Top Characteristics of Real Estate Team Leaders and Mentors
Being a successful real estate team leader is no easy thing to accomplish. Contrary to what many people think, achieving success as an agent does not necessarily guarantee someone will be a good leader. Team leaders need to be a real estate mentor and have to be committed to helping their team members grow, improve, and succeed.
But before we dive into leadership styles, principles, and characteristics that make great real estate mentors and team leaders, let’s first understand why agents join teams in the first place.
Why Join a Real Estate Team?
Many people are attracted to the real estate industry because it offers high levels of freedom, flexibility, and control over your income. In every state, agents are required to find a sponsoring real estate broker for their license, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are working with a team. In other words, many agents are sponsored by a broker but operate without much support. To be completely independent, some agents choose to also go after their broker’s license.
So why would anyone want to work for a real estate team? This is an important question to know the answer to if you want to lead a team of your own.
The top reasons most agents want to join a real estate team rather than operate independently (at least at first) are the following:
- Shared resources – real estate teams share marketing materials, expensive software, leads, knowledge, and other types of digital tools and technologies that can be extremely helpful to finding clients and buying and selling homes.
- Team support – working as a solo agent can sometimes be a lonely and stressful business. Many agents enjoy being a part of a team, because they feel like they are all working towards a common goal and have colleagues to turn to when things get tough.
- Professional development – new agents will often join real estate teams because they want to learn from more experienced agents and a real estate mentor in order to further their career. Good real estate team leaders will provide training, skill building workshops, and resources for their agents to hone their skills on their own.
- Accountability – many people realize that success is easier if they have someone holding them accountable for their performance and career goals. A real estate team leader and other team members will let you know if you are slipping in any area and help support you and give you the tools to improve.
What Is a Real Estate Team Leader?
A team leader is a real estate mentor, consultant, trainer, and partner all rolled into one. Instead of focusing on listing, selling, and buying real estate, the team leader focuses on their team members—helping them become as productive and profitable as possible. Their task is to cultivate a team culture and build a systems-driven environment to make lead generation, lead conversion, negotiating deals, and closing deals as easy as possible for their team.
The main goal of real estate team leaders and what they ultimately have to love is coaching people and developing a profitable, scalable business. Not necessarily working with clients and negotiating deals. Team leaders need to pull themselves out of the trenches on a day to day basis and focus on the big picture. Their job is to work on the business while their agents work in the business. That’s the key difference.
Characteristics of a Successful Real Estate Team Leader and Real Estate Mentor
Every team leader will be different with different leadership styles and leadership principles. However, there are some characteristics that are important for every real estate team leader to cultivate. I say cultivate because being a great leader is a skill that needs to be worked on, practiced, and constantly developed. It’s not something you just have or don’t have.
- Be a real estate mentor – at the heart of it, a team leader is a real estate mentor or coach. You need to have a burning desire to help people succeed and pass on your knowledge, skills, and experience to them. You have to want to be their ultimate support and go to person. You should view their success as your own success.
- Be a great communicator – agents almost always have to be great communicators in order to do well. But it’s even more important for real estate team leaders. No matter which leadership styles you think are best, communicating clearly should always be at the top. You’re leading meetings, setting goals for the team and for individual team members, and guiding training activities. Knowing how to communicate effectively without coming off as negative, passive, unsure, or angry will make all the difference in how your team relates to you.
- Be positive and empathetic in stressful situations – as a real estate team leader your agents are looking to you to set the tone in different situations. Staying positive even when things aren’t going great and always being empathetic to the feelings and mistakes of your team members are critical to maintaining a productive, cohesive, and effective team.
- Be influential – you have to have an impact on your agents’ mindsets and outlooks. If your agents don’t tell themselves the right stories, then they won’t produce. What are the right stories? That they are helping people and their community. When they call leads, your agents have valuable information and skills that will help make that lead’s life better. Your agents aren’t sleezy salespeople or a burden on the people they are calling and working with. Leaders need to have the charisma necessary to positively influence their agents’ thoughts and feelings of self worth.
- Be systematic – developing systems are one of the most critical parts of building a real estate team and being an effective real estate team leader. You have to translate how you’ve been successful into processes that will allow your team to be successful. Everything from how you generate leads to how you convert them to how you follow up with them to how you manage transactions should be documented and repeatable.
The Right Leadership Styles: Servant Leadership and Being a Real Estate Mentor
Servant leadership is a concept and leadership style that was coined in the 1970s by Robert K. Greenleaf. We’ll sum up this article with his words:
“The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.
“The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”
Great real estate leaders have leadership styles that embrace servant leadership. They are serving their team in order to lead them and to help them achieve success. They are real estate mentors.