Agency leadership critical in 2013

Leadership from principals will remain an important ingredient in successful agencies in 2013, a number of senior executives from some of the country's largest real estate groups have said.

In an article published in the latest Real Estate Business magazine, the executives said leadership is what they believe separates success from failure.

Angus Raine, CEO at Raine & Horne, believed leadership is now more critical than ever as principals strive to keep their teams together ahead of the next property market surge, which he’s confident will come.

“If you give someone strong leadership they’ll invariably stay with you,” he said. “If they leave, it’s usually not about the money – they’ll tell you it is, but it’s not.”

Mr Raine has also noticed a shift towards younger, more qualified principals.

“There’s a higher level of tertiary qualifications in the industry, and it’s not all about that but it certainly helps,” he said.

Brian White, chairman of Ray White Group, said he has noticed an improvement in how principals are leading their teams.

“The way some of our offices are engaging their staff in discussion and debate as to how they can improve their business, some of that has been very, very impressive,” he said. “That comes back to good leadership. Some people often think of real estate offices as an investment, a little bit like selling a particular product – ‘All I have to do is run an efficient office and the product will sell’.

“Real estate doesn’t have any of that, [instead] it’s a reflection of the owner.

“The most impressive thing I’ve seen in recent times is principals understanding leadership issues, and making an effort to excel.”

Related to good leadership, Bryan Thomson, Harcourts Australia Group’s head of real estate operations, said it’s important for someone who is respected to drive accountability within an agency office.

“The key to success in 2013 for agency principals will be the same as it always has been. Principals must have a rock solid business plan, including short- and long-term goals, with actions in place to drive their business towards these goals. In a real estate business it is too easy to become mired in the day-to-day operation of your business and lose sight of the outcome you are driving for.

“Once this plan is in place and you have a vision that your team … are committed to then the implementation of actions to achieve the planned outcomes becomes much simpler.”

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