David Wolf has had a whirlwind few years. He went from being a team leader of seven real estate professionals to president of sales at Related Midwest to the president of Related Midwest’s new boutique real estate brokerage, Related Realty. The 11-year veteran has years of experience under his belt motivating agents on his team, but managing a brokerage for a major development company has taken some “customization” of his skills, he says.
“I have had to ‘customize’ my leadership approach around what motivates each individual,” he says. “My South Loop Luxury team consists of four lead agents, ranging in age from the mid-30s to the mid-50s. Each agent comes from a different background and is motivated differently. One of my agents had never sold a development before, but he is a natural at forming relationships and is a quick learner. At the other end of the spectrum, I have an agent who has sold developments for 15 years. Another is motivated by money and closing deals, and another is motivated mostly by doing a good job and thrives off of competition. When we meet to discuss sales goals and progress, I know that I have to focus on what will motivate them and how they each respond to praise and constructive criticism.”
Wolf’s management style is, in part, how Related Realty has more leads than he had imagined they’d have at this point; although the brokerage sells Related Midwest developments exclusively, agents are also responsible for prospecting outside, resale leads. Right now, Related Realty has 17 agents, six of whom are selling Related Midwest’s developments on-site, including the South Loop Luxury buildings and One Evanston, but all agents have outside listings and focus on prospecting and marketing themselves for outside leads. Wolf doesn’t do any day-to-day transactions though, because he wants to grow the brokerage by handling the training, pricing of units and how to market the company.
Wolf’s goal is to have 40 to 50 agents on the Related Realty team by the end of the year, and he splits his focus between recruiting agents and grooming his new team members. And in terms of recruiting, he’s not necessarily looking for top producers – Wolf is looking for agents whose businesses succeeded during and after the recession. “(Those agents are) dynamic business people who have a plan in place to grow their business,” Wolf says. “I truly value work, progress and growth. Everyone responds differently to successes and failures, but motivators are different for everyone, and I strive to always motivate my employees.”