A broker recently told us about his first ever performance review as a manager. “I remember my boss telling me that though I was very smart and energetic I had to learn to ‘let go of the bench’. It is a lesson I took to heart when I became a real estate broker.” This is great advice for all brokers and something we stress to the many brokers we speak to on a regular basis. And it’s not hard to see why.
For many brokers, such as yourself, the decision to open your own business simply made sense – after all, you’re experienced in the industry, have a great track record and know how a brokerage runs, so taking on the business side of things is just one more task. Except sometimes, it’s surprising just how much time it really takes. Running your own brokerage means recruiting your own real estate agents, real estate marketing, and managing it financially and administratively. When you are dedicated to seeing your business succeed, this often means you try to take on everything yourself. And if you don’t–or can’t–get something done, it doesn’t happen – and that doesn’t help your business. This is where learning to “let go of the bench” comes in.
Developing the ability to delegate managerial and sales work properly is one of the keys to successfully running any business, but is especially true for brokers because so much of your time is spent is spent on essential, but non-sales related tasks. There’s no way you can multitask while running an open house, for example. Delegating not only means that you have access to additional people to take on certain tasks, it also means having access to people that you can trust to do those tasks properly. This is an essential part of the process of taking yourself from real estate agent, to effective leader of a brokerage, and having the time and resources to be able to put in place the plans, processes and support needed to build and grow your business. Without it, you risk being overworked and overwhelmed, and your business has trouble moving forward.
How to Delegate Effectively and Turn Employees into Managers
- Learn to let go: Dedication is the name of the game, but overseeing your own business means focusing on the big picture and letting go of other tasks. Start small and build up to bigger tasks as you get to know and learn to trust your team. Reward good results with more responsible tasks.
- Prioritize: No two tasks are made equal, so sit down and develop a strategic plan that prioritizes tasks in different categories from those needing the highest skill level to those needing the lowest. This will help you decide who should be capable of taking on what.
- Strengths and weaknesses: Everybody has them and your team is no different. Spend time getting to know them so that you can play to their strengths and match up tasks with the individuals with the most relevant skills and experience.
- Instruct and teach: You are likely to have the most managerial experience of anyone on your team, but that means that your role is more effective for some tasks as a teacher rather than actively working on the task. Transferring those skills so that you can focus on growing your brokerage may take some time in the short term, but it will pay off soon.
- Trust, verify and feedback: Don’t micromanage your team leaders while they work or else you won’t benefit from letting go of these tasks. Give them a certain amount of time and step in casually on occasion to ask how they are progressing. As you learn to trust your managers and as their skills increase, you can rely more on them. Feedback is very important at this stage, both in terms of correcting errors constructively and in praising work well done.
At the end of the day “Letting go of the bench” is easier said than done. To do it properly you need a plan, a strategy for the cultivation and motivation of team leaders in your brokerage. You need discipline and a plan for managing at a different level and finally focusing on the things you need to. You need to have a system and a set of activities that if properly executed, will help you consistently meet your growth targets. It’s this type of process and tools that the Weichert System for Growth and our real estate coaching program provides.
For more information visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com.