Work from home is here to say for the foreseeable future, and as a team leader, it’s up to you to remove any communication barriers and encourage your team to find the momentum to move forward. Here are a few tips.

After transitioning from corporate headquarters to home offices, agents’ direct connection to their team leaders might seem more strained than it was before COVID-19

As we prepare for the new year, now is a great time to check in with your team members and make sure they’re getting the feedback, coaching and the latest information they need to thrive. 

It’s an unusual time to conduct business from a distance, so below, I’ve outlined three ways team leaders can help their agents better connect this winter.

1. Hold regular office hours

While we can’t physically work in the office as a team right now, I recommend hosting weekly office hours for colleagues for regular check-in meetings.

At The Agency, we hold multiple office hours, corporate Zoom sessions and other digital training programs to ensure all of our agents know they have the support they need and would typically receive in normal times. 

These sessions provide a platform and an open forum to discuss recent transactions, ask questions and hold each other accountable. This is also an opportunity to keep your team informed of any new policies, restrictions or other market updates that they should be aware of to do business safely and productively.

2. Give your team an impromptu phone call

I also recommend that you spontaneously call your team members every week. Be proactive, and call up and ask if they need anything from you to start the day. 

Ask what questions they might have from the previous week, and simply let them know you are thinking of them. Perhaps remind them of the fun you all had together at the company holiday party last year and that you can’t wait to reconnect with them in person next year.

Instead of asking your team members to get in touch when they need to, frequently connecting with them allows you to have a finger on the pulse of what’s going on and let them know you are there for them. 

Finally, encourage your team members to reach out if they’d like to hold weekly one-on-one calls or video conferences. In-person learning is immensely important, and by offering your time and knowledge, your agents will feel confident to take on any challenges that come their way this winter.

3. Share some positivity

Positive feedback is one of the best ways to encourage your team. That said, a person’s body language, energy and other subtleties of nonverbal communication don’t always transfer over on the screen — even with the video on. 

Our need for recognition and positive news is in higher demand during difficult times. I recommend setting aside some time each week to offer positive feedback and specific examples of stellar work. 

Showing appreciation can give your agents the push they need to forge ahead through a COVID-19 winter. In addition to positive feedback, also make sure you provide timely feedback for any areas of improvement. 

By doing this, you can make sure your team is adjusting as needed and that you’re guiding them despite the distance at this time. Not to mention, by staying connected with your team as much as possible, each member will feel confident in his or her ability to service clients through this time. 

With remote work here to stay for the foreseeable future, as a team leader, it’s up to you to remove any barriers created from working virtually and encourage your team to find the momentum to move forward. 

With ongoing communication by all, your team will have a clear plan in the days ahead and address any concerns or questions as soon as they arise.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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