4 levels of leadership in real estate

There is an interesting uniqueness to the real estate industry based on the fact that most operators in the field are independent contractors. It is not their legal standing that makes things intriguing, but rather their mental freedom and sense of responsibility that pose a challenge to office owners and managers.
And maybe the challenge begins with a wrong title. You may be a broker-owner, and office owner, but you are not a manager. In fact, you cannot manage people in real estate. You can lead them, inspire them, challenge them – but not manage them. As a leader you should aspire – we all should aspire actually – to reach level 4 of leadership, because that’s the level your people deserve.

What are the 4 levels?

Level 1 – tyrannical leadership
A style based on fear and repercussions. This leader will get results in the short-term through an iron fist, clear guidelines and rules, and daily confrontations. However, this style de-motivates very quickly, has absolutely zero lasting effect, and promotes turnover while devastating for recruiting and retention. Without fun and excitement there is very little left to strengthen agents as they face the hardships of real estate. This is clearly the worst kind of leadership.

Level 2 – radiant leadership
This leader motivates his people through personal example and charisma. The second this leader enters the office, it’s as if someone flicked on the lights and an aura uplifts everyone spirits. With high energy and determination, production immediately rises. People start making phone calls, scheduling appointments, getting their CMAs ready, and the office feels like a bustling beehive. But… as soon as the leader is away, feeling a tad under the weather or off to vacation, the production plummets. Radiant leaders influence their people ONLY when they are physically in the area. Their impact is substantial, but fleeting and dependent on presence.

Level 3 – cult leadership
A cult leader is admired near and afar. This leadership style is easy to recognize when you talk to people about their leader out of earshot. They will gush about his many positive traits, and it will become clear to you that a real role model exists in that office. Not only are the people totally motivated, hard-working and productive – even in the leader’s absence production remains extremely high. This leader can afford lengthy vacations knowing that his staff will continue to deliver top-notch results. However, all this positivity is attached directly to the figure of the leader. Being a cult leader is great for the ego – as you constantly hear how much people adore you – but not as empowering for the ones who do the adoring…

Level 4 – inspirational leadership
Lorenzo De Medici was never an official leader of 15th century Florence, but he provided inspirational leadership to the flourishing city through his benevolence, support of learning and knowledge, championing of the arts, and the promotion of liberal thinking. The lives of individuals living in De Medici’s Florence changed forever thanks to his influence.
And that’s what an inspirational leader does – driven by a clear mission to change people’s lives, these leaders provide influence, freedom, support and security, respect and empowerment, quiet internal leadership and so much more, as they find their pride and joy not in the satisfaction of their own egos or bank accounts, but rather by the development of their people.

Which level of leadership are you? And what do you need to do to get to level 4?