Building Your Real Estate Empire on a Solid Foundation by Sherry Swift

If building a real estate "empire" sounds like a gargantuan task, it's time to start developing a solid foundation first. Learn the most valuable mechanisms used by great leaders.

When you hear the word “leadership,” what comes to mind? Is it “boss?” “Supervisor?” “Responsible?” “Accountable?” The term that comes to mind for you is a great indicator of whether or not you’re ready to scale your business. 

Leadership is defined as “to lead, influence or guide others.” Is that something you feel comfortable taking on right now?  If you think you’re ready to lean into leadership, I highly recommend John Maxwell’s book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” In that book, the second law is The Law of Influence. It breaks down different mechanisms you might use to influence others as a leader. It’s vital that you understand these types of mechanisms and know how to use them effectively.

Let’s take a look at them:

  • Character: Your character is who you are as a human being. It’s how other people see you behaving–in real life, on social media, during your transactions. Do you know how to use your character, your front-facing image or reputation to influence others?
  • Relationships: This mechanism is built around who you know. Do you utilize your connections to persuade other people? Do you know how to leverage your relationships to grow your team?
  • Knowledge: What you have learned thus far in life and business is a valuable asset to those who might consider working together with you. Do you know how to use your current knowledge to attract others?
  • Intuition: This one’s a little trickier because it’s what you feel. Your ability to intuitively determine what needs to be done next. Are you good at using your intuition to persuade or guide others to the next step in working well on your team?
  • Experience: This is different from knowledge. It’s all about where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished. Do you have enough experience to attract and develop the type of agent you want on your team?
  • Past Experience: This is all about your accomplishments. Do you have credibility? Do you lean into your past experience in order to persuade others?
  • Your Ability: You may be willing to scale your business but are you able? Do you have the energy, time and bandwidth to do it?

We all tend to have one mechanism that we lean into more than others. There are some that we do not use enough. It will be important to develop a plan to sharpen your skills with those. Whatever is missing needs to be increased.

Who do you need to be and what do you need to do in order to successfully scale? 

After working with hundreds of agents, helping them to scale to hundred million dollar businesses, teams of 20+ and across multiple states, the biggest realization I’ve had is that just because you’re an effective real estate agent you may not be a responsible leader. There’s an important phrase leaders must be aware of. It’s “fight for fault.” By fight for fault I mean rather than finding fault in someone on your team who might not be working at optimal levels or who might be struggling not to look inside yourself.  Ask yourself these questions: 

What have I not communicated? 

What haven’t I taught, coached or provided?

What is my part in their lack of accomplishment? 

Are you ready for that?

The success of others on your team is a reflection of you as a leader, and so is their failure. Are you ready to take some hard looks at yourself before committing to scale your business?

It’s important to know that we attract who we are. If what we’re doing, our habits, are consistent and based on kindness, production and consistency, we will attract others who are ready for that. If we are attracting people who are not, it’s time for a mirror check and to ask “What am I doing that this is the type of agent I’m attracting?”

When you’re attracting the right people, the next step is to ask yourself if you’re ready to maintain the culture that is required to keep them. Are you ready to create a culture that maintains and encourages growth? If not, your people might outgrow you. As a leader, you need to be ready to take responsibility for anyone who is attracted to you: agents, coordinators, assistants.

In order to be able to scale, you must first be a leader. It’s much too hard to try to scale, then figure it out. Everyone pays the price when that happens.

What it comes down to is that we must be very effectively tuned in to who we are as human beings before we will be able to become the leader a scaled team needs. We must be clear on who we need to be, what we need to do and how we need to maintain in order to be eligible to scale.

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