You may be a manager, head of department or CEO but one thing you have in common is that you’re a leader in your estate agency. Being a leader, your actions and behaviours can influence others positively and negatively and your leadership style directly impacts on your office culture. Does your team know the vision of your business? Although they may not be directly involved in creating the vision and forging the direction the business will take short and long term, they are responsible for articulating the vision to other team members and empowering them to work towards operational strategies and priorities.
Office culture is one of the easiest and yet hardest things to establish, it is centred on creating a working environment where team members are encouraged to flourish, where there's mutual respect and understanding and it fosters open and constructive communication. Communication is so important in office culture; the ‘them and us’ (team and leaders) divide is the result of a poor and ineffective culture. You need to be transparent, allowing your team to be involved, giving them the ability to share ideas and implement them. It can be hard as a leader to let go, but let go you must!
There may be occasions when your team fail, failure is part of learning and it should not be something you fear. Having the ability to accept failures, adapt, learn and push yourself further outside your comfort zone is what makes us successful. If we stayed in the area of what we know and what felt safe, we would never progress. As estate agents, we may protrude an air of confidence, we’re driven to gain new business and strive to be better than our competitors, yet underneath the professional façade we are entrepreneurs continuously striving to achieve a successful business.
Culture isn’t just defined by people, but also places working in a tired and drab office can affect morale. It’s important to think about creating a space that breed’s productivity and provides your team with a level of comfort. You don’t need to be as extreme as those unique offices in Silicone Valley, but you should create an environment that people want to work in. Your office is an extension of your company culture and ethos; it should express who you are as an estate agency through its design. Don’t just focus on your team but also think about your clients, what comforts are you offering them and how does your office layout support or hinder their experience with you?
People, places and now systems, I know I talk often about creating strong systems that are embedded throughout your business, but it’s essential if you're seeking to achieve any sustainable level of growth successfully. Systems span everything from how you schedule and conduct meetings to your company policies; it clarifies accountability, authority and responsibility.
Are you providing the leadership required to establish a positive organisational culture?