By Verl Workman

It’s the time of year when it always seems a bit easier to think of others. Any great leader should have their team on their mind all year long, but if this season makes it easier to focus on those around you, then it’s an excellent time to take stock of how your team is reacting to your leadership. If the reaction isn’t overwhelmingly positive, you’ll already have some goals for the new year.

I recently commissioned a national study on real estate teams carried out by The Center for Generational Kinetics and sponsored by Sisu. The study revealed many valuable insights, with one key finding being that a team’s leader sets the pace for most everything within the team—from recruiting and retention to communication and trust. This is in line with my experience in the industry and sheds some light on something that I find particularly important: a team leader needs to focus on the needs of their team.

The most profitable and happy team members are led by those who want others to succeed and who help them define what success means to them. This means that thinking of your team first and finding ways to serve them will make you a better leader, help increase the trust, love, and loyalty among your team members, and ultimately build a better real estate team.

Embrace Opportunities to Serve Your Team

Successful teams thrive because of the team leader’s focus on creating a great life for others. CGK’s national study found that, unfortunately, only 55% of real estate professionals say that being a part of a team had the impact they were hoping for on their personal life. This statistic worries me: almost half of all teams haven’t figured out the secret sauce of team building—belonging to an effective team should help you build a life worth living, not just net you a higher income.

According to this statistic, nearly half of all team leaders aren’t effectively approaching their teams with a servant’s heart. Take the time this season of giving and evaluate on which side of the line your leadership lives. If you haven’t built a culture of service and helping your team members live lives—not just work—then you have somewhere to go.

A Happy Team Produces Better Results

Maybe you’re worried about your bottom line. If you create a culture of prioritizing family, life events, and living well, will your team’s profitability suffer? Of course not. People work to live, which means they need to have a vision of a good life to work well. When you help your team achieve their desired lifestyles, their work will improve and you’ll get the results you’re actually after. The best leaders lead the happiest teams.

This course will also have the added benefit of increasing the longevity of team members. People quit leaders and environments that don’t serve their desired lifestyle. If you become the sort of leader that people trust to build a positive and healthy workplace, people will stay—and even flock to your business.

Learn to Serve Regardless of Opportunity

There will be times when a team member’s needs don’t make explicit business sense in the moment. Investing in your team by serving them without thought of what opportunities such service will bring you is the secret to building a fulfilled and tight-knit team. When you become able to love your team to this degree, it will create a culture and environment that will produce nothing short of magic in your real estate business.

Service-based leadership isn’t optional for your continued success in building a real estate team. If you fail to serve your team, they will quit you and go somewhere where they’re valued and treated the way they deserve. For more information about leading a team in the real estate industry, check out our national team study at