A well-structured management team you can depend on is crucial to your company’s success. Not only will a strong management team ensure that you’re constantly moving in the right direction, but it will also lay a solid foundation upon which you can continue to build for years to come.
While leaders come in all shapes and sizes, now more than ever, having the right people at the helm is mission critical.
This topic was discussed at length during the virtual session, “The Leadership Challenge: How to Structure a Management Team You Can Depend On,” presented as part of RISMedia’s Real Estate Rocking in the New Year on January 6.
“While everyone strives for perfection, they often find that perfection is a direction, and not, as they say, a destination,” said Diane Ramirez, chief strategy officer at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties, who moderated the lively discussion.
Jumping right in, Ramirez turned to Vince Leisey, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, to discuss his unique approach.
“Leadership starts with us as the leaders and CEOs of our organizations,” explained Leisey, who runs his brokerage without the typical chain of command that’s commonplace throughout the industry.
“You find out who the rockstars are, as well as the team players who are helping people accomplish their goals faster. And it absolutely works for us,” said Leisey.
“People need to put their egos aside so that we can all accomplish our goals sooner rather than later,” he added.
For Keith Ard, president of RE/MAX Gold – Northern California and Nevada, it’s all about leading from the front.
“As an executive team, we have always strived to lead from the front,” noted Ard. “This means that we have relationships at both the front of our organization and throughout it so that we can empower leaders to do what’s necessary day in and day out at the branch.”
Keeping it simple is the name of the game for Ard, who finds leading from the front to be an effective way for a leadership team to accomplish at a high level.
Shifting gears to address the process of identifying and recruiting new management talent, Ramirez asked Mike Pappas, president and CEO of The Keyes Company/Illustrated Properties, to share his tried-and-true strategies.
“Our goal is to maximize those around us to their full potential,” explained Pappas, who looks to the company’s own ranks to identify those with leadership capabilities. “We are profiling all of our agents to look for the behavior types that will want to lead.”
Drilling down even further, Pappas explained the importance of giving management the responsibility—and making sure it’s defined in the job description—while also giving them the authority and backing them up in all that they do.
As President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties, Dan Forsman is always looking for great leadership.
“In order to support great leaders, you have to empower your managing brokers to lead,” said Forsman, who wholeheartedly believes in the notion that the speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.
But it doesn’t end there.
“As a leader, you’re charged with the responsibility of finding the next generation of talent, so there has to be an awareness,” explained Forsman.
To that end, Forsman is always on the lookout for people who are humble and hungry, who are constantly trying to improve themselves.
For Leisey, whose organization is based on coaching and culture, the No. 1 trait he looks for is an “I care” attitude.
“We want people to understand how important culture is,” said Leisey. “We need an environment full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm where people are encouraging each other—and there’s a passion and a positive attitude that lives in that.”
Communication was another important piece of the conversation, as keeping a management team together is all about ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working toward building and maintaining a strong culture.
“When you have a message, you need to say it more than once,” said Forsman, who communicates with his team through meetings, video and social media.
Another way to get everyone on the same page? Business plans.
“If you don’t have a business plan, you don’t know what your goals are, you don’t know where you’re going—and so, you’re not going to get there,” explained Forsman.
“When we were faced with the challenge of determining how to continue to communicate in a different world, we dove right in and set up a meeting schedule the likes of which we hadn’t had before,” said Ard. “It’s a best practice that has come out of the last few years.”
For Pappas, not only is it communication, but it’s engagement and involvement as well.
“Collaborating and getting together for the vision of the organization is important, but the other thing we’re starting to do is engage with events,” noted Pappas.
Wrapping up the conversation, Ramirez asked for one final piece of advice for attendees to walk away with.
“As a leader, we have a great responsibility and a great opportunity to provide inspiration, aspiration and motivation,” said Forsman.
“Be specific in what’s expected,” added Ard. “Foster an environment of creativity, collaboration and empowerment—and be quick to acknowledge success and make change where change is needed.”
“It’s an honor, a privilege and a blessing to be able to lead others,” said Pappas. “If you have that calling, and you have that servant’s heart, it can be the best run of your life.”
“We want our leadership team and our agents to have an attitude of abundance where we openly share and collaborate with one another,” concluded Leisey. “We understand that the best is yet to come, and that there’s more than enough for everybody.”
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.