Wednesday, April 17, 2024

These 3 keys unlock optimal performance for real estate teams

Must read

Sotheby’s agent Nikki Beauchamp offers insights gleaned from “Harvard Business Review” to help you bring out the best in your team, brokerage or professional organization.

The verdict is in — the old way of doing business is over. Join us at Inman Connect New York Jan. 23-25, when together we’ll conquer today’s market challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Defy the market and bet big on your future.

Teams are always a hot topic, and there was recently a great article in Harvard Business Review that outlined some principles that contribute to high-performing teams. We can look at these insights through the lens of the unique dynamics of our industry and the exceptional performance of real estate teams

For the purposes of this article, teams can refer to teams of agents, the relationship between an agent and their brokerage and other organizational aspects of the real estate industry.

High-performing teams of all kinds are crucial for success in a competitive market. There are seemingly endless skills that are needed when you are in the real estate industry. When embarking on a leadership role within the real estate industry, you need a nuanced understanding of team dynamics.

The transition into management is seldom seamless, demanding an acclimatization to novel systems, regulations, and the establishment of bonds with team members. In the realm of real estate, this balance is crucial, as effective management will define the success of your endeavors.

Foremost among priorities will be delving into the intricacies of your team and comprehending their modus operandi. Team culture plays a pivotal role in performance.

In your role as a leader — and, in my opinion, also as a team member — you possess a unique opportunity to shape, fortify or enhance the culture of your team. Success in this realm will invariably ease the navigation of daily tasks and challenges.

The characteristics that typify high-performing teams in the real estate industry have been the subject of countless articles, keynotes and panel discussions over the years. In the HBR article, amidst diversity in research methodologies, three recurrent themes emerge: a sense of common understanding, psychological safety and a prosocial purpose.

1. Common understanding

Especially in our dynamic industry, each team member brings a distinct set of experience, skills, knowledge and responsibilities. A cohesive understanding of how these individual components contribute to the team’s overarching goals is indispensable. To foster common understanding, it is imperative that team members delve into:

  • Individual expertise (specialized skills)
  • Assigned tasks (roles and responsibilities)
  • Context (alignment with organizational goals)
  • Communication preferences

Teams operating in the real estate sector thrive when they grasp each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferred working styles. This shared understanding not only streamlines collaboration but also enhances overall team intelligence, promoting improved decision-making.

Encouraging common understanding in real estate teams

As a new leader in real estate, a rapid and effective method for cultivating common understanding is through a “Real Estate Playbook” exercise. In this context, encourage each team member to document their traits and work preferences using prompts such as:

  • I excel when __________.
  • I struggle when __________.
  • You can rely on me to __________.
  • What I need from you is __________.

This exercise not only saves time and minimizes confusion but also fosters deeper insights into each team member’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Some leaders also opt to use various personality tests (such as DISC, Meyers Briggs, etc.) to gain insight into their team as well.

2. Psychological safety

In the fast-paced and competitive world of real estate, psychological safety is paramount. It materializes when team members feel secure expressing themselves, posing questions, disagreeing constructively, and taking interpersonal risks. Real estate teams benefit from diverse perspectives, and psychological safety can be a linchpin determining whether team members harness their strengths or withhold due to fear.

Creating psychological safety in real estate teams

Lead by example in the real estate realm by displaying vulnerability and trust. Acknowledge your own failures, uncertainties and personal weaknesses openly. In the high-stakes environment of real estate, this might seem counterintuitive, yet it signals trust in your team.

Genuine trust encourages open communication, constructive conflict, and a culture that focuses on improving the work rather than personalizing it.

3. Prosocial purpose

In the real estate industry, some team members may derive motivation when they understand that their work contributes meaningfully to the world and positively impacts others. This sense of prosocial purpose is pivotal, transcending a mere awareness of the work’s importance to a deep understanding of who benefits from it.

Infusing meaning into real estate work

Share stories within the real estate team that underscore the impact of their work on clients, colleagues, or the community. Narratives possess a unique power to shape attitudes and behaviors. When team members recognize how their efforts positively affect others, they are more inclined to align their goals with the team’s objectives.

Considering these three aspects — common understanding, psychological safety and prosocial purpose — as foundational habits for real estate team leadership sets the stage for a team culture characterized by mutual understanding, a sense of security and a heightened awareness of the positive impact of their work, paving the way for a high-performing and fulfilled real estate team.

Nikki Beauchamp is an advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

More articles

Latest article