Dave Panozzo is the co-founding owner of The Panozzo Team-HomeSmart, a real estate team in Phoenix, Arizona.
You have probably heard that the client always comes first. It’s a motto that drives deep for many real estate agents — including me and my team. Our company mission is to put clients first and I could go on for days about the importance of this mission – many of us with the same philosophy could. But in the midst of focusing on clients, have you ever thought to treat your business partners, employees and fellow agents the same way? When you place your team members at the same level of importance as the client, you will get next-level results and I am going to show you how you can do this in your business.
Have An Open-Door Policy
As a real estate leader, it’s important to always know where your people are in terms of business and also in their personal life. Everyone has certain circumstances that they are facing, which is why you have to know how to help them in both areas in order to see them succeed. It may be as simple as, “How was your daughter’s birthday over the weekend?” or it may fall along the lines of, “Hey, I heard you have been having some trouble with a client. What can I do to help you so that we don’t run into that problem next time?” By making yourself accessible for having candid conversations with your team members about little things, you position yourself as an approachable leader that your team can go to when it’s time to have discussions about heavier matters. Sometimes leaders make themselves unapproachable with attitudes similar to “It’s my way or the highway.” However, it is actually in your favor to be not quick to judge, open to change and intently listening. When a workflow problem was brought to my attention recently, my team approached me right away so that we can make adjustments and remove kinks in our processes to make the workflow smoother and more efficient. If it wasn’t for my open-door policy who knows if or when my team would have let me know about their ongoing problems.
Asking For Your Team’s Input
Although having an open-door policy is extremely beneficial to your team, it doesn’t mean it’s the one and only solution to solve all communication issues and/or improve productivity. As leaders, we are oftentimes removed from the front lines of all the action; we sometimes forget what actually happens for our team in the field and in the trenches. It is important to check in and find out what your sales team or employees are dealing with, ask their opinion to see what their viewpoint is as to how to improve current systems and processes. Ultimately, when you ask your team for their input, you’re looking for indicators that will move your company forward and make life easier for your team and/or customer experience. When receiving input from your team, it’s important to glean their words with a fine-tooth comb. Oftentimes what you may hear can either be a personal complaint or a suggestion that holds merit/truth and should be taken more seriously. As a leader, it is up to you to figure that part out, and the best way to do so is by quietly listening to understand, instead of doing all the talking.
Give Praise Where Praise Is Due
Have you ever heard that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing? Giving praise to your team members is important as it encourages hard work, momentum and morale, but too much of it can lead to a needy agent or employee who constantly seeks the need for approval. A verbal pat on the back letting your team member know they did an outstanding job should be used when the praise is due. Your compliment or words of encouragement might be that added shot in the arm or pick-me-up for those on your team who may be going through personal hardships and/or problems at home. This is why, when used sparingly, praise can be a powerful tool for motivating and inspiring your team to do more.
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A Win-Win Scenario
As you go throughout your week, keep these three concepts in mind when working with your team. In today’s world of business, times are forever changing, and if you don’t change with the landscape to overcome and adapt to changes then you will be left in the dust. To keep up with the times, this means not only should you put your clients first but also put the other agents on your team and/or employees first, which will ultimately lead to a win-win situation in the end.