The stereotype of the big, street smart, self-taught real estate agent is being challenged by a new breed of business educated and managerially savvy agents.
New leadership research on the real estate shows these new breed of principals run tighter ships that have better employee engagement and are more transparent and disciplined around process and client management. These businesses in turn, are statistically more financially successful.
But not everyone works in such well-run agencies. The Real eState of Leadership Report is a landmark analysis that identifies that 34% of agencies have leadership standards that are average or poor.
It further identifies key leadership behaviours and practices that agents need to adopt to improve how their businesses are run and shows:
1. Leadership standards are generally high in real estate
Two thirds of real estate agents are well managed with 21% of survey respondents stating the quality of leadership in their organisation was excellent, while a further 45% said the quality was good. Just 12% said the quality of leadership in their organisation was poor or non-existent.
2. But self-awareness is a key leadership trait that needs to improve
The survey revealed a noticeable disconnect between how principals perceived their leadership skills, personal management styles and degrees of management discipline and the observations of those who followed them. The research reveals that where there is a disconnect between self and external perception, staff are more likely to be disgruntled. The survey shows that 16% of sales agents felt the quality of leadership within their business was poor or non-existent, compared with just 3% of principals who felt this way.
3. There is a correlation between leadership behaviours, profitability and success
The report shows a direct correlation between the degree of adoption of key leadership disciplines such as articulating core values, career planning for staff, talent acquisition and creating and managing to business plans and the financial success of the business. Those businesses that were performing the strongest financially were most likely to be strong adopters of these behaviours.
4. Real estate is becoming a team sport
The days of the real estate rock star are in decline, with the research revealing that real estate agencies that are collaborative, well-disciplined and measured and motivated by more than just commission, are more likely to be financially successful. The highest proportion of those businesses that were the most successful (29%) had an Affiliative leadership style where leaders put emphasis on the team members and encouraged team work.
5. Discipline and processes around good management practices need improvement in real estate
The research reveals that the majority of principals – around two thirds – are good at the ‘people management’ of leadership, keeping connected with staff, listening empathetically and being clear about values and vision for the business. However, where real estate businesses are weaker is in the more formal management disciplines such as holding formal one on ones, monthly team meetings and individual performance plans where only around one-third adopted these processes. The research found only 34% of those surveyed measured listing conversions within their business, and 38% measured prospecting activity.
6. Attitude and openness to learning is more important than educational qualifications
The research reveals that while one in five real estate agents hold tertiary qualifications, it is experience and attitude to leadership, training and personal learning that is more likely to define if an agency is financially successful. Where principals are open to learning and skills improvement and are prepared to invest in themselves and their staff in this regard, their businesses benefit overall. Those who are closed-minded to further education and skills improvement are most likely to experience negative or flat revenue.
Kylie Davis is the head of content and property services marketing at CoreLogic.