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The Highest Purpose of a Managing Broker

By: Sharran Srivatsaa


What is the winning recipe to grow a real estate company? I’m talking explosive growth like 10x in 5 years, 600 agents, 22 offices, and billions of dollars in sales. We were fortunate enough to do experience this growth at Teles Properties before the company was acquired by national powerhouse Douglas Elliman. And if you asked any Teles agent why they loved Teles so much, he or she will tell you that it was the Teles Culture.

Let’s be real, everyone talks about this magical thing called culture. But rarely can someone actually tell you what they specifically did to build culture. My goal here is to help you understand how we intentionally designed our culture and some specific things actions you can take to fuel our culture every single day.

At Teles we believe the highest responsibility of a managing broker (Owner, Team Leader, President, CEO or Sales Leader) is to create a Culture of Human Performance in the organization. Once that is in place, and that is the North Star, everything else will fall into place.

Here are the two major reasons you absolutely need a Culture of Human Performance:

  1. Real estate is a lonely business: As leaders, while we understand that our agents are self-operating independent contractors, we must also realize that high performing salespeople are not inspired by solitude.
  2. Give them what they cannot find elsewhere: In today’s real estate marketplace, an agent can set up shop in the Cayman Islands and sell real estate in Chicago. She can buy the tools, systems, software, and hire virtual assistants and transaction coordinators to operate their business fairly smoothly. But they cannot buy the Culture of Human The performance provided by $149 a month virtual brokerage. Always ask the question, “How do I give them what they cannot find elsewhere?” This becomes the core of your value proposition.

Here are a few strategies that we employed at Teles to create a Culture of Human Performance. While you may think some of these are trivial… don’t forget, greatness is in the granularity.

4 Strategies to create a Culture of Human Performance

  1. Come together every day: We built an unbelievable line up of conference calls at the same time every weekday to give our agents strategies, tools, and tactics. We did this every. Single. Day. As you can imagine this is a major undertaking but the key for us was doing this every weekday at the same time. This created a cadence where agents started to build their days around our calls and as a result agent participation and collaboration went through the roof. The calls were so popular that we decided to make it available to the world via a public podcast. You can still access the hundreds of calls that we did (and the team continues to do) at www.soundcloud.com/douglaselliman.
  2. Commit to building Sales Confidence: We traded the traditional sales meetings across offices for high-powered mastermind sessions. We dug deep into sales strategies, scripting and objection handling, prospecting and lead generation frameworks… we put the “sales” back in the “sales meetings” and we were ruthless about creating value. Ask this question, “Would someone pay money to attend your sales meeting?”. It needs to be that good.
  3. Showcase Personal Growth: Creating a Culture of Human Performance is showcasing the humanity of people not simply recognizing awards for sales volume. Did someone beat cancer? Did someone lose weight? Did someone climb Mt. Everest? Did someone run their first marathon? Look for the stories of true human performance in the organization… and showcase it. When people realize that they can come to “work” and be recognized for “who” they are and not just if they put up points on the scoreboard, they will bring their heart and soul into helping grow your empire.
  4. Create a Platform for Storytelling: You need a “place” to curate your culture and to communicate your personal care, professional warmth, and leadership vision. We went the low tech route and created a simple private facebook group that had just two rules: (1) No Selling or Property Promotions (2) Support Everyone. We used this platform to share stories, get messages out, recognize our people, and showcase our success. Remember, storytelling requires multi-media… so we used video, audio, pictures, infographics, testimonials, or just normal posts to tell stories, but you have to mix it up. The goal for this platform is creating a culture of human performance, not a place where you can post articles to new contract changes or updates to arbitration clauses. We lit up this group daily… not just with content from the leadership and sales managers but also from the entire agent base. Sometimes when I was tired or frustrated, I would just go to the facebook group and read the posts… it was deeply uplifting and reminded me that we all had a bigger and better future together.

Commit to creating a Culture of Human Performance… obsess over it. It will change your life and legacy forever.


Sharran Srivatsaa is the CEO of Kingston Lane, a push-button technology execution platform for real estate. Most recently, Sharran grew Teles Properties by 10x in 5 years and led its acquisition to Douglas Elliman.


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