We’re surging into Leadership Month this March on Inman. Join us as we deep dive into leadership fundamentals, culture, and even playlists.
Displaying good leadership skills is easy when business is good and the world is at ease. However, leading during tough times is not so simple. With the stock market continuing to decline and more communities being impacted by COVID-19 daily, individuals are looking to their work and community leaders for guidance amidst uncertainty.
As always, we turn to our own Inman community during these times for wisdom and insight about how to move forward.
On Saturday, Brad Inman posed the following question to our Inman Coast to Coast Facebook group: “Test of leadership is how you lead in bad times, not just good times. Tell us stories of how people who lead your brokerage or company or MLS organization or association are stepping it up and showing real leadership at this time? Who, but also what and why?”
A few group members discussed their leaders’ efforts to go remote via video and ways they’re trying to stay connected.
After Gary Ashton, CEO and owner of the Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage mentioned Kris Lindahl, owner of Kris Lindahl Real Estate, as a “visionary leader,” Lindahl chimed in with his own thoughts on leadership during these tenuous times.
“Brad, the most important thing is staying in front of your company daily via video,” Lindahl said. “Group videos and individual videos with full transparency at all times no matter the size of the organization! Most executives are silent during transition and uncertain times.”
Marci James, director of social outreach at Realtor.com, also mentioned the importance of staying connected while moving to a remote work force.
“RDC shut down all seven offices on Friday,” James said. “We shut down the Santa Clara office a couple weeks ago, but the other offices had remained open. RDC had prepped for this and had expedited Dell laptops and high speed wireless devices for literally hundreds of call center workers. So many of our team members are going home with brand new equipment. Due to all the different locations, online meetings are common. But now we are being asked to turn our cameras on whenever possible in order to deepen the connections and it’s refreshing. Super proud of everything we’re doing.”
Others mentioned leadership skills on a more general level in terms of communication and helping others in the community, as well as their own employees.
“Our CEO practices what he preaches,” Rich Jacobson, Realtor at Fathom Realty, said. “He built our company on the principal of Servant Leadership, and constantly models in practical ways how to serve the needs of others. He has incredible wisdom you would expect from someone much older. And he makes himself easily accessible to those in the trenches…”
“Our company, both at the corporate level and office level, has also been doing an amazing job of getting communication out on an ongoing basis about all the aspects from making sure we know how to do everything remotely, showings and open houses, managing clients, and the list goes on,” Andrea Geller, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago, said. “They are also providing additional online meetings and education. It’s all about solutions and overcoming objections, which is what we do on a daily basis. Just new circumstances. They are doing an amazing job of keeping us connected during a disconnect time.”
“Our CEO Shari Chase at Chase International introduced a company-wide wellness program and brought in a wellness physician to speak with agents and employees about COVID-19 and what they could do to protect themselves and their families from infection,” Diane Cohn, director of engagement at Chase International, said. “I love how she always goes the extra mile when it comes to looking out for her people, clients, agents, employees and their families.”
Vija Williams, director of growth at Ben Kinney Companies, also gave an update from Washington state, where it seems coronavirus has hit the U.S. perhaps the hardest.
“Laina Treuhaft leads our Kirkland office at literal ground zero of this in the U.S., a mile from Life Care Center of Kirkland, the nursing home that has been ravaged, and she has done it with poise and grace,” Williams said. “All of our offices are doing business: agents are productive and we are pouring in. We are calling through rosters to check on agents’ well-being. We are doing weekly webinars, getting best tips from agents who have written business within the last few days. We are staffing up our mortgage company. Our escrow company is offering to hand deliver commission checks to agents’ houses if that’s what it takes. I’m really proud of how everybody has stepped up here.”
As we navigate through these uncertain times, we want to hear your thoughts. Please continue to stay connected.
Have a story to share with the Inman community? Visit Inman Coast to Coast and join the conversation.