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You’ve discovered that you’re really good at this business called real estate, and now you find yourself growing a team. You never really thought about being a leader, but now you’ve been thrust into that job.

There are five key elements that you must possess to ensure you have what it takes to lead a great team:

  1. Have a clear vision of your business. This is much more than just a mission statement; it’s the clear picture of…
  • What services you want to provide;
  • The positions needed to support those services;
  • The type of employee that must be hired to excel in those positions;
  • A place of business that will both accommodate your team as well as make your clients comfortable; and
  • A detailed budget so that you know not only what this venture will cost, but also how many properties you must sell in order to be profitable.
  1. Find the right talent to fill your positions. Now that you have a clear vision of what skills each employee must have, you must go out and find them. You must be sure that they have the right skills, the right personality type, a strong work ethic and the willingness to be part of a great team, rather than just showing up for a paycheck. Be sure to check references, do a background check and interview them several times. You may even want them to go out with you in the field and conduct a non-traditional interview where you can really see what they are made of.
  1. Share your vision with your team and take the time to really train them. So many times we just assume that people know much more than they do and don’t give the proper training. Mind-reading is generally not a skill that most people possess. Take the time to work with your new teammate through all steps of their job, so that you thoroughly transfer the knowledge and skills you expect to be performed. Be sure that you give a full job description and explain what the key performance indicators for success look like in the job.
  1. Meet with your team often, measure the results, review the results, and make sure there is accountability in all aspects of the job.
  1. Debrief each success and failure and make sure your systems work properly. It’s key that all members on the team be open and honest with each other. Communication is the main reason most teams fail. The team must trust each other enough to voice their opinions and contribute to the overall goal. They must hold each other, as well as themselves, accountable for their behavior and performance. When people know they are a part of something and know that their opinions are validated, then they will be all-in to help the team win.

Taking the time to make sure all these elements are well thought-out and executed properly will ensure that your team will be off to the right start. Leadership does not come automatically; it is learned and perfected over time. You must choose to be a leader who shows people the way and lead them to their goals. At the end of the day, your team members are counting on you with their family’s future.

Julie Timms, broker/owner of Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers and coach with Workman Success Systems, began her real estate career in 1979. In 1985, she opened a real estate franchise and operated that company in a traditional manner until she realized the franchise model wasn’t working for her and disbanded the firm. It was at this time she met her now-husband Bernie Timms and together, they started an independent brokerage with no agents. In 2008, they invested in an internet lead-generation website. Contact her at For more information, please visit