What does good leadership look like in 2022? How can you put your best foot forward where you work, whether you’re managing a team or an entire company? In March, we’ll plumb the topic through Q&As from top-tier industry leaders, contributions from Inman columnists (the leaders in their field) and more. Then we’ll keep the leadership conversation going in person at Inman Disconnect in late March in Palm Springs, California.
Leadership today has many faces and many voices. At Inman, we don’t just tell you how to lead, we show you by featuring the writing of some of the most respected and successful industry leaders around. We rounded up 10 pieces of road-tested wisdom to help you be a better leader, whether you’re leading a company, a small team, or developing your skills for the journey ahead.
Barbara Betts, The RECollective: Authenticity is the No. 1 trait of a good leader. You have to let your agents and clients know that you are human, too. Showing your team that you are not perfect — you have good days and bad days, you make mistakes — has been key to me being a relatable and connected broker.
John Gafford, Simply Vegas: To me, leadership is about one thing: reaching back as you push forward. To me, the best thing I can do for our agents is create opportunities. It may be through new tech, education or by creating investment opportunities. I feel we should be judged by the success we cultivate in others, not the success we create for ourselves.
Be both self-confident and selfless
Ryan Carter, 8z Real Estate: A good leader is this perfect intersection of being very self-confident, whilst being selfless at the same time. Strong leadership requires the confidence to make good and sometimes difficult decisions. The confidence to have a vision that you drive to achieve.
Make your own opportunities, then share
Troy Palmquist, Doora Properties: What real estate requires, more than anything, is the willingness to get out there and make opportunities for yourself. It requires the ability to work hard and share the knowledge that you’ve gleaned from your time in the market with clients and colleagues.
Improve yourself first
Jimmy Burgess, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida: Five years from now the size of your business will be a direct result of the skills you develop. What are the skills you need to develop now that will lead to your dream business in the future? If you focus on improving yourself, your business can’t help but improve.
Be accountable, and require accountability
Brandon Brittingham, Maryland & Delaware Group of Long & Foster Real Estate: It was a game-changer for me when I realized, at the end of the day, success is just one person making a choice. You have to build a culture in which people understand they’re responsible for their own success or failure. We simply can’t do that for them. If you don’t do something you’re supposed to do, I’m not going to yell at you. I’m going to ask, “What got in the way?”
Missy Yost, eXp Realty Bluffton/Hilton Head Island: Listening to the needs and concerns of your team is an integral part of leadership. By encouraging transparency in a non-threatening environment, you’ll resolve misunderstandings before they can take root and turn into a conflict.
Be a servant leader
Cara Ameer, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty: Servant leadership is about putting employees first and being aware of not just yourself, but of others. It means listening, being empathetic and bringing people together through persuasion and cooperation. Great servant leaders have an agent and employee-centric mentality. They don’t surround themselves with a bunch of “yes” people. Instead, they challenge themselves by considering multiple points of view, even those they don’t necessarily agree with.
Don’t fear mistakes
Darryl Davis, Darryl Davis Seminars: Every time you make a mistake, you’re learning. Whether it’s during a prospecting call, a face-to-face meeting with a potential seller or while working with a homebuyer, you are bound not to hit it out of the park the first time — and that is all right. Give yourself grace to mess it up, then consider what you can do the next time to do it better.
Don’t sit in your feelings
Adam Hergenrother, Adam Hergenrother Companies: Motivation, much like willpower, or any other feeling, is fleeting. We all sit around waiting to feel like doing what we have said we’re going to do, and while we’re waiting to get motivated, we waste time and get further and further away from our goals. The whole thing seems pretty counterintuitive to me. What we need to tap into are inspiration and action. Action precedes motivation and emotion.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.