Stop micromanaging your agents. It’s time to start leading them

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April is Teams Month here at Inman. Adding nuance on top of our weekly Teams Beat email newsletter, we’ll serve up top insights from the best team leaders across the country as we dig deeper into what it takes to build a team, scale it, and even leave one.

Micromanagement is a surefire way to demotivate and disengage agents on a team. As Forbes reported, a staggering 71 percent of employees mentioned that micromanagement has interfered with their job performance, according to a survey from Trinity Solutions, a provider of IT Management services to Fortune 1000 companies. Moreover, according to a study by Gallup, teams that feel micromanaged are 28 percent less likely to be engaged at work.

When every move is scrutinized, and there needs to be more room for independent decision-making, it stifles creativity and innovation. Agents need space to leverage their expertise and tailor their approaches to individual clients and properties. Micromanagement undermines their confidence and erodes trust within the team, hindering collaboration and synergy.


Agents thrive when they’re given the autonomy to make decisions and execute on best practices in order to complete a deal or develop stronger relationships in their markets. Constant oversight undermines their sense of ownership over their work and diminishes their ability to adapt and respond swiftly to changing market conditions.

Instead of micromanaging, team leaders and brokers should adopt a more empowering approach by providing guidance, support and resources that enable agents to excel in their roles. By offering comprehensive training, mentorship opportunities, and access to cutting-edge tools and technology, leaders can equip their team members with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the competitive real estate industry. Here’s where to start:

You manage expectations and goals

Managing expectations and setting realistic goals is crucial for the success of a real estate team. Leaders need to establish clear objectives that align with their agents’ capabilities and the market dynamics.

Setting overly ambitious targets without considering market conditions, client preferences and team resources can lead to frustration and burnout. Conversely, setting too modest goals may breed complacency and hinder growth within an organization.

Creating unrealistic expectations on a real estate team can lead to detrimental outcomes, such as increased stress, demoralization and burnout among team members who are pressured to meet unattainable goals. This pressure affects individual performance and erodes trust between team members and leadership, fostering a culture of blame and resentment.

Additionally, failing to meet unrealistic expectations can damage the team’s reputation and credibility within the industry, leading to potential business loss and difficulty attracting and retaining top talent.

Effective goal-setting involves balancing challenging aspirations and attainable milestones, ensuring that agents are motivated to strive for excellence while feeling supported and equipped to succeed. Regularly revisiting and adjusting goals based on feedback and performance metrics allows real estate teams to adapt to changing circumstances and maintain a sense of momentum and purpose.

Communication can make or break a team

Communication breakdowns can severely undermine trust within real estate teams. In a field where timely information can make or break a transaction, failing to keep team members informed can lead to missed opportunities, misunderstandings and, ultimately, a loss of credibility in your team’s market.

When agents are left in the dark about important updates, market trends, or client feedback, they may feel disconnected from the team and need clarification on their role. This lack of clarity can breed resentment and frustration, eroding trust in leadership and colleagues.

Effective communication fosters collaboration and cohesion within a real estate team. Agents may feel isolated and supported with open channels for sharing ideas, coordinating efforts and providing feedback. They may hesitate to ask for assistance or guidance, fearing their concerns go unheard or unaddressed.

Over time, this communication breakdown can create silos within the team, hindering productivity and diminishing morale.

Furthermore, when communication is lacking, conflicts and misunderstandings are more likely to arise. Disagreements can escalate without clear expectations and transparent dialogue, leading to strained relationships and a toxic work environment.

Agents need to feel they can openly express their opinions and concerns without fear of reprisal. By fostering a culture of open communication and active listening, real estate teams can build trust and resilience, enabling them to navigate challenges and achieve success together.

Empower and inspire your agents to grow their own businesses

Empowering and inspiring your agents to grow their businesses is essential for fostering success and achieving collective goals. Firstly, providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities empowers agents to expand their skill sets and stay abreast of industry trends.

By investing in training programs, workshops and seminars, you equip your team with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the complexities of the real estate market confidently. This enhances their abilities as individual agents and strengthens the team’s overall capabilities and reputation.

Secondly, cultivating a supportive and collaborative work environment encourages agents to share ideas, strategies and best practices with their colleagues. By fostering a culture of teamwork and mutual support, you create a space where agents can learn from each other’s experiences and leverage collective expertise to overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

This collaborative spirit enhances productivity and innovation and strengthens the bonds between team members, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.

Lastly, the importance of providing mentorship and coaching opportunities cannot be overstated. This allows experienced real estate professionals to impart their wisdom and guidance to less seasoned agents, accelerating their learning and professional growth.

Pairing junior agents with mentors who have a track record of success in the industry provides invaluable insights, support and encouragement as they navigate their career paths. These mentorship relationships not only boost confidence but also empower agents to achieve their full potential and thrive in their roles.

Manny Solis currently serves as a Partner Success Manager at Side, enabling him to be a strategic adviser to many of the top real estate teams nationwide. Connect with Solis on Linkedin. 

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