Covid-19 has affected many industries in our nation and real estate is no exception. The housing industry, which relies on face-to-face interaction, has faced challenges on how to adapt since March.  Over the past few months leaders in all sectors have encountered difficult decisions, various uncertainties and the challenge of communicating and forming comradery remotely.

Leading The Unknown:

As regulations in our nation fluctuate, questions arise, and the unknown becomes more prevalent, it’s easy for employee morale, motivation and work output to suffer. Within the residential real estate industry, we saw communication become increasingly difficult not only internally but amid our other real estate associates too. The housing industry so often relied on in person interactions and connections, leaving the market in uncharted territory.

Prior to Covid-19, we had recently experienced a major transition internally. This transformation allowed us to lean on past circumstances to guide us through the challenges produced by the pandemic.  Having a strong team within is the only way to face obstacles and see success on the other side of this growing pandemic.

Learning From Your Mistakes

In the aforementioned transition, there were many mistakes made along the way. Although no leader wants to make an error, it often yields opportunities for growth and learning that can be applied to future situations. As a company, the pandemic challenged us to adapt, communicate more effectively and find new ways to problem solve. As a team, we were better equipped to handle the Covid-19 challenges due to the experiences we had withstood together through the transition.

As a leader it is imperative to recognize these mistakes and take them in stride. Enduring hardships serve as vital learning lessons that enable teams to discover new approaches to issues and forge stronger relationships that shape how future adversity is handled.

An Effective Leader

When accepting a leadership position, it is important to acknowledge that you are always going to be an aspiring leader. This position requires you to be a student and a teacher. The team you lead will continuously present you with opportunities to learn and lead more effectively, and it is your job to listen to your team, discern what the real issues are, and make quick decisions that allow for those who work with you to continue to operate successfully and with effectiveness.

Throughout the pandemic, a key to our success has been establishing trust amongst our employees as a fair-minded, thoughtful, and selfless partner who is focused on the best interest of the company.

Striving to put people first is imperative in establishing a reliable staff. This can only be accomplished by being an active listener, especially in times of crisis.

Additionally, having an open-door policy allows businesses to understand and evaluate issues in a quick manner and consider new solutions that have allowed us to adapt amid Covid-19. Solving solutions that face the industry go above ourselves, and as leaders we must put our minds together to produce progressive ideas that will enable the residential real estate industry and other sectors to grow stronger.

2021 and Beyond

The pandemic has pushed every leader to acclimate to a new approach to business. Although these times feel strenuous and complex it is important to recognize the knowledge acquired through these circumstances. We must acknowledge that by embracing the unique situation we are in will leave us better equipped to handle the next challenge we face.

As the end of the year approaches many leaders find themselves feeling helpless as to what a new year will bring and how to predict for the unforeseen. I encourage each leader to evaluate the present and how you can take the current phase and apply it to the future.

We have been fortunate to find growth and success in unprecedented times. However, that is not by luck, but rather the approach we take with every employee, every hardship and every mistake. We utilize the past as an opportunity to grow for the future, and it has enabled us to become a stronger team that is more equipped to form collaborative solutions and spearhead issues head on.

Eric Fontanot is President of Patten Title, a full-service closing company with locations in Houston, Austin and Dallas. Patten Title Company provides a fresh, progressive approach to the title insurance industry. Recently, Eric Fontanot has been awarded HBJ’s Most Admired CEO and Patten Title has been named one of HBJ’s Best Places To Work.

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Past and future stock photo by Opat Suvi/Shutterstock