One of the most rewarding and fulfilling roles in my life is serving as a leader at The Agency. Throughout the years, I’ve met and mentored some of the most promising and accomplished agents in the industry. This has inspired and encouraged me to seek out the qualities, characteristics and practices that will embolden me into the type of leader my team needs.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most challenging things we’ve had to face as an industry and community. When we started The Agency, our dream was to develop a space where everyone would work together as a family. This remains our driving force as our company moves forward during these unprecedented times.
Now more than ever, it’s paramount to illustrate thoughtful and commanding leadership to ensure your team is cared for and your business continues to thrive during and after this crisis.
1. Be a clear communicator
As a leader, one of the most important characteristics you need to possess is being an effective and clear communicator. Providing your team with quality verbal and written communication ensures expectations are clearly understood and everyone is on the same page.
When the CDC advised of the global impact of the coronavirus, I quickly reached out to all of our team members and moved to a work-from-home model. I wanted to ensure the health and safety of our dedicated agents and staff — which is our top priority.
I also immediately reinforced the lines of communication to our clients, agents and staff so they knew that we were here for them. We utilized all the platforms available to us in order to effectively communicate with our team. This included our intranet service, social media channels, e-blasts and more.
We let clients know that we’re able to answer any questions they might have. We also had agents discuss other ways of conducting our business in adherence to health and safety guidelines, including providing online and video consultations, live streaming property tours and sharing updates on our social media channels.
In this type of situation, it’s important to keep a sense of community. I’ve found that when there’s a breakdown in communication, that’s when mistakes are made, and cracks in your foundation begin to form.
No matter the climate, at The Agency, we have an open-door policy. In fact, our offices are made of glass, which promotes openness and connection. Our agents and staff can always pop into my office to talk or ask questions.
Maintaining an open and free-flowing line of communication is the key to stimulating production and fueling trust within your team.
2. Be an example of integrity
Operating with integrity and honesty is one of the hallmarks of an effective and trusted leader. I pride myself on always treating others with respect, owning my mistakes and taking responsibility for them.
When operating as a team, there are many moving parts. It’s easy to shift blame amongst team members. A great leader acknowledges mistakes made and works toward solutions. Being honest with your team and your clients is also of the utmost importance.
Oftentimes, we’re tempted to sugarcoat things to avoid confrontation or protect certain parties, but this only deteriorates relationships. When you’re honest and speak the truth, it cultivates trust and sets an example of kindness and effective leadership for your team.
3. Be a facilitator
Being a strong facilitator for your team is incredibly important. Having a close relationship with your team members, knowing what their goals are, mentoring them and developing an action plan for them to achieve those goals are the cornerstones of a strong leader. You have to do away with micromanaging and trust your team to execute their goals.
As a leader, you must monitor progress and course-correct when needed, while providing the space for your team to implement their own methods to success. Ultimately, working together to achieve collective goals and milestones is what’s going to make your business thrive in today’s competitive market.
Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.