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The team format is becoming increasingly popular, but not just anyone can be a leader. It takes someone who can take charge while still being open to new ideas, as well as committed to a lot of training.

These were some of the traits discussed during “Leading the Market & Building a Team of Rockstars,” a session held during the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

The session was hosted by Creig Northrop, president and CEO of Northrop Realty. He and his wife, Carla, created the Creig Northrop Team in 2000, recognized as the No. 1 team in the U.S. three times since then.

“First and foremost, you’ve got to create loyalty,” said Northrop, “and that means being loyal to whatever you decide to do because you need to lead by example.”

While focusing on yourself when leading a team may sound counterproductive, Northrop said that developing your self-esteem and self-discipline will only make you a stronger leader who can better support his or her team members.

“Realize your impact,” said Northrop. “Find a way to be different and do the right thing, always.”

There has to be purpose behind these decisions, too. A great way to ensure that is to follow the 20-20-20 principle, he said.

“For the first 20 minutes of the day, sweat it out. Do something,” said Northrop. “It doesn’t matter what it is, but it is very important to get your heart rate up a little bit because, in sales, they want energy and excitement.”

According to Northrop, the next 20 minutes should be spent developing a vision for success.

“What are your goals? Write them down,” he said.

For the last 20 minutes, just grow—read a book, do something positive, etc.

“My favorite statement is that knowledge is confidence, confidence is trust and trust is a sale,” Northrop said.

Once the day is started the right way, Northrop said it’s easier to get into the leadership mindset, which includes the following:

  • Clear: Have a clear vision of your “why.”
  • Concise: When asked a question, keep it concise and don’t hesitate or they’ll question your confidence.
  • Compelling: Be memorable.
  • Consistent: Tell yourself every day that it is going to be a great day.
  • Clarifying: Be clear on your goals. Know where you are going and your direction.
  • Committed: Be an “all the time” agent.
  • Confident: Love what you do.

Being a great team leader also means:

  • Having a great attitude, always.
  • Treating people really well (fall in love with your clients).
  • Unconditional gratitude and random acts of kindness
  • Working hard on yourself.

That last trait, said Northrop, may be the most important. He said team leaders should invite feedback. “Having empathy can play a huge role in influencing others,” he said. And through feedback, team leaders can learn of their failures.

“Your success is in the failure, not in the success of it,” said Northrop. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Accept it and share it.”

The best way to ensure you are a great leader, and that your agents help drive success, is to focus on the customer, he emphasized.

“Real estate is becoming a lot more consumer-centric,” said Northrop. “It should be a client-for-life campaign. Focus on the customer and building systems that allow your agents to give them their undivided attention.”

How do you get there? By educating your agents.

“We believe in training our own,” said Northrop. “And it should be free training, so they don’t have to go out and buy any services. We train our agents so that they have everything they need.”

In the end, it all comes down to actions.

Northrop said that “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader.”

For continuing coverage of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, please visit

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at