Real Estate

So You Want to Be a Leader? Check Out These 5 Avenues

Ready to lead? We’ve got a variety of ways for you to channel your ambition and take on a leadership role, whether it’s in the office or the industry at large.

What does good leadership look like in 2022? How can you put your best foot forward where you work, whether you’re managing a team or an entire company? In March, we’ll plumb the topic through Q&As from top-tier industry leaders, contributions from Inman columnists (the leaders in their field) and more. Then we’ll keep the leadership conversation going in person at Inman Disconnect in late March in Palm Springs, California.

Entrepreneurship in general and real estate in particular seem to draw in the ambitious types — those who are not satisfied with the status quo and who are always looking to innovate. For many, this translates into a penchant for leadership roles, either in the community or in the industry. 

Whether you’re a natural-born leader who effortlessly takes over every room you’re in or you’re looking for a targeted way to channel your ambition, there are many ways to step up and take on added responsibility. Ready to lead? These channels will scratch that itch.

Associational leadership

According to Jay Thompson, one of the best ways to take a leadership role in the industry — and help to steer the conversation — is through participation in NAR and associational leadership at the local and state levels. There are scores of committees on a variety of topics, offering you the opportunity to build your professional network while helping to make important decisions that will resonate for years to come.

For my part, working with the Florida Realtors as an instructor and helping with curriculum development was an eye-opening experience — more of an education for me than for those I was instructing.

It gave me the chance to connect with hundreds of agents and brokers and find out what they needed in terms of marketing and tech instruction. It helped me to see the difference in access between rural and big-city agents when it comes to direct instruction and how tech can bridge that gap. It was a privilege to see their concern with ethics, professionalism and consistent best practices.

Team leadership

Adam Hergenrother has written extensively about teams, from startup to growth to leveling-up. Building a team is a natural way for many agents to leverage their time and name recognition and to make sure that their clients are well taken care of. In addition, an effective team strategy can involve serving multiple markets, especially when there is a well-defined relocation path between them.

There are plenty of ways to structure your team, so don’t feel limited by only those you’re familiar with. Look for a structure that plays to your strengths and the strengths of the agents or support staff you bring along with you for the journey.

Brokerage leadership

For agents who are looking for a more extensive reach, brokerage leadership may make sense. Whether as a broker-owner or as a managing broker, you have the opportunity to help develop both a business strategy and a market strategy while recruiting and retaining talented agents who can help you achieve goals with a larger scope.

According to Erica Ramus, before you begin it’s important to find your focus and define your mission and vision. Know your numbers and the nuts and bolts of your operation so that you’re ready to hit the ground running and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way once you’re open for business.

Mentoring younger agents

Do you have proven strategies and a desire to help others? You can make a big difference in a younger agent’s life by taking on a mentorship role. Talk to your broker about opportunities for formal mentorship within your brokerage or work with a new agent in your office on an informal basis. 

According to John Giffen, the high rates of turnover in the industry could be ameliorated by great mentoring. This is even more true now, with an unprecedented influx of new agents into the industry. See someone new in your office who has the right stuff? Get to know them and ask how you can help them in the days ahead.

Thought leadership

There used to be a great deal of gatekeeping around publishing and commentary, making it difficult for even the best real estate and business professionals to share their insights beyond their local market. Now, however, you have an almost endless number of ways to offer help and guidance to others. Write a blog, start a video series, host a podcast, contribute to Inman, speak at events, cultivate expertise in a niche and share it. 

The choice is yours, and it’s limited only by your time, interest and abilities. You may or may not develop a huge following or fan base and you may or may not become a household name, but you’ll find your audience and make a difference in their lives and the way they do business. That’s a legacy, that’s leadership, and that’s something to be proud of.

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