We were taught to tell the truth growing up, to ask questions, speak up, and admit when we are wrong. But at some point in life, we tend to shift away from these lessons of honesty to protect ourselves. We keep our questions to ourselves, quiet our voices, and pretend to know all the answers. We develop a fear of making mistakes or failing. But the fact of the matter is mistakes and failures are not weaknesses; they build strength and make you better.
As a broker, it’s OK to not be 100 percent sure of your answer all the time, and telling the truth is the best way to run a business. Sometimes, we make a bad hire, launch a program that falls short, or use software that ends up not meeting our needs. Admitting when you’ve made a mistake and sharing the lesson you’ve learned demonstrates true leadership. Showing your vulnerability is admirable and can strengthen relationships on your team.
At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Go Realty in North Carolina, we’ve made transparency a standard practice. Our leadership team tries to paint a clear picture of our thoughts and opinions. We operate an open-door and open-book policy, and our agents trust us more for it. As broker-in-charge, I tell agents that my office is a "safe space" where they can feel free to say whatever they need to say. Because of this, I’ve noticed agents dig into our culture a little deeper. They have faith that we, as brokers and managers, have their best interests at heart.
Our commitment to transparency can be seen in how we name new technologies, services, or events for our agents, starting with version 1.0. This lets the agents know that while we believe in this product, we’re open to suggestions for a better version 2.0 and beyond. We’ve done this with our leads program, our virtual assistant program, and training programs to name a few. Then we ask agents for feedback either verbally or via email, and they aren’t shy about giving it. They know their comments aren’t going to hurt our feelings; rather, they’ll be taken seriously and influence changes going forward. We have more than 100 agents at Go Realty, and we make it a point to reach out to each one.
One of the amazing things we’ve noticed as a result of our open-door culture is that when we mess something up (which we do from time to time), agents give us grace. They also feel more comfortable opening up to us, bringing their whole self to our spaces and sharing their hopes, dreams, and goals with us. Those close, trusted relationships make it possible for us to help them reach the next level in their business.