Last week, we asked readers what qualities real estate leaders should have, and you all came out in droves with descriptors. Here are the top responses.


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Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

As we know, leadership is critical, especially in times of uncertainty. Last week, we asked you, our readers, what qualities real estate leaders should have, and you came out in droves with descriptors. Here’s what you had to say:

  • True leaders should have the courage to make changes that are necessary and immediate, with clear and focused direction.
  • They should be able to inspire you, encourage you and help you track your progress. They must be positive and never, ever talk about anyone in a way that doesn’t show their positivity.
  • Friendly and decisive but open to different points of view. Knowledgeable of all prevailing conditions in the field. Able to be “present” when meeting with agents, and focused and able to demonstrate how to be so. Forgiving, yet tough on implementation and execution steps. A great listener!
  • Great leaders should be there for guidance and advice. I always want to feel like they have my back.
  • A real estate leader should be able to assess agents through meaningful dialogue and meet them where they are in that moment. Having the ability to attract and lead many personality types allows you to lead more diversely. It also creates a cohesive group of agents who trust you — which results in a smoother transaction or office environment.
  • They should have a strong continuing knowledge of the economy and consumer trends. Leaders should have belief in our Realtor role and analyze with the most efficient tools to provide the best services to our clients. They should also have the skill of listening to our audience to guide and serve them in the best possible way.
  • Compassion and accessibility, but most importantly — a “fair for one, fair for all” mantra.
  • Good leaders, in any discipline, have the ability to change their leadership style for each member of their team, depending on how they notice each one learns and works best.
  • Good leaders must have three primary things. First, a deep knowledge of the skill set of the craft. Second, they should have a heart of a servant. They must desire to see other people’s success more than their own. Money is nothing more than the scoreboard measuring their degree of service to others. Lastly, they must understand that business is not a finite game, but an infinite one. There’s no final winner in this process. There is no time limit, and no whistle blowing with a final winner declared. It’s a process that must be viewed infinitely, which requires the leader to advance a just cause. That just cause must be greater than themselves. This requires humility.
  • Knowledge, patience, persistence, sense of humor, insight, ability to recover repeatedly from failure, creativity, discipline, compassion and courage! In other words, a perfect human being.
  • A real estate leader has thorough knowledge of the market without being prideful. Good leaders want others to succeed before them. They have honest conversations with agents in a transaction. They don’t take things personally, and absolutely don’t use manipulation or bullying in the process. 
  • As a leader, you should be an excellent communicator, motivator, negotiator and empathizer. You should be able to promote the “cream of the crop,” while, at the same time, strive to motivate and develop agents with “room for improvement” skills. You should be organized in your thoughts and on paper in order to relay messages with spot-on accuracy and consistency. As they say, “monkey see, monkey do.” Be available as needed, especially when a manager is not available. If you’re a small brokerage, make yourself accessible to your agents to help facilitate deals and minimize their stress. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Also, if you keep doing the same things and expecting different results, you’ll wind up with a bit of “business insanity.”
  • Have high expectations — for yourself, agents, clients and colleagues. Somehow, under most circumstances, people rise to those expectations.
  • The ability to listen to multiple opposing opinions and determine, with clear judgement, the best course detached from one’s personal interests.

A leader must be:

  • Empathetic
  • Honest
  • Passionate
  • Compassionate
  • Engaging
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Genuine
  • A good listener
  • Approachable
  • Creative
  • Available
  • Loving
  • Strong-willed
  • Trustworthy
  • Collaborative
  • Patient
  • Enthusiastic
  • Confident
  • Modest
  • Optimistic
  • Friendly
  • Decisive
  • Strong
  • Ethical
  • Encouraging
  • Inspiring
  • A teacher
  • Positive
  • Respectful
  • Adaptable
  • Forward-thinking
  • Dependable
  • Responsive
  • Fair
  • Flexible
  • Understanding
  • Wise
  • Motivational
  • Tenacious
  • Caring
  • Kind
  • Discerning

A leader must have:

  • Personality
  • Actual sales experience to draw from
  • Situational awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Community knowledge
  • Market knowledge
  • Ideas
  • A mission
  • Work ethic
  • A sense of humor
  • Perseverance
  • Humility
  • Knowledge
  • Expertise
  • Vision
  • Drive
  • Persistence
  • Charm
  • A growth mindset
  • Negotiation skills
  • Discipline
  • Integrity
  • A servant’s heart
  • Strength of character
  • Accountability
  • Objectivity
  • Organization skills
  • Commitment
  • Tact

A leader must:

  • Lead by example
  • Have a balance of care and candor
  • Embrace failure

What did we miss? Please share in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state. 

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