By Marion Weiler
Dealing with decreasing margins and an increasing risk of losing top talent, brokerages of all sizes are looking for ways to counteract these dynamics. But way too often, the focus wanders looking at tangible solutions and monetary fixes. What's frequently overlooked is that a strong company culture across all levels of the organization and teams drives financial results, and strong leadership has a major impact on creating such culture.
Leading a brokerage comes with a whole host of responsibilities. Arguably, one of the most critical aspects are navigating the complexities of effectively managing their people. And with that, working through the relationships, team dynamics and sometimes unique personalities that come with managing a brokerage can get quite messy. Here are three of the most common mistakes leaders fall into and how to fix them to create a brokerage set up for success and long-lasting growth:
- Avoiding Conflict
Unfortunately, where there are people, there is inevitably conflict. As much as we might dislike it, we can't eliminate it, and avoiding it can be costly. Learning how to face disagreements and issues with poise is a skill that calls to be mastered if we want to be good leaders to the people within.
But the reality is that we would often rather avoid conflict and confrontation, leaving issues unaddressed or ignoring them altogether in the hope that they disappear on their own. In truth, this rarely ends in a satisfying outcome and is certainly not sustainable when business growth and attracting top talent is the goal.
Experience suggests that it's best to address an issue right away to avoid having it fester. By creating an environment that encourages open dialogue without fear of retribution and where leaders communicate their expectations frequently and clearly, the stage is set to avoid unnecessary conflict and to minimize unwanted outcomes rooted in misunderstandings.
- Lacking Humility
As leaders, too often are we feeling the accumulative pressures on our shoulders and trying to have all the answers. We find it hard to accept that showing humility is part of building strong relationships and allows for the brilliance of a team to kick in.
Great leaders tap into the power of team dynamics and are not afraid to admit when they don't have the answer. In fact, leaders who seek and value input from team members are not only far more effective, but also gain more respect than their peers who pretend to know it all.
Experience shows that employees with leaders who admit not having all the answers feel more open-minded and confident, and overall performance improves because an empowered team always accomplishes more and achieve better results than you could going it alone.
- Lacking Vision
Every brokerage needs a vision that clearly defines its values, purpose for existence and goals. And maybe even more important than that, every person within has a part in bringing it all together.
Employees and agents who lack visionary guidance or are unaligned and unclear on the brokerage's vision cannot perform at the desired level because they don't know what they are aiming for. In fact, a lack of vision clearly and consistently communicated will result in lack of focus, improper resource planning, missing or inaccurate metrics measuring success and last but certainly not least a lack of buy-in from people across the organization.
So what can you do to allow everyone to effectively work together towards a common goal? Cast a clear vision that will align all aspects of the brokerage. It is the cornerstone of creating the type of culture that retains and attracts not only quality agents, but also quality employees supporting the day-to-day, and all in all, that's the glue that holds it all together.
Marion Weiler is a Senior Business Management Executive, Leadership & Business Consultant and Principal at Weiler International LLC, providing guidance to brokerage executive teams and broker owners to create a winning organizational structure that attracts and retains talent while managing the business effectively and profitably. As a former Senior Executive of industry-leading global firms, most recently as Senior Vice President Marketing for a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate with offices ranging multiple markets, one of the highest average sales prices in the industry and roughly $3.5 billion in sales volume. Weiler has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities brokerages face in an ever-changing world and an industry that is going through immense disruption. Visit www.weilerinternational.com for more information, or connect with Marion on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/weilerinternational/.