How to Build the Team Culture You Want

I believe, as a business owner or team lead, you need to create a culture where you can be blatantly honest. But that will not happen if you aren’t willing to give the people on your team enough of your time.

By giving every member on your team individualized attention, you will create the leverage you need to have tough conversations and build the culture you want.

A couple of years ago, I was given advice from an extremely successful businessman. He told me there are three stages to move through: discipline, training, and coaching. These three phases are essential for every person you bring in to your organization.

Discipline

Becoming a successful real estate agent takes discipline. Discipline to make the calls, knock on doors, follow up with leads, and track numbers. Giving people on your team a framework for the discipline required will provide them with the tools they need to be successful and make your team stronger. Here are some of the ways my team at One + Company stays disciplined:

  • Daily call. Our call is at 7:00 am every day, no excuses. If someone misses a call, there is a conversation.

  • Track your numbers. On our daily call, we go over our numbers. Agents are expected to have their own numbers ready to go, so the call is fast and efficient.

  • New agent program. New agents meet Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am until noon. This time is used for role play, prospecting, and training. The discipline around being on time on our team is intense. Showing up at 9:01 is considered very late.

  • Monthly team meetings. All agents, new and experienced, must attend.

  • Measure attitudes and performance. If someone starts to display a bad attitude, I will pull them aside to have a conversation, and have them sign a piece of paper that reviews the meeting. These conversations are very straightforward and proactive.

Training

If you are running a team, you have years of experience. You cannot expect newer agents to know everything that you know. Training provides tools for success. In the real estate industry, new agents often get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of forms, laws, and steps to a single transaction. We go through these essentials and more in our trainings.

  • In-office training. Outside of the new agent program, I personally host two training sessions a week. The topics change each week and can include utilizing MLS stats, completing forms, utilizing a company system, marketing, and more.

  • Business plans. Hold every agent accountable for creating and sticking to business plans.

  • Events. Determine what events and conferences you will attend as a group, as well as the events you will send individuals to for specific skills.

  • Team retreats. Set up team retreats in your calendar. How many are you hosting a year?

  • Vendors. Invite outside vendors for question-and-answer sessions. We currently have a vendor who comes in every Thursday to answer specific questions from our team members.

  • Books. Share worthwhile reading with your team. What books or audiobooks are you buying for them on a monthly basis?

Coaching

Even the most experienced agents benefit from coaching. It is a valuable tool that allows us to reflect, analyze, and create a plan to improve. Coaching for your agents is essential. Here are some ways to make sure each person on your team benefits from coaching.

  • Outside coach. We have external coaches from the Tom Ferry ecosystem work with agents. The value we get from this investment is well worth it.

  • Personalized messages. A simple email or text regarding a current transaction or deal can significantly benefit your agents.

  • One-on-one coaching. One-on-one coaching is one of the most impactful things you can do for your agents because you are able to tailor coaching to their specific strengths and weaknesses. During these one-on-one sessions, encourage open and honest conversations and ask for feedback for company growth. Ask two questions:

    • What are you having the hardest time with right now?

    • If you could change one thing about this organization, what would it be?

  • Lunches and dinners. Are you taking each person out for lunch or dinner? I think this should be done at each at least twice a year (for teams up to 20 people). This allows you to discuss things in a more relaxed environment.

Every one of the items listed here, from the discipline bucket, the training bucket, and the coaching bucket, is not doubt going to take up a lot of your time. But you better find the time on your calendar if you want to have highly accountable people on your team and a culture that motivates and inspires.