According to DEI expert Julia Lashay Israel, these characteristics, combined with a deep understanding of the industry and a passion for what they do, make great leaders more effective.

What decisions and paths should the real estate industry be prioritizing? And how can you, whether managing a team or an entire company, bring those best lessons to bear where you work? In February, in advance of building an industry blueprint at Inman Disconnect, we’ll plumb the topic of leadership with Q&As with top industry leaders, contributions from esteemed Inman columnists and more.

The real estate industry looks significantly different than it did 20 years ago (or even just one year ago). The emergence of advanced technologies has dramatically changed both the customer and agent experience, while crises like the 2008 financial recession and the COVID-19 pandemic have forced organizations to stay on their toes and learn to react in real time.

Leading through a shifting market can be challenging. Great leaders possess a variety of characteristics that enable them to effectively guide and inspire others in times of uncertainty and change and help them to be better equipped to handle emerging challenges. Here are eight characteristics that great leaders possess:

1. Vision

Great leaders have the ability to see the big picture and set a clear direction for the organization or team to follow. Having a clear vision inspires and motivates others to work towards a common goal and it provides a sense of purpose and meaning to the work that they do.

A vision serves as a guide to help leaders anticipate and plan for future challenges. It allows them to make strategic decisions that will help the organization achieve its goals and keep the team on track during difficult times. Ultimately, a vision is essential for great leaders to lead their organizations to success.

2. Strong communication skills

Great leaders are able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, and are able to convey their message clearly and concisely. Effective communication is essential for leaders to articulate their vision and goals to their team, stakeholders, and customers. This helps align everyone towards the common purpose and achieve desired outcomes.

Strong communication skills allow leaders to build trust and credibility with their team, stakeholders, and customers and can be used to resolve conflicts and negotiate effectively.

3. Integrity

Great leaders possess a strong moral compass and act with integrity in all of their dealings. They lead by example and inspire others to do the same.

When leaders have integrity, they are seen as honest, trustworthy, and dependable. This allows them to gain the respect of their team members, which is essential for effective leadership. Without integrity, leaders may struggle to gain the support and cooperation of others, making it difficult to achieve success.

4. Empathy

Great leaders are able to put themselves in the shoes of others to understand and relate to the perspectives, experiences and needs of their team members. Having empathy also helps leaders build trust and respect with their team, which in turn builds strong relationships that create a positive and supportive work environment. This understanding also increases motivation and productivity.

5. Resilience

Great leaders are able to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. They are not easily discouraged and are able to stay focused and motivated in the face of adversity and uncertainty.

Resiliency allows leaders to remain calm and composed under pressure, to adapt to change and uncertainty, and to continue moving forward despite setbacks. It also enables them to maintain a positive attitude and to inspire and motivate their team members to do the same.

6. Adaptability

The real estate world and circumstances are constantly changing. Great leaders are able to adapt to changing circumstances and are able to make tough decisions and pivot, when necessary, in order to achieve their goals. Being able to adapt to new situations, challenges and environments allows leaders to be more resilient in the face of adversity and to continue to lead their organization or team effectively.

Additionally, an adaptable leader can better anticipate and respond to changes in the market, technology and other external factors that may impact their organization.

7. Emotional intelligence

Great leaders have the ability to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence allows leaders to effectively manage their own emotions. This helps to create a positive work environment, build strong relationships and make informed decisions.

Because emotionally intelligent leaders are able to understand the emotions and perspectives of their team members, they are able to communicate effectively and inspire commitment.

8. Decisiveness

A great leader is able to make difficult decisions and take action quickly and confidently. They help maintain momentum to keep the organization moving forward and are more likely to achieve results and drive progress.

Indecision can lead to delays and wasted resources. A decisive leader is able to make decisions quickly and efficiently, saving the organization time and resources.

While no one leader possesses all of these characteristics all the time, the best leaders strive to embody these qualities and continually work on developing them. These characteristics, combined with a deep understanding of the industry and a passion for what they do, are what makes great leaders so effective at driving change and inspiring others to do their best work.

As the head of inclusion and belonging for Keller Williams Realty International, Julia Lashay Israel advises, trains and coaches leaders, team members and agents to recognize and address diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities and challenges across the organization.

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