4 Ways to Build an Effective Team

    Most jobs require effective teamwork at least some of the time. Property management requires it all of the time. Even if you’re the only manager at your building, odds are you’re constantly coordinating with vendors, janitorial staff, engineers, tenants, and possibly administrative staff and owners. Fostering successful collaboration between so many different types of people can be tricky, but is vital to managing your portfolio effectively.

    Here are four principles experts agree are crucial to leading a prosperous team:

    1) Foster Respect

    It’s amazing how seemingly small things like someone always being 5 minutes late to a meeting or never copying someone on an email can create big riffs in a team dynamic. Ensure respect is shared by all parties in your group by having a zero tolerance policy for actions that are disrespectful to other workers. During important business plan meetings, Alan Mullaly, former CEO of Ford Motor Company, established rules that made things like side discussions, joking at the expense of others and interruptions unacceptable. By doing so he was able to focus attention on collaboration rather than competition.

    2) A Shared Mission

    Individuals need a common goal to work towards to become a team. Make sure each person involved has an understanding of the primary mission you’re working to achieve. Perhaps that’s just making sure your building runs efficiently or every tenant is happy. It can be one mission or many and it can change over time, but make sure everyone is always on the same page about what that mission is.

    Also, when you establish the shared mission, you should also express how each individual contributes to the big picture. Not only can this empower each team member to see how her/his role is a vital piece of the puzzle, but it also reminds other employees how each role impact the shared mission.

    3) Transparency and Accountability

    Trust among team member is incredibly important in fostering collaboration as it “will allow you to be vulnerable with other team members” says Patrick Lencioni, author of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. This vulnerability will make it much easier to be open and honest about the good, bad and ugly so team members understand the full scope of their projects and can work at maximum effectiveness.

    When a team members betrays that trust or lets others down, accountability is key to restoring the peace among the group. Don’t allow continual poor performances slide and on the flip side, don’t let good performances go unrewarded. The absence of accountability can create resentment among workers.

    4) Create a Team Culture

    It’s been said many times and for a reason; there’s no “I” in “Team”. It’s all about creating a culture in which individuals feel and see the greatest value when they work together. Every company has a different way of developing this kind of culture, but many find social activities are the most rewarding. By taking activities out of the office, it allows employees to turn off that “work” mindset and focus on creating more personal bonds with one another.


    Now this list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it helps you cultivate a stronger team at work. Real estate management in any form will always require many moving parts and therefore many people working together. The sooner you can master the ability to bring people together, the better off you’ll be.


    About the Author: Lindsay Konlande currently serves as the Association Assistant for IREM Houston. Lindsay earned her Bachelor Degree in Communication from Texas A&M and has several years of experience in marketing, public relations and copywriting.


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