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How to successfully grow a property team

At a recent Women in Residential Property Group online coffee morning, I was given the opportunity to lead the session, gaining insight and support on the theme of how to successfully continue growing a team. 

As the head of a team of 70, which has grown from a standing start over the last six years, I am constantly looking at ways of helping to develop the skillset of everyone individually, in order to support further team progression and growth. The insights from this session, which I have shared below, were invaluable and apply across our industry.

Understanding the difference between teamwork and group work


A discussion around the differences between teamwork and group work helped to clarify the importance of appreciating different dynamics and how to effectively manage staff to reach all-important end goals.

In a team, members have to work closely together to solve problems and share mutual accountability.

As a work group, they are independent, with the accountability being on an individual level. Where individuals work in groups (for example a sales team), they manage their own workloads or targets, and they will often need to make quick decisions based on their own cases without the involvement of others. But the team leader will have an overall target which the staff involved are all working towards, and each will have greater levels of accountability.

The importance of gaining respect as a team leader              

I have always advocated that it is possible for a leader to gain the respect of a team without being feared. During this session, it was pointed out that leaders can and must also create boundaries. Being approachable, yet not always available, is key because individuals need to be empowered to think for themselves and not to rely on their leader for too much support and guidance to the extent that it could possibly stunt their growth and development.

If, for example, an estate agent or a sales negotiator is showing potential, they will need to develop the confidence to address and manage issues on their own, only relying on coaching from their leader when needed. It’s all about arming a team to help them meet the challenging situations and events in our sector.

Getting it right with your recruitment

As with any industry, it is important to appreciate that someone doesn’t need to have property sector experience to be able to successfully lead a team. These skills are transferrable, and often cross-industry experience can help to unlock opportunities.

When an agency boss looks at the skill set across their team, they might spot gaps that could be filled by recruiting the right person. Identifying team strengths and weaknesses will undoubtedly help to ensure its future health.

Recruitment should always be based around company values and knowing that the person will be a good fit in terms of the overall culture of the team. 

In our own context, we know that good sales progression needs a mixture of quality communication, attention to detail, tenacity and problem-solving capabilities. We tend to find most of our sales progressors are very customer service driven and enjoy building relationships with clients.

Our administrators, on the other hand, are focused on attention to detail. We develop their skills when it comes to communication and customer service and provide them with knowledge on sales progression, so they have opportunity in the future to progress in their careers if they wish and if the opportunity arises.

Understanding communication preferences

Having knowledge of the personality types in your team will give you competitive advantage. Colour profiling works really well for some teams and is something we have successfully embedded at ASAP. With this model, team members are characterised by their personality colour. For example, someone with a ‘red’ profile is known for seeking power and control over situations and is usually action-oriented in their approach.

Having this knowledge can really help when it comes to recruiting the right people, improving the team dynamic by developing strong connections as well as building communication and driving overall business performance. It may be that a sales team is made up of lots of members with red profiles who could have tendencies to be very direct and want quick responses and actions. So, it’s important to think about how these team members will work with their clients and other team members, to ensure that they work as effectively together as possible.

As pointed out during this session, understanding personality types can also help to fend off as well as manage disputes and conflicts. In some instances, depending on the personality types involved, the leader may not be the right person to manage a dispute between colleagues.

Setting goals

Considering the difficult period our industry is currently facing, being a good leader has never been so important.

We’re always keeping the end goal in sight and make sure we continually communicate this to our team, being clear about what we need to do to work towards it. At the end of the day, it’s about putting the right foundations in place to support growth.


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