The real estate industry is home to one of the most competitive environments. Some agents are either pit against each other for sales or feel pressured to hit their ever-changing quotas. But in a collaborative work culture, all agents in a brokerage can thrive and make a killing.
Getting your team to work more productively together is more of an art than a science. However, there are plenty of strategies brokers can implement immediately to bring their teams closer.
How to Create a Collaborative Work Culture in Your Brokerage
It’s easy for agents to think they’re on their own, but other realtors don’t have to feel like their competition. Here are 7 ways your real estate team can work more effectively together.
1. Be Selective With Whom You Hire
There’s nothing wrong with being competitive, but some potential employees won’t work well with your team. Culture fit aside; it can be difficult for some veteran agents to collaborate. You can typically understand if a potential hire will be cooperative during the interview process.
But, what about your current staff? It depends. Some agents will need time to adjust to new work habits, and you should give them that time. However, if an agent refuses to collaborate or, worse, sabotages other team members, letting them go may be the best option.
Remember that it isn’t about growing faster than other brokerages; it’s about growing with the right agents. It’s essential to build a team that wants to grow alongside you, not against you.
2. Adopt Collaborative Technologies
Real estate agents have to sort through a lot of paperwork during a business transaction or manage checklists that seem never-ending. But real estate team management software and transaction management tools can help brokers and agents work more efficiently.
Within the real estate team management software interface, you can build custom checklists, keep all transaction communication in one place, and coordinate responsibilities across teams. What’s more, this tool can generate commission reports almost instantly to any device.
To top it off, real estate team management software can integrate with other important tools and automates transaction due dates, ensuring that all of your team members work in sync.
3. Use the Right Communication Style
An MIT Human Dynamics Laboratory study that looked at team productivity produced some interesting results. They discovered that the way teams communicate with each other (using body language, tone of voice, and proximity) had a direct correlation with how they performed.
Researchers in this study encouraged employers to adopt this communication style:
- Talk and listen in equal measure
- Face colleagues when communicating
- Engage in communication with gestures
- Connect with all team members daily
- Socialize about non-business topics
Employers should speak to their agents about how to adopt this communication style because it can boost productivity by 20% and increase employee satisfaction rates by 10%.
4. Share Specialty Real Estate Knowledge
In a competitive workplace, you can’t expect employees to give out industry secrets willingly. However, all agents have something to gain from sharing their knowledge. One agent could tell another agent how to sell a corporate property. In return, they can offer advice about staging.
All agents have an extensive network of contractors, appraisers, and lawyers that they can share with their team. When a new agent doesn’t have to build this network by themselves, they’re about to sell their first home more quickly. It’s a win-win for the agent and brokerage.
Setting up a mentorship program is also an effective way to share real estate knowledge, especially if your agents don’t have a traditional office space or conflicting schedules.
5. Establish Strong Leadership
Every team needs a strong leader. While in other industries the leadership role changes based on need or team dynamics, brokers can always steer the ship. This can be great for your team because they’ll always have one person who can establish workflow and company direction.
Brokers have to be consistent if they want to maximize the benefits that a collaborative team can bring. That means paying attention to the interests of their team members, not just their company. A strong leader leads their team to their strengths and helps them succeed.
As a leader, you need to pay attention to team dynamics. Sometimes your team won’t tell you directly that’s something amiss, but that doesn’t mean the situation is any less serious.
6. Create Shared Goals and Values
Your agents will have their own goals to achieve and quotas they need to reach, but if they don’t match with the rest of your team, you’ll have a problem on your hands. Real estate teams should see themselves as part of the larger machine in a way that showcases their importance.
An easy way to unite the team is by creating collaborative SMART goals:
- S for Specific: Is there a defined end-point?
- M for Measurable: Will the goal be measured with tangible results?
- A for Achievable: Do you have the time/money/resources to achieve the goal?
- R for Relevant: Do your goals align with your career/company goals?
- T for Time-Dependent: Can you complete your goal within the time frame?
Brokers should share their own business-focused and personal SMART goals to offer their teams inspiration. Then, they can ask team members to create their own goals independently.
After the exercise, bring your team together and show how everyone’s goals intersect. This can foster feelings of inclusiveness and ownership, which often improves job satisfaction.
7. Celebrate Each Other’s Successes
43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week and are 3x more engaged than those that don’t receive regular feedback. Brokers should tell their agents regularly that they’re performing well, if they are, in front of their other teammates.
However, it’s essential that you don’t compare other team members. Saying “X performed better than X” can destroy the team dynamic. However, saying “X improved their numbers this week” is a fantastic way to congratulate progress. Plus, it encourages others to keep improving.
Effective teams also help others when they’re struggling. If an agent is trying really hard, but keeps missing the mark, approach them with the internet to offer advice, not criticism.