Many elements go into the day-to-day running of a real estate office and, just like any business, there are many ways in which it can function. It comes down to understanding what works best for you and your team while achieving the results you’re looking for.
What is your management style?
In my observations, successful leaders focus on three key areas:
- Communicating vision and goals
- Engendering trust
- Upskilling team members
When team members understand the company vision, they’ll be more likely to champion the journey. Trust is also a big one for most people ‒ as it equates to respect. Everyone wants to be respected. And third, developing your team’s skills will only enhance your business offerings, as well as keep individuals satisfied in their work.
While there might be a collective set of requirements in order to have a well-functioning operation, there are many ways in which managers approach those three elements. This was evident to me during a recent trip to Melbourne where I met with different One Agency members.
There’s no right or wrong way to manage; it’s what works for you.
I heard of an office where the principal follows a strict regime with regular check-ins with his sales agents and staff ‒ including daily meetings at 8am. While I wasn’t privy to the experience level of his team, I got the feeling that they were perhaps less experienced, and needed that level of supervision and guidance.
Later, I chatted with Steve Walsh, from One Agency Peninsula, who has a much more relaxed culture, who gives his agents more autonomy and expects his agents (all of whom are independent contractors) to drive their own results.
“The style of the business comes from my personal way of operating, so it’s about attracting agents who like to operate in a similar manner without the corporate bullshit,” said Steve.
“I don’t need to ‘track progress’ as my agents can do as little or as much as they want without any pressure from me or my business. It’s a lifestyle. We have team catch-ups as required ‒ but they’re not set regularly.”
What are your business aspirations?
Your goals will also influence your business management style. Depending on your ambitions, you’ll have to ensure everyone understands the role they have to play. Take Steve, for example: he has a clear vision for his business, and brought on board those who’d align with that vision.
“My business is not for agents who can’t stand on their own two feet. It suits those who are experienced, successful, get referral business from past successes, who want a much better financial deal, total flexibility, and be a part of a like-minded team for camaraderie. In return they’re supported by extra clout in the way of branding, and all the systems and subscriptions, etc. they need to operate.”
Not every real estate business needs to be the same
As indicated above, there are many ways in which a real estate agency can be managed.
To reveal your own agency aspirations, ask yourself:
- Do I want to build a brand with multiple offices, or am I happy with one office serving a few key suburbs?
- Do I prefer to work as a lone agent, or with a small team?
- Do I need to keep agents close or am I comfortable offering less supervision?
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. The key is alignment with your personal vision.
As for Steve ‒ he’s comfortable being hands off because he knows his agents’ capabilities.
“I don’t need the team to ‘perform’ to any certain level. They can do what they like. However, we’re talking about good successful agents who’ve taken the next step by leaving a franchise office or similar to effectively be running their own business (within my business) without needing to set everything up and start from nothing.”
Steve trusts his team to do what they need to. And that works for him. But I think that while we might all run our agencies differently, we all want the same things. We don’t want to spend more than we need to on our business, while earning as much profit as possible. I believe one of the key reasons One Agency is such a successful brand is it offers agents and business owners the flexibility to manage in a way that suits them and their agents best while retaining most or more of their profits. And that’s a good thing, however you choose to manage your real estate business.