Let’s face it: the real estate business isn’t for the faint of heart and it’s an industry that calls for strong and motivational leaders.
Whether you have your own agency, are a managing broker, or even an agent working to lead your clients in the right directions, it’s crucial to hone an effective leadership style. And, although styles don’t have to be exactly the same to succeed, there’s one quality most experts place at the top of any list for leaders: the ability to put people at the center of everything you do.
Of course, you want to get the most out of those around you: if they are successful, so are you. But success can be defined in more than monetary terms. By being of good service to others, you benefit as much as they do.
Not everyone is a naturally good manager, but we all have the potential to learn management skills. What does one need to become a ‘people-focused’ leader?
- Listen rather than talk. This is listed first because too often, managers think that to appear strong, they must issue directives, but those working with us want to be heard. One of the most effective ways to gain buy-in from any decision is to get input from your team members and thoroughly hear what they are saying, for good or ill.
- Direct and open communication. While you must be willing to listen, you must also be able to communicate your own ideas and plans directly. Your team members want to hear news from you first, not through the company grapevine. Honest communication leads to a healthy exchange of ideas that not only make your co-workers truly feel like a team but often produces successful outcomes you’d not otherwise achieve.
- What Goes Around, Comes Around. When you look after your team members and co-workers, they look after you.
- Play fair. We all learned this in kindergarten, right? It’s important for you to understand your team members have different styles but it’s also important to set parameters and policies for business. How you enforce these for one, you must enforce for all. Your team members will respect you for fair play.
- Confidence: fake it till you make it. Even the best leaders don’t always have the right answers, but conducting yourself with confidence inspires confidence in others. Confidence also means being able to ask for the opinions of others to help you solve tough issues and being able to credit your team for the wins.
- Mentor, inspire, appreciate. The best managers and leaders are mentors to their team members. Give them the freedom to grow and access to continued education, and when they succeed, be generous with your appreciation and encouragement. We all work for a paycheck but money alone doesn’t buy satisfaction the way a kind word and appreciation for effort does.
The bottom line is that by improving your interpersonal skills, you not only become a better leader, but you better your own relationships with your family, friends, and colleagues.