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Why Building A Culture Is Important Within A Real Estate Organization

“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.”

-David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot

Every business has a culture -- it’s not something you choose to have or not. Culture always exists, regardless of how much effort you put into creating one. It seeps through every part of your business and can act as a springboard, propelling your business forward.

Take control of your company culture, and you’ll improve agent happiness, pushing up production and profits.

So what is a company culture?

Culture a set of rules that governs people’s behavior: how to act around colleagues, how to act around clients, what to value, what to focus on, etc… Culture is an expression of accepted norms and values within a group.

As the person who runs the company, you have a lot of influence on the company culture.

Why is this important?

Well, culture is often seen as the glue that holds a company together. Any business -- and certainly a real estate business -- consists of many different individuals.

They all have their own background, their own ideas and their own culture that drives their behavior and the way they contribute to your bottom line.

That means, you need to have something that holds everything together. You need culture to create a feeling of belonging and togetherness for your agents.

If the way they do business does not have a consistent culture behind it, you’re likely to lose out. Your brand will suffer. You’ll find it hard to differentiate yourself from competitors.

So that leads us to the question: What kind of culture do you want your business to have?


According to researchers at the University of Michigan, there are four types of organizational culture. Which one describes your business best?

1. Clan

2. Flexible

3. Market

4. Hierarchy









Doing things together


Task oriented

Doing things right

There’s no need to try and squeeze your business culture into just one category -- most companies fit different types at the same time. Nonetheless, the different types of culture will help you think about the kind of culture you want to create within your brokerage.

How to develop your real estate business’s culture

You as a business owner set the tone -- and your agents follow. As such it makes sense to  take control and build the culture you want. Bear in mind that this is a long-term process. Changing a company’s culture doesn’t happen overnight and required a lot of work, every day.

The best way of establishing a culture is going back to your core business values. Check out our article to get an idea of how to create a vision and values for your team.

Now, once your values are clear, you can start implementing your culture.

Bear in mind this is a slow-burning process… so don’t expect results within the first week.

But do expect results within the first few months.

Here’s a few things you can start doing today:

  1. Set out the culture you want in a crystal clear way

You can do this in any way you like -- it can be a one-page document of text or you can knock together some graphics.

In any case, the culture you want to achieve has to be so clear that it can’t be interpreted any other way. Get everyone in a room and present this to them. Have them discuss what would need to change to implement the culture you want.

Your culture should be closely linked to your business vision and values.

  1. Work on your own behavior

You’ll have to embody the company culture -- if you don’t show you’re taking this seriously, your agents will immediately pick up on this. They’ll just disregard the new culture you’re trying to implement and will carry on as before.

You need to embody the culture -- that’s the only way to get others to follow your lead.

  1. Set goals in line with your culture

This is a big one -- when you’re setting goals, whether it’s for an individual, a team or the entire company, it’s very important to make sure these goals align with your culture.

That they embody your culture. That they are at one with your culture.

This will provide the consistency in your business that you need to show to clients, to other real estate businesses, to potential recruits, etc…

The clearer you make your culture, the easier it is to build the image you want to radiate.

Examples of different organizational cultures in practice

Culture will define how you tackle issues and processes in your business. Here’s a few examples of how culture can affect decision making.

Culture and leadership

The way you lead your business will have a huge impact on the business culture, so it’s good to take a moment and think about what you want to achieve through your leadership. Do you want to inspire, innovate, include others, etc…?

For instance, if your business has been struggling, it might make sense to put a lot of effort into inspiring others, reminding them of the business’ core values. It also makes sense to review agent’s individual goals and makes sure they’re aligned with the wider company culture and goals.

Culture and recruiting

Your company culture is crucial to your recruitment efforts. Culture is like an ad for your business… one that can both attract and repel candidates.

Ultimately, being aware of your organizational culture will help you match the right candidate to your business and recruit people who fit in. This will make your agents feel more at home, which ultimately should have a positive influence on your turnover.

So one way of thinking about this is: what kind of agent would fit into my culture?

Conversely, if you’re looking to change your business culture, you can change the kind of people you hire. So if you have outlined a new culture you want to create within you brokerage, ask yourself this: ‘What kind of agent would contribute to the new culture? What kind of agent would just continue the old culture?”

Don’t be afraid to discuss culture at the office

Discussions about culture can be difficult: they’re often very subjective and it can lead you to more sensitive areas… stuff people don’t always want to talk about.

Still, it’s worth bringing culture up every once in a while. Just by asking your agents how they see the culture, you’ll get the conversation started and you’ll be able to get a better picture of what the company culture really is… and whether you think you’d want to change it for the better!

12.07.18 09:30 AM By Karla