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Why realtors should develop leadership skills: Learn the 3 ‘musts’ for success

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Engaging in real estate can offer valuable experiences that help individuals strengthen their leadership abilities and maximize their professional growth. Whether you’re managing property renovations, negotiating deals or leading a team of agents, effective leadership is essential. 

To help you build those skills, this article taps into the three “musts” in the industry: the ability to solve problems in a timely manner, communicate effectively and take necessary action to resolve conflicts. Let’s delve deeper into each.


Problem solving


Strengthening problem-solving skills is as simple as brainstorming, breaking down issues into smaller parts and testing different solutions. The willingness to learn from mistakes will serve you well.

Knowing how to solve issues in a timely fashion is imperative in real estate. Imagine you’re a real estate investor who owns a rental property. A tenant complains to you about a leaking roof during a storm. As a problem solver, you would need to analyze the situation and quickly determine if the leak poses any safety hazards or damage to the property.

As well, issues identified during property inspections, such as code violations, environmental concerns or structural defects, require problem-solving skills. Adapting strategies to navigate market shifts (e.g. targeting different demographics) will also be required in real estate when markets fluctuate. In other words, you need to be ready to handle issues that are thrown at you.


Effective communication


Communication is about listening actively to others. This means not interrupting and assuming you know the answer — and this takes work. Great communicators also know how to clearly articulate ideas and adapt to those around them.

When it comes to real estate matters, being proficient at calmly communicating issues is useful. For example, by listening to the tenant’s concerns (in the example above) about the leaking roof, you know how to address the issue with words. You know how to listen and take down detailed information about the situation at hand. Finally, you can provide updates on the steps you will take to resolve the problem.

Maintaining positive relationships with tenants will serve you well. Issues should be addressed right away, as in the roof example. Being clear about lease terms, rent payments and maintenance expectations is also important.


The importance of speaking clearly


Here’s another example: if you’re working with buyers or sellers, you may need to clearly explain the buying or selling process. You will also need to inform clients about property listings and market updates.

Real estate negotiations also require strong communication abilities. This includes clearly discussing terms and counteroffers. Being knowledgeable is one thing, but being articulate in sharing the information with your client is another.


Taking necessary action to resolve conflicts


Inevitably, conflicts may arise during real estate deals. Conflict resolution involves understanding the underlying causes of a tense situation. Taking proper action and following up is a great leadership skill that will serve you well.

By contacting a reputable roofing contractor, (in the example above), for instance, the roof can get a proper inspection. You can then provide the tenant repair estimates and schedule the necessary repairs right away. Plus, once the repairs are complete, following up with the tenant will help confirm that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.


The importance of following up


Following up after conflicts are resolved is imperative in real estate for several reasons, but I will focus on the following three:

1. Reinforcement. Following up reinforces that the problem has been solved in the minds of everyone involved. Documenting all matters in writing is also important for this reinforcement, as it leaves little room for questions.

2. Accountability. Following up holds realtors, and all parties involved, accountable. Commitments to change any matters will be implemented as planned. By documenting these things, this is further reinforced. 

3. Relationship building. Following up can strengthen business relationships. It demonstrates respect and professionalism and the investment made in others, which ultimately can positively impact future deals and further business down the road. 

Following up provides an opportunity to reflect on the conflict at hand and apply lessons learned. Learning and improvement is a huge part of leadership. It can certainly be uncomfortable, but this is exactly where the growth happens! 


Overall, leadership skills tie closely into customer service and client satisfaction. Providing excellent customer service is crucial in real estate once deals are done or other problems are solved. Trust with clients is everything, and taking action to earn it often involves addressing inquiries right away. Realtors may need to provide personalized assistance throughout the buying or selling process in order to exceed client expectations.

By effectively navigating difficult situations, you not only resolve pressing issues but also demonstrate strong leadership qualities. You’re showing your ability to handle challenges professionally and with confidence.

Problems will always come up in real estate — expect this and don’t shy away from the issues. Instead, take the opportunity to develop your leadership skills for more successful outcomes.


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