While we’re still celebrating our REISA Awards for Excellence in Real Estate 2017 award for Real Estate Employer of the Year, I’d like to share with you some of the strategies McGrath Real Estate uses to take good care of our most important asset—our team.
In any industry, businesses that put profits first seldom achieve lasting success.
McGrath Real Estate has achieved success and enviable longevity—45 years of buying and selling real estate in Adelaide’s western and coastal suburbs—by putting our people first. We hope that after reading this article, you will consider exploring careers at McGrath Real Estate.
Here are some of the specifics of how we do that.
Real Estate Employer of the Year strategy no. 1: Put the right fit first
Many businesses concentrate mainly on the skills and experience of potential employees, which certainly are important factors when determining an individual’s suitability to fill a vacancy.
However, at McGrath Real Estate we believe that alignment between the values of an individual and the values of our company is an even more significant factor in determining a candidate’s potential to be a successful member of our team.
Our position is that while technical skills can be taught, values can’t, which is why it’s critical for us to find people who are the right fit for our business from the outset.
Our recruitment process involves a series of three meetings with candidates, during which we aim to get to know them as individuals, through discussion and formal interview questions.
We also use two specialised assessment tools, the first of which is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter—a self-assessed questionnaire that helps people to better understand themselves and others, and which gives us an insight into their personality type, leadership style, workplace preferences, strengths and potential blind spots.
The second is a DiSC assessment, which provides additional information to help us analyse a candidate’s personality and behaviour.
After the first meeting, at which I cover in depth the importance of alignment between our values and theirs, I ask each candidate to reflect on the information they have received and to decide if we are a good fit for them, and empower them to choose if they will move forward with their application.
Real Estate Employer of the Year strategy no. 2: Empower your employees
We familiarise each candidate with our values, culture, company history, and with our focus on personal and professional development at their very first interview, and then we empower them to choose whether to be part of our company’s culture rather than having them feel it would be imposed on them.
This approach starts the employer–employee relationship off in the way we that mean to continue.
Once appointed, each new employee is comprehensively inducted into the company and into their new role, emphasising the shared values and organisational culture that underpin the success of our business.
Real Estate Employer of the Year strategy no. 3: Train and develop your employees
We have learned that ongoing personal and professional development is important to the growth of each team member, which in turn helps our business as a whole to improve and to grow.
Each role in the company has a detailed training matrix to cover the period required for a new employee to reach full competency in their role and throughout this time another team member from their department acts as their trainer and mentor.
Personal and professional development of our people is so important to our mission that we require each employee to invest at least five days every year in team training—three business days and a two-day, overnight team retreat.
Our success in the realm of human resources rests on our efforts to help each team member develop their own “success recipe” every year.
While some organisations throw ingredients together willy-nilly, we take these recipes seriously and include them in the training matrix for each team member.
We actively encourage every team member to feed their ideas into our training program and this open invitation for them to nominate the skills they want to develop leads to very high levels of engagement and to us getting great value from our training budget.
Our efforts and the efforts of our team members in personal and professional development result in them being able to upskill into new roles, to earn more money, and to boost their intrinsic satisfaction levels.
Real Estate Employer of the Year strategy no. 4: Foster a good work–life balance
Aside from building their industry skills, we invest heavily in the personal development of our people as part of our commitment to work–life balance.
The payoff for McGrath is increased morale and productivity accompanied by reduced waste of time and effort, and reduced need for supervision.
I find it very satisfying to be able to report that the boost in these metrics directly flows into improved health, deeper relationships and better lifestyles.
Real Estate Employer of the Year strategy no. 5: Commit to best-practice documentation
Pursuing the gold standard of creating, maintaining and adhering to best-practice procedures delivers a crucial productivity dividend for our company because every team member has a crystal-clear understanding of their essential tasks.
Often overlooked in business, this benefit should be given more prominence!
Real estate offices are often hectic and it can be tempting to let busyness push aside items that are important but not urgent—we don’t let that happen to us.
We take human resources and workplace safety so seriously that we have employed our own Best Practice Officer, who is responsible for developing and managing more than 530 best-practice procedures.
That number is not meant to be impressive—what is impressive is the real difference the way we integrate them into our daily routines makes to our business outcomes.
Our annual key performance indicators (KPIs) for team members and department heads require our best-practice procedures to be reviewed weekly and when changes are needed, updated versions to be submitted to our Best Practice Officer to edit, test and update.
Each department has its own detailed and comprehensive best-practice procedure manual, containing the procedures that are common throughout the company and those specific to different functions.
Each procedure has been audited internally by team members and also by external parties, to ensure its accuracy and relevance.
Trust the Real Estate Employer of the Year to work harder for you
The five award-winning strategies detailed above show how we achieve our mission as a business through the efforts of our employees.
You can achieve your mission as a real estate client by talking to one of our valued employees about how they can meet your needs.
Contact us for service that will delight you from team members who are delighted to be working for the Real Estate Employer of the Year.