What makes a good leader in real estate?

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When managing a team or mentoring new recruits it’s so important to put your best foot forward and lead by example.

The most successful real estate businesses are driven by strong leaders that are skilled in the art of motivation and management to get the most out of their team.

Earlier this year, research was conducted by CoreLogic and TMJ Coaching with the aim to glean a better understanding of the state of leadership in the real estate industry by surveying 508 real estate agents online.

The 44-page analysis Real eState of Leadership proposes the stereotype of self-taught street-smart agents is currently being challenged by a new breed of business-educated and managerially savvy agents.

The report suggests this ‘new breed’ of principals and agents run tighter more profitable ships, have better employee engagement, and are more disciplined and transparent when it comes to client management.

Australian agents in leadership roles deserve a pat on the back, as results showed 66 per cent of agents surveyed rate the quality of leadership in their organisation as good or excellent.

However, not all agents are experiencing this managerial shift, where 34 per cent of respondents described their agency’s leadership as average, poor or non-existent.

Here are our key takeaways from the report in terms of where agents are succeeding, what areas could use work and strategies to become better leaders in the future.

The leadership behaviours agents & principals are best at:

Vision & strategy

68 per cent of respondents rated their bosses vision and strategy for their business as good or excellent.


  • Discuss your business vision statement and core values at least once a year.

  • Discuss and revise your three to five year strategic business plan annually.

  • Avoid overwhelming your team by breaking down yearly KPIs into more reasonable and achievable bite-sized monthly and weekly goals.

Empathy & making time for people

67 per cent of agents surveyed rated the skills of their boss in empathy and making time for people as excellent or good.


  • Schedule formal one-on-one meetings and draft individual performance plans.

  • Take responsibility when things don’t go to plan.

  • Deal with challenges in a calm and proactive solution-oriented manner.

  • Mentor individuals that are capable of and interested in leadership roles.

Communication & a clear sense of direction

64 per cent of respondents rated their bosses’ communication skills and ability to have a clear sense of direction as good or excellent.


  • Implement a formal induction program for new staff.

  • Set and revisit company goals regularly with team members to stay motivated by reminding everyone how each individual’s actions help the business work towards common goals collectively.

  • Actively listen to team members to better understand their concerns, motivations, and to identify and resolve any issues swiftly.

Leadership behaviours that need the most work:

Team building & getting the most out of people

18 per cent of those surveyed said their bosses team building and getting the most out of people behaviours were poor or disastrous.


  • Encourage team members to bring ideas to the table to improve your business.

  • Invest in team building exercises (i.e. attend conferences) and regular training by industry experts.

  • Discuss staff careers, success planning and performance appraisals.

  • Offer reward and recognition programs, awards nights and incentives to keep team members motivated.

  • Coach your team to work collaboratively and in conflict resolution.

Work-life balance

19 per cent of respondents rated their bosses approach to work-life balance as poor or disastrous.


  • Keep staff happy and inspired by scheduling fun and engaging social activities, coffee catch ups and weekly team meetings.

  • Stay positive and build team members up by focussing on the good stuff- This is especially important when 61 per cent of respondents said ‘personally staying positive in changing times’ was the most important challenge their business is facing at the moment.

Administration & management skills

16 per cent of survey respondants rated their bosses’ admin and management skills as poor or disastrous.


  • Share results (listing conversions and prospecting activities) in weekly team meetings.

  • Record wins on the whiteboard, noticeboard or in the staff newsletter. By recognising, sharing and celebrating each other’s successes, people feel valued and will go that extra mile for the business.

  • Actively seek feedback from co-workers and employees.

  • Keep a record of any conflict or critical incidents that occur to look back on and learn from.

We hope these six skillsets and strategies inspire you to become a more successful leader.

Are there any attributes that you feel make a great leader in real estate missing from this list? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

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Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website homely.com.au. With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, homely.com.au helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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