Real estate brokers often talk about their culture. The odd part about the conversation is that the culture a brokerage has is often developed by happenstance, without intention or effort. Often, when WAV Group measures the attributes of a brokerage culture, we learn that it is people based. Simply stated, they like their manager or the broker without much understanding as to why. Ergo, culture is typically a popularity score. However, there are certain behaviors that will directly develop culture in your business if you make them an intentional behavior of your leadership.
How ya doin’?
The most common greeting among people is to ask “How are you?” And the most common response is “Fine, how are you?” However, if you are trying to develop culture in your business, you take an added step of developing a personal and sincere answer that goes deeper. To develop culture, share something specific about how you feel in that moment.
When having meetings, go around the room and ask each person to share what they are excited about or anxious about before jumping right into business.
The problem with cell phones, laptops, and tablets is that we are always connected all the time. People often fall into the bad habit of hardly lifting their head up from these devices to greet someone.
To develop better culture in your brokerage, be sure to limit your distractions when you are in a meeting or having a conversation. Close the laptop unless you are presenting. Turn off your cell phone, and tablet. Be present when you are with others and demand the same in return.
We can all read body language intuitively. When you are speaking to someone, pay attention to how they are dressed, their body language, posture, and expressions.
During meetings, pay close attention to body language and changes in body language. Moreover, acknowledge it. Great cultures generate smiles and laughter.
A great way to build culture in a brokerage is role-play. When you are discussing a topic, assign a role to different people in the room. Have each person represent a perspective like new agent, top producer, competitor, homebuyer, home seller, etc. You can even go further by meeting with people before the meeting to discuss that persona in advance.
By allowing agents to represent persona’s, a brokerage is able to drive agents to understand how a brokerage is inclusive of many personas in the development of the company’s culture.
Eat the Dog Food
Real estate brokers must avoid the trap of losing empathy. We see this happen with brokers, office managers, MLSs, and technology firms that think they understand the life of an agent, but they really don’t. A classic example of this is the adoption of tools for the brokerage. I cannot tell you how often we encounter leadership that is trying to drive agent adoption of business tools, but the leader cannot even log in.
Every leader should eat the dog food. If you want an agent to do something, be sure to do it yourself first. Don’t rely on the trainer or someone else to know and understand the tool. You need to use it yourself, test it with your customers, and log in every day. All of these things seem so simple when you are looking at it from your lofty tower. You really cannot understand it until you engage.
Have other ideas for behaviors that drive culture in your brokerage – we would love to hear what works. We embed ourselves in brokerages to understand what is working and not working. These practical tips make a difference, but we would love to know what you have found too – drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your success stories.