Are You a Good Real Estate Broker?
“My real estate broker is the best because he/she empowers me to succeed.” Is the ideal statement of a team member. Brokers, the biggest asset you have is your team members. This goes for any team no matter what profession. Are you empowering your team to succeed or are you setting them up for failure?
Whatever the size of your team, each member has specific qualities and strengths. The important thing is making sure everyone is in the right role. Maximize your resources – your team will take off when you have each member in the right place. Team dynamics determine how cohesive a team is. Understanding and supporting the development of your team is crucial to making it thrive.
Building A Successful Team:
Dr. Tuckman created a model for team development. There are four stages and a group needs to hit each one for it to build and thrive. Understanding that challenges will happen, it won’t always be smooth, and success doesn’t happen right away will help you navigate team building as a real estate broker.
This is the first stage of a team and as its name suggests, is when a team forms. Everyone is getting to know each other, you see how they respond to pressure, what responsibilities each member will have, and develop a rhythm for everyday duties.
Conflict starts to arise in this stage. This is a necessary process for growth to happen. People start trusting each other enough to voice differences in opinion. The important part here is that they don’t feel judged when this happens. Healthy conflict is good and can bring a group together if dealt with appropriately. Your part as the broker is to stay calm, allow them to resolve differences and come together by arriving at a solution. If they are unable to come to resolutions in their conflict, its your job to mediate and help resolve disagreements.
Right about here it is good to develop a group identity. Create team shirts, a slogan and/or goals to achieve. A good way to do this is to have a “retreat” like experience that can be anything like going out to eat, having a training day, or going away for a day to build up the group. Group building activities involve ice-breakers and get-to-know-you activities. To develop a team mentality have the group do an exercise where they have to work together to accomplish a common goal. Here are some ideas for team development.
This is where people start working toward a goal and have a team mindset. Members will do what it takes to make the team function. If you have a team member that is constantly causing problems and chaos, you cannot afford to ignore it – conflict resolution is key here. If they are emotionally unstable remove them from the team. Its important you don’t go to the extreme here – you will always have someone that’s emotional on a team. You know when someone is emotionally unstable when they are out of control and no conflict resolution is happening after several attempts. This is when you need to make an executive decision to let them go for the sake of the group.
Performing is the ultimate goal for any group. Teams in this stage are characterized by high-performance, effective group dynamics, smooth interactions, and the ability to make decisions without direct supervision. Its important for the broker/supervisor to actively participate in the team – this not only allows you to be present and know what’s going on, but it establishes you among your team as the broker who is invested and accessible.
Think of these stages as a cycle that can repeat in certain circumstances (like when something stressful or challenging pops up). Deal with what is at hand, allow the team to respond and let it move on when its ready to.
3 Keys to Support Your Group:
1. Be Present
You won’t know what your group needs if you aren’t around. Hold meetings, periodic gatherings, and create a system of accountability/interaction.
2. Offer Encouragement
In a healthy environment there is a balance of critique AND encouragement. For every critique you make of someone to do a better job or improve on something (which is necessary for growth to happen) you should be calling out something good. Things like, “Hey Tom, I noticed ________ could you work on improving this?” coupled with “You are really doing a great job with _______. Keep up the good work!” or “Glad to have you a part of the team!” shows you aren’t just trying to find things wrong with them and value them as a person.
Idea: Create a rewards system to help boost moral. Its proven that when people receive acknowledgement and rewards for doing good things they are motivated to do more of it. “Agent of the month” “Top producing Agent” “Most supportive team member” are all great examples.
3. Train and Equip
If you notice your team lacking something, be proactive! Invest in classes, speakers and training that will help move your team forward. A team that is equipped and knowledgeable is also confident and will continue to grow.