Real Estate

Take The Temperature Of Office Culture By Starting At The Top

Whether you’re a broker-owner, managing broker or team leader, you may be surprised to find out how much your vibe affects your organization, Joseph Santini writes.

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There are many things that determine if a real estate brokerage will be successful, but perhaps none of them are as important as the office culture that you create. This is something that you do have to work on and what goes on in your office daily will have either a positive or a negative effect on your culture.

You can feel it in every business that you visit and when you enter a space, the temperature of that environment is very evident. Take notice during your daily travels to different businesses and you can always sense the ones that are thriving and the ones that are struggling with the feeling that they give you when you are there.

The culture always starts with the broker/owner/leader and by meeting these people you can tell right away what you can expect from their businesses.

The first thing to do is to decide what type of culture you want for your office and then work to create it. The main ingredient of great office culture is the personality and attitude of the leader.

Can this be changed if it is not where it should be? While personalities do not change much, behaviors can change. Read on to find out what will help your office culture and what will harm it.

Great office cultures have these 5 things in common

A positive leader: When the leader is positive, you can be sure that all the staff and the agents brought into the office will be positive.

A stable environment: The office is stable regardless of the market or how stressful things are. The staff is consistently good, and the whole office sees good in everything.

Lots of fun: The staff is always smiling and having a great time doing their jobs. You will find the agents will be doing the same. Fun events are always going on in and out of the office.

The ‘temperature’ of the office is good: The feeling that you get when you walk in is warm. When this is going on you will find agents hanging around the office, working more and being more successful.

A productive environment: The office is productive, and everyone is moving forward — the staff, the broker and the agents. Productivity makes people feel good. This is expected, and this is what you get.

5 things that have a negative effect on office culture

Driving the numbers and ignoring everything else: Good relationships, fun and good communication are some of the key elements that will keep staff and agents engaged. These things can’t be ignored.

Toxic agents: You really won’t see these often if you select your agents carefully but now and then it happens. These agents need to be removed as they will cause big issues with your other agents, with your staff and with you. Don’t hesitate to have that conversation to move them on and protect your office.

Hiring the wrong staff: Staff who have a negative view will not be good for business or contribute to your culture. They will change the whole temperature of your office, so hire carefully.

Negative atmosphere: Keep your office light and bright. Great furniture, great lighting, fresh flowers, etc. All these things set the stage for a positive, fun culture.

Not focusing on production: This is a business. Set the expectation for production, and you will attract agents who produce. Without this, your office will be filled with non-producers who will have a negative view of the business.

Final thoughts

Sometimes office culture just happens and other times you may have to work at it more, but your office culture will play a big part in the success of your brokerage. Pay attention to it and make it part of what you do every day.

Everything really does start at the top as people will take on the leader’s attitude on just about everything in the office. Try it out and you may be surprised to find just how much you, as the leader, control your environment.

Joseph Santini is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Realty in Boca Raton, Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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