Want to be a better leader to your real estate team? It comes down to delegation.
Last week, we continued the conversation about your No. 1 weekly objective in this market or any market: get two or more listing appointments. We already covered that the best way to maximize your time is to get some help with the “busy work” part of your business (AKA: anything that’s not getting listing appointments). Whether that means just getting a virtual assistant or starting a full-blown team is up to you; what’s important is that you’re able to focus of your highest and best use of time.
But what if you’re already running a team and still find that you don’t have the time? Well then, I’m sorry to say it, but there might be an issue with the way you’re leading. I don’t mean to sound harsh, and I definitely don’t mean that you’re not doing enough.
In fact, the problem is likely the opposite – you’re likely doing too much.
Delegation is one of the most important factors of leadership, but it can also be one of the trickiest, because it’s not easy to let go of control when you’re the one responsible for the outcome. That’s why in this blog I’m talking about delegation, the behaviors that get in the way of doing it effectively, and how to take full advantage of the help you have on-hand.
Let’s start with some of the behaviors that get in the way…
Why You’re Resistant to Delegation
Your business is your baby, and like a baby it depends on you to stay alive and stay safe. But also like a real baby, if it wants to survive, it has to grow and take on a life of its own. For agents new to growing their team and stepping into leadership, it’s this second part they might not fully understand.
If your control freak nature is getting in the way of your focus, you don’t get to call it perfectionism… Because perfectionism doesn’t apply if it’s holding you back. There are four main things causing you to be a control freak:
- Having too much knowledge so that you won’t allow team members to learn something on their own.
- You’re used to doing it all and can’t let it go.
- You fear of failing your business, so you won’t allow a new employee to make mistakes.
- Believing you can or should be able to handle everything more efficiently yourself.
Now, take a look at yourself and try to identify which of these behaviors might be holding you back from effective delegation… It could be one glaring mistake or a combination of them all, but your job is to identify the cause so you can be aware of it when it arises.
After all, what’s the point of paying someone to do a job if you’re going to bottleneck and micromanage them? Does this save you time and energy to commit to your HABU?
Now that you understand the reasoning, let’s look at some tips to delegate more effectively…
Real Estate Team Delegation Tip No. 1: Have a Training Plan Ready Upfront
Have you ever had a job where you never really knew what you were doing and all your boss ever told you was that you weren’t doing it (whatever it is) correctly? Most people have and they usually don’t last in these jobs very long, either because they’re let go or, more likely, because they quit. No one likes feeling completely lost.
That’s why unless you’re hiring an experienced professional, you should offer each new employee an initial training period to simply mirror you, observe, ask questions, and learn directly from you. Especially with an assistant, they need to get a sense of your expectations, work habits, and preferences.
I’d recommend setting aside two weeks to a month for this and allow your new employee to go out on their own whenever they’re ready in that time.
If you put in the hours upfront, you’ll get back a lot more later.
Real Estate Team Delegation Tip No. 2: Let Them Own Their Duties
We already talked about your sense of responsibility – now let’s talk about your team members’. People feel most attached and engaged in something when they have a sense of responsibility for what they’re doing. So how do you make someone care and feel responsible for their job performance?
It starts with putting trust in them. I’m not saying you won’t be there to guide them if they need it, but you should be willing to pass an entire task over to someone and allow them to see it through to the end.
Doing this will accomplish three huge steps:
- Build your team’s confidence in themselves and allow them to continue improving at a faster rate.
- Establish trust between you and your team.
- And most importantly, allow you to focus on your HABU!
Real Estate Team Delegation Tip No. 3: Don’t Be a Bully
This one should be obvious, shouldn’t it? But it might not be so easy for you to see it. Again, we need to see from multiple perspectives here and be really in touch with our own behaviors. Unless you’re just being an outright jerk, your team members might not say anything to you about how they’re feeling. And while I’m not saying you should allow your team to critique you too heavily (you’re still the boss), you should be open to feedback and let your team feel comfortable with coming to you about how they feel.
Real Estate Team Delegation Tip No. 4: Show Appreciation and Celebrate Wins
Morale is no joke.
One study shows that 69% of office workers claim that they’d work harder and take their job more seriously if they felt better appreciated. I’d recommend you make employee appreciation a regular part of your weekly agenda, because just think of it this way:
Feeling appreciated = having confidence = working harder = learning faster = taking on more responsibility.
Real Estate Team Delegation Tip No. 5: Don’t Overwhelm Them
Delegation is about balance. You’re passing off tasks because you’re overwhelmed, but if you are passing off too much work to people who are already overwhelmed, you run the risk of letting important things slip through the cracks or having a burned-out team.
Especially if you have multiple members on your real estate team, you need to be keeping tabs on each person’s workload to make sure everyone is at a capacity they can handle. This requires first knowing the skills and capabilities of each person who works for you.
If you’re not already using a task management software like Asana or Monday, I seriously recommend you consider it. These will allow you to see how many tasks each team member has, the due dates for each, and how much you can realistically assign them.
Also, just check in with everyone now and then. Ask them how they’re doing. It’s what good leaders do.
Be the Leader You’d Want to Have
The bottom line is that running a team is about traveling together, not alone. Your team is there to learn from you but you’re also there to learn from them – because as a leader, your job is to constantly be learning, adjusting, and supporting the people who depend on you.
If it sometimes feels like you’re doing all the supporting without a support system of your own, be sure to explore our Team coaching programs. There’s really no better way to run your team than with a coach to guide you on this journey and give you perspective with all the heavy decisions along the way. And starting now, our Team Coaching programs have gotten even better, with even more direct access to the kinds of leadership resources our community has been raving about.
It’s because our people spoke and we listened. That’s what being team leader is all about