The pandemic has pushed every industry, including real estate, to adopt a remote work model over the last year. While discussions on the future of workplaces are ongoing, the current consensus is that a hybrid model is here to stay. This means companies need to establish long-term remote working strategies to ensure we’re building, and maintaining, high-performance teams.
Here are a few tips to help you effectively manage a remote deal team that works collaboratively, efficiently, and maintains the culture you worked so hard to create when everyone was working in the office.
1. Create a communication strategy
Decide which tools you’ll use for different types of communication—for example, email, messaging apps, phone calls, and software solutions. Look for tools that will help your team stay organized while working on their own. The last thing anyone wants are more emails filling up an already overcrowded inbox, where they’re likely to get lost. Collaboration software can reduce email clutter by providing more streamlined ways to share information across your team.
Make yourself accessible to your team and encourage everyone else to do the same. In the office, it’s easy to see whether colleagues are available or busy. But in the virtual environment, you need to take steps to keep your team connected. Using shared calendars and status settings in chat applications like Microsoft Teams helps people know when coworkers are available and when they’re in a meeting or busy and unable to speak.
Establishing a shared single source of information will help you decrease the amount of back and forth that’s involved in collaborating on a deal. Centralizing your firm’s data reduces the number of touchpoints required to ensure all team members have the latest deal information. Anything you can do to streamline and simplify processes for your team will make working remotely easier, and more effective. Using an innovative real estate data analysis tool will be definitely beneficial.
2. Focus on outcomes, not activities
Know your objectives
Set clear goals and establish metrics to measure your team’s success. Working remotely can help you shift focus away from vanity metrics like hours spent at your desk and towards metrics that really matter to your organization’s success. However, it’s important to define those metrics and share them with your team.
Put it on the calendar
Establishing clear timelines is even more important when working remotely. Origin allows you to assign a deadline for every task, so everyone knows when their work needs to be completed. Not only will this help you keep your team on track, it makes the hand-off between members smoother because people know what is happening when.
Trust your people
While it may be tempting to micro-manage when you can’t see what everyone is doing all day, a better approach is to empower your team members to manage their own work. Combined with clear goals and metrics, giving them autonomy can actually help remove bottlenecks and improve individual performance. It’s time to embrace a more flexible work environment—you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
3. Connect with your real estate acquisitions team
Having daily check-ins will help everyone remain connected and feel like they’re still part of a team. Find ways to replace the informal information sharing that happens in the office—from water cooler talk to desk-side chit chat. You can do this through a daily morning meeting over Zoom or group chat. Better yet, use Origin’s automatic email updates and scheduled reports to make sure everyone is in the loop.
Make a plan to run group meetings efficiently so you don’t waste anyone’s time. Ensuring that every team member has access to the same information prior to and during meetings can reduce distracting digressions and keep everyone focused on the goals of the meeting.
Think outside the box
Build cohesion within your team and strengthen engagement by trying to recreate some of the dynamics of an office setting. Try scheduling a “virtual open plan office” video call, with no agenda, where teammates can chat or overhear others chatting while catching up on emails. Encourage ad-hoc virtual 1:1s between teammates who don’t regularly work together on the same projects. Get to know your team and find out what will resonate with them. There’s no one right way to do this. If at first you don’t succeed, try again until you find a good fit for your people.
Implementing clear and simple processes along with using technology wisely can help any team worker better, but especially one that is fully or partially remote. Use these tips and solutions like Origin to reduce frustration and bottlenecks, improve team efficiency, and boost overall productivity and performance.