Leadership Styles in the Real Estate Industry


When it comes to leadership and its various styles in relation to the real estate world, it is important to keep in mind that there are both positive and negative leadership styles. In any field, but especially in real estate, positive leadership qualities must be embodied because there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to take place before any types of goals can be accomplished. The most common leadership styles are democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire and transformational, and all could potentially be applied to real estate dealings, for better or for worse.

Democratic leadership is widely considered to be the best, or most effective, leadership style that a leader can practice. The democratic leadership style consists of the leader sharing the decision-making abilities with the group members through promoting the group members’ interests and practicing social equality. This leadership style is terrific for those in the real estate profession because realtors often work in teams and always work with clients. It is of the utmost significance to communicate in an effective way so that everyone can express his or her opinions and ideas freely. Realtors will find this form of open discussion highly beneficial.

Autocratic leadership is characterized by a leader that dictates policies and procedures, decides what goals are to be achieved, and directs and controls all activities without allowing any meaningful participation by colleagues. In real estate, it is important for the client to feel as included as possible, and thus an autocratic style would be extremely counterproductive. Ideas, creative thinking and opinions should be encouraged and shared by everyone in a real estate transaction. By practicing autocratic leadership, a realtor withholds the opportunity for creative thinking from team members, sellers, buyers or even from themselves.

Laissez-faire leadership allows everyone involved to have complete freedom to make decisions concerning the completion of their work. It warrants a high degree of independence from team members, while at the same time offering guidance and support from team leaders as needed. This form of leadership can be effective in real estate because realtors are highly skilled, motivated, and capable individuals who thrive working on their own or in a team setting. With this amount of flexibility, realtors can thrive.

Transformational leadership involves a leader who is charged with identifying the needed change, inspiring and creating a vision to guide the change, and executing the change in tandem with committed members of the group. This is a great form of leadership for real estate because creativity is a constant demand in the industry. Working together with members of the group to come up with inspiration and ideas is always a positive way to get innovative ideas flowing, implement those ideas successfully, and complete tasks in a timely fashion.

Although there are many different forms of leadership styles, it is key to completely research and find out which of the styles works best with each client or team a realtor is currently working with. Research can include a look into a company’s background or small talk with their potential new client.

Often there are teams formed within real estate firms and a leader must emerge so that they can encourage the other team members or agents. Sometimes the team is formed with a leader already chosen, and other times an emergent leader will rise to the occasion. A team leader must encourage and motivate the team to follow the systems in order to be successful, be supportive and on call at all times for the team members and clients, and practice an appropriate work ethic for the industry. In return, the team members must all be accountable in order to be productive and complete the tasks the team leader has given them. In real estate, consistency of the shared ideas between a team leader and the agents is key.

Certain factors differentiate strong leaders from weak leaders. These attributes include character, experience, intellect, and motivation. With good character, sufficient experience, high intellect, and strong motivation, a true leader will emerge and be successful in the real estate world. Motivating oneself or a team can often be helpful to a realtor when trying to be an efficient leader and reach goals in a timely manner. To become successful, the speed of implementation is what separates one person from all of their competitors. 

Leadership can prove to be an extremely vital tool when trying to motivate others, especially when creativity is lacking. A passionate leader can inspire others to be dedicated, driven and motivated for their own success as well as for the company’s success. It is imperative to understand the diverse social styles of real estate agents in order to effectively communicate with them; the real estate industry entails constantly dealing with people of all walks of life with very different personalities. A leader’s particular brand of leadership will have an enormous impact on the work that will be brought in, the clients that will be worked with, and even the team dynamic that will be created to share thoughts and ideas. Leadership also requires vision, which allows for direction, prioritizing, and goal-setting. When trying to be successful in a world of ever-changing markets and intense competition, it is absolutely vital to either have a great leader to help guide you to success, or to become a great leader yourself, using your own fantastic creativity and vision to lead you team to monumental success.