try something different, a leader will encourage them by creating an atmosphere that supports everyone taking risk and trying to better themselves, while also protecting against serious failure.
4. Implement Informal and Formal Feedback Loops
Rather than offering assessments of each person, a leader will try to get the team to judge itself. If the agency needs more listings, a leader can ask their team what they think has worked and what hasn’t. The team can also be asked what they think a reasonable rate of lead generation is. If the agency needs a shorter amount of time for sales, let the team make suggestions. When it’s time for the formal assessment, the team leader will have a history to focus on in order to make it a learning experience for everyone.
5. Concentrate on Results
In a truly cohesive team, everyone either succeeds together or fails together, including the leader. Usually, it’s a matter of not reaching goals that have been set, but there could be understandable reasons for that. Before a formal assessment of personnel, a group meeting should be scheduled to review results for the period and come up with innovative recommendations going forward. It could be a new idea for marketing on social media or a suggestion for lead generation in a new neighborhood.
6. Acknowledge What Works
Assuming the team works well as a group, the leader can let them know where they’ve succeeded both collectively and individually. Any deficiencies should be measurable, and coming up with innovative ways to correcting them can be a group effort as you go forward.
There will always be cases where individuals simply don’t work well with the agency or the rest of the team. The leader must deal with this responsibly. Everyone likes to feel good about the work that they’ve accomplished. A leader must be able to acknowledge what does and does not work in order to maintain a healthy workplace and a thriving business.