Finding Your Optimal Real Estate Leadership Style

Real estate leaders can benefit from identifying their ideal leadership style that aligns with both their individual personality and the unique requirements of their team. 

Whether you are embarking on a new leadership role, establishing your brokerage, managing an organization, or are a seasoned veteran in the industry, it remains crucial to introspect on your personal leadership style and how it molds the type of team you foster. 

Defining Leadership: 

As a leader, comprehending the intricacies of your position is a big endeavor. Leadership is not solely an innate quality; rather, it’s a role that is socially constructed. Implicit leadership theories help shape our perception and embodiment of leadership. Each one of us carries preconceived notions about the characteristics a leader should possess. These beliefs subsequently guide our actions and decisions, for both leaders and followers. In the end, these beliefs coalesce to define your distinctive leadership style. 

Related reading: Psychology Today – How Psychology Helps Us Understand Leadership 

Once leadership style takes root, it becomes an internalized framework that steers our behavior. For instance, leaders who believe in an authoritative approach to extract the best from their team members will naturally align their actions accordingly. Conversely, leaders who lean towards a “servant leader” philosophy empower team members to take the lead and initiative. 

Leadership also encompasses the skill of wielding social power and influence. Leaders possess authority by virtue of their position, but they also wield personal power — the ability to persuade and sway others. This concept is a pivotal aspect of social psychology, diving into the ways leaders motivate team members through a variety of incentives, such as financial rewards, prestige, or professional opportunities. 

Related reading: Psychology Today – How to Use Power, Influence, and Persuasion for Good 

The Most Common Leadership Styles: 

Now that we have established a baseline understanding of the psychology and societal influences surrounding leadership, let’s explore the most prevalent leadership styles. 

Autocratic Leadership: 

In this style, the leader makes decisions with minimal input from the team. They wield a high level of control and authority, leaving little room for creativity or brainstorming. While autocratic leaders may not always be the most popular, their style can be essential in driving tasks to completion when necessary. 

Reflecting on this style: If you find yourself frequently making decisions unilaterally and expecting strict adherence to your directives, you may lean towards autocratic leadership. 

Democratic Leadership: 

This style encourages collaboration and active participation. Leaders actively seek input from team members before making decisions, often presenting various choices and soliciting feedback. Open sharing of ideas is encouraged, and leadership thrives on creativity and collaboration, leveraging the interests, experiences, and knowledge of team members for collective progress. 

Reflecting on this style: If you engage your team in decision-making processes and value their opinions, you likely lean towards democratic leadership. 

Laissez-Faire Leadership: 

This style provides team members with a significant degree of autonomy, adopting a “hands-off” approach compared to other styles. Leaders offer minimal direction, often delegating tasks or encouraging individuals to take initiative. These leaders trust their team to manage their responsibilities independently, maintaining awareness of ongoing activities without micromanaging. However, this approach may lack structure, which some team members may require. 

Reflecting on this style: If you place trust in your team to manage their tasks autonomously and provide them with the freedom to do so, you may embody a laissez-faire approach. 

Transformational Leadership: 

Transformational leaders serve as sources of inspiration and motivation, spurring their team to achieve higher levels of performance. They focus on personal development and growth, typically accompanied by a grand vision and intellectual stimulation. While daily tasks may not be their primary focus, these leaders maintain a steadfast commitment to the big picture. They often employ ambitious goals with strict deadlines, rallying the team to work collaboratively to achieve them. 

Reflecting on this style: If you are passionate about mentoring and empowering your team, striving to cultivate a positive work culture, you likely embrace a transformational leadership style. 

Bureaucratic Leadership: 

This approach revolves around established processes, rules, and hierarchical structures. Leaders adhering to this style establish clear guidelines and intricate systems to guide their teams. Decisions are often made in accordance with established protocols, ensuring consistency and predictability in company operations. These leaders may place a strong emphasis on strict adherence to industry regulations, standardized procedures for property transactions, and meticulous record-keeping. While this style promotes stability and order, leaders must balance it with flexibility to adapt to the ever-evolving demands of the industry. 

Reflecting on this style: If you rely on clear guidelines and structured systems to create consistency for your team, you likely follow a bureaucratic leadership style. 

Servant Leadership: 

Servant leaders prioritize the well-being and needs of their team members above their own. They focus on supporting and enabling their team’s success, believing that team members perform at their best when they are professionally and personally satisfied. These leaders are known for their one-on-one connections with team members and are less concerned with motivating them directly, instead ensuring they have everything necessary to excel. 

Reflecting on this style: If you demonstrate empathy, prioritize your team’s well-being, and are dedicated to their growth and success, you likely resonate with servant leadership. 

How to Determine Your Style: 

To ascertain your leadership style as a real estate leader, follow these steps: 

  • Reflect on Past Experiences: Think back to situations where you held leadership roles. Consider your approach to decision-making, communication, and team management during those times. 
  • Seek Feedback: Solicit input from team members, peers, and supervisors. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives on how you lead and interact with others. 
  • Assess Your Values and Priorities: Reflect on your core values as a leader. Do you prioritize achieving results, fostering a positive work environment, or developing your team members? 
  • Consider Your Communication Style: Analyze your communication preferences with your team. Do you favor providing direct instructions, engaging in collaborative discussions, or adopting a hands-off approach? 
  • Observe Your Reactions to Challenges: Pay attention to how you handle difficult situations or conflicts. Your natural responses can offer insights into your leadership style. 
  • Review Leadership Models and Styles: Familiarize yourself with various leadership models and styles, such as those discussed above. Identify which one resonates most with your approach. 

Remember, effective leadership doesn’t hinge on strictly adhering to one style, nor is there a universally “best” style. Instead, it revolves around adapting to your team’s needs and the specific circumstances at hand. There are no inherently good or bad leadership styles; rather, there are styles that align best with your team members. Remaining flexible to meet their needs exemplifies the hallmark of a great leader!  

For Your Agents… 

Help your agents embrace the best of the best leadership qualities with this read… The Top 10 Tips to Grow Into Your Real Estate Leadership Role

Know that agents do NOT have to go it alone in this market. Our goal is to bring the tools, training, and coaching each need to not only survive the shifts – but build solid, dependable foundations they can count on and help them build clients for life. If that sounds like a goal that can help you reach YOUR goals – then join us for our Free Weekly Real Estate Webinar Training Series! Click below to register for the next one! 

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Darryl Davis is an award-winning international speaker, real estate and business coach, and best-selling author of three books, all published by McGraw Hill Publishers.   

For more than 35 years, Darryl has spoken to and trained more than 100,000 sales professionals around the globe to more than double their production year after year. His book, How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, tops Amazon’s charts for one of the most sold books to real estate agents.   

He was awarded the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation by the National Speaker’s Association which is given to less than 2% of all speakers worldwide.   

Whether from a stage or Zooming into a virtual room, Darryl’s extraordinary humor, relatability, and natural gift for teaching real-world, results-producing skills and mindsets to audiences have made him a client favorite throughout his career.   

Audiences will laugh, learn, and ultimately walk away better prepared for a changing world, with the tools, skills, and training they need to build their businesses with more ease and less stress and to design lives and careers worth smiling about.   

Bring One of Darryl’s W.O.R.K. Topics to Your Organization!  

By providing your agents with the knowledge and insights they need to stay ahead of the game, you can ensure that they are equipped to handle any situation that comes their way! Contact us here to learn more! 


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