Trying to get that family vibe in your office without the cult and Kool-aid remarks from others? Here are three ways to make the workplace feel more like home.

When it comes down to real estate buzzwords, there is what can seem like an overuse of the word culture. But what is that? And how do you define what culture is right for your team? I write from a place where we had to redefine that term in our office this year.

My last year was spent being affiliated with a brokerage that didn’t make sense for us culturally. Its perception and our reality were vastly different. (When I say different, think figure skating competition and Monday Night Football kind of different.)

We made a choice to leave to recapture what we had lost over the year. Here are a few tips as to how we bounced back so quickly and together, like a family.

1. Learn about and become invested in the success of your agents

Families thrive in environments where where are goals, rewards and accountability. They also do rather well with a little friendly competition. Use their personal goals to push their professional ones.

By keeping track of some simple notes in the business plans of each agent, you can help them actualize their goals. By herding your flock with personal and attainable goals, instead of leaving them in the pasture to wander about (please take a moment to imagine your favorite agents wandering a field), you create a feeling of true care and concern — something all families need.

2. Host group events that involve everyone (not just your agents)

Take the time to meet the families of those you work with on a daily basis. Learn their kids’ and dogs’ names, and actually care. It becomes like a family reunion each time we all get together, and we enjoy letting our kids play.

For example, we will be attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with our agents and their spouses next week. We really try to get everyone together once per quarter as we add new agents and life changes happen.

We encourage attendance of each others’ weddings, baby showers and other family events. Game nights, family photo days, holidays or even a random Taco Tuesday are all great excuses for a get-together. (Hint, it doesn’t need to only revolve around team or office awards!)

3. Create an environment of transparency

We live in a day where an “open-door” policy is not enough. We, as leaders of our tribe need to be responsible for checking in on our people on a regular basis and providing an environment where questions, concerns and thoughts can be expressed openly.

If you notice something isn’t quite right with an agent, say something. We also have a no-drama policy. All of our agents understand that the success of the whole is more important than a war of one. It’s how we’ve managed to build an all-female team of 10 agents without the typical issues that plague a group of 10 women.

There are many more tips and tricks as to how you can create a vibe that suites your team. However, these are the ones that are most universal. We’re pretty laid back and family friendly at True Houston. We even have childcare available during team meetings.

Above all though, create your own family, empower your agents, educate them, and support them in a transparent and fun environment.

Nicole Lopez is the founder and team leader at True Houston Real Estate – a Side partner. Nicole’s team has obtained monumental success and growth in the Houston Market with their trendy marketing techniques. And enviable team/office culture. Connect with Nicole on Facebook or Instagram.

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