Running a successful real estate branch – like any business – takes time, skill development, and practice.
High performing branch leaders have typically worked hard to develop their skills.
Skills that help them to lead their teams to high performance – and to overcome the daily and higher-level challenges of branch leadership.
It can help to know what those skills are.
So we have compiled a list for you of the top 15 skill sets, to help you to self-assess which may be useful areas for your leadership development.
15 Skill Sets for Effective Real Estate Branch Leadership
Here are the top 15 skill sets for effective branch leadership:
#1: Strategic Planning
Branch leaders need to know what their goals / the goals of the branch are, and how they are going to achieve them.
Strategic planning includes:
- clearly articulating their vision and goals
- understanding where they are in relation to their vision / goals
- devise strategies and plans to move from where they are to where they want to be
- budgeting and prioritising spend
#2: Ability to execute, stay on track, course correct and create successful outcomes
As good as strategic planning can be for creating clarity, branch leadership can be super busy (especially for those still in a sales role).
As such, many spend their days bogged down in day-to-day managing tactics for current sales activity – and fighting fires.
This can impact their ability to make progress on bigger, more strategic goals.
Knowing how to create sufficient structural tension to stay on track, maintain progress and course correct where necessary to create successful outcomes and achieve strategic goals is an important skill set for branch leaders.
#3: Time management / Prioritisation (ability to prioritise time and energy on high-value activities)
Linked to #2 above, most branch leaders are crazy busy – most of the time because there is a lot coming at them from all directions.
Learning how to prioritise their time and energy on activities that deliver high value, is a skill worth developing.
It’s also important for work-life balance and personal health!
#4 & #5: Team Leadership and Sales Management
There is a difference between a team leader and a sales manager.
Some branch leaders focus on sales management at the expense of team leadership. Others do the opposite.
Both are critical skill sets and require focus so that one doesn’t cannibalise the other.
Sales management is an operational function that:
- keeps track of the numbers
- keeps track of existing stock and pipeline
- provides tactical advice around lead generation and sales, and
- generally supports sales results.
Some managers focus too heavily on conversations about sales results without a good balance of team leadership skill.
When this happens, team culture and morale can suffer.
Salespeople can feel micro-managed or judged, rather than supported to develop and grow.
Conversely, there are other managers who leave their team to it and don’t focus sufficiently on sales management.
Managers who do this struggle to create decent performance with their team.
For most of their salespeople, this will tend to lead to failure to thrive, which is also a failure of leadership.
Team leadership includes the ability to share and lead the vision, values and expectations with the team, and supports the development of a healthy team culture.
Team leadership also takes sales management data and considers what needs to happen to lift overall performance and talent development.
Branch leaders need to be able to attract, recruit and successfully induct new sales team members – and support staff to support them.
#7: Talent Development
To be successful, branch leaders need develop their sales and support talent to support their team to succeed.
- understanding their teams goals
- understanding the learning and development gaps of their team members, and
- providing relevant targeted learning opportunities for their team members to perform and achieve their goals.
A huge amount of money is wasted in the real estate industry on non-targeted training and development that results is zero return on investment.
Many managers make a damning assumption that lack of motivation is the cause of some of their low-performers results and weaknesses.
They also assume that training or motivational seminars are the solution.
Neither are true – and these assumptions are a common downfall of many ineffective managers.
Learning how to identify real causes – and how to effectively support and coach your team members are critical skill sets to helping your team to grow and lift their performance.
#9: Emotional Intelligence
In order to be an effective leader and coach, managers need to have a genuine ability to listen, have and demonstrate empathy and respect.
#10: Managing compliance
Branch leaders need to make sure their salespeople are operating in accordance with legislative requirements. It’s a sucky, but critical part of the job for most agencies.
The exception being Tall Poppy. They have recognised the burden of this accountability and the impact of this time-consuming nature of the role on the ability of the branch leader to lead performance. To combat this, they offer a well-thought out alternative for branch leaders with a centralised compliance model.
#11: Ability to listen and address issues when they arise
There are always going to be issues that need attending to in branch leadership.
The ability to listen and be practical and efficient at resolving issues is an important skill set. Especially if you want to retain the talent you’ve worked hard to recruit and develop.
#12: Performance management
Managing performance is more than just ushering poor performers out.
- setting team members up for success
- supporting all team members, including poor performers, to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to be effective
- providing development opportunities to address competency gaps
- knowing how to coach team members in times of struggle
- being professional and respectful in any ‘performance management’ interactions
Knowing how to develop people is a critical skill of effective leaders. Having genuine empathy for struggle and times when their salespeople are going through challenge while not being dragged into the drama of the struggle is one of the hallmarks of a genuinely great leader.
#13: Ability to balance work aspirations with other life aspirations
Burn out is a real thing in real estate leadership.
The ability to balance work and other areas of life is an important factor for overall wellbeing.
#14: Ability to professionally and respectfully challenge head office where needed
For most agencies, real estate head offices set the rules, policies, procedures and commission rates.
They also determine what systems will be used, and what support services are or aren’t delivered from head office to support branch and sales performance.
When head office policies and offerings restrict performance – or when their service delivery is poor, it’s important that head office receives feedback on what is and isn’t working in the field. That way, they have the opportunity to reflect on changes to improve against the competition.
Whether they do anything about it is another matter entirely!
Not addressing issues in their offer to salespeople, branch managers and franchise owners however, is a very common reason for their leaders and salespeople jumping ship!
If branch leaders do not take issues up with head office, and provide feedback to salespeople, their salespeople will naturally be lost over time to other higher service or less restrictive agencies who better understand their sales force needs in context.
#15: Ability to be professional at all times
Lack of professionalism has lots of different faces, from the subtle to the overt.
Depending on the nature of it, it can have a dramatic, negative effect on team members, reputation and talent retention.
Professional managers recognise their options and the impact of their actions – and in the face of all else, choose to be professional.
High-performing branch leaders of high-performing offices have a range of critical leadership skills.
Skills they have worked hard to learn, develop and hone.
If you want a high performing office, invest the time and work into learning and developing them – and they will reward you many, many times over.
Can we help?
We work with branch leaders to help them to develop the above skills, so they can build kick-ass, high performing teams, achieve their goals and win back some work-life balance in the process.
We offer a FREE Performance Strategy Session to branch leaders interested in exploring where they’re at – and whether we’d be a good fit to work together. See below for more information.
Want greater results from your team? Not sure how to get them there?
Book a Free Performance Strategy Session TODAY where we will…
– Take a good look at your current situation —what’s working and what’s not, so we know what’s going on
– Have a look at where you want to go and find out what’s possible
– Identify the one thing that’s been holding you back from higher performance and greater market share
– Map out a quick three-step action plan to get you started moving in the right direction
You’ll leave clear and confident and excited about taking your business to the next level.
To book your PERFORMANCE STRATEGY SESSION, email firstname.lastname@example.org