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With each passing day, the evidence that the housing market is shifting mounts. There’s talk of bubbles. Falling demand for mortgages. And waning competition.
All of that means this is the moment for team leaders to shine and calmly guide their people through turbulent waters, according to a pair of industry veterans.
That was the takeaway during a Thursday session of Inman Connect Now dubbed “What team leaders should be doing right now.” The session featured Lauren Rosin, who leads a team at eXp Realty, and Geoff Bray, the broker-owner of Engel & Völkers Minneapolis — both of whom talked at length about what a shift means for real estate professionals. But while the conversation was wide ranging, they both agreed that there are opportunities right now for team leaders to shine.
Here were the major takeaways from the session:
Bray pointed out that real estate is cyclical and that you never “win” at your career. Instead, the industry keeps going up and down and you either forge a good career or not. And the key along the way, especially in tough times, is to “stay calm.”
“Be aware of what’s happening,” he advised, “but don’t freak out about it, because it’s happening to everybody.”
That’s especially true for team leaders, who will have less experienced agents looking up to them for guidance and advice.
Focus on education
Rosin explained that right now she is “really leaning heavily into training and sharpening everyone’s tools.” Many of today’s agents have only ever worked in an environment where home prices were always rising, mortgage rates were always low and houses were selling quickly, she went on to note. That situation has made life easier for agents, but it hasn’t necessarily forced them to sharpen their skills.
“The last eight to 10 years have been a very, very great market, but that is going to breed weaker agents,” she said.
The response to that situation, especially amid a market shift, is to double down on agents’ skills. Among other things, Rosin said she is working with agents, so they know how to work their leads and how to extract more referrals.
“That’s my focus right now, making sure everyone is trained,” she added.
Bray made a similar point, noting that “this is a time in which we need to be absorbing information like a sponge.”
Bray and Rosin have both weathered prior market shifts and downturns. But that isn’t true for a huge cross section of today’s real estate agents. And while the two leaders offered various specific tips — Rosin is also leaning into her systems to help organize her team, for example — they also said at the most basic level, leaders need to be there for their team members.
“Team leaders right now really need to be physically present in front of their team members as much as they can,” Bray said.
He went on to note that teams offer a particular advantage at this moment, because they provide agents with more one-on-one guidance — which can be a remedy for getting “lost in the shuffle at some of the bigger brokerages.” And in the end, leaders need to make sure they’re capitalizing on the advantages that teams offer and helping their fellow agents succeed.
“I think it’s really important for team leaders and advisors and brokers to really go back and remember the why they started a team,” Bray said.