If there’s one thing Doug Edrington knows, it’s how to lead a team. Doug recently opened his own Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Brokerage, J Douglas Properties, and runs (with no shortage of success), The Edrington Team. Last year his team sold 491 houses. And when he’s not busy being a top producer, he is also a Tom Ferry Coach.
In a recent visit to BoomTown, Doug shared some of his recent experiences and expertise when it comes to building a sustainable business and being an effective leader.
Here are the top takeaways:
1. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. (And then delegate some more).
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to overload themselves to the point of burnout. AKA “Don’t be a hero.” It’s a common mindset of highly efficient and entrepreneurial people to think, “I can do this, and probably better than most, so I’ll just handle it.” Aside from burnout and time constraints, you’re more than likely not the best at every aspect of your business.
- 1. Find your strengths
- 2. Highlight them
- 3. Delegate the rest
Maybe you’re highly analytical and numbers-focused, but not great with creative work. Play to your strengths by taking charge of budget decisions and goal-setting, and then delegate more marketing and branding efforts to other team members.
“As a team leader, the number one thing is ‘how do I delegate, how do I delegate?’ Build a high-level of trust within your team. Train them to be not just gatekeepers, but keyholders so that someone can come to you and say ‘Hey we need this because of XYZ,’ and you trust them so you go ahead and get it.”
2. Structure Your Business Strategically, and Stay Organized.
Perhaps one of the top reasons for the success of The Edrington Team is the structure. Doug took everything that he’s learned about real estate, team models, and agents’ skills/challenges, and structured his team with long-lasting stability and scalability in mind.
While the “secret sauce,” will vary from business to business (depending on the market, leadership styles, franchises, etc.), the common denominator is that how you model your team should be incredibly well-thought-out and strategic. You don’t have to nail it right off the bat! Additionally, your team will shift and grow over time. However, structuring your team in the most effective way possible should be at the top of your priority list.
“You’ll find stability when you focus on providing value to your team. We’re always looking for leaders, for people that want to grow in their business. By providing that value, we don’t have super successful agents trying to leave when they reach a certain point.”
To start asking yourself the right questions, consider your goals as a business. Where are you struggling, and where do you thrive? Are certain players overloaded and spread too thin? Are you encouraging your team members to go beyond their basic job description and rise to fill a need?
3. Be Vulnerable. Fail Forward.
One of the most common reasons real estate agents fail is because they (A) aren’t confident, because they (B) don’t know what to say, because they (C) haven’t been taught.
The way to avoid this Catch-22 is to be willing to be vulnerable. Doug encourages agents and leaders alike to be honest when they are uncertain and to be vulnerable enough to ask for help. While it’s important for agents (especially new, inexperienced agents) to vocalize their concerns and ask for help, it’s equally as important for leaders to provide an environment where training is prioritized.
The Edrington Team operates using a mentor-mentee program. It’s a win-win across the board. Newer agents get the training they need to thrive and more experienced agents have added incentive to generate extra business.