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Creating a Winning Culture

by User Not Found | Dec 28, 2016
It’s clear that the most successful organizations in the business world find a way to build a sustainable winning culture. But how do you do this in a competitive industry with firms offering similar products or services like they do in the real estate industry? The answer is to differentiate yourself by creating a unique company culture that is impactful and meaningful to those in your organization.
Team sports are similar to business in many ways, but none more so than culture. I was privileged to play Division I college hockey for one of the greatest coaches in college hockey history. He was legendary in his ability to build a winning culture. On the
best teams I played on, a winning culture always came before the actual wins. It was not something that happened because we won. Instead, it was the planning and dedication to develop our winning culture that led to the wins.

Just as in sports, whether last year was a great year or a tough year, it’s vital to work on building your company culture every year. Here are a few simple ideas to think about as you shape your company's winning strategy. 

In a real estate office, agents must see consistency and fairness from their broker or manager. That doesn’t mean everyone is equal or needs exactly the same level of resources and support. What it does mean is that every agent must see that decisions are made based on a consistent set of values that are fairly applied.

In college our core values were desire, determination, and grit, and the will to win. No matter how talented, if a teammate wasn’t showing enough determination and grit, he wasn’t playing. Whatever your core values are, be consistent. 

Practice Hard:
In sports, we practiced four to five times as much as we played actual games. In business, it’s opposite, at best. At work, training more than “real work” may not be
realistic, but investing time and budgeting to promote educational opportunities, conduct training, and encourage career-long learning is what enables individual agents to succeed and win more often.

Celebrate Wins:
Just as in sports, winning in real estate is not easy. Competition is fierce. It’s important to celebrate wins, no matter how big or how small. For example, celebrate an agent’s first listing just as you would the agent who closed her biggest deal ever. Just as teammates come together to celebrate every goal or big play, celebrating wins together
in office meetings, at happy hours, or simply in a congratulatory email goes a long way to breed positivity and togetherness. And it’s just fun!

Individuals, playing well, is what creates great teams. Competition among teammates for playing time is as real as competition among agents in the same office fighting for clients. It can easily devolve into a losing practice. That’s why it’s so important to constantly work on building a working-together spirit. There’s no one right way, but hopefully the lessons I learned in my hockey career help you plan your best path to a winning culture.

Michael DiMella is the Managing Partner at Charlesgate Realty in Boston and played Division I college hockey at Boston University. He is past President of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors®.