Natural Born Manager

by Stephanie Sims


Stephanie Sims is the managing editor of Chicago Agent magazine.

When people think of words to describe successful managers, words like “leader,” “knowledgeable,” “problem-solver,” “planner” and “inspiring” come to mind. But how do those managers obtain “great manager” status?

It takes a mixture of natural management abilities with training and experience, but what helps the most is the understanding of what employees need to do their job. The perk with managing brokers is that, often, they were not so long ago agents themselves. They know about what an agent needs to excel in their business and enjoy their work. Having happy agents means they’ll do their best work and makes for a harmonious office.

Though most managing brokers once were agents themselves, managing a group of agents is a whole other ball game. Managing brokers need to adapt their own managerial styles and tailor them to their agents. They need to think about what managerial style will help keep their agents happy and producing good work, while also helping to hone their skills and improving their businesses.

Part of this entails knowing and creating ways agents can achieve these successes. Roseann Schumacher, managing broker of Century 21 Langos & Christian, who graces our cover, does this by creating a system whenever she sees a need to. When her agents have trouble remembering all they need to bring with them to a closing, she creates a system that involves a checklist and has support staff doublecheck it, with herself being the last person to approve the checklist. Even things that are as simple as keeping documents that go with the correct deals together, Schumacher helps the agent prepare and have the documents mobile-ready as well as physical copies, if necessary.

Chuck Goro, branch manager of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Lincoln Park Plaza office, understands the need to adapt and provide for agents – but he never tells them what to do. Instead, he does his best to guide agents to finding the correct answers themselves. But, at the same time, “you never want an agent to come back to you with the same challenge, because in my opinion, it means you did not do a good enough job teaching or guiding them the first time around,” Goro says. We also interviewed Marilyn Kroc, broker/owner of RE/MAX Properties, about her management style – check out our cover story to read more about management styles that successful managing brokers use, and also, find out who some of Chicagoland’s most beloved managing brokers are and why.

As always, let me know what you think of this issue by emailing me: stephanie@chicago.staging312.com.

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