Agencies that want a great culture should consider everything from team-building exercises to company-wide training, three principals believe.
The exclusive REB Employer of Choice Report of 2015 noted that property managers placed greatest value on culture (77.5 per cent) when deciding to join a new company, followed by leadership with 75.0 per cent and communication with 68.0 per cent.
Leading Property Managers of Australia executive director Bob Walters said creating a good company culture must start from the top.
“It’s up to the business owners to set the values and beliefs for their team, so that then translates into the quality and speed of the service delivered by the team to the clients and customers,” he told RPM.
“A key part of having a supportive and collaborative culture in a real estate agency is for business owners to recognise, train, mentor and support all team members regardless of their role in the agency.”
Mr Walters also said their need to be transparent standards in terms of performance, operations and customer service.
Pure Leasing Central director Cameron Ewers said it is important for business leaders to offer strong support to team members to build culture.
“You can very quickly crush the confidence and destroy the culture in an office if a director can’t empathise and sympathise with property managers and what they’re dealing with on a daily basis and what the job entails,” he said.
One way to provide support to staff is maintain an open-door policy, according to Mr Ewers.
“It may not be productive at times and there absolutely has to be guidelines and systems on it, but I’m 100 per cent available for my staff at any time of the day or night,” he said.
“If you turn them away then you’ll bugger the culture straight away.”
Urban Property director Ranita Patel said one way to enhance agency’s culture is to ensure that its vision is aligned with staff goals.
“You also need to continuously evolve with the times and improve by training and aligning your staff with your vision,” she added.
According to Ms Patel the key to building a good company culture is through team-building exercises and individual meetings with staff to discern what they want from the office.
“We sit down with our staff and find out their goals, aspirations, what we need to do to help them get there, and how we can improve,” she said. “We always have open-forum meetings.”
A special feature – available only to REB+ subscribers – looks at some of the key findings from the Employer of Choice report, including the strengths and weaknesses of each national residential real estate group, why agents are attracted to the independent sector and what it takes to create a top office.
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