As a real estate investor, you are the leader of your team. Whether you like it or not, your actions directly inspire, influence and impact the people around you. How well you lead your team often reflects your bottom line. If you look at any great sports team or business, there is almost always strong leadership at the top. Their leaders know which buttons to push and how to motivate to get the most out of the people around them. A leadership style for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. You are best leading to your personality, with just a few subtle tweaks along the way.
Becoming a truly great leader is something that you can develop over time, but you must understand just how important leadership in any business truly is. Here are five tips to help become a better leader.
- Be A Team Player: There is a fine line any leader must make between leading and still being part of the team. Investing in real estate requires success from several different people. On an average fix and flip rehab deal you may work with a wholesaler, real estate agent, attorney, seller and contractor. If just one of those people drops the ball it puts the deal in jeopardy. You need to be demanding, but not pushy. You need to do your role to the best of your ability, so you can expect the same from everyone around you. While you are part of the team, you are also the leader. Walking this tight rope can be tricky at times, but you need to remember the big picture. Your business is bigger than one job or one minor task. Be a team player while still being the leader of your business.
- Motivate: The simple goal of any leader is to get the most out of the people around them. This is the case whether you are the quarterback of an NFL team or the manager at a local restaurant. Everybody is motivated by different things. Some people on your team are motivated by money, some simply want to be respected and treated fairly. As you interact with your team members you should make a mental note of what buttons you can push with certain people. A contractor may need to be told they are doing a good job. Your real estate agent may work harder with a half point bump in commission. Finding the right motivation for the individual will help you get someone to work a little harder or longer on a project to fit your timeline. It will prompt them to not cut corners and always do the right thing. It will help you get referrals and even help improve your reputation. Know which ways you can motivate the people around you to get the most out of them.
- Never Humiliate: Being a leader doesn’t mean ruling with an iron fist. Sure, you can demand excellence in everything your team does, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk. One of the quickest ways to lose your team is by humiliating them in pubic. The reality is that most people know when they make a mistake. They don’t need to be embarrassed in front of their peers, or even individually. You can certainly let them know that you aren’t happy, and they need to be better, but how you go about this is critical. If you scream and yell they are going to not want to work with you moving forward. Even more, everyone that hears or sees how you act will feel the same way. They may stay on your team, but they will remember how you treated that person and will not be as quick to go the extra mile for you. You can have an aggressive style and want things done your way, but you should never humiliate or embarrass anyone on your team.
- Be The Authority: A real estate investor wears many hats. One day you will work on a marketing campaign and the next you will break down expenses on a spreadsheet. You will run comps on a new purchase and pick out cabinets on a rehab. It is important that you are the authority on everything in your business. This requires you to be in a constant mode of education. Everyday you should take some time to learn a new area of your business. If you have questions you should research the answer online or call a fellow investor to get the right answer. You should also know what you don’t know. This sounds ridiculous on the surface, but it is ok not to have all the answers all the time. As long as you are willing to find them out you will come across as a better leader and someone who knows what they are doing.
- Have Self-Awareness: The best leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses. They know which areas they excel in and which they should lean on the people around them. They should be willing to take a joke and make fun of themselves when the situation allows. Being self-aware allows you to listen to people when you know you are not the expert in an area and not be so stubborn. You don’t have to always win every argument and be right about every situation. Pick and choose your battles with your team and have a sense of self-awareness.
You should strive to get to a point where you have multiple people on your team working with and for you. How well you lead them will truly define you and your business.