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As a team leader, there are so many details to be aware of—but the bottom-line rule I have found is that connection is key in all of your client relationships.

I am going to challenge you to identify all of your clients of your business. You have the people who buy your service (homebuyers and sellers), and you also have the people who sell your service to them (your internal clients). That’s right—I’m talking about your agents.

We know that an integral part of our business is taking care of answering questions for our external customers like buyers and sellers, but it can be easy to forget that our internal clients, our agents, need to feel connected to us to be able to go out and represent our team or business in all of their actions throughout the day.

So, how does the connection happen? The connection begins with culture. The culture of the team comes from the culture you create. Team culture can be a game changer. Team culture stems from your core values and helps build trust among team members and your external clients. Your team members work with you, not for you. When your team trusts you, they are more likely to be fully committed to succeeding.

Do you share your core values with everyone you meet? Your core values should be a true reflection of your company and your team. What can you do to make your agents feel the connection to you and other members on the team?

With that in mind, you also need to create a culture of productivity to energize and motivate the team to a higher level. To create a team culture of productivity:

  • List your company’s core values and post them around your office
  • Celebrate and acknowledge team members’ birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc.
  • Share wins for completing prospecting tasks/closings
  • Show gratitude with your team (Gratitude Jar)
  • Create productivity contests with prizes for winners
  • Give back to your community

By creating a fun, competitive atmosphere, your team’s connection will deepen. Most of us are competitive by nature and want to win. Contest prizes can be anything from a $5 coffee card to cash or even trips. Creating contests also gives team members the opportunity to support one another, and team bonding grows.

Connection within your team is vital, and so is connection in your community. By finding ways to give back to your community, your team culture can permeate into your neighborhoods and reach your external clients. Fundraisers for local charities, and community events where your team can provide support by giving their time, are great ways to show and build your team culture.

On my team, we have resolved to be committed to the client experience at a level that required us to form a new business department this year: a concierge department for all of our customers. The concierge is involved with the real estate transaction, but their job is to help resolve problems before they happen, if possible, and to remember that a great connection is possible with internal and external clients. That means that we remember the anniversary that they bought their house with us and we remember things like the birthdays of our agents’ children. We celebrate closings, holidays and service anniversaries for all our clients.

I was taught years ago that all that any person is looking for from a relationship is to feel wanted, needed, valued and appreciated. Successful clients equal happier closings, satisfied people, better teams, more referrals and a stronger connection to our community. How well do you know your agents? Do you think they feel like valued clients to your team? What is your team culture?

With almost 25 years in corporate training and support, Tamera Phallan has been helping agents grow their business in the financial services and real estate markets locally and nationally. Educational accomplishments include a BBA and an MBA in Marketing from LeTourneau University in Texas, and industry designations include ABR, GRI and TRLP. Recently, Phallan joined Workman Success Systems as a Coach in Training. For more information, please visit