One of my favorite quotes on leadership, with no particular political lean tied to it of course, is by Ralph Nader: “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” In this day in age, leadership is not about telling people how to do things but inspiring them to do the things they have to at the highest potential. This is true with your real estate team as with any business team.
So how can you manage your team’s goals and drive them toward individual and group success?
Many of us strive to have that weekly team meeting that is meant to refresh, motivate and advise each other at the start of a new week. The intention is there, but oftentimes the business of work and life take over and suddenly those weekly meetings turn into sporadic bi-weekly or event monthly meetings. As a leader of your real estate team, this is where it’s important to step up to the plate and require that weekly meeting. It’s an opportunity to ensure that everyone stays on track, follows up religiously and keeps accountable to personal and team goals.
Make Meetings Non-Intimidating and Necessary
Meetings are often dreaded in real estate. Many agents think about the millions of other things that they could be doing instead. So think about ways to make it straightforward, fun yet meaningful. Emphasize the importance of the meeting. Instead of asking everyone to raise an issue or challenge they are facing, for example, have them anonymously submit their questions to a questions box in the office. Then, take 15 to 20 minutes at the end of your meeting to share each question with the group and ask for feedback. You’ll be amazed at the dialogue that will develop. In fact, the very person who asked the question may end up being the one coming up with his own solution, too!
Create Fun Goal-Setting
Some people use thermometers, for example, to physically show the progress of the team. Part of this transparency in the state of the office is giving your agents enough insight into the numbers so they aren’t far removed from that part of the business. Everyone should know and feel a part of that goal and that their contributions are each meaningful and necessary. Celebrate wins and create an environment where opportunities are not bad but a chance for everyone to learn.
Hold Annual Reviews
An annual review of your team goals is also a great way to recap the year and renew everyone’s spirit for the upcoming year. Highlight successes, opportunities and changes that affected the business to give everyone closure for the year and continue that a healthy level of transparency and engagement in the overall business.
One-on-one meetings are a great exercise at this time, too. They motivate agents to think about their goals for the next 12 months and how to reach those goals successfully. Then in January, after everyone’s had a chance to let it all soak in, develop a plan as a group to move the business forward. As the leader, don’t forget you are still at the helm, so it’s important to keep the team focused and on track without telling them all too explicitly how they to reach goals.
Maximize Individual Strengths
It may take some trial and error when you are first putting your team together or if you are starting from square one with an established group to figure out who should focus on what. For fledgling teams, listings, for example, may be better left to you. However, in your absence or if business starts to flow over, you might have a couple of promising agents take over for you, in essence, grooming them to be your future listing super stars. Other areas to delegate based on ability include relocations, Internet leads, closings and administrative management. It’s important to stress the importance of each role in the success of the group and ensure that you yourself are not overemphasizing one role over the others. Each should have its own goals that are shared with the group and recognized for what that contribution means to the overarching goal.
Leading a team is a challenge in and of itself. But if you keep in mind the idea that you are there to create leaders within your own team instead of mere followers and taskmasters, then you will soon see your business growing at a steadier and stronger rate.