When people think of sales companies of any kind, a great workplace culture is rarely something that comes to mind. We’ve all seen movies like Glengarry Glen Ross or even Wolf of Wall Street where sales companies are viewed as cutthroat, overly-competitive, isolating, and stressful. Thankfully, creative and caring brokers & agents can break the mold and create an office that attracts and retains the best talent in town, by creating a great real estate team culture.
Whether you’re the managing broker of a large real estate office or an agent leading a small team of assistants and other agents, these 5 tips will ensure you have a productive and happy team of all-stars.
Cast the right vision
You know the old saying, “A leader with no followers is just a guy taking a walk.” To ensure your agents and staff are following you, you all need to know where you’re going. To do this, you need to cast vision.
The process for casting vision for a team is different depending on the people and the goals, but here are a few basic components of casting a complete vision:
- Craft a clear, concise mission statement. (What is our BIG goal? Our 1st priority?)
- Set goals for the year for any relevant areas (Sales, listings, etc.) Maybe consider shorter timeframes as well.
- Identify and visualize the actions needed to meet those goals. Make sure they align with your mission statement.
- Craft all of these AS A TEAM.
- Schedule appropriate meetings to revisit your vision for the year and make adjustments if needed.
Training, training, training
Research shows that after someone’s income meets their basic needs, their job satisfaction is tied closer to practically everything other than compensation. One of the biggies that leaves people feeling blah about their jobs? Lack of training.
This is easy to fix. Sure, agents have to take continuing education classes, but we all know those aren’t always so helpful. Go above and beyond… Buy your staff books on real estate, leadership, etc.. Take them to seminars and conferences. Reimburse them for any training they do on their own. Basically, do as much as you can within the budget you have to make sure they feel equipped for their roles.
This seems so obvious, but is so seldom executed well in real estate offices. Since many agents are self-employed, the office can feel like a big room full of small independent companies. You can change that.
First, have the vitals for your agents (or team members). By vitals, we mean birthdays, anniversaries, work anniversaries, etc. The more info, the better. Set up reminders on your calendar and make sure you celebrate these important dates both as a company and with something personal from you to them.
Another good idea… Have a funeral/serious illness fund. Morbid, we know, but keep aside a little money to send flowers or make donations when a team member has a death in their family.
Take it out of the office
Unless your office is some ultra-cool loft-style space in a trendy part of town, we’re guessing your office is full of fluorescent lights, fake plants, and cubicles. While real estate professionals enjoy ample time out of the office thanks to showings, listing appointments, etc., the humdrum of the office can still get pretty old.
Who says you have to have meetings at that dreary place? Coffee shops and bars make excellent board rooms. One local brewery in our hometown even has wifi, coffee, and beer. Why not meet at a place like that?
Also, make sure you’re budgeting time and money for special events. Keep in mind, however, that an outside party shouldn’t be used as a bandaid for a miserable morale during the regular workweek.
Give back to the community
Most of us all want to do more good in this world. Your team is the same way, but with so much going on, it’s hard to find the time. Why not help your team do a little good by organizing it as an office function. We’re willing to bet someone on your team has a special connection to a charity or cause, so why not volunteer as a team? You’ll show support for the team member and grow closer as a team.
These 5 tips are just the beginning. There are tons of ways to build a great culture, but above all, the basics endure… If you’re treating your team the way you’d want to be treated, you’ll hit a home run.