As a real estate team leader, I feel as though I am usually expected to be the end-all, be-all source of information, knowledge, inspiration and a multitude of other things for my team members.

Most team leaders can relate.

Our real estate agents rely on us to provide them with what is necessary to succeed including motivation, new ideas, accountability, and the list goes on and on.

Attending the most recent Inman Connect in San Francisco a few weeks ago was supposed to provide me with a treasure trove of concepts, resources and contacts as well as an improved dialogue to have with a growing team back at home. And it did all of that.

The problem is, it did more. Truth be told, I came back from Connect a little dumbfounded. There was so much for me to hear, learn and process.

As their leader isn’t it my job to glean the best of the best gems and share those golden nuggets with my team? How could there be so much I did not know?

Here are five very important things I learned:

1. Us old dogs better be learning new tricks

As a successful real estate agent at the top of the industry for many years, I‘ve recently come to an uncomfortable conclusion; the methods that worked so amazingly well for me are not going to be enough for my agents.

The industry is changing so quickly it’s hard to fathom. Innovation is happening all around us at such a rapid pace that if we rely on what worked a decade ago, we’ll be out of business before the next decade arrives.

Sure, the old tried-and-true methods will still yield results. But it’s going to take more for our teams to truly succeed in the immediate future, if not now.

The realization became crystal clear that, as team leaders, we will always have to be open to change and can never ever again rely on closed-minded bygone mentality.

2. Expect change, and embrace it

Understand that even the newest and greatest idea — launched just months ago — might work tremendously well to drive business today and might suddenly become outdated and irrelevant tomorrow.

Simply because we made a change and adopted a new idea doesn’t mean we stick with it once it becomes obsolete.

3. Innovate, or find a new profession

As team leaders, we must earnestly and constantly be seeking out exciting and innovative concepts and tools for our agents’ benefit. That is our job.

Our agents’ job should be to focus on sales. Ours should be on how to help them more efficiently and profitably achieve those sales.

4. You closed how many transactions?

I also learned that there are many agents I’ve never even heard of who are succeeding at a remarkably high level.

It’s not often I sit around a table sharing ideas and brainstorming and am a little embarrassed to say how many sales I made in my best year when asked.

I always believed my 321 closes in a year was amazing. But, no longer.

5. Team leaders need more

Which leads to my last point. As team leaders, we could all probably use more exposure. Not just to seminars, conferences, webinars and what not.

Real exposure to real people, places and things outside of our comfort zone and especially outside of our geographic home base.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Inman Disconnect this year, and my head still hurts.

Why? Because my brain continues to be swollen from everything I absorbed. How could a 24-hour camping trip in the forest perhaps be the biggest opportunity to learn and share I’ve encountered in the past decade.

What if I would not have gone? What ideas would I have missed? Let me tell you, in hindsight, the loss would be immeasurable.

As leaders, we are responsible for traveling the globe — if that’s what it takes to bring back whatever our agents need.

What could you have learned as a team leader, or even as an individual agent, canoeing down the Russian River with the incredible Jim Walberg?

Imagine being able to share ideas with the fabulous Billy Ekofo while taking a morning walk among the giant Redwoods. How much could you learn while sitting around a bonfire late into the evening and chatting with the humble super agent Mark Spain?

Our responsibility is an exceptional one. We need to learn more as leaders if we are to share more with those who rely on us to lead them.

Dan Smith is an author, speaker, strategist and team leader in Mission Viejo, California. Follow him on Facebook.

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