Whether we like it or not, the last two years have meant we have had to change - quickly!
COVID-19, The Great Resignation (continuing), remote or flexible working conditions. An increase in the number of you (Agents) leaping to start your own business, the fastest house price growth rate in 15 years, and now the cost-of-living crisis and looming recession mean we have had our arms up in the air, one way or the other.
The Problem with Estate Agents
We traditionally follow a Hierarchy Culture, with conventional corporate structures, a chain of command, a set way of doing things, and a dress code for employees. (Sound familiar?)
Synonymous with stability and risk-averse, which under normal circumstances can be okay, but what has been 'normal' about the last two years and any impending market conditions?
As a result, all this change has made it difficult for us to adapt, whether we accept it or not.
The Solution for Estate Agents
Simple. A culture that adapts to changing conditions.
Adhocracy - derived from the Latin phrase, 'Ad hoc' meaning "for this (purpose)". Not to be confused with autocracy.
In an Estate Agency setting, it describes a corporate approach of decentralised leadership, individual initiative, and organic decision-making.
It does not rely on a rigid system of authority or procedures. Instead, focusing on consistently adapting methods and giving employees permission to do their work and solve problems as they see fit.
Google, Apple, Tesla, and Spotify embody adhocracy culture and are on the cutting edge of their industry.
Innovation is a crucial source of competitive advantage and differentiation. Adhocracy culture will help you become innovative and adaptable.
The Benefits for Estate Agents
Adhocracies can quickly adjust to new market conditions and changes in systems, processes, or strategies in a relatively short time.
The best adhocracies promote meritocracy, where team members get rewarded for their skill and effort rather than their seniority or job title. For this reason, adhocratic culture can foster professional and personal development in ways that a traditional corporate structure cannot.
Whether your Agency can adopt true adhocracy or some principles, it will promote innovation and individual initiative and positively impact your operations.
Consider the following Practices to Help Create an Adhocracy Culture in your Estate Agency
1.) Adapt the Model
Get a good grasp on the mindset and practices of an adhocracy but know that it is not one-size-fits-all.
For example, you might choose to cultivate certain principles like promoting quick decision-making or select only specific teams to adopt elements of adhocracy.
2.) Promote Cross-Functional Collaboration
If your Agency has multiple siloed departments, it is essential to support collaboration across different functions.
Typically, siloed departments aren't just physically separated but also pursue department goals instead of company ones.
Develop forums where information can flow, hold brainstorming sessions, open dedicated communication channels, etc.
Purposely bring people together to share new ideas and deliberate problems - creating an environment where spontaneous knowledge sharing will naturally occur when change arises.
3. Hire and Retain the Right People
Attract candidates that will thrive in your particular type of culture. Job applicants must be aware of what it will be like, so be sure your Agency culture is displayed clearly in recruiting materials.
Whoever is hiring must be well-informed about what to look for, and job descriptions should outline these specific qualities.
For example, you want to target people with a history of innovative behaviour who are self-guided, flexible, and collaborative.
4. Encourage and Reward Desired Behaviours
Define behaviours you want to see more of in your Agency, and then encourage and reward these. Including support for learning from disappointments as well as achievements.
For example, publicly celebrate decisive actions and experiments, even if they were not super successful. Then, employees will take on this innovative mindset for themselves and support it.
In the fast-moving environment that is Estate Agency mixing in a less rigid management approach is the way to go. Adhocracy culture will empower your employees to contribute and equips them with the flexibility to succeed and adopt change, regardless of the circumstances.
All future strategic decisions you may have to make, whether adopting new strategies, self-development, changing CRM, Franchising, or looking to expand into new territories, will benefit from this approach.
Like all innovation and change, it needs a clear vision and leadership from you. So first, evaluate your existing culture and take stock of what truly matters to you - where are you aligned, and what are your goals or areas for improvement?
Then unite all company stakeholders toward this common goal.