Strengths and Weaknesses: Building a strong real estate office or team

By Tami Bonnell, Co-Chair, EXIT Realty Corp. International

For you to build a successful real estate office or team that attracts the right people who will, in turn, build your strong business, you need to see someone else’s strengths as a complement to your weaknesses. Look for people who have credibility where you don’t to build your nucleus.

We’re all good at a couple of things and by recognizing that, you can then invest in the strengths of others as well as your own. If someone’s particular skill ranks a 3 or 4 out of 10, you probably won’t be able to help them rise past that level because they might not have natural ability or it might not fit their personality style or interest. But if they rank a 7 or 8, you will be able to help them rise to a 9 or a 10 because they can likely see themselves getting there when it’s an area where they have some affinity.

Due in part to workplace shifts because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the days of micromanaging are over. People want to be part of something better.  They want personal support and a sense of purpose. They want meaningful connections, with meaningful being the operative word.  They want to work somewhere with organizational values that resonate with their own. So, as you’re building your team consider how your business addresses these wants and how you can improve. One way is to help someone identify their own special lane so they have a renewed sense of purpose.  For example, through a third party we offered crisis management training to our people, and one agent became so inspired that she is now teaching it in her community, she and her business are thriving, and she’s making a difference. It doesn’t matter what the difference-maker is because it will vary from person to person; it just matters that you have strong organizational values and there’s a lane in which your people can make meaningful connections. One of the magical things about EXIT is sponsoring.  Even though EXIT associates don’t have an obligation to help, mentor, coach or train the people they introduce to the company, there’s a natural tendency to want to. Often by helping others we help ourselves and along the way we discover or strengthen our own skills.

We can nudge people towards their lane, but they also like to self-realize. I believe strongly that my leadership role involves providing 90% autonomy. I choose the right people for the right reasons then hand them the reins so they can take control of their role or task and have the opportunity to thrive. The other 10% involves my whispering in their ear, asking questions like, “Have you thought of this? Have you tried that? What if we tried a different angle?” It’s about empowering people.

Building a strong brokerage or team involves investing in yourself and in others both personally and professionally. Leadership is the ability to influence, and influence involves reinforcing, not forcing. Ask yourself, What am I good at? What are they good at? And grow from there.  

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