Lead, Transform, Innovate

You can’t transform your business without transforming your people, says Michael Sheargold.

The key to growing and building your business is to focus on the right leadership and innovation. But if you look across the entire real estate industry today, there is a distinct lack of these two elements in most agencies, with principals increasingly looking to build or transform a business solo or by adopting a scattered, unfocused approach.

“None of us is as smart as all of us” – it’s a mantra I am very fond of and an extremely simple concept. However, many principals don’t understand how to apply it to business growth.

If you feel like you aren’t growing, or making headways within the industry don’t be afraid to ask for help. Often it’s having an outsider’s point of view that can help transform thinking within your agency and lead to business growth.

Principals can find business lonely. There is a real “who can I talk to” syndrome where team, clients and friends think everything is going great, when in many cases, there’s a massive need for an external sounding board to give perspective.

This help can come from a number of sources available to you whether it’s an industry body, franchise group, mentoring or coaching or joining a network.

As a principal, being able to draw on the knowledge of like-minded operators is an invaluable asset to an agency. Meeting other principals in the industry and bouncing ideas off each other often leads to the evolution of ideas to transform the industry on the whole.

Another reason growth may be faltering, is that principals are struggling to step away from the sales role they’ve become accustomed to and focus on business growth and long-term goals that will propel an agency into the next phase.

It’s a scary situation for most as it requires building an entirely new set of skills, but there are a number of processes principals can employ to remove that fear factor.

Often it’s the obvious things that get left by the wayside, such as creating a solid business plan and setting achievable goals – but getting these things right is absolutely key to business success.

I’m sure you’ve heard “begin with the end in mind” – the best advice I can give is to step outside of your business and ask yourself where you want to be in three years from now. The more specific you are, the more effective the planning process will be.

Once you have clarity on the three-year view, you can drill that down further into the next 12 months and set goals for yourself and the business.

A business plan helps to create a solid foundation and will give the agency and its team a goal to work towards with clearly set milestones that will help to transform an agency.

This is the most common goal I hear from principals, that they want to ‘transform’ their businesses. But ultimately, it’s not really the business that transforms, but the people who form that business.

I’m a genuine believer in investing in people, through developing decision- making skills and empowering agents to take control. The flow-on effect is a fitter, healthier and more dominant business ready for the market conditions it will experience.

The best real estate businesses on the planet have a strong culture of learning and growth. This goes beyond just training, it’s a way of looking at everything we do and asking, is there a better way?

It is crucial for principals to step away from the latest “fad” business ideas – these never gain any traction. Instead they should focus their attentions on building a strong foundation with personality and integrity.

Building a positive brand profile and workplace culture will keep business flowing through the doors of an agency while attracting a high calibre of talent to sales positions.

These are just some of the things I will be telling principals who are part of the Real Estate Results Network at this year’s Principal Advance conference in Bali.

If we can break down these barriers to growth with training and networking and a clear focus – it’s not just the individuals that benefit – it’s the whole industry.

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Michael Sheargold

Michael Sheargold is the CEO of Michael Sheargold Coaching and the Real Estate Results Exclusive Network.