Becoming a great real estate leader requires more than a few extra zeros in your bank account. In fact, leadership is as much about intangibles as it is about the all mighty bottom line. How you treat your team will determine more than you may realize. The greats like Branson and Buffett have put in a lot of time just to become leadership material. Their profits are more so a result of great leadership. They exhibit several traits that set them apart from the competition. So what do these traits look like? What characteristics will give you the fuel to grow and scale your own real estate business?
1. Authenticity: Passion, pizzazz, and showmanship can help with visibility and sales. However, in order to maintain credibility and follow through with deals, real estate pros also need to be authentic. You’ve got to walk the walk, be true to your personality, and do what others would want to see you do. When it comes down to it, be true to yourself and others. You are only cheating yourself if you aren’t.
2. Maintain Trust: Trust is incredibly difficult to develop, and so easily lost. This is mostly because of the bad apples that have ruined the real estate industry for those that are actually doing things right. Yet, trust is priceless. If all you’ve got trust, your chances of success are compounded. If you don’t have it, you can lose a lot more than you realize. Do everything in your power to maintain trust, as this is a people business. Do what you say and prove that people can trust you in the future.
3. Be Inspirational: If you want to lead, you’ve got to be someone that others aspire to be like. Otherwise, you need to have what others aspire to be like. Note that this doesn’t have to mean money or fancy cars.
4. Principles: Do you have principles that people know you will stick to – regardless of the price and pressure to fold? Do you always put your clients first? Do you always do the right thing? Principles define a person, and you want to make sure yours paint you in the best light.
5. Finances: Again, this isn’t about lots of money. That may be the right magnet in some circles, but it can actually be counterproductive in others. Remember that your assets and spending should remain in line with your real estate and personal brand. Financial stability is what really matters. That might seem like a stretch if you are starting out in real estate investing, or as a real estate agent with nothing. Create a personal budget and financial plan that includes reserves and emergency funds. That will help keep you on top, give you an edge when others are hurting, and prevent you from being tempted to compromise the trust and respect you have built.
6. Accountability: A Harvard Business Review report on ‘What Every Leader Should Know About Real Estate’ reminds us that it is important to be accountable. You may even want a coach to give you accountability in your own business.
7. Have a Team: Harvard Business also highlights the importance of real estate leaders having a team. This may be an advisory board, good strategic business partners, and even great researchers who can fill in where the leader may lack expert knowledge. If assembled in the right way, a good team is a formidable opponent for any competition.
8. Care about Sustainability: Going green has transcended trends, and is now a necessity for many businesses. However, many investors don’t realize that going green can be profitable too. Sustainability can also apply to the organization and model of your company – perhaps even your career. You’ve got to stay in the game if you are going to make it to legendary leader status.
9. Bring Value: The previously mentioned characteristics are all irrelevant if you can’t bring value to those around you. You can be the nicest real estate broker or CEO in the country, but if you aren’t delivering value to shareholders and consumers you’ll have a hard time staying profitable and remaining relevance.