• Shonleigh Draper

The lack of leadership in real estate and property management agencies

Updated: Oct 3, 2019

Have you ever left an agency or an organisation due to really poor leadership? 🤷‍♀️

What was that experience like for you?

Did it leave you feel bitter? A little scarred from the ordeal?

Let's talk about 'leadership'.

"Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. This leadership definition captures the essentials of being able to inspire others and being prepared to do so. Effective leadership is based upon ideas (whether original or borrowed), but won't happen unless those ideas can be communicated to others in a way that engages them enough to act as the leader wants them to act. Put even more simply, the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and leadership skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction."

Leadership in Real Estate & Property Management is something i'm incredibly passionate about and I tend to bang on about to anyone and everyone who will listen 😅

There's a few reasons around why I care so much about Principals growing into legendary leaders...

1) Without strong, kind and compassionate leaders paving the way in our industry, it makes my job as a recruiter a whole lot harder as retaining great people long-term in an agency where there's a huge lack of leadership is almost impossible. Talent are becoming less tolerant and aren't scared to move on quickly if necessary. If I had a dollar for every time someone reached out to tell me, "I've only been in this job for a few weeks and I can already see the cracks appearing...", i'd be a very wealthy woman!

2) I believe that this lack of leadership is a "You don't know what you don't know" kinda thing. So often we see high-performing agents open agencies and because they are so incredibly successful in their listing and selling ability, they forget to look inward and ask themselves "Am I capable of leading this team to success? Do I have what it takes to be a business leader as opposed to a business owner?". I think education around this in real estate is SO important.

3) I feel that there is so much opportunity to level up and foster stronger leaders in our industry which will in turn have a huge ripple effect on the way we hire and fire (logically, not emotionally), and I believe it will also change the way the public perceives our role in the community (for the better!)... we just need to be shown the way!

Over the past few years in my role in the industry, i've witnessed some truly incredible acts of leadership and met with leaders who take their role as the Principal, Sales Manager, PM Head of Department or Team Leader very seriously. Just this year I worked with a Principal who was known for picking his employees children up from school if she got tied up in appointments and was going to be late. To me, this is an act of leadership, this is setting an example and paving the way for kindness and selflessness amongst the team members in this agency. I've also met many Principals who lack the necessary leadership skills they need to run their business effectively, and who haven't been able to take their teams or their business to the next level due to this. Instead, they've had an incredibly high turnover of staff, experienced a lot of unnecessary stress and pain in their business, had a lack of sales/new business and overall low morale across their teams which has resulted in a toxic culture which has in some cases been detrimental to the doors staying open.

I once worked with a Principal who let me know that he was going to terminate his employee because the employee arrived to work on time and left on time every single day. He believed that this behaviour was setting a 'bad example' for the other staff members who never left work on time to go home. When I asked if the employee was being productive and getting all her work done in her set working hours, the Principal agreed that yes, she was. He fired her anyway.

I believe (with all due respect) that we're lacking strong leadership in our industry because all too often we're seeing really great sales people open agencies, and unfortunately a really great salesperson earning $2m GCI a year doesn't always = a really great leader.

It's not all doom and gloom though, I see a huge opportunity for Principals to up skill and become respected and inspiring leaders for their teams. After all, without happy and productive teams in place, we can't provide a high quality of service for our clients, and if we can't provide that service to our clients and we keep getting it wrong, we're out of business. It all starts at the top, with leadership.

I've spent the last few months soaking up all of the goodness from the Martin Moore "No Bullshit Leadership Podcast" and I think it's a really great place to start for agency leaders who are looking to sharpen the saw and increase their leadership knowledge and skill set, so I wanted to share it with you today in hopes that it inspires you to level up as a leader in your business.



And just remember... you don't actually have to own the business to be a strong leader in it, you can lead from any position in a business, leadership is everyones responsibility.