If you’re managing a team or office of real estate agents you’ll benefit from being a skilled problem-solver in all types of markets with a variety of personalities. Knowing how to weather a storm comes in handy.
As interest rates rise and other financial and geopolitical factors create fear and uncertainty, keeping your people in the right mindset to be productive can feel like running on a hamster wheel.
Now is the time when strong crisis management skills can save the day. These skills can help you productively move your company forward with the least amount of stress.
Here are five essential skills that can be used to strengthen trust and confidence and keep your team at the top of their game.
When we give our agents a clear message to share with their clients, they are armed with a compelling tool. Crisis communication needs to be crisp, concise, and timely.
We can assuage fear by acknowledging the magnitude of people’s concerns and then providing quality, helpful information. How do we address or manage the process in a way that soothes their concerns and supports their success?
During the Great Recession we honed this important skill with both our agents and our consumers. Helping them stay calm and focused helped all of us weather the hurricane.
- Be willing to experiment
As leaders, we may not always have all of the answers. We can, however, gather information and determine the best path forward.
This requires adaptability and agility. We may have taken the same approach 1,000 times, but if it’s not working anymore, then it’s time to try something new.
An experimentation mindset understands that improvement is a process. We can pivot, learn, and refine until a new solution emerges. It is okay to fine-tune along the way. We’ve launched and sunset a number of tools for our agents and have a systematic approach as contracts are expiring of analyzing whether those tools have been as effective as we’d hoped, what the adoption rates are and assessing the cost/benefit.
- Emotional intelligence
Empathy and connection are powerful tools to help our agents and clients navigate challenging or unknown territory. We need to ask ourselves, how are we creating a mutually supportive environment that fosters connections?
Confident agents who feel part of something bigger than themselves are better equipped to assist confused or uncertain clients. As leaders, we can be beacons of clarity and purpose, which lights the way for our teams to step up to what needs to be done.
EQ isn’t just about giving people hugs. It’s about a mindset of openness, inclusivity and awareness of others’ needs. I once worked with a broker who took a “you’re dead to me” approach when an agent left his company. None of those agents ever ventured back.
- Relationship management
Staying connected with your agents helps provide essential guidance that trickles down to their clients. Communicating a clear vision and direction gives the people around us strength and inspiration. They look up to you. Honor that respect by knowing their names when possible and getting out in the field with them.
Essential to effective relationship management is listening. Do what you can to understand the full scope of any question or problem, including the underlying assumptions.
Sometimes simply being attentive and listening allows our agents the space to work through their problems and come up with a viable solution. Often they know the answer on their own, but just needed a sounding board.
As a leader, you do not have to be the sole source of innovative thinking, solutions, and ideas. A group of people with clear purpose and instruction can devise more and better solutions than any individual. We can leverage the diverse talents of our teams.
Creativity means we embrace the challenges before us and activate the perspectives around us to turn adversity into opportunity. It also means we remain composed, optimistic, and open-minded. Everyone in the company will periodically offer their ideas, which are often not rooted in the reality of what running a brokerage is really about. However, you can take a few golden nuggets and show your people that you’re willing to creatively implement some of the suggestions.
Use crisis management skills to increase productivity
If there is a silver lining, strong crisis management skills will lead us to it. Our effective leadership can create a barrier against the fear and uncertainty that would otherwise erode the determination and positive attitude that drives success.
Few things are constant in life, but change is one of them. As we step up and embrace the changes of today, we position ourselves to capitalize on the opportunities that come our way.